Growing blackberries from seeds at home
Blackberry is a tasty and healthy berry that can be grown at home without any problems. If you follow the simple rules of planting and care, growing seedlings is not a challenge even for a novice gardener.
Growing blackberries from seeds
There are several ways to sprout a blackberry. One of the most effective is the germination of the bush with the help of seeds.
The advantages and disadvantages of the method
Let's start with the minuses - the main disadvantage of growing blackberries from seeds is its duration. It will take three years for the plant to grow and mature to begin to bear fruit. But this is where the bad sides of the method end. In return, the lover of berries gets an unpretentious bush, whose fruits will be as full of nutrients and vitamins as possible, while some other methods of growing blackberries can adversely affect its quality.
Here you can go in two ways:
- The first - buy ready-made seeds in a specialized store. It will come out much faster and easier than collecting it manually. However, the percentage of successful seed germination fluctuates around 7-10%. And if planted in this way, then a lot and a lot.
- Second way - collect the seeds yourself. It will require more time and effort, but the average percentage of blackberry shoots in this case fluctuates around 70–80%.
How everything happens:
- First you need to find good, ripe and quality berries. You can find the owner of the blackberry bushes, or if you live in the countryside, find the plant yourself.
- After that, there is a washing stage. The selected berries should be placed in a jar of water and left them there for a while up to a day. During this time, good fruits will fall to the bottom, the rest, low-quality, will remain on the surface. After this, drain the water and repeat the procedure two to three more times.
- The remaining berries should be laid out on a piece of paper and sent to dry.
- After drying, the seed should be stored in a cool, moist place. Shelf life - up to a year, otherwise then they will lose their properties.
Important! Seeds need to be dried not in direct sunlight, but in the shade. Otherwise, this will lead to their drying out and loss of the future crop.
A blackberry may appeal to someone and because it can be grown in two seasons. The first is, of course, spring, but also its seeds can be planted in the fall. As elsewhere, each option has its pros and cons.
- Of the advantages, it is worth attributing:
- the opportunity not to be afraid of frost, as in autumn;
- greater control over the growth of the bush;
- the possibility of using the method of "soaking" to increase the percentage of shoots of blackberries;
- The cultivation process does not require special skills or additional funds.
- Now let's move on to the cons:
- seedlings may require additional exposure;
- if a plant needs to be transplanted for some reason, then the probability of its successful adaptation to a new place is not very high.
Did you know? Blackberries are widely used for medicinal purposes. It helps especially with problems with the gastrointestinal tract.
- What can be attributed to the advantages:
- sprouts turn out strong and hardened;
- soil in its autumn state presupposes natural stratification, which does not need to be wasted, as in spring.
- Of the disadvantages:
- frosts, because of them the whole crop can die, even if before that the growth went well and without failures.
Spring sowing is advised to start after the first frost. For many lovers of summer cottage business, such a schedule will be more familiar than engaging in blackberries in the fall, when the temperature drops rapidly.
Ground the bottom of the containers in which the blackberry will grow.Fill the tank first by a third. As the bush grows, you need to pour the earth into containers a little before the end of the plant growth. This method allows the root system to grow strong and dense, which will only positively affect the quality of the berries.
As a basis, use river sand or peat chips. You can also make your own soil substrate. To do this, you need to mix the above-mentioned sand, crumb and ordinary earth in equal proportions.
Experienced gardeners use blackberry seed soaking in rain or melt water. They are left in the liquid for 2-3 days, and then give time to dry. Such a move will increase the percentage of seed germination.
It’s just hardening. It is needed in order to reduce the risks of crop failure or the death of a plant in its infancy. There are several ways to stratify.
Important! Every one and a half to two weeks, you need to check the condition of the substrate, water and ventilate.
Each gardener chooses the one that is more convenient for him:
- First way - in the substrate you need to make small pits, literally a couple of millimeters deep. Put seeds in them and then sprinkle with earth. The container with the substrate should be put in a dry and cool place for 1.5–2 months.
- Second way - Blackberry seed should be mixed with the soil that was prepared for cultivation. The proportions here are 1 to 3, respectively. Then mix everything, moisten with water to a viscous state. Put the containers in the refrigerator or cellar for 1.5–2 months;
- Need to buy cotton pads. These are usually sold either in the pharmacy or in the personal care departments of supermarkets. On top of them you need to lay out the seeds of blackberry. Cover with the same cotton pad. All this needs to be moistened and put in a cool place for the above period. In the course of stratification, disks need to be periodically changed.
After the stratification is completed, the containers with the blackberry should be removed to a warm place.
Sowing and care
Stratified blackberries are planted in pre-prepared soil. Depth of landing is 4-5 millimeters. The distance between the individual plants should be 3-5 centimeters. After this, the place of seedlings needs to be moistened, covered with polyethylene and take care of artificial lighting.
Next, you need to take care of timely watering and fertilizing. Watering should take place every 4–5 days, and fertilizers are applied at intervals of 1.5 weeks. After the plant grows and four leaves appear on it, the blackberry needs to be transplanted to a new place.
With the onset of spring, blackberries must already be planted on a permanent "place of residence."
The distance between the bushes this time should be at least 15 centimeters. In summer, you need to engage in watering, loosening the soil so that it does not rot, and also take care of weeding the weeds. With the onset of cold weather, blackberries are covered with agrofibre or vegetable tops. Before this, the branches need to be tilted to the ground with a twine and pegs driven into the ground. This must be done carefully so as not to damage the young bush.
Let the unprepared person not be afraid of such a choice of the season. If done correctly, the blackberry will not only grow tasty and nutritious, but will also be more resistant to various pests and infections.
Preparing the landing site
You need to start with the fact that the area where you plan to plant a blackberry should be flat, well-lit and not blown away by the winds. At the same time, it is important to ensure that the soil, which will be used as soil for growth, is drained. TIt is also recommended to avoid low places, since there is an elevated level of groundwater, because of which the roots of the plants will quickly rot.
Autumn sowing and preparation for winter
Before direct sowing, you can dig a landing site with peat and humus. This will increase the percentage of seedlings and will be an excellent breeding ground for the cold winter.The beds in which the seeds will be placed should not be deeper than 2 centimeters. The recommended depth is 15 mm.
With the beginning of spring, the beds need to be covered with polyethylene or other insulating material in order to avoid the death of the crop.
With the onset of true heat, caring for the grown blackberry bushes is no different from the usual care described above. Water on time, remove weeds, fertilize and loosen the ground from time to time. With the onset of cold weather use agrofiber and vegetable tops.
As a top dressing, standard organic fertilizers are suitable. Also, saltpeter and urea can be used to activate growth and ensure the vitality of the sprouts. They need to be taken in the amount of 15-20 g per square meter. You don’t need to mix, just choose what is more suitable for your garden.
But organic fertilizers have to spend much more. On average, it is advised to use 5 kg per square meter, about once every 1.5–2 weeks. And an important clarification is that if the fertilizer is based on manure, then it is not necessary to use additional phosphorus, or even harmful. In the manure itself, it is enough, and an excess will lead to decay.
If you need something to protect against bacteria and gray rot, then buy in the appropriate store a sulfate layer with a base as potassium. Enough 50 g per square meter, frequency of use - once a year.
Did you know? Blackberry is a distant relative of raspberries.
The most common mistakes
People who are unfamiliar with the process of growing blackberries can make mistakes. The most common ones may look like this:
- Waiting for the quick fruits. Remember - when grown from seeds, blackberries give berries only three years after planting. Someone, being confident in their success, can plant a large area with blackberry seeds, expecting multiple rewards of their work. Even with proper care, quality selection and preparation of seeds, it can happen that the fruits of the bushes will be small and bitter, and this will not pass with time. Thus, it turns out that colossal work has not paid off. Better grow up to a dozen bushes, and there already look at the result.
- Wrong watering. In the first year of growth, you need to take care of abundant and regular watering. In the future, it is necessary to water the bush in arid time or during fruiting, but the first year is critical. Many novice gardening enthusiasts missed the crop due to poor watering at the beginning of the blackberry's life cycle.
- Wrong agricultural technology. Do not forget about cultivation, but do not overdo it. Particular enthusiasm in this matter will lead to the death of plants.
- Unsuitable neighbors. Do not grow tomatoes and nightshade near blackberries. This neighborhood only hurts her.
- Lack of fertilizer. Even if your soil is good, the sun shines brightly and rains regularly pass, fertilizers must be applied to get a really rich crop.
Thus, having thoroughly studied everything and following the rules, it will not be difficult to grow a blackberry from seeds. However, in order to enjoy a delicious crop, the culture will require constant care.