When to collect chokeberry for homemade preparations

 When to collect chokeberry for homemade preparations

Blackberry berries are used to make homemade wine and liqueurs, they are dried for the winter for medicinal purposes, preserves, compotes and jams are prepared. But for all this, berries of different ripeness are required, so it is important to know under what conditions and when to collect chokeberry.

Ripening period and collection rules

Blackberry is a recognized drug in folk and traditional medicine

Chokeberry or black chokeberry is not only an ornamental shrub of our gardens and plots. Closer to autumn, a harvest of berries begins to ripen on it, which, if not harvested, can remain on the branches until spring. This is where the question arises: at what time are the berries considered ripe, and at what time should they be removed?

The exact recommendations for the timing of harvesting depend on the purpose of the harvested berries and the purpose of their use. Chokeberry does not have a delicious aroma or mouth-watering taste, but this berry is very useful and even medicinal. It is effectively used in cooking in the preparation of desserts and baked goods, added to sauces, and is part of fruit juices and jams. The slightly tart taste of rowan fruits brings exquisite notes to many dishes and drinks. In addition, black chokeberry is a recognized drug in folk and traditional medicine. It has anti-inflammatory, choleretic and diuretic effects, reduces allergic symptoms, and helps with high blood pressure. Its use helps to remove radionuclides and heavy metals from the body. And in order to take full advantage of these taste and medicinal properties, you need to harvest the crop on time and use it correctly.

Advice! For picking berries, only enameled, glass or plastic dishes are used, since containers made of galvanized steel or aluminum adversely affect the taste of the fruit.

The blackberry is harvested as follows - with shears or scissors, the umbrella inflorescences are cut off with a whole branch, and then, if necessary, the berries are separated from the stalks (they can not be sorted out if the raw materials are prepared for wine). This method of harvesting is much more productive than picking each berry separately. In addition, a tree freed from brushes recovers faster, and berries missed during normal harvesting and remaining for the winter can become a breeding ground for infections in the spring. The harvested crop must be immediately recycled in order to preserve the maximum of nutrients.

The harvested crop must be immediately recycled

Berries for homemade preparations

One-component preserves and compotes are prepared from black chokeberry, or they are included in the fruit and berry assortment. The berries begin to fill in with the color of the berries in August, but their taste is very tart and astringent. Ripening continues until the end of September, and by this time the fruits become much juicier and sweeter, but still there is astringency in them. If the berries are planned to be added to add color, for example, to apple or pear compotes, then they can be harvested in early autumn, without waiting for full ripeness. A handful of dense, black rowan berries will decorate the bright marrow or melon jam and give them a special piquant taste.

A handful of dense, black rowan berries will decorate the bright marrow or melon jam and give them a special piquant taste.

If you are planning one-component harvesting from chokeberry, then you should postpone the harvest and leave it until the first frost. In the middle lane, this period falls on October, when the nighttime drop in temperature will soften the taste of the berries, make them even juicy, sweet, and the astringency will almost disappear. It is worth trying a few berries to decide whether it is already suitable for harvesting or you can still leave them to "ripen" in the freezer.

Here is one of the recipes for healthy, aromatic and vitamin-rich blackberry and lemon jam.


  • sorted out chokeberry berries - 1 kg;
  • sugar - 1.2 kg;
  • lemon - 2 pcs;
  • water - 0.5 l.

Video tutorials on growing and caring for chokeberry

The water is brought to a boil, a glass of sugar is added. After boiling, add a glass of berries, as soon as it boils again - again a glass of sugar and so on, until everything is over. At the end, pour in the sliced ​​lemon, cut into cubes with the peel and boil everything, stirring, for another five minutes. The finished jam is laid out in sterile jars, hermetically distributed in syrup, sealed and left upside down until it cools completely. The advantages of this cooking method are that the consistency of the resulting jam will be uniform.

Collection of blackberries for drying and for liqueurs

Properly dried rowan berries are stored for a long time in room conditions. They are used as a medicinal product for daily consumption, as well as for preparing various drinks in winter or as a filling for pies.

Video recipe for rowan tincture

For drying, take only well-ripened fruits, preferably after frost, so that the berries lose their astringency and become sweet. Rowan is dried in the sun, in the oven, in a special dryer and even in the microwave. It does not matter which method to choose, but the main thing in this process is a low temperature so that the berries do not bake, but dry out gradually, retaining all the useful substances in themselves.

By the end of October, when the berries become juicy and soft, you can start collecting raw materials for making homemade wine. Experienced housewives recommend harvesting after rain, which not only washes away dust and debris, but also knocks down bad berries - dry or spoiled. Don't wait for a noticeable drop in autumn temperatures. Frozen fruits are not suitable for wine, because they initially contain a lot of tannins that prevent fermentation, and freezing further reduces the activity of these processes.

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When to pick chokeberry

There is no specific time for harvesting the chokeberry. The timing depends on the climatic characteristics of your region, as well as on what exactly you are going to use the berries for. If you plan to make a liqueur or add blackberries to canned compotes, then you need to harvest at the stage of technical ripeness. That is, the berries should be a little unripe. Well, if you plan to make jam or preserves from it, prepare jelly, juice, wine or dry it for further use in winter, then you have to wait until the chokeberry is fully ripe.

The berries are still firmly held in the hands, so you don't have to worry about shedding them. The main thing is that the ripe treats are not gnawed by the birds by this time. Many gardeners even start collecting chokeberry, like ordinary rowan, after the first frost, giving the berries a special sweetness. This is especially recommended in cases where the chokeberry is supposed to be dried.

It is useful to prepare fortifying infusions from dried black berries in winter. To do this, pour 2 tablespoons of the fruit with a glass of boiling water, insist in a thermos and drink 3 times a day, a third of the glass before meals.

For the treatment of blood vessels, it is useful to use chokeberries rubbed with sugar (700 g of sugar per 1 kg of berries). This mixture keeps well in the refrigerator and is delicious. But, of course, this remedy must be carefully used by patients with diabetes mellitus.

For this, cherry leaves (about 100 g) are boiled for about 5 minutes, then cooled to room temperature. The berries are poured with this infusion and allowed to settle for 8 hours. Then the berries are taken out, on the basis of this infusion, a syrup is made, in which the jam is cooked. 1 kg of blackberry requires 1 kg of sugar and 700 g of water.

A variant of such blackberry jam:

Reproduction of chokeberry by layering

Chokeberry can be effectively propagated by the diversion method. For this, arc or horizontal basal shoots of the first year of life are chosen. Their amount depends on the type of shrub and the amount of nutrients in the soil. To propagate a plant, 5 shoots are enough. It is no longer necessary to dig in, so as not to greatly deplete the mother bush.

Selected shoots for breeding blackberry are shortened by 2-3 cm, after which they are tilted to the ground and cracked. In this place, new roots are formed. The layers are pinned and covered with fertile soil. It will take several months to propagate a shrub in this way. Root formation is slow. During the season, the shoots of the black chokeberry will take root well. During this period, they are well looked after, watered regularly.

How to properly prune chokeberry

Summer residents who do not have certain skills injure the bushes when pruning. It should be remembered that after pruning, you do not need to leave the stumps on the bush. This is necessary to avoid damaging the plant with fungal diseases.

When carrying out the formation, it is necessary to follow three principles:

  1. All obsolete and old branches should be cut off. They can be distinguished from new ones by the bark, which hangs in shreds and in short growths that have nodes.
  2. Diseased branches should be removed to the base, without leaving even small stumps.
  3. Pruning must be done efficiently. Shrubs tend to build up green mass without laying buds of growth. For a good cut, you need to use the right tools.

A set of tools should be in every gardener and include a garden pruner. For such tools, the blade is usually curved and is 3 cm in diameter. The pruner can be used when harvesting. Aronia is rarely harvested one berry at a time, usually cut off immediately with seed fruits. This is not difficult to do. The main thing is not to remove the ringlets. This can leave the grower without a crop.

Blackberry berries are stored in a cool room in wooden boxes. Usually the shelf life is about 2 months. Gardeners use chokeberry as a rootstock for grafting on pear and some varieties of mountain ash.

Additional tools and materials for the care of chokeberry in autumn and spring:

  • garden saw, necessary for removing old branches
  • garden pitch, oil paint or charcoal are used to process saw cuts

Tools must be sharpened and decontaminated before use. If the instruments are blunt, the cut will turn out to be grinded. If you use untreated tools, there is a high risk of introducing infection into the plant.

Terms of collection by region

For regions with a temperate climate, where frosts come according to the calendar, the time of the late harvest of the black chokeberry falls on October

Harvesting chokeberry. Illustration for the article is used from the site

In the south and in the middle lane, the berries ripen already in the middle or at the end of September.

Blackberry ripening by region:

  1. Moscow region and middle zone - mid-October.
  2. Ural, Siberia - early November.
  3. North-West (Leningrad, Vologda) - early November.

The general rule for all: full ripening of berries occurs within 2.5-3 months from the appearance of flowers.

How to transplant

It is necessary to remember a simple rule - the younger the shrub, the easier it will tolerate a transplant or division. Therefore, if you plan to move the plant, you should not postpone, then the blackberry will quickly take root and the damage from the transplant will be minimal. But if necessary, work can be carried out with adult specimens, the process will be complicated due to the large size and weight of the aboveground and root parts.

Find a place

There are a number of things to consider when choosing a location. If placed in violation of the recommendations, the growth will deteriorate, the yield will drop significantly. It is better to plan the location in advance in order to free up space and remove anything that interferes with work. The features are as follows:

  1. Sod-podzolic or loamy soil is preferable. On poor soils, it is necessary to periodically apply top dressing, on nutritious soils, this is done much less often. With increased acidity, it is imperative to add slaked lime or dolomite flour. Repeat the treatment every 3-4 years. Saline lands are undesirable; chokeberry grows poorly on them.
  2. The depth of the groundwater is at least one meter. The root system is of a surface type, the bulk of the processes is located at a depth of no more than half a meter. Therefore, shrubs can be planted even where other crops cannot grow normally. At the same time, it is important that water does not stand in the spring; it is better to avoid lowlands.
  3. If there is a lack of moisture, water the mountain ash, especially in the absence of precipitation during the period of setting and ripening of berries. Lack of water leads to crushing of fruits, deterioration of their taste.
  4. The plant should be lit for most of the day. Only slight shading is allowed. If buildings or neighboring trees cover the sun, the shoots will stretch upward, thinner, and the fruits will ripen several times less.
  5. It is allowed to form a hedge from shrubs or use them in group plantings. In this case, it is necessary to plant at a distance of no more than a meter from each other in order to get a solid fence.
  6. Be located at least 3 meters from other trees and plants. When planted close, crops can compete for food and lighting. It is better to provide free space, especially since the chokeberry will grow strongly over time.

Nearby, you can break beds, it is also permissible to make flower beds or sow lawn grass. It is worth choosing a place, taking into account the movement of transport, it is better to step back a little further so that later the branches do not scratch the car and block the passage.

How to choose a plant for transplant

This applies to situations when you can choose an option for moving or you need to choose which bush to divide. How quickly the chokeberry will take root depends on the correct choice. There is nothing complicated here, it is worth remembering a few recommendations:

  1. Choose small plants if possible. The smaller they are, the easier it is to adapt. The optimal options are 2-3 years old, they have already grown stronger, but at the same time they have not yet grown much.
  2. When buying a seedling or digging it up in a nursery, pay attention to the condition of the aboveground part and the root system. There should be no folds on the bark, this indicates a lack of moisture in the wood. The length of the roots is not less than 20 cm, except for 2-3 strong main processes, the presence of small roots is mandatory. There should be no foci of rot or fungus.
  3. If the bush divides, then it is impossible to pick up a plant with a large number of shoots, it is impossible to plant one shoot at a time. In case of severe damage to the aerial part or a large number of dry branches, it is better not to transplant the chokeberry.
  4. When transporting, it is advisable to dig up the roots with soil, pack this part in a damp burlap. Wrap open ones with a damp cloth to prevent drying out. It is advisable to divide the shrub before planting, transport it as a whole, so much more moisture is retained.
  5. Inspect the ground part carefully. Choose according to the condition of the bark, the number of processes and size. Do this in the spring or autumn, when there are no leaves and you can see the whole plant. Pay attention to the root collar, there should be no rot and damage.

If you need to multiply the black chokeberry, then it's easy to do: buy one or more seedlings, plant it on the site. And after 2-3 years, divide the bushes and place where needed. So, in a few years it is easy to get a lot of planting material with minimal cash costs.

How to prepare a landing pit

Ideally, work should be done six months before the chokeberry is transplanted to a new location. This will provide the best effect.But you can prepare a hole in 1-2 days, if you do everything correctly, then in this case the tree will normally take root. Follow a few simple guidelines:

  1. In the chosen place, dig a hole with a diameter of 50 to 80 cm and a depth of 50-60 cm. Set aside a fertile layer and ordinary sand in different directions. With increased acidity of the soil, it is easiest to add dolomite flour or lime to the bottom in an even layer.
  2. Prepare a nutrient mixture of 2 parts of humus or rotted manure and 1 part of fertile soil. If the clay content in the soil is high, add 1 part peat. Pour in 300-500 g of wood ash and 150-200 g of superphosphate, mix well.
  3. If there is a danger of a strong rise in the groundwater level in the spring, make the depth 20 cm deeper. Pour a drainage layer at the bottom, use stones, broken brick or large crushed stone for it. Spread evenly over the entire area of ​​the pit.
  4. When preparing the pit six months before work, fill it with a nutrient mixture by ¾ of its volume. Spill with water so that the composition is compacted, tamp well. Top up with soil from the garden, make a small elevation, since the surface will sag in any case. After a month, a depression may form, add more earth for leveling.
  5. If cooked just before transplanting, then fill it about halfway with the nutrient mixture. Pour with water to seal, pour a layer of garden soil 10-15 cm thick on top.

With a large root part, the pit may be larger in diameter. It is important that during transplantation the processes are straightened and not kinked. It is advisable not to place the planting site next to ditches or artificial reservoirs, as they draw moisture from the soil around.

How to transplant

Carry out work only when the plant is in a state of biological dormancy, that is, in autumn or spring. Pick a time when the average daily temperature is about 10 degrees or a little less, and there is no frost at night. To collect everything you need so as not to be distracted from the process, the step-by-step instructions are as follows:

  1. Prepare the instance to be moved. Usually, the mountain ash is dug around, leaving a lump of earth with a diameter of 50 cm to a meter, depending on the size of the bush. The depth of the dug trench is about half a meter. Then gently loosen it, while not destroying the soil lump.
  2. Place 2-3 crowbars or other levers on one side under the lower part. Raise the root part, then do the same from the other edge, tear off all the processes that go deeper.
  3. Using the same levers, carefully remove the soil ball onto a surface covered with a thick film or any other durable material. If the chokeberry needs to be transported, then wrap the root part with wet burlap, fix it and load it into the transport, being careful not to damage the above-ground part. To make it more compact, the easiest way is to collect all the shoots in a bunch and tie.
  4. When moving a plant within a site, the easiest way is to drag it on a film, sheet of tin or a cart. At the same time, try not to damage the clod of earth, it is better to wrap it with film for reliability.
  5. When preparing the pit before transplanting, check the depth, the root collar should be flush with the soil or slightly lower, but not more than 2 cm.After that, align the tree, it should be in the middle and stand upright, without tilting to one side.
  6. If the bush is divided into parts, then gently shake off the soil from the roots. Cut so that each piece has at least 3 strong processes and many small roots. Sprinkle all divisions with fine wood ash or treat with a solution of potassium permanganate to protect against infection.
  7. In a previously prepared hole, make a depression slightly larger than the root part. Be sure to check the location of the root collar before planting.
  8. Pour 2-3 buckets of water into the hole if the soil is dry. There is enough moisture - you don't have to do it. Place the tree, fill the empty space with the nutrient mixture. Spill it with water to seal it, tamp it well. Add more primer if necessary.
  9. Make a small furrow along the diameter of the trunk circle for moisture accumulation. And the surface is best mulched with peat or humus. This will provide additional nutrition and also reduce the evaporation of moisture from the ground. Renew mulch about once a month.

It is advisable to transplant in the morning or evening, when there is no bright sun. On cloudy days, work can be done whenever you want. If the root part is open, before covering it with earth, be sure to spread all the processes and evenly distribute them over the entire diameter of the hole.

Watch the video: Chokecherries: How to find, harvest u0026 prepare