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Garden Guides on Blackberries

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Blackberries are vigorous and exceptionally spiny, hardy perennial cane fruits belonging to the genus Rubus .The species and hybrids listed below are grown for dessert, bottling, tarts, jam and wine.

Blackberries prefer deep, moist and rich loam but are adaptable to light sands and stiff clays, given free drainage and freedom from perennial weeds. Incorporate bulky organic such as farmyard manure, compost, shoddy, and feed with fish- or meat-meal and sulphate of potash. Correct iron deficiency on soils containing free lime by dressings of iron.

Planting sites subject to frost are suitable as flowering is late, in early July. Provide shelter from strong winds for the brittle laterals and tie them into training-wires.

Cultivation Plant first-year plants, shortened to 23cm (10in) in the autumn at up to 3.6cm (12ft) apart, against walls or fences or posts and wires. Train the young replacement shoots has established plants to one side of, or above, the fruiting canes to prevent contamination with fungus diseases. Cut out fruited shoots after harvest.

Propagate by tip layering in June or July, by leaf bud cuttings in August or by rooted suckers in the autumn.

Control greenfly, capsid bug, raspberry beetle and cane spot and destroy plants infected with crown gall.

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