A surprisingly useful berry - garden blueberries. How to plant blueberries on your plot to always be with the harvest?
Large, sweet, slightly sour berries of garden blueberries are especially loved by children. Externally, the berries are very similar to blueberries: the same dark blue, almost black, but covered with a whitish bloom, which conceals the dark color of the berries, making it blue. Garden blueberries, unlike blueberries, do not stain skin.
In Canada, North America and European countries, garden blueberries are popular. Under its cultivation allocated significant areas. From berries prepare jams, jams, subjected to freezing. Baking with the addition of garden blueberries looks very impressive and has a pleasant taste.
Drunk a glass of freshly squeezed garden blueberry juice provides the daily rate of vitamins and trace elements necessary for the body. Berries do not cause allergies, rather, on the contrary, weaken its manifestations. The high content of vitamins, micro-and macroelements improves the state of health in general, the use of garden blueberry berries during colds due to the content of flavonoids and antioxidants is especially useful. Berries are leading in iron content, which is available in digestible form and has a low calorie content, only 40 kcal.
The benefits of eating garden blueberries are significant. Knowing this, many gardeners are not without success growing blueberries in the garden. And for those who only want to plant a plant, it is worth knowing that the cultivation of garden blueberries is a simple process, if you meet certain agrotechnical requirements and conditions for the growth of plants.
Garden blueberries grow well in sunny areas that are protected from the winds, loves sandy loam and loam, i.e. light soils that are well drained and allow oxygen to go deep. In the shade of the trees, the harvest is reduced, and the berries shrink.
The soil for blueberries should be set aside with pH 3, 5-4.5. Plants such as horsetail, mint or sorrel will tell you that the soil is acidic. Or use indicator paper to determine acidity, which can be purchased at garden stores.
Determining the acidity of the soil is important for this crop, since the plant, having no hairs on the roots for the absorption of dissolved minerals, exists in symbiosis with mycelium, which delivers food and moisture for garden blueberries. It is for mycorrhiza that acidic soil is needed. Mycorrhiza - this is the mutually beneficial existence of mycelium and plant roots.
How to increase the acidity of the soil?
Soil acidity can be improved using simple methods:
- The introduction of sulfur 40-100 g / 1 square. m of soil simultaneously with the digging of the earth, preferably a year before the planned plantings;
- The introduction of iron sulfate 50 g / 1 square. m of soil;
- The introduction of fresh peat (high) 1.2-2 kg / 1 square. m;
- Citric acid - 2 tbsp. l dilute in a bucket of water - 10 liters, pour 1 square. m of soil;
- 100 g of 9% acetic or malic acid dissolved in a bucket of water - 10 liters, use the prepared solution for watering 1 square. m of soil;
- Dissolve 40-50 ml of battery electrolyte in 10 liters of water and use 1 square meter for watering. m of soil. For acidification of the soil is suitable only new electorulite, and not spent.
Single application of solutions and fertilizers will not be enough, so during the vegetative period of the garden blueberry, repeat the application procedure 2-3 times.
If there is an opportunity to plant garden blueberries on soils that have not been developed before, then you should definitely use it, because the plant does not tolerate the presence of cultivated predecessors, but grows well after perennial herbs. Otherwise, hold the land on which you plan to plant garden blueberries, under steam for several years.
Planting is done in spring or autumn, spring is preferable, since saplings have time to adapt, and in the autumn, frost is possible, then the plants will die or freeze, and in spring such plants will have to retreat from damage.
How to plant blueberries?
If you decide on a landing site, the next question arises: how to plant blueberries correctly? Proceed as follows:
- Prepare pits, the depth of which does not exceed 0.5 m, width 60x60 cm, loosen the edges of the soil in the pit, especially if you make landings on previously uncultivated lands;
- Pour peat, river sand, sawdust, fallen needles into the prepared pit. Mix and spill with any solution to acidify the soil, add sulfur or ferrous sulfate;
- The distance between the planting pits should be at least one meter if you decide to plant garden blueberry bush varieties;
- If you purchased seedlings in a nursery or in a store where they are most often sold in any containers, be sure to place the container in water for about 20 minutes before planting. This will soften the earth com;
- Next, free the seedling from the pot or container, knead the planting substrate in which the plant is, try to gently straighten the roots, especially if they are intertwined;
- The seedling is ready for planting in a permanent place. The plant should be buried about 5 cm from the level at which it was in the pot;
- Water the seedling well, scatter the surface around it with sawdust. The use of mulch prevents the soil from drying out, from the appearance of a crust on it, which prevents the penetration of oxygen, from the appearance of weeds, and in winter it will protect it from freezing. Worms accumulate under the mulch layer and work to loosen the soil.
If you did everything correctly, then it is quite possible to receive the first harvest in the current vegetative season, of course, very modest, but which will increase every year.
In addition it matters how old the seedlings were acquired. Usually, nurseries sell 2-3-year-old plants, and garden blueberries begin to bear fruit for 3-4 years and will delight you with a rich harvest for 30 years, subject to regular care for blueberries, which includes loosening, watering, feeding, weeding.
How to care for blueberries?
Remove weed shoots, especially under young plants. To avoid frequent weeding, mulch the soil with sawdust, pine needles.
Loosening carefully, remember that the roots are at a slight depth, about 20 cm from the soil surface. Due to loosening, the inflow of oxygen to the roots increases, it is important to destroy the crust on the soil surface, if it was formed after watering or rain. Loosening can be reduced to a minimum using mulch.
Watering is extremely important when blueberries bloom and during the fruiting period. Due to lack of moisture, flowers and ovaries may fall off. However, when watering do not let the water stagnate, the bush may die. Watering blueberries should be 2 times a week, if the weather is dry.
How to feed a blueberry?
The question is relevant for gardeners. There is an opinion that planting blueberries cannot be fertilized with organic matter, that excess nitrogen has a detrimental effect on plants, therefore it is best to use complex fertilizers for heather plants, Fertilizer - Universal, Azofosku, Mortar. Carefully read the instructions on the use of fertilizers.
Plants are fed 3 times in spring and early summer, no later than the first days of July. Under one 2-year-old bush make 1 tbsp. l fertilizer in three steps. Every year the amount of fertilizer is doubled. Accordingly, under the 3-year-old bush - 2 tbsp. l., under the 4-year-old - 4 tbsp. l fertilizers and so on. For feeding blueberries there is a special fertilizer "Florovit", made in Poland.
The activities for the care of blueberries include pruning of the bush and its protection before the winter cold. In the first years of life, a young, actively growing bush does not need pruning. It is necessary to remove only damaged branches. Upon reaching 7-10 years of life, the bush must be pruned. For each plant, cut out half of the old branches. The next year, when the young shoots grow, cut the remaining old branches. In this way, the rejuvenation of the bush is carried out, otherwise, the yield will begin to decline.
If a severe winter with little snow is expected, then the blueberry should be covered with sacking, agrofibre or spruce branches, covering it with snow on top.
Garden blueberries are propagated in a vegetative way: cuttings and layering. Cuttings are harvested of two types: lignified and semi-lignified. In the first case, the cuttings are harvested from December to March. Store in the refrigerator or in the basement. Before planting, the cuttings need to be treated with preparations for better rooting, since the garden blueberries root very badly. The cuttings are planted in a greenhouse, watered and rooting for 2 months.
Semilignified cuttings harvested in June-July. To do this, cut off the upper part of the shoot together with a small piece of bark, lower leaves break off. Planted in a greenhouse for rooting for 1, 5 months.
In August, the greenhouse cover is removed, the soil around the plants is mulched, covered with agrofiber for the winter. So is the wintering of young plants.
Another way of breeding blueberries - vegetative layering. To do this, the bush branches laid on the ground, securely fixed, sprinkled with peat or sawdust. After 2-3 years, layering can take root. They should be separated from the mother bush and grow in containers up to 2 years of age. After this, plants can be planted in a permanent habitat.
With the observance of agricultural technology, most diseases can be negated. If plants receive proper care, nutrition, grow in the right conditions, then most often they grow well and do not get sick with anything. However, there are a number of conditions that gardeners cannot influence. These are adverse climatic manifestations: drought, cold snap, frequent rains.
All this can weaken garden blueberries, and weakened plants are faster affected by various diseases. Know the symptoms in order to treat in time and save the blueberry planting:
- Stem cancer is the most common disease, manifested at the very beginning in the form of red dots on the leaves. Then the dots increase in size and become brown spots that ring the stem, causing it to die. For prevention, the bushes are sprayed with Bordeaux mixture in the spring before the leaves bloom, and in the fall after they fall. For the treatment of applied fungicide "Topsin", "Champion". 15 g / 10 l of water - working solution for spraying, which are carried out at intervals of a week. Only 2 spraying before flowering, 2 - after harvesting;
- Blueberry fungal infection causes drying of the branches. It starts from the top of the shoot, which die off and twist. It is necessary to trim the damaged parts and burn them. Chemical remedies are the same as for stem cancer;
- Moniliosis of fruits affects all parts of the plant, they look as if they were damaged by frost. The affected parts of the blueberry are removed and burned. In the spring and in the fall sprayed with Bordeaux mixture;
- Gray rot also affects all parts of the blueberry, the branches become brown at first, then gray, the disease spreads from the periphery to the center, causing dying off. The methods of struggle are the same;
- White leaf spot appears as whitish or grayish spots on the leaves, which die and fall off. The leaves should be burned, planting mulch;
- If the plant is infected with viruses (dwarfism, filament, mosaic), then it should be removed and burned.
Be attentive to your plants in time to detect the first signs of the disease and start fighting it in time.
Garden blueberries can be of 2 types: tall and short. Low-growing varieties tolerate winters well, but because of the height of the bush, they have a lower index of yield per bush, compared to tall varieties. The best varieties of undersized blueberries:
- Marvelous - the variety is created on the basis of ordinary blueberry blueberry, the variety is suitable for cultivation in the Urals and in Siberia. Productivity 4 kg from a bush;
- Yurkovskaya - the variety tolerates lowering the temperature to -40 degrees, yield up to 2 kg from a bush, it is recommended to grow blueberries of the variety Yurkovskaya in the Urals and in Siberia;
- Northblyu - the variety has high frost resistance, is resistant to diseases, the height of the bush is not more than 1 m. Large berries ripen in early August;
- Nortkantri - compact medium-sized bush, yield 2 kg per bush, berries ripen in late July - early August;
- Northland - a variety resistant to severe frosts, bush height up to 1 m, medium-sized berries, but very sweet, ripen from mid-July.
The low yield of low-growing varieties is compensated by the excellent taste of berries, compact size of the bush, and increased resistance to frost.
Varieties of tall garden blueberries:
- Blurs - a richly fruiting variety of blueberry, resistant to freezing, bush height up to 1.8 m, berries are sweet, large, tolerate transportation well, ripen in late July;
- Patriot - variety resistant to diseases, berries ripen in mid-July, the height of the bush up to 2 m;
- Blyukrop - grade resistant to frost, pests, diseases. The height of the bush is up to 2 m, the berries ripen from July to August;
- Herbert - a variety of late ripening berries in mid-August, very large berries, bush height up to 2.2 m;
- Duke - variety resistant to frost, yield up to 6 kg per bush, berries ripen in mid-July, bush height up to 1.8 m.
Tall varieties of garden blueberries have good yields, are adapted to adverse climatic conditions, resistant to diseases.