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Recently, Russian gardeners are increasingly planting a culture that was previously undeservedly deprived of attention - blackberries. In many ways, it is similar to raspberries, but less capricious, contains more nutrients and gives a better harvest. Perhaps the Black Satin variety of blackberries is not the newest one on the domestic market and does not belong to the elite. But it is time-tested and is often found in Russian gardens. Therefore, it is worth considering Black Sateen in more detail. The variety is not so bad, it just requires a competent approach.
The Black Satin variety was created in 1974 by the Northeast Area Research Center located in Beltsville, Maryland, USA. Authorship belongs to D. Scott. The parent crops were Darrow and Thornfrey.
Description of berry culture
Blackberry Black Sateen has become widespread throughout the world. In its appearance and other characteristics, it resembles the parent variety Tonfrey.
General understanding of the variety
Black-Satin blackberry belongs to semi-creeping varieties. It has powerful shoots without thorns of a dark brown color up to 5-7 m long. Up to 1.2-1.5 m they grow upward, like a kumanik, then pass into a horizontal plane and become like a dew-grass. If the lashes are not tied, then under their own weight they will bend to the ground and begin to creep.
Shoots grow very quickly, at the beginning of the growing season, gaining up to 7 cm daily. They give a lot of lateral shoots. Without constant molding, Black Satin blackberries form a thickened bush that is not able to "feed" itself. The berries do not receive enough light and nourishment, become smaller and cannot fully ripen.
Black Satin shoots are tough and break easily when you try to bend them. Therefore, despite the absence of thorns, it is difficult to tie and remove them from the support.
The leaves are large, bright green. Each consists of 3 or 5 serrated segments with a pointed base and a tip.
Black Satin flowers are pink-violet when opened, after a few days they fade to white. They are collected in brushes of 10-15 pcs.
Berries of medium size - on average from 3 to 4 g, at the ends of the shoots - much larger, up to 7-8 g. As can be seen in the photo of the Black Satin blackberry, they are beautiful, rather rounded than elongated, glossy black. They are poorly separated from the stalks.
Opinions differ on the taste of Black Satin. The manufacturer rates it at 3.8 points, and domestic gardeners conducting their own surveys put the variety at the end of the list. Some people do not give Black Sateen more than 2.65 points.
What's the matter? At the stage of technical ripeness, the fruits are really tasteless, just sweet and sour, with a weak aroma. But on the other hand, they remain dense and suitable for transportation. When Black Satin berries are fully ripe, they become tastier, sweeter and more aromatic. But the fruits are softened to such an extent that it becomes impossible to transport them.
The harvest ripens on last year's growth.
A description of the characteristics of the Black Satin variety will help gardeners decide whether to grow it on a garden plot.
The Black Satin variety has an average frost resistance (lower than that of the parent Thornfrey blackberry), it must be covered for the winter. Bushes damaged by frost recover quickly. The crop does not tolerate drought well and requires uniform moisture, like other blackberries.
When planting the Black Satin variety, the soil should be tailored to the needs of the crop. Difficulties in care are mainly due to rapid growth and the ability to form many lateral shoots. It is difficult to cover adult lashes for the winter, and in the spring to tie them to the supports.
It is easy to transport only unripe berries of the Black Satin variety, ripe fruits have low transportability.
Flowering period and ripening time
Blossoming of the bushy blackberry Black Satin begins in late May or early June. It is very stretched, often on one fruit cluster you can see buds, green and ripe berries.
When comparing blackberry varieties Thornfrey and Black Satin, which are related and very similar to each other, it should be noted that the latter ripens 10-15 days earlier. Fruiting begins in late July or early August (depending on the region) and lasts until late autumn. It should be noted that in the northern regions about 10-15% of the harvest does not have time to ripen even with good agricultural technology.
Advice! If the frost occurs before all the berries are ripe, cut off the branches with fruits and flowers and dry them. In winter, they can be added to tea or brewed as a medicine. This vitamin supplement tastes better than ordinary blackberry leaves, and it also contains more nutrients.
Yield indicators, fruiting dates
The yield of Black Sateen is high. 10-15 kg of berries are harvested from a bush at the age of 4-5 years, and with good agricultural technology - up to 25 kg.
In 2012-2014 In the Kokinsky (Bryansk region) support point of the FSBSI VSTISP, introduced varieties of blackberries were tested, among which was Black Satin. The variety showed high productivity - 4.4 tons of berries were harvested per hectare. Fruiting in the Bryansk region began at the end of July.
The use of Black Sateen as an industrial variety is problematic. Unripe berries have a mediocre taste, and ripe soft, they cannot be transported. In addition, Black Satin blackberries must be harvested every three days, otherwise the fruits are affected by gray rot. This is of little relevance to private gardeners and smallholder farmers. For summer residents and large farms, such a fruiting feature is unacceptable.
Scope of berries
Black Satin berries are good only when fully ripe. To appreciate the aroma and taste, you need to grow them yourself - they can only enter the retail chains immature, who did not have time to soften and lose their shape. But the Black Satin blanks are excellent.
Disease and pest resistance
Like the rest of the blackberries, Black Satin is resistant to diseases and pests. But the berries on the bushes need to be collected regularly, otherwise they are affected by gray rot.
Advantages and disadvantages
It is difficult to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of Black Satin. This variety does not cause delight in many. But why then did it become so widespread all over the world? Farmers from different countries could not suddenly forget about other, such wonderful varieties and together plantations of unpalatable and poorly transported Black Satin blackberries.
Let's take a closer look at the positive and negative qualities. And then each gardener will decide for himself whether to grow this variety. The benefits of Black Satin include:
- Highest productivity. With good agricultural technology, even with compacted plantings, the variety gives up to 25 kg per bush.
- Lack of thorns. For extended fruiting, when the crop is harvested every 3 days, this is of great importance.
- High quality blanks are made from Black Satin blackberries. The consumer properties of jams, jams, juices and wines obtained from other varieties, which are more tasty in fresh form, are much lower.
- High decorativeness of well-groomed bushes.
- Resistance to pests and diseases. However, such qualities are possessed by the culture of blackberries in general.
- Lack of root growth. This makes maintenance easier.
The disadvantages of the Black Satin variety include:
- Insufficient frost resistance.
- Powerful shoots do not bend well. It is difficult to remove them from the support and attach to it, to cover the blackberries for the winter. If you apply force to the branches, they will simply break.
- Elongation of fruiting. Some of the berries do not have time to ripen before frost.
- The need to harvest every 3 days.
- Low resistance to gray fruit rot.
- Poor transportability of berries.
- Insufficient keeping quality - the crop must be processed within 24 hours.
- Mediocre berry taste.
- The variety cannot be propagated by root shoots - it is simply absent.
What conclusions can be drawn from this? It is good to grow Black Satin blackberries in heated greenhouses and regions where the temperature in winter does not drop below -12⁰ C. There, the variety does not need to be covered for the winter and it manages to give all the harvest that can be used for processing.
However, whether this variety is suitable for growing on the site, each gardener decides independently.
Black Sateen blackberry does not give root growth, but its whips are long, capable of reaching a length of 7 m. Many young plants can be obtained from cuttings or apical shoots. True, the shoots are thick, they do not bend well, so the lash chosen for reproduction must be bent to the ground as it grows, and not wait until it reaches the required length.
Root and green cuttings give good results. You can propagate Black Satin by dividing the bush.
Planting Black Satin blackberries is not much different from other varieties. Unless in private farms, it is recommended to plant bushes away from each other, and even then, if possible.
In most regions of Russia, it is recommended to plant Black Satin in the spring. This will allow the bush to take root and grow stronger over the season before the onset of frost. In the south, the variety is planted in the fall, since during spring planting, blackberries can suffer from the quickly onset of heat.
Choosing the right place
The best place to plant blackberries is in sunny areas, sheltered from the wind. Black Satin can tolerate a little shading, but it is permissible only in the southern regions. In the north, with a lack of sunlight, the wood will not ripen, therefore, it will not winter well, and the percentage of berries that did not have time to ripen will be much higher.
Standing groundwater is no closer than 1.0-1.5 m to the surface.
Do not plant Black Satin next to raspberries, other berry bushes, strawberries and nightshade crops. They can infect blackberries with diseases that, if placed correctly, you would not even think about. In general, the recommended distance is 50 m, which is difficult to achieve in small areas. Just plant the crops further apart.
The Black Satin variety is not very picky about soils, but before planting, the soil must be improved by introducing a bucket of organic matter, 120-150 g of phosphorus and 40-50 g of potassium dressings into each planting pit.
Important! All blackberry fertilizers must be chlorine free.
Blackberries grow worst of all on sandstones, to which more organic matter needs to be added, and heavy loams (improved with sand). The soil for the culture must be slightly acidic. High-moor (red) peat is added to alkaline and neutral soils. Excessive acidic soil reaction is muffled with lime.
Selection and preparation of seedlings
The future health of the blackberry and the harvest depends on the choice of planting material. The seedling should be strong, with smooth, intact bark and a well-developed root system. The Black Satin variety of blackberries is not so uncommon, but it is better to buy it in nurseries or reliable retail chains.
The container plant is watered on the eve of planting, the open root is soaked in water.
Algorithm and scheme of landing
A distance of 2.5-3.0 m is left between the Black Satin bushes. In industrial plantings, planting compaction up to 1.5-2.0 m is allowed, but in this case, feeding should be intensive, since the feeding area is reduced.
Important! For the Black Satin variety, the distance between the bushes of 1.0-1.2 m is considered critical.
The planting hole is dug in advance, filled 2/3 with a nutrient mixture and filled with water. Its standard size is 50x50x50 cm.After 2 weeks, you can start planting:
- A mound is formed in the center, around which the roots are spread.
- The pit is covered with a nutrient mixture so as to deepen the root collar by 1.5-2 cm.
- The soil is compacted, the blackberries are watered with water, spending at least 10 liters per bush.
- The earth is mulched.
- The seedling is cut 15-20 cm.
Follow-up care of the culture
Caring for Black Satin blackberries is more difficult compared to other varieties due to the need to constantly form a bush and the problems that thick, stiff shoots deliver.
Growing Black Satin blackberries without a garter is impossible. Although her lashes are devoid of thorns, they are very long, without formation and trimming, they grow first upward, then descend to the ground and take root. With a powerful shoot-forming ability of the variety, impassable thickets can be obtained in a season. It is very difficult to tidy up a running blackberry, since the branches are thick, stubborn and break easily.
Black Satin shoots should be taught to be placed on a trellis when they reach a length of 30-35 cm. The lashes are bent to the ground and secured with staples. They are lifted onto the support after reaching 1.0-1.2 m.
Blackberry is a moisture-loving culture. Black Satin is extremely productive and therefore needs more water, especially during flowering and berry formation.
Other blackberry varieties recommend starting feeding in the third year after planting. Black Satin quickly grows green mass, forms many lateral shoots and berries. Top dressing begins in a year:
- In the spring, immediately after thawing or directly in the snow, they give the first, nitrogen fertilization.
- At the beginning of flowering, blackberries are fertilized with a full mineral complex.
- Further, once a month (until August), the plant is fed with diluted mullein infusion (1:10) or green fertilizer (1: 4) with the addition of ash.
- In August and September, the bushes are fertilized with phosphorus and potassium. It dissolves well in water and gives excellent results potassium monophosphate.
- Throughout the season, foliar feeding should be done, they are also called fast. It is good to mix fertilizers specially designed for these purposes, humate, epin or zircon and a chelate complex. The latter prevents chlorosis and nourishes the Black Satin blackberry with trace elements necessary for the health of the plant and a good harvest.
It is better to replace loosening with mulching with sour peat or humus. Harrowing is carried out after planting shoots on supports, harvesting and before sheltering for the winter.
Black Satin brambles should be pruned regularly. 5-6 strong shoots of the last year are left for fruiting. Side lashes are constantly shortened to 40-45 cm, weak and thin ones are cut out completely.
Shoots that have finished fruiting are removed before shelter for the winter. In the spring, 5-6 best lashes are left, weak lashes, frozen or broken ends are cut off.
For the Black Satin variety, the leaves also need to be rationed. During the ripening of the crop, those that shade the fruit bunches are cut off. Just don't overdo it! Blackberries need foliage for nutrition and the formation of chlorophyll.
Advice! In the first year after planting on Black Satin, it is recommended to pick all flowers.
Preparing for winter
We will assume that you have taught young shoots to climb the trellis, as described in the chapter "Principles of growing". Before winter, it will remain to cut out the whips that have finished bearing fruit at the root, remove the annual growth from the support, fix it on the ground. Then you need to cover the blackberries for the winter with spruce branches, agrofibre and cover them with soil. Special tunnels can be built.
Important! It is necessary to open the blackberries in the spring before budding begins.
Diseases and pests: methods of control and prevention
Like other varieties of blackberries, Black Satin is ill and rarely affected by pests. If you do not plant raspberries, strawberries and nightshades next to it, spring and autumn processing with copper-containing preparations will be enough.
The problem for Black Satin is the gray rot of the berries. In order to prevent disease, the fruits must be removed as they ripen every 3 days.
Gardeners' reviews of Black Satin are extremely controversial. We tried to objectively understand the peculiarities of the variety, and whether to plant it on the site, each gardener must decide on his own.
Olga Sergeevna Kuznetsova, 61 years old, Moscow region
Blackberry Black Sateen has been growing with us for a long time, we are very pleased with it. For our family of seven, two bushes are enough - and eat fresh berries, and prepare juice, jam for the winter. True, we take care of the blackberries carefully - we fertilize, cut, tie. Especially you have to suffer with shelter for the winter. But the variety responds to good care with a large harvest. It was not a year that we collected less than 30 kg of berries from our two bushes.
Veronika Stanislavovna Izvitskaya, 48 years old, Orenburg
Blackberry Black Sateen grows in our country house. We don't really like fresh berries, we keep the variety because the juice and wine are tasty. But during fruiting, we can harvest the crop once a week, before, because of this, the berries began to rot. Now the problem has been solved - the neighbor has retired and lives in the country until winter. So he picks blackberries in the middle of the week, and we - at the end. Everyone is happy.