Cut blackberries properly

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From the start, blackberries need a wire harness with at least three tension wires. The trellis should be about eight meters long and the horizontal tension wires at 50, 100 and 150 centimeters high above the ground to be attached to wooden posts. The separate connection of the old and new shoots on the tension wires makes it much easier to cut the blackberries, so you always have an overview.

Educate and cut strong growing blackberries

Old thornless blackberries such as 'Thornless Evergreen' and the spiny 'Theodor Reimers' grow very strong and form up to three meters long fruit rods. Basically you should plant blackberries in the spring, as the berry bushes are somewhat frost-sensitive. Place them in the middle of the six-meter-long trellis so that the shoots on both sides have enough space to grow.
In the year of planting also strongly growing blackberries usually drive only weak and form comparatively short shoots. As the spring unfolds, pick out the four strongest new long drives and bind them to the left and right of the top two tension wires. The lower tension wire remains free in the first season. The new long shoots of the strongly growing blackberries often form lateral shoots even in the first year.

Attach blackberry shoot with binding wire

Attach the main drives to the trellis with tie wire

In March, cut off all the side shoots of the four main branches to one or two buds. If they are very dense, you can also cut off individual side shoots completely. From the remaining buds, the fruit wood is produced in spring: The new side branches carry flowers in spring and blackberries from August to September. The less fruit shoots your bramble shrub possesses, the better is usually the fruit quality. If you leave all side shoots from the previous year uncut, many very small blackberries are formed, which also do not mature until relatively late.

Attach the blackberry main shoot to the trellis

The main shoots from the previous year are attached to the upper tension wires of the espalier in the spring when blackberries are growing strongly

While the long shoots from the previous year are delivering fruit, new long rods are being formed from the rhizome - as in the previous year, these will be reduced to four strong shoots. Tie two of them in both directions to the lower tension wire of their trellis. Next spring, cut off the harvested main shoots of your blackberry just above the ground and detach them from the trellis. The new main rods "parked" at the lower tension wire are now distributed over the two upper wires. Then cut back their side shoots as described above. The lower wire of the trellis is thus free again for the four main rods, which drift out of the ground in spring and bear fruit in the coming year.

FĂ€chererspalier for weak growing blackberries

Newer thornless varieties such as 'Loch Ness', also known as 'Nessy', are growing relatively poorly. For this reason, the shoots are usually not guided horizontally along the tension wires, but arranged fan-shaped.

In spring, cut the entire bramble back down to six to ten vigorous healthy annual shoots. The annals then lead you vertically in the middle, diagonally through the tension wires at the sides. All rods, which are formed only in the new season, bind you in each case in a gap between the old rods at the trellis, so that both instinct generations do not overlap. All shoot tips of the new main rods are cut off at the end as soon as they protrude beyond the trellis. Important: The trellis should be about 1.80 meters high - slightly higher than the blackberry trellis for the fast-growing varieties. For this one comes with a width of about 3 meters per plant.
The separation of new and old bearded rods facilitates care in the years to come. In the future, they will only cut off the older rods and guide the new shoots back through the trellis at the appropriate place. Other necessary work such as shortening the side shoots in July and not least the harvest are much easier with clearly drawn shrubs.

Educate blackberries reciprocally

A particularly easy method for hobby gardeners is the mutual education at the trellis in blackberries. This means that the shoots of the different generation are each directed in a different direction - for example, the two-year-old rods grow to the left and the annuals to the right. Then, when the harvested rods are cut off in spring, the new rods are redirected in the same direction along the released tension wires.

Reciprocal education of blackberries

Alternate Upbringing of Blackberries: In this example, all fruit shoots grow on the right, the new shoots on the left side of the trellis

The advantage is that you have the shoots cleanly separated from each other and the rods of fast-growing varieties in the second year does not have to wrap. In this case, however, one needs a separate tension wire for each main shoot for strongly growing varieties. In fan-learning of low-growing blackberries, the only difference is that the shoots of the same generation are each directed to one side of the fan.

Cutting blackberries in the fall?

In the professional cultivation of blackberries is usually dispensed with the mutual education. Reason: The fruits are sometimes not optimally exposed and therefore do not ripen so well.

Gardening enthusiasts love to cut off the removed rods right after the last harvest in autumn. However, this is only acceptable in very wintery regions: In cold winters, the old rods for the younger shoots are an effective protection against the winter sun, as the thin green bark of plants easily tears in frost and direct sunlight. For this reason, one usually cuts off the old shoots of the blackberries only in the spring, when no more severe frosts are to be expected.

Video Board: Blackberry Pruning Demonstration.

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