General information

Blackberries - preparation for winter


Most varieties of blackberry garden are not resistant to frost. Therefore, to take care of a reliable shelter for the culture during the winter should be in advance. Even relatively winter-hardy varieties, such as Thorsfrey's studless or most of the remontant varieties, are best warmed to protect the bushes from unpleasant surprises, not to mention low-cold-tolerant varieties (for example, Black Satin).

Even if the bush manages to survive the winter, young shoots or buds may freeze during its short thaws, which means that its productivity will suffer significantly. In the place of the affected shoots in the spring, new ones will surely grow, but you will not see any berries on them this year.

Insulation time

Blackberry preparation for the upcoming winter begins immediately after the harvest. Terms vary depending on the type of crop and region of plant growth. Thus, the early varieties begin to prepare in mid-September, later - in October.

It is important to remember that it is necessary to plan the preparatory work so that there is enough time for all the manipulations, because the organization of shelter from frost is not the only mandatory procedure. In general, a gardener should perform several mandatory actions:

  • blackberry beds should be plentifully watered so that the roots of the bushes do not remain dry for the winter,
  • to sanitary pruning and thinning the shrubs, removing all the sprouts,
  • cut off the extra young branches, leaving only 7–8 shoots for good yield,
  • whip blackberry, which spreads, you need to remove from the trellis, gently reel or fold,
  • Feed fertilizer with potassium.

Natural raw materials

  1. The soil. Such a shelter takes a lot of time, but does an excellent job. However, there are certain inconveniences for the gardener: removing the protective layer in the spring, you run the risk of injury from the thorns.
  2. Snow. If the winter was snowy, such a “blanket” reliably protects the plant, but in the case of a thaw it can be a source of excess moisture.
  3. Vegetable tops. Use for shelter should be only healthy and dried tops.
  4. Straw or hay. Both materials are easy to install and clean, but may attract unwanted rodent guests.
  5. Fallen leaves. Do not use the leaves of fruit trees, as they can become a source of insect pests.
  6. Sawdust. This type of covering material should be used with care, because it acidifies the soil, absorbs excess moisture and promotes the active reproduction of most pests.
  7. The branches of coniferous trees. Well retain heat, provide air access to the roots, thanks to the sharp aroma frighten off rodents and insects.
  8. Husk sunflower seeds or cereals. Excellent covering material with the only drawback - for high-quality insulation bushes husk will need a lot.

Artificial canvas

  1. Film. Reliably protects the planting from frost, but creates difficulties during the thaw period, when a large amount of moisture collects under the film, which inevitably leads to decay. And if there is not enough snow, then under the film cover a greenhouse effect is formed, which is dangerous due to strong temperature drops.
  2. Linoleum or ruberoid. The only drawback - the material becomes very fragile under the influence of frost.
  3. Sintepon or felt. Actively used as a covering material in the northern regions, which are characterized by frosty and snowy winters. In other climatic conditions, the materials are excessively saturated with moisture during thaws, and the blackberry under them rot.
  4. Non-woven fabric. Spunbond, agrospan or agrotex shelters are the most rational, as they provide reliable protection from the cold, at the same time letting air through. Under such materials, the greenhouse effect does not form, therefore, planting can be protected by them even before the frosts arrive, and they can be removed only when the threat of cold weather is finally over.
  5. Styrofoam. It copes well with protective functions, but has several disadvantages: the material is expensive and often suffers from rodents.

Cover technique

After all the manipulations associated with the autumn care and preparation of blackberries for wintering are over, you can take direct shelter. Shoots gently pressed to the ground, trying not to damage them. If this fails, then the bushes can be covered with protective boxes of plywood or wood. For large bushes, you can build a special frame under the covering material so that the latter does not come into contact with the shoots and does not feel like a plant.

If there is such an opportunity, be sure to pour a layer of snow on the shelter - this way more heat will remain.

Features of training in different regions

As already mentioned, the features of blackberry preparation for the winter months depend not only on the cultivar, but also on the region. After all, even in the suburbs, the Volga region and areas of the middle band in the winter months, the air temperature often drops below -20 ° C, not to mention Siberia and the Urals. In addition, the amount of expected precipitation matters: the quality of the shelter depends on whether it will snow in winter or not.

It does not matter where you live - in the relatively warm climate of the Rostov region or in the difficult conditions of the Zauralye - do not neglect the blackberry shelter procedure if you want to please yourself with the rich harvest of your favorite berry.

When to start caring for blackberries for the winter?

No matter how unpretentious the blackberry was, preparation for the winter is obligatory for it, since even domestic cultivars cannot boast of high frost resistance, and American ones even more so. In contrast to the remontant raspberry, blackberry fruits only on last year's shoots, and if the aboveground part of the bush freezes, you will simply be left without harvest in the upcoming season.

It is no secret that harsh winters are best tolerated by healthy, strong plants. For this reason, at the very beginning of the season you should ask yourself how to prepare blackberries for the winter?

In the photo blackberry

First of all, you need to pay attention to the proper care of blackberry bushes. It includes:

  • regular watering
  • bushes thinning
  • removing young shoots
  • garter shoots to the support,
  • forming bushes
  • weed control and soil loosening.

Blackberries - a perennial shrub with a two-year development cycle, like a raspberry.

In the first year it grows in length, in the second year it branches, forming fruit branches, on which in August-September the fruits ripen: dark purple, black or red.

The important difference between blackberries and raspberries, which needs to be taken into account during processing, is that the first berry easily separates from the fruit tree, and the blackberry does not separate at all.

Blackberry classification

There are two basic and one transitional forms of blackberry, differing in biological characteristics and care:

  1. Cumanica (upright blackberry) - high (3-4 m and more) shoots, abundantly covered with spikes. Among the cumanic many varieties are quite winter-hardy, suitable for cultivation in central Russia.
  2. Ross-eater (creeping blackberry) - as a rule, it is called blackberry in our country, it is more fruitful and tasty. But creeping stems complicate the care of the plant, besides, it is not resistant to sunflower, in the conditions of central Russia it is necessary to have shelter for the winter.
  3. Transitional, or semi-detachable, form.

Planting and care

Blackberry prefers bright and warm places, protected from cold winds. It is better to plant in spring, with the distance between bushes of dews 2-2.5 m, cumanica 1-1.5 m. Perhaps a small (no more than 5 cm) depth of seedlings during planting.

Blackberry varieties are self-pollinating, therefore, in order to get a harvest in the garden, it is enough to plant only one bush. At one place can grow and bear fruit (starting from the second year) to 10-15 years.

Blackberry is unpretentious, more drought-resistant than raspberry, does not tolerate overwetting. It grows on various soils, medium-clay air- and moisture-permeable soils with a pH of 5.5-6 are optimal, only carbonate soils and salinization do not like. Responsive to feeding.

It blooms late in June, so the flowers are not damaged by the spring frosts and the berries ripen annually and abundantly.

Preparing for the winter

For the winter, the bushless blackberry is laid on the ground. In order not to damage the plants, you can lay them together with a trellis. The bases of the bushes on top are covered with peat and leaves, and later they throw snow.

To facilitate maintenance and better development, blackberries can be grown on a trellis up to 1.5-2 m. From a blackberry located on a trellis, they create an impassable hedge by setting along the border of the plot. No wonder the blackberry has another, popular name-deaf raspberry.

Popular varieties of blackberry

Agavam is an old American winter-hardy variety, bred in the second half of the XIX century. The bush is powerful, straight-growing. Berries weighing up to 3.5-4 g, sweet and sour, fragrant. A serious lack of variety is spontaneous reproduction.

Black Satin - the name translates as "Black Silk". Half-spreading blackberries with thick shoots that initially grow upwards, and then begin to climb along the ground, need support. Berries weighing 5-8 g. Winter winters with shelter. Darrow is a winter hardy variety. The bush is powerful, straight-growing. Berries weighing up to 3.5 g, sour-sweet.

Abundant - a variety bred by Ivan Michurin. Bush with long creeping shoots. Fruits are large, weighing 6-10 g, sweet and sour. Overwinter with shelter. Navaho - a variety entered the market in 1987. Berries weighing up to 4-7 g. A four-year-old bush is able to produce more than 500 berries on one shoot. Shoots are upright, require a garter at a height of more than 1.6 m. Overwinter with shelter.

Thonfree - semi-detachable grade, bearingless. Berries weighing 3-5 g. Taste is sour-sweet. Overwinter with shelter. Wilsons Early - upright or drooping shoots, 1.5-2 m high. Berries about 2 g. Relatively winter-hardy.