Blackberry is a delicious fruit that is loved by many globally. It is grown in different countries, including America.
A blackberry plant’s berries are an aggressive fruit. Commercially, the plants are farmed for their fruit, but they can also be found growing wild. Wild blackberries, which are native to northern temperate zones, are notably abundant in eastern North America and along the continent’s Pacific coast and are farmed in many parts of Europe and North America.
Earliest Origins of Blackberries
The remains of the Haraldskaer Lady, a naturally preserved bog body of a Danish woman dating from around 2,500 years ago, contain one of the earliest recorded cases of blackberry intake. Blackberries, among other items, were discovered in her stomach contents, according to forensic findings.
Blackberries can be found growing wild across much of Europe. They are an essential part of many countries’ ecosystems, and picking berries is a popular hobby. However, because of their rapid growth and inclination to spread uncontrollably if not properly managed, the plants are also regarded as weeds, sending down roots from branches that touch the ground and suckers up from the roots.
Cultivation of Blackberries
Mexico is the world’s biggest producer of blackberries, with nearly all of the harvest destined for fresh off-season markets in North America and Europe. The Mexican market was virtually exclusively centered on the cultivar Tupy until 2018 when it fell out of favor in several growing regions.
In 2017, Oregon produced 19,300,000 kilograms (42,600,000 lbs.) of commercial blackberries on 2,500 hectares (6,300 acres) of land. In Europe and the United States, a number of cultivars have been chosen for commercial and amateur growing. There are various cultivars with more than one species in their history due to the ease with which many species make hybrids.
Highest Producing States
Blackberry types are generally divided into groups based on their growing habits. In some places of the United States, semi-erect blackberries, erect, and trailing blackberries are all grown. Most erect types do not require a trellis, but trailing and semi-erect forms do.
Marion is one of the most popular blackberry varieties in the United States, and its excellent, medium to large-sized berries is planted extensively in Oregon. Arapaho is a popular erect variety, thanks to its lack of thorns. Chester Thornless is a popular semi-erect cultivar that produces a lot of fruit.
Exports and Imports of Blackberries
In 2021, the US imported 130 million lbs. of fresh blackberries worth $318 million, worth a total of $318 million. In addition, the US brought in 24.3 million lbs. of frozen blackberries worth $25 million
From 2014 to 2017, Mexico supplied nearly all of the imported fresh blackberry volumes in the United States, with a four-year annual average market share of 96.8%. Chile leads in frozen blackberry imports to the United States, with a four-year annual average market share of 61.4 percent from 2014 to 2017.
How to Grow Blackberries
It’s blackberry planting time once you’ve decided the type of blackberries you want to grow. It’s best to plan ahead and prepare the planting location a year before planting blackberry bushes.
Plant blackberries away from peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, or strawberries that are currently growing or have grown in the previous three years. Keep these plants away from regions where you’re growing blackberry because they’re prone to the same problems.
Choose a location that gets lots of sun and has enough space for the ramblers to spread out. They will not produce much fruit if they are placed in too much shade. A well-draining sandy loam with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 should be used. If you don’t have enough space for a garden, consider planting blackberry bushes in a raised bed.
Before planting blackberries, clear the area of weeds and the area and supplement the soil with organic matter in the summer or fall after you’ve chosen your location. Expect a small crop of blackberries in the first year of planting blackberry bushes, followed by a complete harvest the following year.
Pick blackberries every four to six days after you see ripe fruit. The birds will not be able to get the berries. Prune out the fruiting canes that will not produce again once the fruit has been harvested.
In the first year, fertilize new plants using a fertilizer such as 10-10-10 once new growth emerges. Before new spring growth begins, nourish established plants.
How to Store Blackberries?
As soon as you can, after selecting blackberries, put them in a shallow container and keep them in a cool spot or the refrigerator. Fresh blackberries are perishable, so eat or freeze them within two or three days of gathering.
Blackberries freeze nicely, and you may use them in ice creams, sherbets, pies, and dessert sauces. Simply put them in a single layer on a baking tray to freeze. Freeze the tray for an hour or two before pouring the berries into a large plastic bag. If you freeze the berries, they will last for ten months.
Blackberries are a tasty and nutritious fruit that can be found in different places of the world. In the United States, all varieties of blackberry and produced, and the country is also a major importer for the fruit, which means it grows blackberries in huge quantities.
Blackberries can be grown in a home garden, but they require a lot of care, and negligence will be your downfall. When growing this fruit in your garden, make sure that they get enough sun. Also, blackberries are loved by birds and squirrels. Deer also fancy them, which means that you need to protect your precious berries against these creatures of the wild. Installing a fence will help your cause. Alternatively, you could set up some decoys like fake snakes to scare the birds and squirrels away.
Spraying the plants with predator pee or natural ingredients is also a good idea to keep unwanted thieves away from your garden. A scarecrow can also be set up to keep the wild animals away from your berries.
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