Blackberries are a North American horticultural crop grown with pleasure in Russia. Varieties of this berry, able to grow safely and bear fruit well in Russian conditions, is enough. For example, many gardeners plant Navajo blackberries on their plots. Consider the features of this variety, its characteristics and the rules of agricultural cultivation.
A variety of blackberry Navajo a little over 20 years. It was bred in 1987 in the USA by scientists at the University of Arkansas, along with other varieties of this culture, a common feature of which is the absence of thorns on the shoots. The name of the variety - Navaho (Navajo) - comes from the name of one of the Indian peoples. Parental forms for it were chosen several varieties: Tornfrey, Cherokee, etc. Now the blackberry of this variety is popular not only in their homeland, but also in European countries, and in Russia.
Description of berry culture
Blackberry is a subgenus of the genus Malina, in which there are 8 species, 2 of which are used in cultural cultivation. This shrubs with flexible upright or lying shoots. They grow blackberries for the sake of sweet or sour-sweet berries, which in form and appearance resemble raspberries, but have not red, but dark blue or black color.
General idea of the variety
This blackberry bush is powerful, with high (up to 2 m) upright shoots. They are quite strong, but can bend under the weight of berries, so they need to be tied up after they reach a height of 1.5 meters or more. Differs in strong sprouting, therefore forms a lot of shoots.
In addition to the classic Navajo variety, the Navaho Biganderly hybrid (Navaho Bigandearly) is also known. This is not a full-fledged variety with characteristics different from the original form, but a hybrid form. The authors of this creation claim that the hybrid variety of blackberry Navajo gives higher shoots (up to 2.7 m) and larger berries that ripen faster and have a dessert taste. This is indicated by the name of the hybrid, which in translation means "big and early."
Berries in blackberry varieties Navajo short-conical shape, aligned in size and shape, relatively small (compared with other varieties of this culture) size. Their weight is within 4-7 g. But this feature is well compensated by the huge number of berries ripening on one plant. For example, on 1 adult young bush there may be more than 0.5 thousand berries.
Berries in Navajo blackberry are dark blue (in the phase of biological ripeness - rich black), brilliant, have excellent moderately sweet taste, which tasters rated at 4.9 points out of 5 possible, and many gardeners call it almost reference. The berries are able to preserve their marketable and taste qualities for 5 days. The seeds of this blackberry are small, almost imperceptible, which is also considered an advantage of the variety and appreciated by blackberry lovers. Berries are dense, therefore they withstand transportation well.
Navajo has qualities that attract many gardeners, both amateurs and professionals, to it. That is why it is increasingly chosen for planting on their plots gardeners throughout Russia.
Blackberry Navajo is considered unpretentious variety that does not require special personal care. It tolerates drought well, can grow on almost any soil (but prefers fertile sandy loam and loam), has a good frost resistance (up to -20˚С), therefore in regions where the temperature does not fall below this indicator in winter, it can grow without shelter. In the rest of the bushes will need to cover. On the shoots of this blackberry no thorns, which greatly facilitates the manual harvest.
Flowering period and ripening time
The variety Navaho - late ripening, and therefore begins to bloom late - in the central part of the Russian Federation bushes emit flowers in the second half of June. Berries ripen, as stated in the characteristics of the variety, in August or September. This is influenced by the weather conditions of a particular season, the state of the plants and, to some extent, the landing site (in a sunny or tennis place).
Yield indicators, terms of fructification
Due to the huge number of berries, the yield of Navajo blackberry is quite high and amounts to 9 kg per square meter. m. Fruiting bushes stretched and lasts from 3 to 4 weeks.
Scope of berries
Basically, the fruits of the Navajo blackberry are eaten fresh, but they can also be used to make homemade preparations. They are made compotes, jam, jam, stuffing for wind pies, frozen in the refrigerator.
Disease and Pest Resistance
It is noted that the blackberry of this variety is not prone to diseases and attacks of pests, therefore it is not necessary to process bushes with pesticides if this is not required. This reduces the costs, time and effort spent by the gardener in growing plants.
Advantages and disadvantages
The Navaho blackberry variety is distinguished by many positive qualities, including:
- self-fertility (pollinators are not required for the formation of the ovary);
- high yield due to abundant fruit formation;
- undemanding to the conditions of cultivation;
- ease of care (for bushes with erect shoots to take care easier and easier to cut them);
- easy access to the berries in the collection process due to the lack of thorns and the fact that the berries are located in large clusters;
- good preservation of berries and their transportability (despite the fact that they are juicy, the berries remain elastic and do not flow for almost a week after harvest);
- excellent dessert taste of blackberry.
There are also disadvantages to the variety. Those who grew it, note that with high humidity and in cool summer yields are reduced, the amount of heat and light radiation absorbed by plants affects the taste of berries. The disadvantage is the need to remove excess shoots, thickening bushes.
Navajo's blackberry is propagated by rooting the tops of the shoots and basal offsprings. It is very simple to make: when the young growth reaches about 0.6 m, its tops are cut off. After this, new shoots begin to grow from the leaf axils. They are together with the escape pressed to the ground and instilled in a small depth. In the fall or the next spring, they are dug up, cut off from an adult plant and transplanted to a new place. Bottom shoots when they reach a height of 0.2 m are dug together with a clod of earth and transplanted to new beds.
With proper care, each blackberry bush can grow and successfully bear fruit for 10-15 years and a great influence on this is where and how it was planted. That is why planting and caring for the Navajo blackberry in the spring is of great importance for the subsequent life of plants and their yield.
The best time for planting bushes is spring, in the northern regions they can be planted even in early summer. In the autumn, blackberries are not planted, as young plants do not tolerate the winter, especially long and cold.
Choosing the right place
The place for bushes is sunny and warm, but partial shade is also acceptable. It is impossible to plant in an overly shaded place: the plants will constantly receive less light and heat, from which the berries will be small and sour. You can place the blackberry on an open flat area or on small slopes, near fences, outbuildings, as long as the plants are protected from strong winds and drafts.
The soil type of the blackberry Navajo does not impose special requirements, but its quality should be high. The soil must be fertile, humus, light, loose and airy. Acidity is neutral, slightly elevated. The soil is preferable to moisture-consuming, but not swampy: too high a moisture content is contraindicated in the wet ground, plant roots can rot.
Prepare a plot for blackberry can be in the fall or spring. To do this, it is cleaned from plant residues, dug up and fertilized with organic matter or mineral fertilizers. Shortly before planting the ground level rake and make holes.
Selection and preparation of seedlings
Navajo blackberry seedlings should be healthy, without damage, signs of disease, well developed. They must have strong roots and strong shoots with green (not pale) leaves. Plants with dry roots or poorly growing shoots are not suitable for planting. Before planting a blackberry, its roots are moistened and placed in a solution of a root stimulator, such as Kornevin, for the time specified in the instructions for use of the preparation.
Algorithm and landing pattern
The distance between the placed young plants should be at least 1.5-2 m. The holes under them should be voluminous: at least 0.6 m in diameter and depth. In each of them when planting pour 1 bucket of humus and 2 tbsp. ash. From above, fertilizers are covered with a layer of earth so that the roots do not touch them.
Navajo blackberry saplings planted in the following sequence:
- Moisturize the ground in the holes.
- The bush is placed in the middle and straightened its roots.
- He is covered with earth by growth buds.
- The shoots are cut with shears, leaving 2-3 buds on each.
- The soil surface is mulched with hay, sawdust or straw, non-acidic peat.
Near each bush put strong support, which will tie long shoots. The second option: support set at the edges of a row, and between them pull 2-3 rows of wire that will support the bushes.
Subsequent care for the culture
Agrotehnika bespishnoy blackberry Navajo completely simple. If you plant it correctly, then the next season the first berries will appear on the bushes, and starting from the 4th year you can expect a bountiful harvest. The main task for the gardener at this time should be to provide the plants with the necessary amount of moisture and fertilizers, the formation of bushes and their preparation for winter.
Principles of cultivation
Tie up the bushes of this blackberry is desirable, although it does not apply to tall varieties. They are grown on the trellis, but as an alternative, you can apply a special pruning of the main and lateral shoots on the bush.
Growing a blackberry Navajo involves the implementation of a set of standard agricultural work: irrigation, loosening (or mulching), weeding. Watering the bushes is abundant, especially during the period when the blackberry blossoms and sets fruits. But it is not necessary to flood the blackberry, it does not tolerate too wet soil. If the area occupied by the crop is small, a drip irrigation system can be installed on the site. It will allow you to evenly distribute water and save it. After watering or rains, the soil is loosened, weeds are weeded or a layer of mulch is laid on the soil, which prevents it from drying out quickly. Water recharge irrigation is carried out only if the autumn is dry.
Blackberry Navajo is different in that it gives a strong growth, so it is cut off, starting from the second year of life. In late spring, young shoots, which are 1 m branches, cut the tops. From this side shoots begin to grow, the volume of the bush increases, fruit formation increases.
The formation of the bush of the blackberry Navajo continues in the fall, as it bears fruit on last year's shoots that give berries only one year. For this reason they need to be cut. This is done in the fall, cutting off their shears under the root. 3-4 new escapes are left, at the same time shortening them.
Preparing for the winter
For the winter, blackberry bushes need to be covered. To do this, the shoots, when the foliage falls from them, removed from the trellis, tied together and bent to the ground. Top cover with a covering material: synthetic or vegetable, for example, spruce branches. Under such protection, the blackberry tolerates winter cold well.
Diseases and pests: methods of control and prevention
All blackberry varieties of the American selection, to which Navajo belongs, are considered resistant to pests and diseases. It has been established that even aphid and gallica settle on its bushes quite rarely. But, nevertheless, spider web and blackberry tick, raspberry beetle, powdery mildew, seproriasis and anthracnose can affect this culture. When insects or signs of disease appear, the blackberry must be treated with appropriate insecticides or fungicides.
Blackberry varieties Navaho is considered the most unpretentious, therefore, is popular with Russian gardeners. With proper care, she is able to give a wonderful harvest for many years and please her owner.
The gardeners who grew this blackberry put aside their feedback on the Navajo variety.
Video about Navajo blackberry: