Blackberries not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also provides a lot of good nutrients that are beneficial for your health. Read on to find how they can make you healthy and how to grow them.
People classify blackberries as perennials since the roots can survive for years. However, the top parts of the plant that emerge above the soil make them become a biennial.
Being a biennial means, blackberries take a couple of years to fulfill their growth sequence. Their canes grow profusely for a year and then bear fruit later before they eventually die.
You do not need to fret considering that new poles will appear to replace the dead items.
Because blackberries are robust shrubs, you may need to prune them regularly to eradicate the messy look and getting a better fruit harvest.
Blackberries are native to North America. These fruiting shrubs can be indexed into three varieties, namely:
- Erect thornless blackberries
- Trailing thornless blackberries
- Erect thorny blackberries
The erect blackberry is a type of bush that can support itself. On the other hand, the trailing one needs a trellis to help it grow well.
You can grow blackberries from seeds by planting them straight in the dirt in fall. However, you have to be patient since it may take a long time.
The shrubs may begin to produce plenty of fruit in the second full year of growth.
If you are seeing for a more suitable approach to grow blackberries, you can get the dormant bare roots in the nursery near you.
Whatever your choice is, blackberries will produce so much fruit that you have to pick it every couple of days.
Blackberries can do well in zones 5 to 8. Actually, they need a stage of freezing dormancy to sprouting.
Unfortunately, their shallow root systems do not allow them to live in areas whose temperature goes below zero degrees daily.
They do not do great in sections with a thermal condition, dry winds, either. Growing in this kind of environment can result in stunted, seedy fruits.
How to Grow Blackberry Tree
You may notice a lot of blackberry bushes along the roadsides. It proves that these plants can put up with many growing conditions.
Therefore, it would be great if you had one in your backyard so that you can enjoy the tart and sweet fruit.
First, you need to get a variety that is suitable for your area in a nursery. Next, decide the best place to grow your blackberry tree.
It has to be the spot that obtains full sun. Rich and loamy soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 would be nice.
You will also need to ensure that you did not grow peppers, eggplants, potatoes, strawberries, or tomatoes in the area that you are going to plant blackberries at least in the past three years.
The site that you are going to use to grow blackberries has to have good drainage. If you cannot find that kind of soil in your backyard, you can plant these bushes in a raised bed.
Once you have chosen the area, use organic matter to amend the soil in the summer or fall before planting in spring.
When the soil is ready in spring, it is time for you to begin planting. Dig a hole in it. You must certain that the area is quite wide to support the radix system of your blackberries.
However, it has to be shallow, which is approximately an inch deeper than the pot.
If you grow more than one plant, ensure you give sufficient space for them to thrive well.
Trailing cultivars are supposed to be 4-6 feet apart in rows. The erect ones will be 2-3 feet, while the semi-erect will be 5-6 feet apart.
Do not forget to add trellis to support and secure the canes of trailing varieties. Any type of stick or stake will do.
How to Take Care of Blackberry Bush
Once your blackberries are established, you need to take care of them thoroughly to make sure they thrive well.
Fortunately, these bushes are not fussy. You still need to consider several things, though.
As a good rule of thumb, a plant can thrive well if it lives in the right soil with proper drainage and pH.
Blackberries can live for about 10 years if you provide proper care and the right site to thrive.
They prefer slightly acidic soil that offers good drainage. Also, you better memorize that they cannot grow well in clay.
Another worth-trying solution is by growing them in raised beds. Not only will it provide good drainage but also prevent the flower buds from getting damaged due to the late spring frosts.
Removing all weeds as soon as possible is imperative because they are likely to take the nutrients and water needed by your plants. Furthermore, the shallow roots of blackberries make it hard for them to win this competition.
Adding a good layer of mulch is an effective way to hold weeds at bay. Besides, it will help you retain water moisture and feed the plants.
Although blackberries are not fussy, you still need to water them regularly especially if it has not been raining for months because they require moderate amounts of it.
The volume of liquid that you require is around 1 inch per week. Make sure you do not overdo it since these bushes do not do well in wet soils.
Blackberries love to get a lot of suns because it helps them to produce fruit. Though, if you reside in a remarkably warm region, adding some afternoon shade will be great.
When the plants are emerging from dormancy, which usually happens in spring, it is time for you to fertilize your blackberries with a balanced 10-10-10 formula.
Apply fertilizer again in the fall. However, at this time, you will use manure and compost that not only help to enrich the soil, but also suppress weeds.
Blackberries bear small fruit. It not only provides a delicious taste to satisfy a sweet tooth but also packs a lot of good nutrients.
The fruit is a great fount of antioxidants, vitamin C, E, K, Calcium, and Manganese.
Besides, a one-up serving of raw blackberries gives you 62 calories, less than 1 gram of fat, 7 grams sugar, 2 grams protein, 8 grams fiber, and 14 grams carbohydrates.
One serving of blackberries provides 31% of the dietary fiber that you need daily. They come in the form of un-solvent and water-solvent fiber.
Insoluble fiber improves bowel health and regularity, while the soluble aids in digestion as well as slowing the fat and sugar absorption, reducing blood cholesterol and sugar.
Calories in Blackberries
The biggest challenge of someone who is on diet is to suppress the temptations of grabbing chocolate bars or any cake. It does not mean you cannot snack, though.
Blackberries would be a perfect option that offers a sweet treat without putting on more pounds. As stated above, a cup of it contains only 62 calories, 14 carbs, and less than 1 gram of fat.
Carbs in Blackberries
You might be frightened when knowing that this sweet small fruit contains carbs. Well, don’t be! In fact, you need them since they are your main energy source.
When you eat blackberries and your body begins to digest them, the system will turn the natural carbs found in this fruit into glucose.
Your intestine picks it up and then pushes it out into the bloodstream that is responsible for delivering it to cells including brain cells.
Snacking on a cup of raw blackberries is your safe bet if you want to shed some pounds healthily way because it contains 13.8 grams of carbohydrates consisting of simple and complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates in blackberries are in the form of fructose, sucrose, and glucose.
Complex carbohydrates will not be likely to spike your blood sugar levels because your body metabolizes them slowly. That is why this fruit has a low glycemic index (GI) of only 25.
Benefits of Blackberries
Packing various kinds of nutrients, blackberries offer you a lot of health benefits.
One of which is antioxidants that have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that protect you from free radicals. They also prevent you from specific sorts of malignancy.
These anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties also prevent you from periodontal infections.
Blackberries also better digestion due to the insoluble fiber. It makes your stool softer and easier to pass by attracting water in it.
This fruit also has a good impact on insulin resistance and triglyceride levels, which means it helps you manage diabetes. You can get these benefits if you eat it fresh or frozen.
Blackberries may reduce the risk of obesity by increasing insulin sensitivity. Eating them regularly can help you burn fat effectively.
Anthocyanins found in blackberries may promote brain health. They slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Now, you know how to grow and take care of blackberries. You have also learned they possess various kinds of nutrients that are good for your health.
Eat them raw, toss them in a salad, or try out some new recipes. Whatever your choice is, blackberries are always scrumptious.