Blackberry has a relatively shallow root system, creates a large number of shoots and gives a high yield. Therefore, the care of blackberries should be paid full attention, especially in terms of providing sufficient amounts of nutrients, water and light.
Blackberry care includes the following agro-technical measures: tillage, destruction of weeds with herbicides, fertilization, pruning and protection from diseases and pests. The purpose of all measures is to form a sufficient number of strong, fertile shoots that are able to provide high yields and good fruit quality.
The cultivation of the land significantly contributes to the development of blackberries, they give birth on time and give birth abundantly and regularly. The soil must be maintained in a constantly loose condition and free of weeds. The treatment must be shallow, so as not to injure the root system. It is best to use cultivators for this purpose and cultivate at a depth of 7-8 cm, and with milling cutters at 8-10 cm.
In the rows of processing is done manually 3-4 times during the growing season. However, every third or fourth year, a deeper treatment of 12-18 cm deep belt width between rows, 60-80 cm wide, is recommended. This treatment should be combined with the application of manure, potassium and phosphorus fertilizers.
It is believed that shallow tillage cannot be completely replaced by herbicides for weed destruction, because tillage improves the physical properties of the soil, accumulates and preserves moisture, increases fertility, reduces pests and enables stronger work of beneficial microorganisms.
Weed control by herbicides
In order to reduce dusting (shallow cultivation) of the soil to a minimum and thus reduce production costs, it has recently been recommended to use herbicides in blackberries to control weeds. Various non-selective and selective herbicides are used for this purpose.
Since blackberries create a large vegetative mass every year and give birth abundantly, it also requires regular fertilization with organic and mineral fertilizers. If the required amount of organic matter is introduced during the basic processing, then it should be fertilized every third year with about 30,000 kg / ha of manure, and with complex mineral fertilizers every year.
The introduction of organic matter into the soil improves its water, air and heat regime. Whether the manure will be applied less often and more often, depends on how the blackberry develops: if it is lush, the manure needs less and less often and vice versa.
Fertilization of blackberries with nitrogen fertilizers should be very careful, because abundant amounts of this fertilizer can adversely affect not only the quality of the fruit but also the time of fruit ripening.
In that case, it can happen that a smaller or larger percentage of fruits do not ripen, which reduces the yield. Therefore, if manure or compost is applied, it is enough to limit yourself mainly to phosphorus or potassium mineral fertilizers.
Phase after flowering and fruit formation of Čačak's best blackberry variety in June, on a cultivated blackberry in Serbia.
Blackberry pruning is a necessary agro-technical measure which ensures regular, abundant yield and good fruit quality. The necessity of pruning arises from its character of development. It forms an abundance of lush shoots, which give birth in the second year and when it gives birth, the shoot dries out. From this arises the need: to remove compacted, developed and excess shoots along the inter-row space; to cut off two-year-old branches and shoots that have already given fruit; to make some thinning of shrubs by cutting them to the ground and some well-developed shoots; to shorten the left shoots in order to be less burdened by the crop, not to grow too high, to remove diseased and damaged shoots.
Regardless of when the planting was done, in the spring or autumn, the seedling is shortened to 20-30 cm in the spring, and if the shoots are weaker (thinner), then it is shortened to 15-20 cm. This encourages the development of roots and adventitious buds from which the strongest shoots should grow. During the vegetation, the shoots usually reach 2-3 m in height. For the proper development of the bush, it is recommended that last year's (old) shoots be cut to the base in August, so that this year's shoots have more light and space to grow.
Pruning of blackberries in the genus is done on two occasions: in the spring and after the harvest. Spring pruning is performed when weather conditions allow and the danger of spring low temperatures passes, and that is in our ecological conditions at the end of March. Then, the shoots should be thinned first, and the underdeveloped and damaged shoots should be removed to the ground. On weaker shrubs that grow upright, 5-6 shoots are left for the genus, and on lush shrubs and creeping varieties 8-12. If the blackberry is grown according to the hedge system, then thinning is done by leaving 8-12 shoots on each long meter, depending on the variety and development of the shoots. The left shoots that will give the same vegetation will be shortened to a height of 1.5-1.8 m, which all depends on their lushness. During the vegetation, the blackberry forms many large premature shoots of the young, so that it is already strongly branched during the summer. This branching is especially pronounced when the summers are dry. These premature shoots are shortened by pruning, and some are torn or pinned to 3-4 buds. Pinsing premature shoots emphasizes more upright shoot growth and higher yields next year.
After the harvest, the blackberry should basically cut all last year's shoots that bore fruit this year. On that occasion, all damaged and dry shoots should be removed, taken out of the blackberries and burned.
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