Blackberries are already suitable for small gardens, as a single plant can bring in a rich harvest. Alternatively, even if there is no garden, you can pick wild berries once ownership is settled. With blackberries, it is particularly important to know when to harvest the berries. Unripe blackberries are acidic.

Wild Blackberries

Blackberries ( Rubus fruticosus ) can not only be picked in the garden. They can also be found growing wild in the forest or in hedges. Wild blackberry bushes tend to grow rampant, which makes harvesting the fruit difficult, especially because of the many thorns. The right harvesting technique is then important. Harvest time is between August and October. The fully ripe fruits are harvested, which are black all over and feel soft.

Before you can pick the first berries, it should be ensured that the bushes do not have an owner or that the owner agrees to the harvest.

Necessary tools for wild Rubus fruticosus:

  • long-sleeved clothing
  • sturdy shoes
  • possibly gloves
  • basket or bowl
  • longer stick to keep the thicket apart
Note: When harvesting, avoid the fruits that are hanging below the bush, this minimizes the risk of fox tapeworm. Wash or heat all other fruits well before consumption.

Blackberries in the garden

The advantage of blackberry bushes in your own garden is that most new breeds are thornless. This simplifies harvesting and handling the blackberries. In addition, it is easier to wait for the right harvest time in the garden.
The location should be in full sun, then the berries will ripen more evenly and taste better. In addition, the Rubus fruticosus must be pruned regularly, then all the berries are easier to pick.

Good fertilization and an even water supply ensure a rich harvest with large, tasty and healthy berries. Wild blackberries, on the other hand, stay small but are more aromatic.

harvest time

In contrast to other types of berries, blackberries are harvested over a longer period of time. The shrub blooms continuously from spring and constantly produces new fruits. They are ripe from July or August. Some varieties continue to ripen until the first frost.

If you want to bring the harvest time earlier, the blackberries should be grown on a trellis on a south wall.

harvesting technique

The blackberries are simply picked from the bush, the inner stalk does not come off, but the small crown of the leaf does. If the blackberries are firmly attached to the bush, they are not yet ready to be harvested. The blackberries are placed in a basket or bowl. There should not be too many fruits on top of each other so that the bottom ones are not crushed.
Blackberries don’t keep long, at most a day or two in the fridge. Unfortunately, they quickly mold. Therefore, if possible, they should be next to each other so that bad fruit can be easily sorted out.

However, blackberries are easy to preserve. They can be frozen, dried or made into jam.

Spots on the blackberries

Tasty blackberries are completely black in color. Green or still red fruits remain on the bush. However, berries with spots can also be found when harvesting:

  • single white spots: nutrient deficiency or bug infestation
  • Mold: fungal attack
  • red spots: gall mites
  • deformed berries: diseases
  • yellow spots on the sunny side of the fruit: sunburn

Berries with spots are usually inedible, but they should still be picked and destroyed to reduce disease.

Harvest time of individual varieties

The following generally applies: Varieties in which the fruits are formed on one-year-old tendrils ripen later than varieties in which the fruits grow on two-year-old shoots.

  • Sugar blackberry: August to September, fruits are sweet even before they are fully ripe
  • Black Satin: August to September, without thorns
  • Chester Thornless: Late August to October, without thorns, robust
  • Jumbo: August to September, large fruits, thornless
  • Loch Ness: July to September, also known as Column Bramble
  • Dwarf blackberry: mid-August to October, with thorns, growth height only 1 m
  • Scotty: mid-July to mid-August, stingless
  • Theodor Reimers: August to September, with thorns

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