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BLACKBERRIES

 
  • It’s the easiest of them berries to grow and requires little skill and care. It grows well in temperate zones. As a perennial shrub, blackberries can grow in both warm and cold regions
  • Blackberry bush consists of relatively long shoots that grow from the roots and without support, they usually bend toward the ground. The leaves consist of 3 to 7 serrated elliptical small leaves, light to dark green in colour.
  •  Blackberry flowers are small to medium-large, white, sometimes with light pink shades and it blooms from May onwards.
  • The blackberry fruits are drupes aggregate with different forms and sizes - oval, round or elongated. Once ripe, its colour is commonly gloss black.
  • Blackberries come in two types; Erect blackberries - this type of blackberry shrubs have strong shoots that hold themselves upright and require no additional support. They are usually more resistant to low temperatures. Its most common varieties are: Cherokee, Cheyenne and Shawnee. Semi-erect types – these blackberries have strong shoots, but they still require support to grow upright.
  • Blackberries prefer warm and sunny positions. They can grow and bear fruits on partly shaded positions, but this can affect the quality of the fruits. Also, warm and dry winds could threaten blackberry plants, so it will dry out the soil and prevent proper flowering. Therefore, best positions for growing blackberries are:

               - protected from the wind,

               - well aerated and well-drained soils with pH 5.5 – 6.5,

               - positions with plenty of sunlight.

  • When manure is used, one should avoid the use of nitrogen fertilizers and limit the application of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers.
  • If you plan on growing blackberries in your garden, the simplest way is to use 2.5 – 3 m (8-10 feet) poles (remember that 0.5 – 0.7m of them is buried in the ground) placed around 3 m (10 feet) apart, with two strong plants between each pole. Place first wire some 0.6 – 0.9 m (2-3 feet) above ground and then single wire every 0.3 – 0.5 m (1 – 1.5 feet). This way, shoots have solid support that protect them and hold firmly even during strong winds.
  • When buying blackberry plants, select those that have been tested for the presence of diseases and pests. Growing healthy plants from the beginning is very important, even when growing such plants like blackberries. If you are planning on growing wild blackberries, before planting them in your garden, be sure to treat them in order to avoid any danger of diseases and pests.
  • Drip irrigation systems are recommended since they can be easily automated and they provide constant level of moisture in the soil.
  • The blackberry fruit is very sensitive and susceptible to rapid deterioration. If blackberries are harvested for consumption as fresh fruit, it is best to pick them just before full maturity and carefully place them in smaller packages.
  • Avoid growing blackberries on positions where previously were grown plants like potatoes, tomatoes, raspberries, peppers, grapes, apples and peaches. These plants share similar diseases and pests with blackberries.