Distribution in the amateur gardens of a wonderful berry bushes - blackberries, is restrained, in part, by the presence of numerous spines on its shoots. Therefore, the appearance in the sixties of the last century of beech varieties, greatly facilitated the cultivation of this crop.
Table of contents
- Description of Blackberry Thornfrey
- Characteristics of berries
- Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
- Planting of saplings and care in autumn
- Growth and Reproduction Conditions
- Diseases and pests
Description of Blackberry Thornfrey
Thornfrey, one of the first blackberry varieties with a complete absence of thorns, was bred in 1966 by the breeder of Maryland in the eastern United States, Dr. Scott. It belongs to the group of the ash-tree, it forms a bush with long, semi-stiff, rigid shoots. The shoots cut at the base, up to 3 cm in thickness, reach 4-6 meters. Dark green - at the beginning, by the end of the season they acquire a bluish tinge.Leaves are complex, consist of 3-5 leaves.
The bush is beautiful at the time of flowering, when it is strewn with rather large pink flowers up to 3 in diameter, So, in the middle zone of Russia, flowering begins in the second half of June.
Characteristics of berries
And now let's talk about the characteristics of berries. The yield is high. From individual adults, bushes collect up to 22 kg of fragrant berries. Dark purple, almost black, conical in shape, with shiny skin, they weigh up to 5-7 grams. Ripening of berries is not simultaneous and the fruiting period can be extended up to a month and a half.
The taste of berries varies with the maturation process: from acidic to sour-sweet and fresh-sweet during overripe. Berry brush, sometimes numbering up to 30-60 berries, hangs under its own weight to the ground..
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
Among the merits of the variety, in addition to the absence of spikes:
- resistance to diseases and pest damage allows to exclude chemical treatment;
- elegant appearance, both at the time of flowering, and during fruiting.
But, with all its virtues, the grade of Thornfrey has one significant drawback. An inexperienced gardener finds it difficult to grasp the moment of the desired ripeness of the berry, when it is still dense, but already has a pleasant sweet taste with a slight sourness.The unripe berry is sour, ripe - fresh-sweet and very soft. The fact is that at different moments of ripeness the berry looks the same. Subtle differences are not conspicuous, so a certain experience is required when harvesting.
Winter hardiness is below average, the grade requires mandatory shelter for the winter. Without it, it is possible to grow only in the southern regions. There it is necessary to take care of some pritenenii plants, since it can suffer from sunburn. This grade is not suitable for the regions of the North-West of Russia.
But, in principle, everything depends on the microclimate on a particular site..
Planting of saplings and care in autumn
In comparison with other varieties, frost resistance is average, Thornfree withstands frosts to -18 degrees. Thaws and a strong spring wind cause desiccation of shoots, so do not hurry with the removal of the winter shelter.
Agrotechnics of growing blackberries in many respects similar to those of raspberries.Blackberries grow well on most soils, except for sandy. But, best of all, it is suitable for fertile loams. The best planting time for seedlings with an open root system - spring, grown in containers can be planted all season.
Fill the trench and, if necessary, repair the full complex fertilizer with the pitchfork. Sour soils are calcareous. During the winter, the land will settle and be ready for planting.
Plants are placed from each other at a distance depending on the variety and the subsequent way of its formation.For a powerful blackberry, which is a grade of Thornfree, one-sided forming system. This method of garter is simple and consists in the fact that annual shoots are directed to one side, and last year's to the other. Therefore, the distance between plants should be about 3 meters..
After planting, the stems are cut off leaving shoots 25 cm high, with the root neck 2-3 cm below the soil level. The earth around the plant is mulched with peat, sawdust, chopped branches to avoid moisture loss and soil crust formation.
Also you may be interested in the following articles about the blackberry:
- Description of the blackberry Ruben.
- Details about the blackberry variety Black Satin.
- A special kind of blackberry Agavam.
Growth and Reproduction Conditions
Thornfri bushes are grown on trellis, with several rows of stretched wire between the supports. Its height usually does not exceed a meter, so that it is convenient to place long lashes.
In the first year, the emerging young shoots are tied closer to the left cola. The right side of the support remains free.
Next summer, at the base of the bush, there will be new shoots, which are tied closer to the right cola. Blackberry fruit on the side branches of last year's growth.
Care for blackberry plants is a shallow loosening, watering and feeding. It is especially important to regularly water berry bushes in the first time after planting, as well as during flowering and ovary formation. An adult plant can do without irrigation, thanks to a well-developed root system. But it will not be necessary to count on a big crop. By the end of summer - the beginning of autumn, after harvesting, watering is reduced, so that the shoots have time to grow lighter.
Before the onset of frost, water-absorbing watering is done and the whips are removed from the supports.Since for Thornfrey the temperatures will be below -18 degrees, it is desirable to cover it even before the snow falls. Thornfrey's hideout is not an easy business. Unsophisticated thick shoots can hardly be laid on the ground. You can make a short prishvipku shoots in the period of their formation, To get a more flexible, thin side shoots, which will be easier to handle, practice short prischipku forming lashes.
Some gardeners dig a bramble bush on one side and lay it on one side. Top covered with spunbond or lutrasilom. You can also add cardboard, dry foliage, lapnik. The fallen snow will serve as additional protection. It is important to cover the bottom of the bush well, the so-called "head". This part is often below the level of the snow cover.
Reproduction of Thornfrey does not cause any difficulties. As with any variety of cropland, the tips of shoots are well rooted in it. To obtain a large number of cuttings, you can apply the method of green propagation. So it is not so difficult to propagate this shrub..
Diseases and pests
Proper planting and compliance with all the rules of care contribute to the fact that the blackberry is rarely exposed to disease and pest attack. If both blackberries and raspberries grow on the same plot, it is desirable to divide their planting by a distance of 100 meters. Raspberry is the bearer of the hidden form of green mosaic, which is dangerous for blackberries.
Thornfree is resistant to such common diseases as anthracnose, rust and stem cancer. But, when signs of disease appear, it is better to sacrifice part of the crop without resorting to the use of pesticides, replacing them with biofungicides.
When a blackberry gall mite is affected, the berries do not keep up, partially or completely remaining red. A very small pest winters on a bush, moving to flowers in spring, then to fruits. Therefore, in autumn it is necessary to cut out and destroy the old stems. After this, the bushes are treated with strong infusions of garlic or pyrethrum. In spring, the treatment is repeated.
Since the appearance of Thornfree it has been half a century. There were other varieties of binge blackberry, which exceed it in the quality of berries. At the same time, thanks to yield and mature agricultural technology, it remains one of the leading varieties for commercial cultivation. And "settle" it on your site or not, each gardener decides himself.