Agave is a fruitful and unpretentious blackberry variety
Perhaps every colorful plant has a humble counterpart. For a rose, this is a peony. Cherries have cherries. In the shade of the fragrant sweet raspberry, the blackberry lurks. It's amazing why it is grown: the berries are watery, the thorns are larger, the bushes are huge and climbing. Everything is so and not so. Delicate blackberries ripen when the raspberries are gone. By this time, you already want something else. In addition, not all varieties of blackberries are inferior to raspberries in sweetness - Agaves are close to raspberries in terms of sugar content, and even exceed in the content of some vitamins. And is this doppelgänger really that modest, or is he just a dark horse?
The history of growing blackberry varieties Agavam
It is not for nothing that when I got acquainted with the variety, I had an association with the word wigwam. As it turned out, the Indians really have something to do with this variety of blackberries. The originator John Perkins (Ipswich, Massachusetts) named the blackberry variety after the Agavam Indian tribe more than one hundred and fifty years ago. For over eighty years since 1865, it has been considered the best performing early blackberry in the United States. Due to its unpretentiousness, yield, balanced taste and composition of berries, it is widely used for production on an industrial scale. In Russia, the Agavam blackberry has been included in the State Register since 2006, and everything from the North to the Far East is indicated as the access region.
Description of the variety
Blackberry Agave belongs to the early ripening varieties. This is a dessert variety. Berries are also used for processing and freezing. The bush is not spreading, medium-sized. The shoots fall like an arch, thick, in the cut have a pentahedral shape. The shoots of the first year are brown-green, two-year-old shoots are brown. Thorny bush. The thorns are dense, brown, of medium size, curved downward. The leaves are green, strongly pubescent. The flowers are large, white, collected in inflorescences, bisexual, self-pollinated. The flowering and fruiting of Agavam is stretched over time, so the harvest is harvested in several stages.
Flowering Agavam bushes look rather modest.
Berries are oval, medium-sized, weighing 4.5-5.0 grams. The peduncle is short, slightly spiny. Unripe berries are green, ripe black, sweet and sour, sweeter in hot summer, with a delicate aroma. Fruit is edible. Tasting assessment of fresh berries is 3.5 points, after processing - 4.0.
Agavam bush always pleases a skilled gardener with a harvest
Characteristics of the blackberry variety Agavam
The average yield is 99.8 centners of berries per hectare. Agaves have been the leading commercial blackberry in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries for over eighty years thanks to their high yield, frost resistance, and simplicity. The bushes tolerate short frosts well up to 25-30 aboutC, do not require shelter for the winter, grow on any soil. They bear fruit equally well in lighted and shaded areas.
Video: about the benefits of the Agavam variety
In the shade, fruiting is slightly delayed in time. Plants do not tolerate heat well. They have an average drought resistance. Of course, in hot summer with limited watering, the berries will be sweeter, but this will affect the size of the berries. However, with waterlogging and thickening of the plantings, the bushes can be affected by didimella (purple spot), and the berries - by gray rot. Of the pests, the weevil (flower beetle) causes the greatest harm to Agavam bushes.
Diseases and pests of blackberry varieties Agavam
Didymella or purple spot develops at high humidity in thickened plantings of blackberries and raspberries. The disease is caused by the fungi Didymella applanata. Young shoots, offspring, petioles and buds of the plant are more affected. Leaves are less likely to be affected. In the initial stages of the disease, purple spots appear on the stem. Fewer flowers are formed on the plant, the ovary is not formed. The buds dry out, foci of necrosis appear on the leaves, they dry out and fall off.
Didimella affects blackberries and raspberries
To prevent purple spotting, follow agrotechnical recommendations:
- thin out the blackberry bushes;
- the sprouts that bear fruit are immediately removed after harvesting;
- weak and diseased plants are removed and destroyed in time;
- destroy weeds around bushes;
- fallen leaves are removed in autumn and burned;
- in the spring, the bushes are carefully treated with a 2% solution of copper sulfate or Bordeaux liquid.
When bushes are formed on trellises, the risk of fungal diseases is significantly reduced. In such cases, the stems are practically pounded, removing all the lower branches. And the upper part of the bush remains lush, and this does not affect the yield.
Gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) is also caused by fungi. The disease manifests itself in the form of gray rot on the berries, although all aerial plant organs are affected. Antifungal drugs are used for treatment:
- Rovral Aquaflo;
All fungicides are toxic to one degree or another for humans, warm-blooded animals and bees, therefore it is necessary to use these preparations in strict accordance with the instructions. General recommendations include the application of drugs before flowering or after, so as not to cause damage to pollinating insects, treatment in calm and not rainy weather.
The causative agent of gray rot quickly becomes resistant to a particular fungicide, therefore it is necessary to frequently change preparations or combine treatment with biological methods of control: to introduce a concentrate of competing non-pathogenic fungi Trichodermin into the soil.
Gray rot blackberry
A good effect is given by planting healthy bushes in a new place. And in areas previously affected by pathogenic fungi, vegetables are grown: nightshades, onions, garlic, herbs. Agrotechnical recommendations for the prevention of gray rot are similar to those for the prevention of didimella. With the observance of the norms of agricultural technology and regular crop rotation, it is possible to minimize losses from diseases.
Pests of blackberries and raspberries are common, but most often Agave is affected by a weevil. This beetle is 2-3 mm in size, black-brown on thin long legs. Adult female beetles lay their eggs in pedicels. Young beetle larvae devour the buds, so the yield of affected bushes decreases. The second generation of beetles appears at the end of July, feeds on leaves of host plants, and with the onset of cold weather goes to winter. Beetles hibernate in the surface layers of the soil and in fallen leaves. When eliminating plant residues under the bushes, pests are also destroyed. In case of significant damage by pests, chemical protection drugs such as Actellik are used.
Weevil is the main enemy of the blackberry Agwam
Features of planting and growing varieties
Blackberries are planted in autumn and spring. They dig planting holes 60x80 in size, 60 cm deep. Blackberries prefers well-fertilized soils, so they immediately add a bucket of humus or compost to the hole, two to three tablespoons of superphosphate, a half-liter can of ash, mix everything, plant a bush, water it and mulch it with humus on top. In the future, weeds are weeded and watered if necessary.
Video: about growing blackberries Agaves
It is important to pay attention to the formation of the bush. It is necessary to limit the growth of shoots, pinch the tops. In this case, the fruiting is greater, and the berries are larger, and the harvest is easier. Cut the bushes in the spring. When pruning in the fall, injured branches may winter worse. In the summer after harvesting, the branches that bear fruit are immediately cut out, since a new crop will be formed on the replacement shoots.
The indisputable advantages of the variety include frost resistance, thanks to which blackberry bushes winter safely without shelter. Spring frosts, aggravated by the wind, cause little trouble. But even this can be corrected by further cutting off the affected areas.
Blackberries are propagated by root suckers or by cuttings, dropping drooping branches, and later, as they take root, they are separated from the mother bush. In some cases, it is necessary to limit the especially rapid reproduction of Agavam.
Among gardeners, heated debates about the advantage of raspberries over blackberries, about the preference of growing modern thornless varieties of blackberries over prickly ones, do not fade away. All this only pleases: it means that there is a site; there is something to plant him; and there are those who are ready to consume what is grown on the site. In the season, everything is eaten, and the workpieces are simply swept away!
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