Garden blackberry: planting and care in the open field
Blackberries in the spring require attention and care, like other cultivated trees and shrubs. It is very important to carry out a number of necessary work on the care of awakened blackberries in a timely manner in order to be completely sure of a plentiful harvest of sweet and sour black berries. Let’s not hesitate, let’s talk about how to care for blackberries in the spring.
Spring: blackberry care
Carefully sheltered for the winter, blackberry shoots must be freed from warm “clothes” in time so that the bushes do not become moldy and do not rot. Every day the sun warms the earth more and more, in a cramped dark shelter condensation can form, which flows down the covering materials onto the blackberry shoots, causing waterlogging. To prevent damage to the bushes, at the end of winter, it is necessary to revise the covered plants, to ensure air circulation inside the shelter.
When the air temperature stabilizes to +5 C, you can begin to remove the upper insulation materials. In early March, a layer of peat is removed, which was used to cover berry bushes, leaves and spruce branches are removed. If the blackberry was covered with a layer of snow, you need to remove it before melting, because excess melt water can lead to rotting of the roots.
Blackberries are fully opened 2-3 weeks after the snow melts, but you should definitely check the weather forecast, because sometimes nature brings unexpected surprises. In unstable weather, it is better to leave the bushes under a light film cover; you can raise them on the trellis later.
After removing the upper layers of the shelter from the blackberry plantation, the berry plantation should be cleaned — rake and burn the remains of the leaves, the old garter, weeds, if such garbage was not disposed of in the fall.
Inspect the blackberry shoots — all diseased, rotten, moldy parts should be removed.
Blackberry pruning in spring
An important spring procedure is pruning blackberry bushes. All varieties of berries need this: remontant, bush, creeping.
Attention! Blackberry is a two-year crop, this year the shoots of last year’s growth will yield a crop. If the bush wintered without pruning, all two-year-old shoots must be removed, they will never produce a crop again.
You can start pruning blackberry bushes at temperatures from +5 C to +7 C, this procedure must be carried out as early as possible, without delaying until the leaves appear. Some gardeners take a different point of view — they prune blackberries after bud break, when you can see exactly which shoots are not damaged by frost and disease.
Spring pruning of blackberries is divided into two types: sanitary and shaping (if the bush was not cut for some reason in the fall after fruiting, as required by agricultural technology for growing crops).
Removal of old fruit-bearing sleeves, pruning of shoots is carried out at the level of the soil surface
Pruning thin elongated shoots that cannot produce a full crop
Pruning diseased mummified shoots to a living bud
Shortening productive shoots to a length of 1.8-2 m
Pinching branches of the second order up to 40-60 cm
Bush formation — leave from 3 to 4 productive shoots, the maximum possible number is 7-8.
Some gardeners, especially beginners, find it difficult to distinguish between young and old shoots, but in fact they are very easy to distinguish:
Blackberry bushes are pruned with a clean, sharp tool.
Planting blackberries in spring
Every spring, looking at new varieties of fruit and berry crops in the catalog, I want to buy everything and a lot for my garden. If you decide to purchase new varieties of blackberry seedlings, you need to plant them according to all the rules.
Blackberry is a heat-loving crop, it needs open areas with moderately moist soil and good lighting. Plantings should be protected from the prevailing wind, so the berry can be planted under the protection of the walls of garden buildings. But buildings and structures should not obscure the blackberry bushes.
It is not recommended to grow the crop in wetlands. If the entire summer cottage is in a lowland, we recommend planting berry bushes on an artificial embankment.
Blackberries prefer light, fertile soil with a slightly acidic reaction — pH values \u200b\u200bof 6-6.7. An area with fertile loam is ideal for growing crops.
Attention! If there is dense clay on the site, sand and peat should be added to the soil before planting blackberry seedlings.
It is recommended to start preparing the soil in the fall, digging the site to a depth of at least 50 cm. In the process of digging up 100 g of superphosphate and 50 g of potassium salt, as well as a bucket of humus or mature compost, it is useful to add 100 g of superphosphate and 50 g of potassium salt to 1 m2 of garden space.
Blackberries can be planted in trenches or individual holes. From tall plants, plantings are arranged with a gap of 1.5 to 2 m. In a row, blackberry bushes are planted every 0.75-1.0 m. It is enough to leave 0.5 m between plants of remontant varieties.
Pits for planting crops have been prepared since autumn, their dimensions are 40x40x40 cm. In areas with wet soil, it is recommended to lay a layer of expanded clay, pebbles, broken bricks about 15 cm thick on the bottom of trenches or pits.
Seedlings are installed in holes on a hill from the ground; it is not recommended to deepen the root collar of the plant too much.
After planting, blackberry bushes are well moistened, the regularity of subsequent watering is set from the rate of drying of the soil and weather conditions.
Growing blackberry shoots must be securely fixed on supports.
We invite you to our online store for seedlings of promising blackberry varieties. Excellent quality and varietal conformity — guaranteed. Choose varieties to your liking and climate, and collect large crops of delicious, large berries. And we will tell you how to grow blackberries to get an amazing harvest.