Characteristics and features of growing blackberry Asterina
Today you do not often find blackberry bushes in private plots, but all because this plant is associated with an acidic rather than sweet berry, and an impassable, prickly thicket of shrubs. But breeders around the world are working on breeding new varieties, and they do it superbly. Varieties with sweet fruits and branches with absolutely no thorns have already been bred. One of the new representatives of a shipless and sweet blackberry is the Asterina variety.
Asterina was bred in Switzerland by Promo Fruit and has an international patent. Her talented, private breeder Peter Howenstein selected her. This blackberry turned out by crossing the popular varieties Chester Thornless and Loch Ness. Thanks to the professional experience of Peter, many unique new products have appeared.
Did you know? Blackberry spiny bush, similar to a hedgehog, hence the name of this plant.
Botanical features of this variety:
- perennial stunted bush, upright, not sprawling;
- shoots straight, without thorns, numerous;
- green leaves, with large teeth on the edges;
- white flowers, large;
- fruits of black color, shiny, round or slightly oval;
- the brushes are directed upward, multi-berry, not saggy.
A variety of early ripening, with good yield. Resistant to disease. Suitable for growing in hot climates. The berries are large, weighing from 7 to 15 g, very sweet (not yet ripened), dessert flavor with a faint sour note. The pulp is dense, juicy. The aroma is saturated blackberry. The berries are well tolerated and suitable for packaging.
Drought resistance, frost resistance
Asterina easily tolerates dry periods, the fruits do not bake in direct sunlight. The variety is noted for good frost resistance, but in Russia it requires shelter for the winter with any warming materials.
This blackberry is high-yielding - 15–25 kg per bush. The fruiting is long, begins at the end of June and lasts until September. Berries stay on the bush for a long time, do not crumble when fully ripe.
Video: Blackberry Asterina
Blackberries are easy to grow. Even beginner gardeners can do this, you just need to arm yourself with minimal knowledge about the features of this fruit and berry culture.
In general, it is recommended to plant blackberries in the spring, so the plant has more chances for a good survival and development. But in regions with not very frosty winters, frost-resistant varieties, such as Asterina, can also be planted in autumn, only in winter you will have to take care of the sheltering of seedlings.
The place for the future shrub should be well-lit and warmed up. Protected from cold winds. The soil should be neutral in acidity, not swampy, without limestone. Blackberries develop well on loamy, well-drained soils.
The site needs to be prepared in advance - to remove weeds and their roots, to level. If necessary, adjust the acid-base balance of the soil, dig well.
Selection and preparation of planting material
So that the planting does not disappoint, it is better to buy seedlings in specialized farms. If you buy on the market, ask the seller all the details about the variety, if the answers are not sure or not correct, it is better to avoid such a purchase. Better take root annual bushes.
Description of the correct seedlings:
- strong, powerful;
- with a well-developed root system;
- with two thick shoots of at least 5 cm in diameter;
- a kidney should be formed at the base.
Before landing, it is necessary to prepare the landing mixture.To do this, use a fertile layer of earth, mix with 10 kg of humus or compost, add 20–30 g of superphosphate, 30–40 g of potassium sulfate or 50–60 g of wood ash, add 50–70 g of lime for high soil acidity.
For Asterina, the bush method of planting is suitable. The distance between the bushes should be at least 1 m, between the rows - about 2 m.
Important! Groundwater must pass no less than 1.5 m below the surface.
The step-by-step landing instructions are as follows:
- Before planting, conduct a visual assessment of the roots, remove all unnecessary, very long roots shorten.
- If the roots are dried, they need to be lowered for 2-3 hours in a solution to improve growth.
- Dig a hole of about 70 × 70 cm.
- Pour the planting mixture into each recess, fill with water, wait until it is absorbed.
- Lower the seedlings into the pit, spread the roots well so that they do not stick out.
- Sprinkle with the planting mixture, shake lightly so that it is evenly distributed between the roots, lightly tamp.
- To fill up with the earth, to densify well.
- The bud, at the base of the stem, should be covered with soil 2-3 cm.
- After planting, it is necessary around each seedling to make a hole with a side, pour 5-7 liters of water under each bush.
- The final stage is the application of a mulching layer, approximately 10 cm, humus, peat, straw, sawdust, etc. are used as mulch.
After planting, the shoots should be cut, the height of the plant after trimming should be about 20 cm.
Blackberry needs support. Trellis is the best method. To do this, on both sides of the row, columns or strong pipes are driven in, at least 2 m high, at a distance of 10 m from each other, they pull the wire in three rows, depending on the height of the bush, and attach branches to it. Young bushes do not need to be tied up, it will be enough to lean them against a support.
Another important factor is the cutting of bushes. Asterina begins to bear fruit 2 years after planting. When the young central shoots grow more than 100 cm in length, their tops must be pinched 10-15 cm. With the rapid growth of the lateral branches, they also need to be slightly trimmed. But not immediately, but when their length is approximately 0.5 m.
In the spring, the frozen tops are cut to the first living kidney. In the fall, dry, damaged shoots and excess, weak shoots are cut. Also, under the root, old branches are removed that no longer give berries. After the autumn pruning, strong young branches should remain.
Watering requires special attention. The first half months after planting, the land should be watered regularly. After planting a bush, watering is recommended no more than 1 time per week. During fruiting, regular watering is provided, up to harvesting. Blackberry plantings do not like weeds. You need to remove them constantly.
To facilitate care, the ground under the bush needs to be mulched, this will preserve moisture, and slow down the growth of weed grass, and save from frequent loosening of soil under the bushes. Between the rows, loosening is carried out 6-7 times per season.In the spring, top dressing is applied. Urea, ammonium nitrate or organics are suitable for nitrogen fertilizers. Potash fertilizers are applied every year, and phosphate fertilizers are applied every 3 years.
Harvesting and storage
Asterina begins to ripen in late June - early July. She sings gradually, not all at once. Tear ripe, purple-black berries. This must be done carefully so as not to crush it. It is necessary to collect in small containers, it is advisable to immediately clean it in a cool place or at least remove it from the sun.
Before sending for storage, the berries need to be sorted out, wrinkled, damaged, with traces of mold, the fruits can ruin everything. For storage, all berries do not need to be washed; it is better to do this immediately before use.
But for freezing, the berries need to be separated from the stalks, washed in the shower, laid out on a clean towel and completely dried.
You need to freeze it in a special way.Fruits are laid out in one row on a flat surface - a tray, board, thick cardboard, etc. They are sent to the freezer.
After freezing, they are transferred to a storage container and again placed in the freezer. So do with all the other berries.
It is worth noting one important nuance, it is necessary to distribute berries in a container in a single-use amount, since it is impossible to re-freeze blackberries.
Important! Before freezing blackberries, you need to get rid of all insects, it is recommended that the berries pour cold water for 5-10 minutes, then dry well.
Not inferior to the preservation of useful properties and grated blackberries with sugar. By the way, rejected, crushed fruits are also suitable for this method. For this, the prepared berries are ground with sugar in the calculation of 1 kg of sugar per 1 kg of berries.
Leave them for 10-12 hours in a dark, cool place until the sugar is completely dissolved, and transferred to jars or storage trays. It can be stored either simply in the refrigerator or basement, or frozen, which will extend the shelf life.
Blackberry storage periods:
|fresh in the fridge||up to 20 days|
|grated with sugar in a cool place||6 months|
|grated with sugar in the freezer||12-18 months|
|fresh frozen in the freezer||up to 3 years|
In autumn, you need to prepare the bushes for a long winter.
First you need to trim the bushes:
- Remove fruiting branches.
- Cut off root shoots affected by diseases or pests, without leaving stumps.
- Trim weak, thin green sprouts.
- In young branches that remain wintering, leave 3/4 of the length.
After this procedure, at least 7 strong young branches should remain. Further, all plant debris, together with the mulching layer, is removed from the ground and burned outside the site.
The earth is loosened, humus is added, potash fertilizers are watered. Apply a thick mulching layer. Spray Bordeaux liquid. In case of sudden temperature changes, the branches must be removed from the support, bent neatly to the ground and covered.
Video: how to cover a blackberry for the winter
Asterina blackberries can be bred in several ways:
- root offspring;
- green cuttings;
- dividing the bush.
Root offspring - This is a young shoot that has formed on the roots. Gardeners, as a rule, clean it to avoid thickening of the planting. But, if necessary, propagate a blackberry - this is an excellent, free, and most importantly proven planting material.
To apply this method, you must:
- Choose some strong and well-bearing maternal shrubs.
- In May, they are dug out together with the ground, the height of the shoots is about 10-15 cm.
- Then the seedlings are transferred to a permanent place.
Seedlings should be selected the most developed, annuals. The shoot thickness should be more than 10 mm, with powerful roots, at least 20 cm long.
Way green cuttings used when you need to save the variety.
- Cut off the upper part, leaving the last two kidneys.
- A stalk with one bud is made of it, it should consist of a part of the stem, one bud and one leaf.
- Escape should be treated with drugs to stimulate growth.
- Then prepare the landing mixture of sand and peat in equal parts.
- This mixture is filled with small containers for planting seedlings - it can be paper cups, film cylinders, etc.
- Seedlings are placed under a film, where they maintain a microclimate of +22 ... + 25 ° С air temperature, 90% soil moisture and 100% air humidity.
- A month later, they are transplanted to a permanent place.
Dividing the bush propagated when the uterine bush needs to be transplanted. The bush is dug up, young, strong shoots with a good root are separated from it and transplanted. At the same time, several young shoots from all sides should remain on the mother bush. Old shoots are removed.
Did you know? The most harmless prevention against diseases and pests is boiling water.It is necessary in early spring or late autumn, to pour blackberry bushes and the ground under them with boiling water. This will kill most pests, fungi and viruses.
Diseases and Pests
Asterina variety with good immunity to diseases and damage by harmful insects. But troubles sometimes happen to him. According to gardeners, he is most often affected by anthracnose.
Anthracnose - a fungal disease, the whole plant is affected, but the leaves are most affected. It appears with frequent rains, excessive watering, humid climate. Gray spots appear on leaf blades along the veins and along the edges, then they acquire a border of purple color. Holes form at the site of damage. Fruits are also affected, gray sores form on them, berries grow poorly and crumble.
To prevent the appearance of the fungus, in spring all branches damaged during the winter are removed. If an infection is detected, the plant is treated with fungicides, according to the instructions for the drug. For prevention in the fall, after trimming the bush and digging the soil, sprayed with Bordeaux liquid.
She also processes shrubs in early spring, before the start of the growing season. Treatment with fungicides for prevention should be carried out in the spring for the first time before flowering, the second time when new shoots grow to 40 cm in length, and the third treatment is done after harvesting.
Blackberry may also be affected. brown and white spotting, rust and phylosticosis. These are all fungal diseases and the fight against them is the same as with anthracnose.
Important! After flowering and budding, it is necessary to process the bushes without chemistry, it is better to use biological preparations or alternative methods of controlling pests and diseases.
Separately, it must be said about the pests of the blackberry. After all, if fungal diseases develop under adverse climatic conditions, then viral infections carry pests. First of all, it is necessary to carry out preventive measures against aphids.
If aphids are detected on the shoots, it is rational to cut off the affected part and burn. For prevention, use a 1% solution of Nitrafen. Processing should be carried out in the spring, before the onset of sap flow and swelling of the kidneys.
In order not to expose the planting of a blackberry to the danger of infection by disease or pest attacks, it is necessary to plant it away from "relatives" - raspberries and strawberries.
Modern blackberry varieties make life easier for gardeners - the new varieties do not get sick and are easy to harvest, as they are without thorns. And the Asterina variety is also very sweet and tasty, therefore it is recommended to everyone.