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Blackberry Thornless is not as popular with our gardeners as raspberries or currants, but it also deserves to take not the last place in gardens and backyard plots. In terms of the content of nutrients, it does not lag behind other popular berries, and somewhere even ahead of them. The lack of thorns in the new Thornless blackberry varieties makes this plant more attractive for cultivation, eliminating the inconvenience of caring for the crop and harvesting fruits.
Blackberries were first introduced from Europe to America at the beginning of the 20th century. Under the influence of new natural conditions, it began to mutate. As a result of natural mutation, some types of shrubs began to produce shoots without thorns. This phenomenon did not go unnoticed by American breeders, and in 1926 the crop was officially registered as the Thornless Evergreen blackberry. Thanks to the successful import, the Thornless blackberry thornless has become popular in Latin America (Mexico, Argentina, Peru), Europe (Great Britain), and Eurasia (Russia, Ukraine).
Description of berry culture
The wild blackberry was previously cultivated in many countries as an orchard berry crop. But due to the inconvenience caused by sharp and strong thorns, many gardeners refused to grow it. The thornless clonal varieties have given the evergreen shrub a well-deserved reputation.
Attention! All varietal clones of the Thornless series of thornless blackberries are capable of producing thorny root growths.
General characteristics of the group
Blackberry Thornless is a varietal series that includes about a hundred varieties that differ in appearance, size and taste of berries, yield and growing conditions. But they are united by one important feature - they are all without thorns. There are several other identical indicators that unite all varieties of the group. Briefly, the characteristics of the Thornless series of blackberry varieties are as follows:
- blackberry roots Thornless is a powerful root system that penetrates the soil to a depth of 1.5 to 2 meters, but does not give root suckers for reproduction;
- shoots - at the beginning, pentahedral, erect, as they grow, they tend to the ground in the form of an arc and are able to root with the tip when in contact with the soil, have a two-year life cycle, the length varies from 2 to 4 meters, the branches that bear fruit dry up and must be cut from the bush
- blackberry leaves Thornless - trifoliate, with openwork carved edges, dark green, do not fall off and winter on the branches;
- fruits - medium or large juicy many-nuts (4-14 g), articulated like a thimble, green at the initial stage of vegetation, then turn red, when fully ripe they become black, the taste of berries is sweet or sweet and sour.
In general, the entire series of Thornless varieties is worthy of the attention of gardeners, since it has much more advantages than disadvantages.
Brief description of varieties
The Thornless Blackberry Series includes over 90 varieties. Let's dwell on the description of several of them:
- Blackberry Thornless Merton. Self-fertile variety without thorns, large berries (8-14 g) with a sweet-sour taste. Flowering begins in June, it is considered a wonderful honey plant. Ripening of berries lasts from August to mid-September. The shoots are not as elastic as in other varieties, the bushes require pinching the tops. The resistance of the Thornless Merton variety against cold weather is average; when grown in regions with a cold climate, additional shelter is required for the winter.
- Blackberry Oregon Thornless. The evergreen blackberry of the Oregon Thornless variety does not need global pruning, nor does it produce root suckers. The bush is formed from powerful stems, the leaves have a plate in the form of stylized stars or snowflakes. The berries are medium-sized, from 3 to 5 g, have multi-root grains, significantly increased in comparison with other varieties of blackberries in the Thornless series. Thornless Evergreen Blackberry Planting Areas should be well lit and protected from through winds.
- Blackberry Hoole Thornless. Blackberry Thornless Hoole of early ripening. The growth of the shrub reaches 2 meters, the volume around the circumference is about 1.5 m. The beginning of flowering - June, ripening of berries - from July to late August. The variety is resistant to almost all common diseases. The berries are aromatic, sweet and juicy.
- Hull Thornless. Judging by the description of the variety, the Hull Thornless blackberry can withstand frosts down to -30 ° C and below, it is resistant to diseases and pests. The timing of the ripening of the berries has not been precisely established. Depending on the region of growth, the berry can acquire marketable ripeness from July to September. The taste of the fruit of the variety is sweet and sour, the size of the berries is medium, from 3 to 6 g.
- Blackberry bushy Thornless Evergreen. Late ripening variety. Berries have a sugary sweet taste, not enough acidity. Fruiting is amicable, lasts 2-3 weeks. High transportability. The foliage is openwork, decorative. In case of damage to the root system, it releases offspring with thorns, which must be removed.
A striking representative of the Thornless group is the Thornless Evergreen, the thornless blackberry, the description of the variety of which we will present in more detail. On his example, the main qualities of a series of varieties are characterized, and the basic principles of growing a thornless blackberry in individual gardens and summer cottages are presented.
Important! All varieties of the Thornless series are highly resistant to diseases characteristic of this crop.
We have combined important information about the blackberry variety Thornless Evergreen in the table:
|The main characteristics of the variety||Unit rev.||The values|
|Shoot length||meters||1,5 — 2,5|
|Flowering time||month||June July|
|Full ripening time||month||Aug. Sept|
|Weight of one berry (average)||gram||3,5 – 5,5|
|Harvest from one bush per season||Kg||8 – 10|
|Winter hardiness||High (up to -30 ° C)|
|The beginning of full fruiting||3-4 years after planting|
Basic requirements for growing
The root system of the Thornless Evergreen blackberry is located at a depth of 2 meters, so the bush does not require frequent watering. But when the groundwater is above the specified mark, the roots of the blackberry are affected by root rot, since they are constantly in cold water. This nuance should be taken into account when choosing a planting site for a shrub.
The composition of the soil must also be taken into account when growing a crop; the soil must be loose, neutral in acidity, well aerated.
After planting, caring for blackberries of the Thornless Evergreen variety after planting is carried out according to an identical scheme for caring for garden raspberries: feeding (without fail), garters on trellises, weed control, pests.
The main purpose of the Evergreen blackberry fruit is to use fresh berries, prepare desserts and drinks from them. Less commonly, berries are used for winter harvesting. This is due to the presence of drupes, which are harder than those of raspberries.
Interesting! Blackberries are very beneficial for the body. This advantage is especially important for those with vision problems.
Disease and pest resistance
All types and varieties of blackberries in this series of varieties are surprisingly resistant to causative agents of the main diseases of garden plants. Apparently, their prickly ancestor gave them its natural immunity to fungi and viruses, which it developed in the struggle for life in the wild.
Pest insects also rarely choose a habitat for planting blackberries, but one or two preventive treatment against pests will not harm the bushes. Spraying blackberries with fungicides can be combined with the treatment of other horticultural crops.
In general, we can say that growing Thornless blackberries is not a troublesome and rather exciting process.
Explicit pros and minor cons
Advantages of the blackberry variety Thornless Evergreen:
- excellent fruit taste;
- decorativeness of the shrub;
- high yield of the variety;
- good transportability.
- extra labor costs for the garter to the trellis;
- annual pruning in spring;
- short shelf life fresh.
The thornless blackberry variety Evergreen of the Thornless series is propagated in two ways:
- apical layers: the upper part of the shoot is cut off by 15-30 cm, placed in a container with water, added dropwise to a new bed. Or like this: bend the top and cover it with soil, wait for rooting;
- green cuttings: cuttings are cut up to 20 cm long, immediately buried in the holes in a new place. All summer, future seedlings are watered, preventing the soil from drying out. Next spring, the plant will already have its own root system.
Attention! It is categorically not recommended to use the root system for the reproduction of Thornless blackberries: with this method, the bushes degrade and lose their varietal characteristics. Shoots with thorns grow from them.
The author of the video will share his secrets of growing blackberries with you
If the root system is damaged during digging or loosening of the soil under the bushes, young growth begins to actively grow, which does not have the features that distinguish the Thornless series of varieties. The shoots are densely covered with thorns, the berries on them are much smaller, and the taste inherent in the Thornless blackberry is lost. Therefore, hilling should be carried out carefully, to a depth of no more than 10 cm.
If such offspring are found, they must be removed immediately, preventing them from growing, otherwise the planting of blackberries may turn into thorny thickets.
It is recommended to plant seedlings of the Thornless Evergreen blackberry variety only in the spring with the onset of warm days, at a temperature not lower than + 15 ° C.
The optimal landing dates are late April or early May.
Before planting, acidic soil must be deoxidized by adding lime or dolomite flour. The site intended for growing blackberries of this variety must be dug up in advance, fertilizers recommended for fruit bushes must be applied.
Preparation of planting material
Seedlings with a closed root system, purchased from nurseries, do not require special preparation, as they are sold in special containers with a substrate. When self-propagating a culture or when purchasing seedlings with open roots, the planting material requires special preparation.
Important! When growing Thornless, the number and height of the shoots must be adjusted to ensure a high yield.
For disinfection from possible diseases, the root system must be dipped in a pink solution of potassium permanganate. If you wish, you can treat the roots with Kornevin, or another stimulant for the formation and growth of the root system.
Algorithm and scheme of landing
Young plants are planted in one row at a distance of about 3 meters from each other in the following order:
- dig a planting hole with a depth along the height of the container (or, focusing on the size of the root system - the roots should be located in the hole quite freely);
- take out the seedling together with the ground (or install the seedling in the hole, gently straightening the roots);
- place it vertically or with a slight slope into the hole, cover it with soil;
- slightly compact the soil, make a near-trunk circle, and watered abundantly to shrink the earth;
- from above the soil is covered with mulch: peat, opiski, straw.
The author of the video will tell you and show you more about how to plant a blackberry correctly.
Follow-up care of the culture
They take care of the Thornless series of blackberries in the same way as for any berry bushes: they feed at least 3-4 times per season, watered 1-2 times a week, mulch.
When caring for Thornless Evergreen, the main criteria are correct spring pruning and tying the shoots to the trellis, this is necessary to maintain the integrity of the shoots and increase the yield of the bushes.
The author of the video will show and tell you how, why and when to cut the blackberry.
Preparing for winter
In autumn, the branches of the blackberry are untied from the trellises, carefully bent down and laid on the ground. It is important to ensure that the elastic branches do not break. The pinned shoots are sprinkled with an insulating coating (peat, sawdust, straw) and covered with any material that allows air to pass through.
Important! It is strictly forbidden to cover the blackberries with plastic wrap, as the shoots and buds vytryut.
Blackberry Thornless revived the interest of Russian gardeners in growing this tasty and healthy berry on their land plots. Indeed, in addition to a bountiful harvest, this unpretentious culture also plays a decorative role, decorating the landscape of the adjacent territories with its greenery and fruits.
Svetlana Alexandrovna Koroleva, 20 years old, Cheboksary
I loved the thornless blackberry Evergreen Thornless, they are sweet. When picking berries, the branches are not thorny. At one time, I collected a two-liter can of blackberries from the bushes. Made fruit, vitamin salads and ice cream from berries, added to yoghurts.
Gleb Ivanovich Kolomiets, 49 years old, Izhevsk
My grandfather grew common blackberries, prickly in our garden. I remember that as children we ate it with pleasure, but we could not do without scratched hands and torn trousers. Later, my grandfather and I uprooted all this wild growth and planted a new variety - Thornless without thorns. My children no longer scratch their hands, and they eat berries with great appetite.
Margarita Sergeevna Ivanova, 36 years old, Saransk
I planted the first Thornless blackberry bush exclusively for decorative purposes. It was necessary to cover the old wall of the barn. I was flattered that the description indicated that this variety was without thorns. She did not take particular care of him, and she devoted little time to her. And four years later, the berries began to ripen in such quantities that we did not have time to pick them. Then we learned how to tie it up correctly and take care of it. The berries grew larger and sweeter every year. I strongly recommend that those who decide to start growing blackberries choose the Thornless variety.