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Blackberries: Types, Cultivation And Useful Properties
Blackberries: Types, Cultivation And Useful Properties

Video: Blackberries: Types, Cultivation And Useful Properties

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Video: Growing Blackberries In Containers - The Complete Guide To Growing Blackberry 2023, February
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Thorn bush - blackberry bush

Blackberry
Blackberry

Blackberry (Rubus fruticous) is a berry crop (shrub from the Rosaceae family) with very decorative qualities, a liana-shaped bush up to 5 meters high and an extended fruiting period. Blackberries are successfully grown on trellises, in creeping and wall culture. There are many varieties that differ in taste, yield and size of very beautiful shiny black berries.

Blackberry flowers are larger than those of raspberries, located several in small racemes, usually at the top of the stem and branches. Calyx without submission, five-part. There are many stamens and pistils. The fruit is a spherical black complex drupe that does not separate from the canopy of the fruit tree. There are blackberry varieties with yellow, red, and black berries. Small round hard bones stand out on the fruit. The berries on the bush do not all ripen at the same time, but gradually, about a month or more. Blackberries bloom from May to autumn. The fruits ripen in July-August.

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Types of blackberries

There are over 2000 species of blackberries, including both wild and cultivated ones. It is erect and creeping.

When growing upright blackberries, the young shoots of replacement are pinched. Pruning fruiting blackberries has its own characteristics. The growing shoot is cut off when it reaches 70-90 centimeters. At the same time, the top is removed with a length of about 5 centimeters, and the lateral branches appearing at the same time are shortened so that they branch well.

Erect blackberries reproduce by offshoots and layering, and creeping blackberries (sundew) - only by layering of the apical buds. But single varieties can also give offspring.

Annual shoots of erect and creeping blackberries are green in color with a red or brown tint, covered with thorns that differ in size, shape and color depending on the species and variety. It blooms, as a rule, later than raspberry and due to this its flowers suffer less from spring frosts.

Growing blackberries

Blackberry propagates by seeds (sown in autumn), cuttings, root suckers and layering, mainly on clay-calcareous deep soil, not rich in humus, in a sunny, protected place; care measures - thinning and trimming of lashes, as well as timely garter.

Growing blackberries is similar to growing the usual raspberries. On household plots, it is best to place a blackberry along the fence on a wire trellis in the form of a single-row or two-row planting with a distance between the bushes 0.75-1 meter, and between the rows - 1.5-2 meters. Fruiting stems are tied to the upper trellis wire, and the newly growing ones are attached to the lower one.

Planting holes are dug to a depth and width of no more than half a meter. Planting is best done in spring. Before planting on the site, organic fertilizers (manure, compost, peat, humus) must be applied at the rate of 10 kilograms per square meter of area. It is advisable to apply mineral fertilizers, although you can do without them, but no more than 50 grams in the planting pit; they must be thoroughly mixed with the soil. In the future, humus and compost are poured under the bushes annually. Productivity increases significantly when feeding in June with diluted mullein or bird droppings.

Blackberry
Blackberry

Blackberry care

Planting care is reduced to weeding, loosening and mandatory watering, especially in the first year of cultivation; with a lack of moisture in the soil, the quality of the berries decreases sharply: they become dry, small, or generally fall off even before ripening.

Blackberries are less frost-resistant than raspberries, therefore, after the removal of the fruit-bearing shoots in autumn, the annual shoots of the current year are bent to the ground 30 centimeters from the ground. In winter, the fixed shoots must be covered with snow. In regions with severe and very cold winters, bent blackberry stems are covered with thick paper, cardboard, and on top with plastic wrap. Erect blackberry varieties are considered more winter-hardy than creeping varieties.

When pruning blackberries, weak, damaged, underdeveloped shoots are removed along with the fruiting shoots, leaving 5-8 strong shoots in the bush. To increase frost resistance, it is recommended to cut off the top of the annual shoots by 25-30 centimeters. At the same time, they try to leave 10-12 buds on each branch. It depends on the variety, the length of the growing season and the ripening period of the berries themselves.

An effective technique for increasing the yield of blackberries is mulching plantations with peat, compost, sawdust and other bulk organic materials.

Blackberries are a close relative of raspberries, but they are less common in gardens, although they are no less valuable. And what - read on.

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Blackberry
Blackberry

Useful properties of blackberries

Blackberries are rich in vitamins A, C and E and contain potassium, copper and magnesium. It is used fresh, for the manufacture of marmalade, juice, wine and liquor. Blackberry leaf tea is a traditional remedy for indigestion and is believed to purify the blood.

Berries are eaten like raspberries. They also have thirst quenching properties. In raw and dried form, blackberries are used to make jams, fillings for pies, syrups, tinctures, soft drinks, jellies, pastilles and compotes.

Medicinal tea can be prepared from the leaves: fresh leaves are placed in a closed vessel, where they remain until they fade, after which they are "steamed" without water until they turn black, and then dried in air. Tea prepared in this way acquires a special aroma and taste, reminiscent of the aroma and taste of Chinese tea.

In domestic folk medicine, a decoction of leaves is used for chronic enteritis, for angina (rinsing with decoction). A decoction of branches is drunk with neurosis, shortness of breath. Blackberry root is used as a diuretic for dropsy (15 g of dry root is poured with 300 g of boiling water, taken in a tablespoon after 2 hours). The leafy tops of blackberries, collected in the initial period of flowering, are used as an astringent for toxic food infections, dysentery and other diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Due to its pronounced antipyretic effect, blackberries are used for acute respiratory diseases, pneumonia.

Taking into account all these properties, as well as the good taste of the fruit, blackberries should be grown, but not among vegetable beds, since they can drown out other crops. The unpretentiousness of the culture, simplicity and ease of reproduction make it possible to grow it with success almost everywhere.

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