Blackberry care

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.

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Land maintenance

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.
Blackberry pruning
Blackberry fruit

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.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Blackberry diseases
Blackberry leaf spot

(Septoria rubi west.)

This is the most common blackberry disease, caused by the parasite Septoria rubi, and it is manifested especially on the leaves, although it also attacks all aboveground parts. In the spring, spots appear on the back of the leaves, which gradually spread and the leaves dry out. The attacked young men are to blame. The whole plant lags behind in growth and development, bears less and the fruits are of poor quality. The intensity of the attack is especially strong when the weather is cold and humid and when the blackberries are raised on hard clay soil. That is why aerated places and lands that are not wet and heavy are chosen for lifting blackberries.


As a chemical measure of control, spraying with copper preparations proved to be effective, the first spraying as soon as the first spots appear on the back of the leaf, and the second 15-20 days after the first spraying, with the same agent and in the same concentration.
Rust list

(Phragmidium rubi- ideae)

This fungal disease is manifested in the beginning of spring on the back of the leaves in the form of orange spots, which turn black during the summer and cover the entire leaf. Diseased leaves dry out and fall off.

It is protected against this parasite by spraying with Penncozeb, Mancozeb, Dithane or systemic Tilt. The first spraying should be reported in the phenophase of bud swelling, and 2-3 sprays with the same means and in the same concentration should be repeated before the beginning of blackberry flowering.

(Plectodiscella veneta burk.)

Blackberry anthracnose is a particularly present and very dangerous disease, especially causing great economic damage in rainy years. The parasite attacks shoots, flowers and fruits. On the shoots it causes round clumps of gray color, and in the attacked inflorescence the fruits develop only on one side. Diseased fruits are deformed and of poor quality.

As an indirect measure of control, it is recommended to avoid planting blackberries in areas where there is frequent dew, in valleys where there is no ventilation. Of the chemicals, Antracol, Mankogal, Dithane, Captan, Merpan, Quadris, Switch are recommended.
Blackberry pests

Raspberry beetle

(Byturus tomentosus)

The raspberry beetle is a dangerous pest for both raspberries and blackberries. It causes damage to flower buds, flowers and fruits. The adult insect is a straw-black stubborn beetle. His upper jaws are well developed. It winters as an adult insect or larva in the soil at a depth of 5-25 cm. In mid-April, the imago appears and feeds on flower buds and fruit trees. In mid-May, the insect mates and lays 30-40 eggs, one in each bud or flower. The eggs hatch into larvae, whose development takes about 5-6 weeks and during that time they damage more fruits. The adult larva leaves the fruits and at the beginning of September transforms into a pup that overwinters in the ground or an adult insect that overwinters hatches from it. Damage is caused by the imago (adult insect) and the larva of the raspberry beetle. Chemical control is aimed at adult insects in the period before flowering.

The glassfly is a wasp-like butterfly. Symptoms of the presence of this pest are wilting and drying of blackberry shoots. The glassblower has one generation per year. Winters in the caterpillar stage at the root or shoot of a blackberry. In the spring, the caterpillar transforms into a doll from which butterflies hatch at the end of May. The flight of butterflies is from May to the end of July. The female lays eggs on the shoot of the blackberry, and when they hatch from those eggs, the caterpillars burrow into the shoot, building a long corridor from root to tip.

The fight against glassflies consists of pruning to the ground withered and dry shoots and burning them.
Raspberry cutter

The raspberry cutter is like an adult imago butterfly, whose caterpillars can reduce the yield of blackberries by 50% in certain years. It has only one generation per year. The butterfly lays its eggs in the flowers of the blackberry, from which the caterpillars that cause the greatest damage hatch only in the spring of the following year, biting the buds. If an attack of this pest is noticed, it is recommended to spray with diazinon-based preparations.

In addition to these pests, blackberries are also attacked by aphids, May beetles, blackberry wasps and others.
American cricket Cicadetta Montana

The American cricket Cicadetta Montana is a "relatively new" insect in blackberry and raspberry plantations. It has not been specially treated on any domestic site in the sections "Raspberry and Blackberry Diseases" and is a novelty in terms of its control. What is certain is that adult females lay eggs (larvae) in the cut tree of the plant from the end of May to the middle of July. For a while, they rest right next to the part where the tree is damaged, and then they move to the root where they feed and lie down from the ground. Treatments with known insecticides are so far quite unsuccessful, especially since the time of action of this insect is in an awkward period for bees and the fruit of the plant.