Our blackberry culture has been undeservedly deprived of attention for many years. Those varieties that were sometimes grown on personal plots were often tasteless, prickly, moreover, they did not have time to ripen before the onset of frost, even in the conditions of the Middle Strip. Therefore, gardeners are delighted with every new product entering the domestic market. The attention is drawn to the varieties created in Europe. They are better suited for growing in our conditions than North American ones. It is worth paying attention to the Polish blackberry variety Polar.
The bushy blackberry Polar was created at the Polish Institute of Horticulture, located in Brzezn. It was registered in 2008. Polish blackberry breeders consider the creation of varieties that do not require shelter for the winter as one of the main tasks.
Description of berry culture
Originally, the Polar blackberry variety was created as an industrial variety. But thanks to the high quality of berries and unpretentious care, he took root in private gardens and summer cottages.
General understanding of the variety
The Polar blackberry is a typical kumanika. Its powerful shoots grow straight, at an adult bush they reach 2.5-2.7 m in length. The ends of uncut lashes may droop - this is not a cause for concern, but a varietal feature.
The shoots of the Polar blackberry are thornless. Young lashes are bright green at first, turning light brown by the end of the season. Fruiting (annual) shoots are brown, their cross section resembles a flattened circle.
Leaves are rich green, large, consist of three or five segments. The root system is powerful. The Polar variety hardly forms overgrowths.
White large flowers open in early May. Polar blackberries are large, dense, mostly even, weighing 9-11 g. The first fruits are the largest. The shape of the berry is beautiful, oval, the color is black, with a glossy sheen.
The taste of blackberries is sweet, but not sugary, with a barely noticeable sourness and a pleasant aroma, absolutely without bitterness. This is one rare occasion when the tasting score and the fan reviews coincided, Polar berries received 4.5 points.
The characteristics of the Polar blackberry make it possible to grow it both in the south and in the northern regions. Add to this the unpretentiousness and high quality of berries, surprising even for this culture, and you get an almost ideal variety for private gardens or industrial plantations.
Gardeners' reviews of the Polar blackberry coincide with the description of the variety given by its creators. Perhaps this is due to the fact that it was bred in a neighboring state and is intended for growing on an industrial scale. For us, as well as for Poles, this means easy maintenance - on a large plantation it is difficult to pay attention to each bush.
Drought resistance of the Polar variety is high. But do not forget that the blackberry culture is demanding for watering. Do not overdry the soil if you want to get a good harvest.
Polish selection is aimed at breeding blackberries that do not require shelter for the winter. The Polar variety is one of the most resistant to frost. Experts recommend covering it only in areas where the temperature is kept below -23⁰C for a long time and argue that Polar is able to withstand short-term drops to -30⁰C.
Important! Blackberry Polar in the Moscow region requires a mandatory shelter.
But not everything is so simple. Gardeners-practitioners argue that if the powerful shoots devoid of thorns are still covered (and this is not so easy), the yield of Polar blackberries will increase 3-5 times. The thing is that the whips can withstand low temperatures well, but the flower buds freeze slightly. So think for yourself.
The variety is undemanding to soils (in comparison with other blackberries). The berries are well transported.
Flowering period and ripening time
Polar blackberries bloom in early or mid-May, depending on the region and weather conditions. The first berries ripen around mid-July - the variety belongs to the medium early.
Yield indicators, fruiting dates
The Polar variety enters full fruiting in the third year after planting. Harvesting begins in mid-July and continues until the end of September.
It is believed that 3 to 5 kg of berries can be harvested from one 3-5-year-old bush in Poland. The Polar variety will become a high-yielding variety if you cover it for the winter. As noted above, its flower buds freeze slightly, which can reduce the number of berries by 3-5 times.
Why is Polar BlackBerry so popular? Industrial plantings are made compacted, moreover, harvesting by machines is possible. No human resources or finances are spent on winter shelter, so growing Polar blackberries is economically viable. And in private gardens, you can plant bushes more freely, and cover them for the winter - this is the variety and will give a decent harvest.
Scope of berries
Polar blackberries, in addition to their excellent taste, do not wrinkle, are well stored and have high transportability. This allows them to be supplied to retail chains for fresh consumption, frozen for the winter, made juices, jams, wine and other preparations from fruits.
Disease and pest resistance
Blackberry variety Polar rarely gets sick and has its own strong immunity to disease. This does not override preventive treatments. They are especially important on industrial plantations, where the cultivation of Polar blackberries implies a heavily thickened planting.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantages and disadvantages of the Polar blackberry variety have been studied quite well in our conditions, despite the fact that it was bred only in 2008. The positive qualities of this cultivar significantly outweigh the negative ones:
- Large beautiful berry.
- Good taste.
- High commercial quality of fruits, including transportability.
- The ability to grow crops without shelter.
- The Polar variety is one of the most winter-hardy.
- Shoots are devoid of thorns.
- There is very little root growth.
- The possibility of thickened landings.
- The Polar blackberry variety has performed well as an industrial crop and in private gardens.
- High resistance to diseases and pests.
- The possibility of mechanized harvesting.
- High yields can be achieved by covering the shoots for the winter.
- Polar is one of the easiest varieties to care for.
There are few disadvantages:
- In the Middle Lane, blackberries still have to be covered.
- The shoots are powerful, which makes it difficult to prepare for winter in cold regions.
- If the blackberries are not covered, at low temperatures some of the flower buds will freeze.
- There is little root growth, which makes it difficult for fans to breed the variety.
Polar is easy to propagate with apical shoots (pulping). True, for this you will have to work hard, tilting the selected shoot of kumanik from an early age. There is almost no root growth. The green cuttings are thick and prone to decay - you need to cut a lot of branches to get a few young plants. You can divide an adult bush.
Planting and caring for Polar blackberries is not a problem even for a novice gardener. To make your life easier, you just need to follow the existing rules.
In warmer regions, Polar blackberries are planted in the fall when the heat subsides. Before the onset of frost, the bushes have time to take root and adapt, and in the spring they immediately grow.
The Polar blackberry in the Middle Lane and the Moscow region is planted in the spring, when the soil warms up a little, and there is no danger that the returned cold will freeze the soil and damage the root that has not had time to adapt.
Choosing the right place
A flat area is chosen for industrial planting, so that it is easier for the technician to pass. In private gardens, a sunny, sheltered place from strong winds is suitable for the Polar variety. Groundwater should not approach the surface closer than 1-1.5 m.
The best soil is a weakly acidic loam rich in organic matter.
Planting holes are dug 50x50x50 cm in size, filled by 2/3 with a fertile mixture and filled with water. Then they are allowed to settle for 10-14 days. A fertile mixture is prepared from the upper fertile soil layer, a bucket of humus, 40-50 g of potash fertilizers and 120-150 g of phosphorus fertilizers.
If the soil on the site is too acidic, lime is added to it. Dense soil is improved with sand, alkaline or neutral - with different doses of sour peat, dense - with additional portions of organic matter.
Selection and preparation of seedlings
Try to buy seedlings from trusted producers - this is less likely that you will be cheated with a variety. The ripe bark of the Polar blackberry is brown, with no thorns. The root system should be developed, not damaged and smell fresh.
Pre-planting preparation - watering container blackberries or soaking an open root for 12 hours.
Algorithm and scheme of landing
Industrial plantings are compacted up to 0.9-1 m, and in Poland, with intensive fertilizing, even up to 0.8 m.In private gardens, if possible, the distance between Polar blackberry bushes is made 1.5-2 m - for yield and quality berries, this will have a positive effect. 2.5 m is left in the row spacing.
Landing is carried out in the following sequence:
- The blackberry is shortened to 15-20 cm.
- In the center of the planting pit, a mound is formed, around which the roots are spread.
- The pit is covered with a fertile mixture, deepening the root collar by 1.5-2 cm, and compacted.
- The surface is mulched, the bush is watered with at least 10 liters of water.
Follow-up care of the culture
After planting, a young plant is watered twice a week. Further care is not particularly difficult.
It is imperative to tie up the Polar Blackberry. Any tapestry will do that you are used to - multi-row, T-shaped, fan. It is convenient to tie up the annual growth on one side, and the young one on the other.
The following factors affect the yield:
- the intensity of the dressing;
- whether the blackberry hid for the winter;
- pinching young shoots;
- watering in dry weather.
Polar blackberries are watered in the absence of rain, especially in hot weather. Do not forget that the culture is hygrophilous - it is better to pour out an extra bucket of water here than to dry out the root.
The Polar variety is undemanding for top dressing, but if they are absent, the harvest will suffer. In early spring, blackberries are fertilized with nitrogen, at the beginning of flowering - with a full mineral complex, after fruiting - with potassium monophosphate. The culture reacts very well to foliar feeding.
If you carefully watch the video dedicated to the Polar variety: you will see that some of the leaves are yellow with green veins. This is chlorosis that affects blackberries on neutral and alkaline soils. She lacks iron. It is easy to cope with the misfortune by adding iron chelate to the balloon during foliar dressing, or even better a chelate complex.
Be sure to loosen the blackberries at the beginning and end of the season. In the middle of the growing season, the soil is mulched with red (high-moor) peat. It acidifies the soil, thanks to its fibrous structure, it allows air to pass through and retains moisture. In addition, peat prevents weeds from germinating in large quantities.
After the shoots finish fruiting, they are immediately cut off. Do not delay it so that in the time remaining before the onset of frost, the wood on the young lashes ripens better.
Depending on the planting scheme, 4-7 lashes are left for fruiting. For better branching, side shoots are pinched when they reach 40-45 cm. All broken, weak and growing in the "wrong" direction are cut out.
Preparing for winter
Although the Polar variety was created on purpose, as not a covering, in all regions, except for the south of Ukraine and Russia, it is better to insulate the shoots. In areas where frosts below 15 degrees are rare, the root can be earthed, and the whips can be covered with agrofibre right on the trellis. Then it will remain to ensure that during possible rains with a subsequent decrease in temperature, the covering material does not turn pale.
In other regions, you will have to work hard - remove the shoots from the trellis, pin them to the ground. Then build a shelter out of spruce branches, straw, dry corn stalks, agrovolkna or dry soil.
Diseases and pests: methods of control and prevention
The Polar blackberry variety has a high resistance to pests and diseases. In spring and autumn, the bush should be sprayed with a preparation containing copper as a preventive measure. Do not plant nightshade crops, strawberries or raspberries closer than 50 m from the blackberries.
The Polar blackberry variety has established itself as promising, high-yielding and low-maintenance. His berries are tasty and can be transported well. The Polar blackberry is recommended for cultivation in private gardens and as an industrial crop.
Elizaveta Igorevna Muromtseva, 35 years old, Saratov
We were persuaded to buy a blackberry of the Polish variety Polar in the nursery. At first, my husband and I doubted whether we had made the right choice, but when we saw the first berries, we were simply amazed at their size. Their taste is delicious - sweet, aromatic, there is just enough acid so that the fruits do not seem sugary. Starting from the third year, you can not only taste the berries, but also have enough to eat.
Evgeny Viktorovich Luchnikov, 55 years old, Zaraysk
I have a Polar blackberry growing in my dacha. I am very pleased with her, only I bought the variety, as it did not require shelter, so in the very first winter the bush almost died. It's good that I walked away. Now every autumn I remove shoots from the trellis, tie, bend, cover with spruce branches and spunbond. Our frosts are not for the Polish variety. And Polar's berries are huge, sweet, and the harvest is good.