Blackberry is an edible fruit consumed across the globe. It is consumed raw and also used in many baked items, salads, and many other recipes. Although it is quite as popular as strawberries and blueberries, blackberries have a lot of nutrients to offer.
Throughout history, they have been used for their health and therapeutic benefits.
For starters, blackberries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc. They have a high amount of antioxidants that reduce the risk of many diseases, thus boosting your immune system.
Furthermore, consuming blackberries regularly also benefits the digestive system, thanks to the high content of soluble and insoluble fiber.
With that out of the way, blackberries must be planted and picked properly for the best taste. They are sweet and juicy, so there is something wrong if they taste sour.
So, why do some blackberries taste sweet while others are sour? Do growing conditions affect their taste? How should you grow blackberries for a sweet taste ? That would be the premise of our today’s discussion. Let’s dig deeper!
Why Are My Blackberries Sour?
Below are some reasons why some blackberries have a sour taste.
- Pick Them Right
Blackberries tend to be bitter at the start, and then they develop a sweet taste as they age. So, harvesting too early is one of the primary reasons why some blackberries are sour.
There are some fruits that ripen after being harvested. However, blackberries develop their taste in the wine, and once you pick them, their taste will remain the same.
But how do you know if the blackberries have ripened? They all are black and look pretty much the same. Well, you will need to have a close look at their color before picking them. If it has developed a dark black color and is not shiny, it has perfectly ripened.
If they all appear the same, consider picking one blackberry and tasting it. If it tastes sour, it means that they still need some time to ripen.
Apart from that, perfectly ripened blackberries will easily come off. So, if you have to pick them forcefully, it is an indication that they have not ripened yet and have a sour taste.
So, consider checking them again after five to seven days. Be mindful that they will have the same taste once they have been picked. So, make sure that they have ripened before harvesting.
It is advised to harvest blackberries early in the morning for sweet taste. Once you have harvested them, put them in a container and keep the container in a cool, dry place.
You can refrigerate them right away after harvesting. This will help them retain their sugar content. And yes, wash them just before eating. When harvested and stored this way, they will likely taste sweet.
- Weather Conditions
The taste of blackberries also depends on weather conditions. If your area has a dry climate and does not receive much rain, they will likely develop a sour taste. If that’s the case, you will have to water them regularly to make sure they have enough water intake.
For best taste, blackberry plants must be moist all the time during their first three weeks. The amount of water varies depending on the season. Blackberry plants need around 1-2 inches of water per week in the growing season.
On the other hand, they require approximately 10 inches of water in the harvesting season. So, you will need to water them more frequently during harvesting season.
However, it is important to note that too much water can also be bad for the blackberries as it may cause them to lose their taste. So, be careful while watering plants and make sure not to overflood them. Consider checking the soil of the blackberry plants before watering them.
If it feels moist, do not water them just yet. Soil moisture meters are also available in the market that help you determine whether the soil has enough water or not. These meters are readily available all over the world. So, if you do not have one, visit your nearby superstore, and you may find one there.
Blackberries come in different strains. Some tend to have more seeds on them and taste sour. Fortunately, that can easily be figured out by taking a look at them. If you notice more seeds on the outer surface, it signifies that they are sour.
Nutrient deficiency in soil is another common reason for sour blackberries. The good thing about the blackberry plants is that they do not require much care. However, they still need nutrients from the soil for proper growth and sweet taste.
These nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, and many more. If the soil lacks those nutrients, your blackberry plants will not thrive, despite watering.
So, how to overcome the nutrient deficiency in the soil to ensure optimal growth of your blackberry plants? This is where fertilizers come in handy. For those who don’t know, fertilizer is an artificial substance containing essential elements, such as nitrogen, that improve soil fertility.
Don’t start fertilizing your blackberry plants right away after planting them. Wait for at least three weeks after they have been planted. It is a good idea to fertilize your plants in the early spring.
Applying the fertilizer is a simple process as you only need to spread it on top of the soil.
But how often should you fertilize your blackberry plants? While some people recommend fertilizing once a year, some farmers believe that they require more frequent fertilizing (three times a year). Check their leaves and see if the plants are fruiting well. If they are, you don’t need to fertilize them.
In addition to that, the soil must have the right pH to grow blackberry plants. Soil pH is a measure of the concentration of the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. For the best results, the soil pH must be acidic and somewhere between 5.5-6.5.
If you are unsure whether your soil is acidic or basic, consider doing a soil test. If it is too acidic or basic, you will have to add certain elements to make it suitable for plant growth.
If you have bitter blackberries, you can add sugar to reduce their bitterness. You can use them to make jams, smoothies, and baked items. Mixing them with other sweet fruits will also reduce their sourness.
You can also dip sour blackberries in a sweetener, such as honey to fix your sour blackberries. Moreover, baking sour blackberries can also sweeten them.
Blackberries do not have a long shelf life and only last around two to three days when stored in a refrigerator. After that, they will begin to rot. So, consider consuming them soon to prevent them from rotting.
However, you can freeze them to extend their shelf life. Frozen blackberries are safe to consume for up to nine months.
The Bottom Line
Blackberries are a nutritional powerhouse as they come with tons of nutrients. They are loved for their sweet taste. However, they can also taste bitter for some reason.
If they have not ripened enough or watered properly, they will likely taste sour. We have outlined all the reasons why blackberries may develop a sour taste.