Small Fruits Chapter 44 The Bramble Fruits

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Small Fruits

Chapter 44

  • The Bramble Fruits

  • Black berries, red raspberry, black raspberry boysenberry dewberry, loganberry, and tayberry

Location of the planting

  • Location that is higher than the surrounding area or with a slight slope should be chosen.

  • Brambles are not as subject to spring frost damage as strawberries and blueberries.

  • Do not plant next to wild raspberry or black berry plants due to disease.

  • Nor in an area where potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, egg plant, or tobacco have been planted in the past 5 years.

Soil For Planting Site

  • Be sure to have soil with high drainage capacity and be high in organic matter.

  • Organic matter increases the moisture-holding capacity of the soil.

  • Subsoil drainage is more important than soil type.

Soil Preparation

  • If possible begin preparing the soil for blackberries or raspberries one to two years in advanced.

  • When planting, plow the soil to a depth of seven to nine inches.

  • Test the soil before planting.

  • Bramble fruit grows well pH as low as 6.0 to 6.5

Planting systems

  • The most effective trellis system for erect-growing brambles is one with two parallel liners.

  • Then lift wires 24 to 30 in. high and space the posts 15 to 20 ft. apart.

Pruning Blackberries

  • During growing season place the canes 24 in. or longer.

  • In early spring remove all canes that are a half in. or less in diameter by cutting off at ground level.

  • After harvest continue the growing cycle by cutting back all new canes to the 24 in. height

Pruning Red Raspberries

  • During growing season the canes are thinned to stand to closer than 4 to 6 in.

  • After harvest remove old canes, mow the rows the a height of six in. each spring, then remove all canes for new canes and to come in.

Semi trailing Blackberries and Boysenberries

  • Laterals are shortened on all canes to 10 inches in the early spring.

  • After harvest remove all the old canes that have fruited immediately after harvest and destroy them.


  • Apply lime, phosphorus and potash after planting, side dress a nitrogen fertilizer 6 in. from the plant at a rate of 40 ponds of actual nitrogen per acre.


  • Pick berries what they are fully ripe, but still firm.

  • Raspberries should be picked every few days, as with Blackberries.

  • Directly after picking, put in shade.

  • Berries picked in the morning keep better than berries picked after the sun has heated them.

Insects and Diseases

  • Diseases are more effective to Bramble fruits than insects.

  • Buy and plant only disease-free plants

  • Burn all diseased plants

  • Remove all canes after harvest

  • Keep planting free of weeds and fallen leaves.

  • Use pesticides when necessary and obtain a spray schedule from the local extension service

  • Grapes are rapidly becoming a home grown fruit.

  • They are consumed fresh as juices and wines, raisins, jam and jelly, and as frozen products.

  • Grapes are Native to the U.S.

  • A level site or steep slope that is higher than the surrounding area is important to reduce danger of frost damage.

  • Soil should have good drainage capacity and be high in organic matter.

  • A soil that is hardpan (compacted clayey soil).

  • Rock or wet subsoil close to the surface are not suitable.

  • Grapes shouldn’t be planted directly into soil that has been is sod for years.

  • Such land should be planted with a cultivated crop such as corn for 1 year.

  • Any phosphorus or potash fertilizer needed should be plowed or disked into the soil before planting


  • The ideal grape plant at planting time is 1 year old.

  • Don’t allow roots to dry out during the planting procedure.

  • Immediately after planting, prune to a single stem with 2 or 3 buds remaining.

  • Vines should be cultivated soon after planting to kill germinating weeds.

Trellis Construction

  • Grapes are trained to grow on a trellis so that the vines are given proper support.

  • Generally a 2-wire trellis is used, wooden, concrete, or steel posts are placed about 20 feet apart with the end post 3 feet deep to remain secure.

  • Number 9 wire is used for the top with number 12 on the bottom.

Training and Pruning

  • Grape vines are trained to fit the trellis.

  • There are several systems of training.

  • The four-arm knitting system is the most common.

  • After the first growing season the most vigorous cane is selected and tied to the top wire.

Training and Pruning

  • It is cut off above the top wire and all other canes are removed.

  • When pruning during the dormant season of the 2nd and 3rd year select 4 vigorous canes for arms.

  • Vines are pruned each year late in winter or early spring before growth begins.

Training and Pruning

  • Select 4 other canes located as close to the arms as possible and cut each back to 2 buds each. These short canes are called renewal spurs and the buds on them will develop new canes to serve as the new arms for the vine the following year.

Training and Pruning

  • A new system called the Geneva Double Curtain system allows more light to the plants and gives higher production since it has 2 fruiting canopies per row.


  • Fertilize grapes early in the spring with 500 lbs. of 10-10-10 fertilizer.

  • Fertilizer should be broadcast because grape roots tend to spread over a wide area.


  • Grapes are harvested when they are ripe.

  • This stage is often difficult to detect since some grapes change color and appear to be ripe a month before they are actually ready to pick.

  • The best test for table grapes is to taste them for sweetness or check color of seed.


  • Seed color changes from green to brown as the fruit ripens.

  • Reasons for picking early include grapes cracking or splitting open as ripening progresses, rotting in rainy weather, or danger of a early frost.

Weed Control

  • Generally accomplished through shallow cultivation and the use of the grape hoe.

Insects and Diseases

  • Grapes are sprayed for both insects and fungus diseases.

  • At least three spray applications are needed for good control.

  • Major diseases that require control are black rot, powdery mildew, and downy mildew.

  • Major insect pest are the flea beetle, leaf hopper, berry moth, and Japanese beetle.


  • A perennial plant.

  • The leaves die back to the crown when temperatures drop below 23 degrees F

  • Roots live from year to year and new leaves and blossoms grow from the crown each spring.


  • Runners are what strawberries naturally propagate.

  • Plants send out runners from early summer till fall.

  • strawberries are grown areas in the pacific coast states and the eastern united states.

  • 65% of all strawberries grown in the US are grown on the pacific coast.


  • Strawberries are grown in California by means of a hills system.

  • Kept cold in storage until summer

  • Set in single or double rows.

  • Central Coast- Plants are planted in early August and don’t produce runners. Harvest from april-november

Growing Areas

  • Central valleys- Harvest season is April, may, and part of June. Plants are set in fields in mid-July

  • Santa Maria- harvest begins in April till summer and fall

  • Southern California- strawberries are harvested for only a year.

Oregon- largest acreage of strawberries. Harvest from may till early July.

  • Oregon- largest acreage of strawberries. Harvest from may till early July.

  • Washington- harvest from June to mid-July

  • Strawberries grow best in a loam or sandy loam soil.

  • It’s important to supply the soil with organic matter

  • Drainage is important for good growth

Soil preparation for planting strawberries should begin in one or two years before actual planting date.

  • Soil preparation for planting strawberries should begin in one or two years before actual planting date.

  • Best time to plant is early spring

Five planting systems:

  • Five planting systems:

  • Hill System

  • Spaced Matted-Row System

  • Matted-Row System

  • Four rows, double rows, and single row

  • Single-row planting


  • Cultivation should be 6 weeks after they are placed in the soil

  • Should be shallow no more than 1 to 2 inches

  • Additional cultivation may be needed when the chemical weed control begins to fail


  • Extensively used in eastern growing regions

  • Controls freezing and thawing of the soil, which pushes plants out of the soil and exposes roots to drying

  • Black plastic makes excellent mulch

Frost and Winter

  • Planting on high grounds prevents most damage to spring blossoms

  • A heavy mulch applied after the plants have been hardened off to winter conditions saves it from loss

  • All strawberries are picked by hand since no machine is available that can do it properly

  • If stems are too short, they puncture other fruit in container

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