Characteristics and features of growing Black Butte blackberry (Black Beauty)
Blackberry is considered a traditional forest berry of the northern and temperate climatic zones. It is able not only to give a lot of taste sensations, but also to give the body a whole complex of vitamins and minerals. That is why the culture in just a few decades firmly entrenched in the garden plots. This article describes the garden blackberry hybrid Black Butte (or Black Beauty) hybrid.
Black Butte appeared on the market of high-quality fruit hybrids relatively recently. This variety is considered one of the best fruit and berry bushes bred in the last decade. Plant breeding was conducted in the US, Oregon, based on a local agricultural program to improve the quality of productivity of all kinds of fruit crops. The maternal forms for this hybrid are local popular varieties of garden blackberries, characterized by large-fruited and rich color of berries.
In front of the gardener, this plant appears as a powerful and sprawling shrub, up to 1.5 m high. Its root system is powerful, branched, fibrous, and does not produce a basal paroxysm. Shoots near the bush of creeping type, quite flexible, up to 3-4 m long. Each of them is covered with small petiole spines, black, as well as corrugated, dark green leaves collected in a trefoil. The number of branches on each bush does not exceed 6 pieces, while the fruiting shoot only in the second year of development.
Did you know? The homeland of garden blackberries is considered to be North America. It was in this region in the 19th century that the plant was domesticated and the first cultural hybrids were created.
The berries of this hybrid are particularly large in size, the length of the fruit reaches 5 cm. This provides an average berry weight of 12–15 g, while under optimal conditions its average weight can reach 20–25 g. That is why this variety is considered to be a particularly large-fruited hybrid of blackberries among all known ones. The shape of the average fetus is elongated, cylindrical-conical type, the color of the pulp is black.
The taste of the fruit is rich, well-defined, the berries are sweet enough and are distinguished by moderate acidity. The pulp of ripe fruits is characterized by elasticity, moderate juiciness, as well as a rather strong aroma. Subject to the correct cultivation technology, the berries acquire good keeping quality, which allows them to be transported successfully over long distances.
Black Butte is considered a traditional representative of high-yielding varieties of garden blackberries, so this plant has typical morphological characteristics. However, geneticists managed to add a variety and a unique combination of all kinds of qualities that gave it special properties.
Drought resistance, frost resistance
The hybrid is considered quite resistant to droughts, especially when grown in southern climatic zones, however, with a lack of moisture in the area it is undesirable to grow it - this negatively affects the development of Black Butte seedlings and their productivity.
This plant is also resistant to cold: even under a small snow cover the bushes are able to winter successfully at a temperature of –15 ...– 18 ° С. In regions with colder winters, the plant is not recommended to be grown, even in the case of shelter for the winter there is a high probability of freezing of the bush, especially in the first years after planting.
This blackberry is a plant of early ripening: berries on the bushes appear among the first in the garden, already in the first half of June.The fruiting of the bush lasts for 1-2 months, and during this period the plant repeatedly releases new inflorescences, so the berries can be collected in several stages.The yield of this garden shrub is quite high - 1 plant per season can produce up to 4 kg of fruit.
Compliance with the basics of agrotechnics for growing blackberries is the main rule for the continued growth and fruiting of this berry bush. The procedure involves choosing the best territory for planting and observing seasonal deadlines, thanks to which you can create a perfect microclimate for the plant for successful growth and rapid fruiting.
Blackberry is considered a rather whimsical berry crop, so the timing of its planting should be approached with special attention. The best time for planting a seedling is considered the middle of spring. The optimum period for this is from the beginning to the end of April. In this case, the soil should warm up to at least + 15 ° С, otherwise the young seedling will grow with difficulty or will die at all.
This fruit and berry culture loves an abundance of heat, sunlight and space, therefore, it is planted with shrubs in open and well-lit areas, away from garden buildings and tall vegetation. Best for this is a small hill located in the south or in the western direction. At the same time, the place under the beds should protect the blackberry from drafts and sharp gusts of wind.Otherwise, sharp weather changes can not only damage the shoots and foliage, but also adversely affect the pollination of the bushes. Before planting a berry shrub, you need to pay attention to the soil. This crop grows and develops best on well-fertilized sandy-loamy soils with a pH of about 6–7. A denser soil should be lightened, for this, from 1 to 3 buckets of clean river sand should be applied to 1 m² of beds.
Important! Before entering the soil, sand should be sterilized at + 200 ° C or treated with universal means of protection. Otherwise, there is a possibility of infection of the bushes with dangerous diseases and pests.
Selection and preparation of planting material
Black Butte seedlings are rare on the modern market - this variety is quite young, so its planting material in specialized stores are considered rare. You can get it only in large nurseries or from official intermediaries of large foreign companies. At the same time, during the acquisition of planting material, you should definitely look at its external condition.
- has no signs of damage by fungi and infections;
- different elastic buds, roots and shoots;
- has a developed root system and aerial parts;
- has shoots with smooth bark, without traces of wrinkling;
- not older than 2 years (diameter of young shoots does not exceed 5 mm).
Immediately before planting, it is recommended to activate blackberry seedlings. To do this, they need to be soaked for a day in a clay solution with a few drops of the Epin growth stimulator.A liquid is prepared from 1 liter of water, 300 g of clay and 300 g of garden soil. Also, before planting, young plants are recommended to be treated against specific infections. Used for this spraying of the roots and overhead mass with a 1% solution of copper sulfate.
You can plant a blackberry in individual holes, as well as in general rows. The planting area should provide each plant with a free space. Therefore, seedlings are planted at a distance of at least 0.7–1 m from each other, with row spacings of 2–2.5 m.
The place for planting of each plant should have a corresponding recess in the soil, the dimensions of at least 40 × 40 × 40 cm. It should be filled by one third with any organic nutrient mixture - to prepare it, for 10 kg of humus you need to give 25 g of potassium sulfate and 15 g of superphosphate .
Immediately after planting, plants need to create an appropriate care system. The first thing you should pay attention to is watering. The first year after planting the beds are watered abundantly, at least 1 time per week. Then intensive watering is carried out during the intensive growth of shoots on the bush, as well as during the ripening of berries. Perform the procedure so that the topsoil is completely wet to a depth of at least 40 cm. For this, from 20 to 40 liters of water are poured under each bush.
Important! The first 1-2 years after planting, young bushes are recommended to be fixed to the support (trellis or individual pegs). This will protect the shoots from damage and deformation during active growth.
In addition to watering, blackberries also need timely weeding. Around the bush you need to create a small near-stem circle with a shallow hollow. They should be weeded periodically and loosened to a depth of about 10 cm. Do this as weeds appear, but at least 3-4 times a week. Bushes are fed in early spring before buds open. As a fertilizer, any complex mineral-organic mixture is best suited. It is best if it will consist of 4 kg of humus, 20 g of urea and 40 g of potassium sulfate (per 1 m²).When growing a blackberry, the gardener must remember that the yield of this crop largely depends on high-quality pruning of the bush. The next year after planting, each shoot needs to be shortened by about 15% - this will stimulate the growth of an additional number of branches and will increase the productivity of the bush. After picking berries, each productive shoot and side branches must be shortened by a third.
Harvesting and storage
The collection of blackberries is carried out as they ripen, after they acquire a characteristic size and shape. Harvesting is carried out manually, in small containers, after which they are transferred to general boxes or other containers.
The collected berries should be stored in the refrigerator, at a temperature of about + 5 ° C. In this form, they are able to persist up to 10 days after collection. To extend the harvest stubbornness, it is worthwhile to deep freeze the berries at –20 ...– 25 ° - this helps to extend the shelf life of blackberries up to 6 months.
Preparation for wintering begins with abundant watering of the beds, after which the site must be cleaned of all remaining foliage and other plant residues. They begin this procedure in late autumn with a decrease in the average temperature to + 10 ° C. After that, the bushes are sanitized from infertile, damaged and old shoots.Next, the root circle of the bushes is mulled - for this, humus, wood sawdust, pine needles are used, etc. If necessary, they also cover the shoots of the bush, using spunbond or any other breathable material for this.
Blackberries are propagated by dividing the bush or layering. In the first case, in early spring, a large bush, at least 5 years old, must be completely dug out of the soil, and then carefully divided into 2-3 parts. The resulting material is planted in a new place and subsequently contained as young seedlings. After 1–2 seasons, such plants begin to bear fruit actively.
Did you know? Blackberry has been known to man since antiquity. The first mention of it is found in the writings of the ancient Greek physician Dioscorides, dated I century. n e.
To propagate blackberries with layering in spring, the tops of the branches need to be dug into the soil to a depth of about 10 cm, and then abundantly watered. After 2-3 months, the apex will take up young roots, after which it must be separated from the mother plant, leaving an aerial shoot of about 15 cm long. Next spring, the resulting seedling must be transplanted to a permanent place.
Diseases and Pests
Diseases and pests for blackberries are not uncommon, and even despite high immunity, almost every plant grower encounters this problem when growing a crop.The bushes are most readily affected by all kinds of insects, among them the most dangerous can be called raspberry and spider mite, moth, raspberry beetle, aphids, nuts, gall midges, fireworks and glass.
In the case of the detection of affected leaves, as well as the insects themselves and their larvae, a complex insecticide will help to remove parasites. The best preparations are Karbofos, Actellik, Fitoverm and Akarin. The procedure must be performed twice, with an interval of 14 days. For preventive purposes, treatment is carried out three times per season: in early spring, before flowering and during the formation of berries.Of the dangerous infections, the bushes are most often affected by anthracnose, septoria, rust, powdery mildew and botritis. To cope with these diseases, you can use two sprayings with a solution of "Colloidal sulfur." For the prevention of infections, it is necessary to strictly observe the peculiarities of the agricultural technique of growing blackberries, and also process bushes with a 1% solution of Bordeaux liquid at least 2-3 times a season.
BlackButt BlackButte is a great alternative to raspberries or any other garden berry. This plant gives unique berries with special flavoring properties and beneficial substances. However, this variety is not the best solution for a novice gardener, because often a beginner does not manage to cope with this fastidious plant and provide it with the necessary microclimate.