Blackberry - a healing plant in the country
Blackberry in vivo has been growing since time immemorial. The treatises of Ancient Greece are referred to as a medicinal plant that cures many, many diseases. In the pink family, there are more than 200 species of blackberries that have spread throughout all the warm continents of the globe. In natural conditions, wild blackberries occupy a niche in moist forests, located mostly along river banks and wetlands.
Briefly about a blackberry
Blackberries belong to the group of semi-shrub plants with flexible climbing stems that grow up to 3-10 m during the growing season. Stem shoots are covered with spikes, with a clinging bent tip, like a hook. This feature helps them climb any nearby support. The stem is lilac-violet shades, some species have a bluish plaque. The leaf blade is complex, consists of 5-7 simple leaflets bordered by a serrated edge. The color of the leaves is from intensely green to grayish-green hues, usually downy with short, short hairs below.
The flowers are actinomorphic, five-petalled, white, pale or dark pink. It blooms in late May and blooms until the fall, gradually forming its crop. Flowers are collected in racemose inflorescences. The flowering time of a single flower is 3-5 days. Flowers open gradually, which stretches the period of formation and ripening of berries from late July to October inclusive. Blackberries are harvested in stages, having fresh berries for a long time.
The fruit is a combined drupe. Berry is called conditionally. The shape of the berries is rounded, oblong, conical. They are not separated from the stem, which significantly lengthens the shelf life of the berries. The color of the berries includes a wide range of colors - from white, yellow, red, purple to black.
Breeders have bred more than 300 varieties and hybrids that differ in the length of the growing season, ripening, shape and taste of berries, resistance to disease and pest damage.
In Russia, mainly 2 types of blackberry are common:
- Sisay Blackberry (Rubus caesius),
- Bushy blackberry (Rubus fruticosus).
Each of them has its own synonyms. The first type is called the actual blackberry (from the phrase hedgehog-berry), dinner, hazel, and the second is better known as kumanika.
A distinctive feature of the species is a gray plaque covering the black berries of the blackberry with gray and its absence on the cumanica.
The chemical composition of blackberries
The rich chemical composition of blackberries brought it at one time to one of the first places in the healing properties.
Blackberries contain proteins, fats, carbohydrates, sugars (about 6% glucose, sucrose, fructose), dietary fiber. A large number of vitamins, including "C", "E", "K", "PP", group "B" (including "B1", "B2", "B5", "B6", "B9"), the importance of which for health is difficult to overestimate. A significant list of elements from the chemical table are found in large quantities not only in berries, but also in blackberry leaves: copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, sodium and others. 100 g of fresh berries will provide the body with the necessary amount of nutrients and have a therapeutic effect on diseased organs.
The healing properties of blackberries
Blackberry has a unique property of restoring the body after injuries, major surgical interventions. Berries contribute to the normalization of hemoglobin and metabolism after diseases. Regular use of teas using a blackberry leaf will reduce blood pressure, strengthen blood vessels, and clear them of “plaques”.
Miraculous berries will help with diseases of the genitourinary system, inflammation of the gallbladder. Ancient healers believed that blackberries can heal gout, arthrosis, help with bleeding, and oncology. Blackberry berries have antioxidant properties, delay the oncoming aging of the body.
Blackberry varieties and hybrids
The above qualities confirm that the blackberry must enter the mistress of each suburban area. However, its distribution in Russia and the CIS is still very limited. In industrial quantities, it is grown in the United States and England. In Russia, more attention is paid to her sister, raspberries. This attitude is due to the unusual pricklyness of the blackberry. However, the market currently offers many varieties of hybrid origin, domestic and foreign, which do not have spikes.
Plants form high yields, are practically not damaged by diseases and pests, but during the breeding process they have lost the ability to withstand frost and need (in cold regions) shelters for the winter. The bred varieties are combined into garden blackberry groups.
By the rate of return of the crop, blackberry varieties include:
- to early harvest in July
- average - in August,
- late - in September-October.
Varieties, in turn, according to biological characteristics are divided into 3 groups.
Dewdrop (dewdrop), a distinctive feature is the lack of growth. Propagated by rooting of the tops (like gooseberries). The group of Rosyanikovy include hybrid varieties of blackberries obtained from crosses with raspberries. These varieties are called raspberry-blackberry hybrids and are distinguished in the subgroup “sundews” or “sundews.” They are distinguished by the variety of berries (yellow, white, red, black) and the acquisition of the ability to form a small root shoot.
Kumanika, has direct shoots. The formation of multiple shoots is typical, with which it can multiply.
Half-blackberryhas a semi-shrub form with a small overgrowth. Propagated by rooting tops and shoots.
Varieties of mildew
The group includes studless and prickly varieties with creeping shoots. Horizontal shoots up to 4-5 m need support, which complicates the care of them in cold regions (shelter for the winter). Recommended varieties are Sylvan, Izobilnaya, Blackberry, Brook, Merton Thornless. The last 2 grades are ashipless.
Of the varieties of hedgehog, ripening simultaneously with raspberries, you can recommend the unshipable Thorless Loganberry, Buckingham, Tyberry and with thorns - Loganberry, Tyberry, Sunberry.
Varieties of Cumaniki
Varieties of kumaniki differ in the size of berries, good winter hardiness (-20 ° C), which allows you to grow this blackberry in cold regions. Strong bush with vertical stems. For giving, the most familiar varieties are Ruben, Avagam, Gazda. The disadvantage is the prickly bushes. Those wishing to breed cultivars of kumaniki should pay attention to the repair grade Ruben. It tolerates frosts up to -30 ° С. Recommended for cold regions of Russia. How a biennial crop yields in June. It can be grown as an annual (the whole aerial part is cut off in the winter), but the fruit ripening is shifted to August-September. Varieties Navajo, Orkan, Apache do not have thorns, but among blackberry lovers they are not very widespread.
Varieties of blackberry half-spreading
Varieties have common features with mildew and mushrooms. Shrub with long shoots that need support. Most varieties do not have spikes: Agate, Thornfrey, Loch Tay, Black Satin.
For beginning gardeners in all regions of Russia, Avagam (early), Agatovaya and Triple Crown (medium), Thornfrey and Giant (late) varieties can be recommended. From the category of frost-resistant, able to tolerate frosts without shelter up to -30 ..- 40 ° С - Flint, Agawam, Darou. Crops form high, not susceptible to disease.
Growing blackberries in the country
The hardest part about growing a blackberry is picking a place to plant. It has been growing in one place for more than 15-20 years, and in this time it has time to “walk” with the help of the root shoot to the middle of the site, not only its own, but also its neighbors. Separately allocating a site for a blackberry (like a raspberry) does not make sense, unless you deal with this culture on purpose. If you grow blackberries in a separate area, it is advisable to dwell on the varieties of kumaniki, which does not form root shoots.
The second (nice) difficulty is choosing a variety. It should tolerate frosts well in cold regions, form medium-height shoots above the ground, not form or form a limited number of root shoots and be highly fertile.
Site selection and soil preparation
It is most convenient to place a blackberry along the fence or utility structures, in a slightly wind-blown area. A breeze is needed for pollination. Blackberry is a self-fertile culture, it does not need pollinating plants, but a breeze is needed so that it does not interfere with the bees. The culture does not require special illumination and bears fruit well in lighted areas and in the shade. In the latter case, eventually fades and loses the taste of the fruit. Prickly and prickly varieties are excellent protection against uninvited guests.
In all regions, spring is considered the best planting time; in the south, it also survives well during autumn plantings. To the soil is not demanding.
Landing is carried out in landing pits corresponding to the size of the root system. Prepare a mixture of 0.3-0.5 buckets of humus, 100 g of nitrofoska or phosphorus-potassium fertilizer, respectively 80 and 40 g. Blackberry is not capricious. Other dosages and ratios may be used. Fertilizing for planting will be a good start and will not require any fertilizing in the next 3-4 years.
The soil at the bottom of the landing pit is well mixed with humus and half a dose of mineral fat. They place the cuttings in the middle, cover it with earth mixed with the second half of the fertilizer norm. Tamp well (not with feet) for better traction of roots with soil. Attention! Watered a few days after planting. Depending on the dryness of the soil - after 3-4-5 days.
Cuttings and root bushes before planting for 10-15 hours are placed in a root solution, you can just in the water.
Planting pits (depending on the ability of the variety to grow) are placed at a distance of 0.8-1.0 m.
Watering in the first year is necessary for better development of the root system. During the growing season spend 3-4 watering. In subsequent years - only if necessary. In dry weather, it is recommended to water during flowering and crop formation. In wet summers, blackberries do not need watering.
To improve air exchange, it is necessary looseningespecially if the soil is heavy or dense.
During the season top dressing do not spend. In the fall, before going to winter dormancy or in spring, humus, bird droppings in the form of solutions or 2-3 glasses of ash (for overgrown bushes) and every 2-3 years (alternately with organics) can be phosphorized under blackberries every 3-4 years - potash or complex fertilizers (nitrophosphate, kemir and others) within 100-120 g.
As a biennial culture, blackberries need an annual pruned. Bushes form the shoots of the current year. They leave for the winter and bloom in the second year and form a crop. In the fall they are subject to complete removal. To limit the overgrowth of bushes and get an annual high yield, you can offer the following system for pruning blackberries.
- The first pruning is early spring before the swelling of the kidneys. Sanitary pruning is carried out, removing, thin, curves, growing inward, dry. Each adult bush has 8-9 healthy shoots. The remaining trifle is removed during the warm season so as not to waste nutrients on the development of unnecessary stems.
- The tweezers. It is held around the beginning of summer, when the stems of the current growth grow. They are shortened by 15-20 cm. Pincing promotes branching of the shoot, which will increase the number of fruitful stems for next year.
- In the second half of summer, pruning of these stems is repeated. The main overgrown branch is shortened to 50-60 cm and the lateral ones by 1 / 3-1 / 4 of the length. Next year they will significantly increase the yield of the bush. Fertile shoots do not touch. They form a crop and in the fall will be cut to the root.
- The last pruning is done in the fall after harvesting. Cleansed shoots are removed. Young growth is shortened, if again it has grown greatly by this time. For sanitary purposes, clean the bush from weak, diseased, damaged stems. Young shoots are partially left until spring. If it is not needed, you can cut or leave 1-3 strong branches for the development of the crown.
Blackberry Garter and Shelter for Winter
In the southern regions and partially in the middle zone, blackberries are not covered for the winter, especially if frost-resistant varieties are grown.
With ground cultivation, the blackberry takes up a lot of space, later comes into fruiting, so it is advisable to grow it using the trellis method. Located on supports, the culture is better illuminated, begins to bear fruit in the 2nd year. In cold regions with long, high frosts, it is better to cover blackberries for the winter. The stems are removed from the supports, tied several together and gently laid on the ground. Top cover with spruce branches, dry leaves or covering material (spandbond, etc.). The fallen snow perfectly protects the blackberry bushes.
Like all shrubbery, blackberries are propagated by seeds and vegetative division of the bush, layering, cuttings (winter and green summer), the tops of the stems.
Blackberry seed propagation
When propagated by seeds, blackberry seedlings retain the distinctive features of the mother plant. Before sowing in a greenhouse or other device, the seeds are stratified. Seedlings are planted in a permanent place after the development of 4 leaves.
BlackBerry Vegetative Propagation
When propagating by layering, the tops of the shoots or a young strong shoot are carefully pinned into the shallow grooves. They cover with soil. During the warm season, they are watered and fed with a solution of nitrofoski or kemira. Layers take root in a month, but are subject to separation from the parent plant and transplanted to a permanent place next spring.
For cuttings in the autumn, we dig out a bush. Separate 2-3 year old roots and cut into individual cuttings about 6-8 cm. Store in wet sand in a cool place (basement, vegetable pit). In early spring, we plant the lower case method into furrows with a depth of 15-20 cm. After rooting the next year, transfer to a permanent place of cultivation.
For propagation by green cuttings in July we cut cuttings with 3-4 buds. The lower part of the handle is treated with root or other stimulant and planted in glasses or pots with prepared soil. After rooting (if the container is small), you can transplant the seedling into a large container until spring or in the spring plant it in a permanent place.
Dividing the bush
If it is necessary to transfer the blackberry to another place or to rejuvenate, the old overgrown bush is dug up and divided with a sharp knife into several parts so that each has 2-3 strong shoots. The divided parts of the bush are dipped or kept in the root for several hours and planted in a new place.
Blackberry Diseases and Pests
Blackberries practically do not get sick and are not damaged by pests. If lilac-brown spots, peeling of the bark, cracks in separate areas are found on the stems, then the blackberry is damaged by a fungus (didimella purpura). In early spring, before the buds open, the bushes are sprayed with 1% solution of copper sulfate or 15 solution of Bordeaux liquid. Subsequently, diseased plants are treated every 15-20 days with solutions of antifungal drugs - phytosporin, alirin, gamair.
Chemical remedies on the berry can not be used. When aphids, weevils appear, plants are sprayed with actophyte, bitoxibacillin and other biological products.
The use of blackberries in landscape design
Blackberry is not common in summer cottages. But it is practical to use it for green fencing, especially varieties with spikes and thorns. Landslide sandy slopes strengthen it and at the same time decorate it. Cover the rear walls of farm buildings. In Europe, until recently, semi-shrubby blackberry species were used as border plants.