Black raspberries are very similar in appearance to blackberries. However, they are very easy to distinguish - black raspberries are removed from the branches without a white fruit, and blackberries - with it.
Aronia raspberries are widespread in North America, but the vast majority of our gardeners know about aronia raspberries only by hearsay. Of its varieties, only the old American variety Cumberland has received little fame in our gardens.
The main differences between black-fruited raspberries and the usual red-fruited ones are the amicable ripening of berries, good drought resistance, the absence of root shoots, and an unconventional method of reproduction.
In terms of yield, black raspberry is much superior to many varieties of common raspberry. During the ripening of the berries, it is extremely decorative, its bushes are literally strewn from top to bottom with brushes of black shiny berries.
Black raspberry is a semi-spreading bush up to 2.5 meters high, with hanging, arched, prickly, rather thick shoots. It is winter-hardy, unpretentious to soil conditions, resistant to pests and diseases, but more susceptible to viral diseases. In addition, it blooms very late, and this allows it to avoid damage from recurrent spring frosts. Its flowering lasts a long time, which makes it possible to significantly extend the period of berry picking.
Reproduction of black raspberry
Her agricultural technology is significantly different from the usual care for ordinary raspberries for us, but has much in common with caring for blackberries. It does not form root shoots, and young shoots appear only from a bush, like currants. Therefore, it is propagated mainly by rooting the tops of annual shoots.
To do this, in early August, the shoots are bent to the ground and buried to a depth of 10–15 cm. In this case, the apical bud, touching the soil, takes root and gives rise to a new plant.
Young plants need to be watered 1–2 times every week, and every other day in dry weather. After 1.5-2 months, young plants develop their own, well-developed root system, and they are ready for transplantation to a permanent place. They are separated from the mother bush with pruning shears and planted in a garden bed for growing. For the winter, they are spud or covered with humus. And if the root system by this time turned out to be weak, then the young plants are left in place, without separating them from the mother bush.
If necessary, rapid reproduction of black chokeberry raspberry can be propagated by horizontal layers. To do this, the shoots are laid in grooves and pinned with wooden hooks (as in the propagation of black currants). In this case, it is advisable to remove the growth point from the shoot.
When roots appear, the laid shoots are covered with a mixture of humus and peat and, as necessary, watered. For the winter, the peat mound must be increased so that the young shoots overwinter better. By the fall of next year, young seedlings will be fully formed. They are separated from the mother bush and used for planting in a permanent place.
Black raspberry reproduces well by green cuttings of annual shoots. Cuttings are best done during the period of mass regrowth of young basal shoots, when they reach a height of 20-30 cm. They are planted in small greenhouses to a depth of 2-3 cm in sand, poured on loose soil with a layer of 5-6 cm.
The plantings are immediately watered, covered with foil and shaded. At this time, cuttings especially need high humidity. Before the roots appear, it should be such that the leaves are constantly moist.
To do this, knock on the roof of your greenhouse several times a day, and the droplets immediately fall on the leaves. When the cuttings take root and noticeably grow, the film is removed from the greenhouse little by little, starting from the north side.
Reproduction of black raspberry by seeds
Some gardeners propagate black raspberries by seeds, but it must be remembered that without prior stratification, its seeds often germinate only in the spring of the second year after their sowing.
Sowing black raspberry seeds begins in March. They are sown in a box to a depth of 1–2 cm at a distance of 5x5 cm and the box is placed in a cellar for stratification for 40–45 days.
With the onset of warm weather, the box is moved to a greenhouse, and after 305 days, friendly shoots appear. And without stratification, seeds germinate only in the second year after spring sowing.
It is better to plant young black raspberry plants in a permanent place only at the age of two, both in autumn and spring. The seedlings are placed in the holes 3-5 cm deeper than they grew before the transplant, the roots are covered with fertile soil, immediately watered, and then the hole is mulched with peat with a layer of 10-12 cm thick.
It is advisable to install a wire trellis immediately after planting, on which it will be possible to attach fruiting shoots in the future. In autumn, after fruiting, they are cut out, and young shoots are bent down and covered with snow for the winter.
Annual shoots of black raspberries form very strong lateral growths, especially if they are pinched in the middle of summer. Therefore, in the fall, simultaneously with the removal of old shoots from the lateral growths of annual shoots, it is necessary to cut off the tops of the shoots, leaving from three to five buds on each of them.
Black raspberry varieties
The varietal composition of black raspberries in our gardens is still very, very poor.
- Cumberland - mid-season old American variety, of the black-fruited raspberry varieties, the most common in amateur gardens. Bushes up to 2 meters high. Annual shoots are thick, arched, very thickly waxy bloom and numerous powerful thorns. Does not form root offspring. The berries are medium-sized, round, at first red, and when fully ripe they are black-purple, transportable. The pulp is sweet with a slight sourness, with a blackberry flavor. The variety is fruitful, average winter hardiness, resistant to pests and diseases. Plants reproduce by rooted tops.
- Turn - mid-early, productive, winter-hardy variety of Siberian black-fruited raspberry. Bushes are powerful, shoots up to 2.5 meters high, slightly thorny, solitary, curved downward, do not grow overgrowths, are resistant to pests and diseases. The berries are hemispherical, black, of medium size, do not crumble. The pulp of the berries is sweet, slightly astringent. Plants reproduce by rooted tops.
- Ember - mid-season, high-yielding variety of Siberian black-fruited raspberry. Bushes are powerful, shoots up to 2.5 meters high, slightly spiny. Plants form up to 11–12 shoots of replacement, shoots do not give, reproduce by rooted tops. The variety is resistant to diseases and pests, winter hardy. Berries are blunt-conical, black, dense, sweet-sour, slightly pubescent, do not crumble when ripe, easily separated from the fruit.
- Black jewel - a new generation variety, more productive, with an improved biochemical composition. A variety of medium ripening. It differs from Cumberland in the large size of black-shiny sweet berries. Requires good protection for the winter.
And one more advantage of black raspberry. Since it does not give root growth, it can also be grown as an ornamental plant in single plantings. Her bushes are very beautiful all summer long. The flowers, collected in very neat white inflorescences, give the bush a unique beauty and elegance. And in the second half of summer, the whole bush is strewn with bunches of black berries with a bluish shiny bloom.
But the black raspberry has another peculiarity. It gives strong lateral shoots up to 1.5 m long, and if nothing is done, these shoots intertwine, creating impassable jungle. Therefore, the main thing in the agricultural technology of black raspberries is the formation of a bush. For this, in early spring, all lateral shoots should be greatly shortened, leaving 5–6 buds.This operation also improves the quality of the harvest: the berries become larger and the brushes are fuller.
"Ural gardener" No. 13, 2015