Recently, in many gardens, you can see the blueberry bushes. The large berries of this shrub have a blue color and a pleasant taste. However, its cultivation requires a number of works, since this crop produces a good harvest only if it is properly cared for. But if everything is done correctly, you will be able to enjoy amazingly tasty and healthy berries.
How to fertilize blueberries
Before you begin feeding, you need to know the variety of blueberry growing on the site. It can be: marshy, tall, undersized.
These garden varieties are grown by American breeders, but in the latter case, the shrub is more resistant to frost and drought. That is why most often it is chosen for landing in our climate.
You should know that this garden shrub needs periodic fertilization, however, their surplus may adversely affect it. Before making should consider several factors:
- soil acidity
- age of the plant
- condition of mulch (sawdust),
- watering frequency
- the amount of nitrogen in the soil.
If the shrub grows on the beds, it is not necessary to examine the soil and analyze it. In this case, it is enough to look at the harvest of berries. But despite this, the procedure should be carried out every few years, determining the trace elements in the soil, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, calcium.
However, such studies in laboratory conditions are conducted, as a rule, only by large farms. The question arises, how to feed blueberries. Important to do that suitable fertilizer for blueberries and stick to a number of other rules.
It is necessary to add fertilizer to the soil in doses, as the surplus may affect the number of berries. You can learn about its high concentration by periodically monitoring the condition of the shrub.
The best option is feeding ammonium sulfate. It is best suited for blueberries, but you need to make it in several stages:
- During the movement of juice in the amount of 40% of the annual amount.
- In the first week of May - 35%.
- In June - 25%.
It is important to note that if sawdust is used as mulch, a dose of fertilizer should be double up. This procedure using nitrogen fertilizers is performed only in these months. And also it is necessary to remember that regular addition of fertilizers is necessary only for tall blueberries, its other varieties do not require such frequent “feeding”.
Only mineral compounds should be used to feed the shrub. It is recommended to use phosphorus, nitrogen or potassium. The use of organic fertilizers can cause alkalization of the soil, and this can lead to the death of the plant.
To find out what kind of fertilizer should be used for feeding, you can color foliage or growth rate blueberries, if the shrub saw dead branches, modified leaves. The lack of certain fertilizers in the soil can be determined by the following features:
- Nitrogen. Its shortage affects the growth of the plant, and the foliage becomes yellow. Too low level of this fertilizer can be identified by the yellow color of the whole bush and reddening leaves.
- Phosphorus. In this case, the leaves become purple and pressed against the stem.
- Potassium. Its low concentration in the soil will affect the tops of new shoots and the dying tips of the foliage.
- Sulfur. The leaves of the plant become pale or white.
- Calcium. The shape of the foliage changes when deformed, and the edges turn yellow.
- Magnesium. Its deficiency is also reflected in the foliage, the edges of which acquire a red tint.
- Iron. The leaves turn yellow and you can see a green net on them.
- Boron. The growth of shoots slows down or stops, and the foliage acquires a barely noticeable blue color.
Only mineral compounds should be used for fertilizer, as the use of organic matter in the form of compost or manure can cause the death of a garden shrub.
As mineral supplements for blueberries, various elements are used in the spring. One of the most sought after - nitrogen fertilizer. Nitrogen is the most important and necessary element that is responsible for the growth of the bush and the number of fruits on its branches.
In the case of nitrogen deficiency, fruits are formed in smaller sizes and in small quantities. For tillage usually urea appliedSome types of nitrate or ammonium sulphate.
Fertilize shrubs should be carefully, so that fertilizers dissolved in water do not fall on blueberry leaves. It is necessary to irrigate the soil, the resulting composition, around the plant more than 15 cm away. If granular fertilizers are used, it is better to use them when planting a shrub, carefully sprinkling the soil at the planting site.
Excessive use of nitrogen can adversely affect both the bush and the size and taste of its fruits. An overabundance of this fertilizer leads to an intensive growth of the plant, and with the onset of autumn its leaves remain bright green and become elongated. As a result, the plant energy is not enough for the formation and growth of fruits.
Excessive amount of nitrogen leads to the fact that the plant does not have time to prepare for the cold weather, which often leads to its death. If the soil is too saturated with this fertilizer, it is washed out of the soil with compounds with phosphorus and potassium or wood ash.
The first addition of nitrogen to the soil occurs immediately before planting. The amount of ammonium sulfate per seedling is about 30-40 grams. After that, for 5 years (while the shrub grows), the dose of fertilizer is doubled. In the future, you only need to maintain the desired concentration, which on average is about 100 grams.
In case the seedling is mulched, the amount of fertilizer needed double, since sawdust, which is used as mulch and prevents the soil from drying out, consumes a certain amount of applied ammonium sulfate.
Adding fertilizer occurs in several stages. Half of its required amount is added at the beginning of spring, in May another 30 percent is added, and the remaining amount is added at the beginning of June.
The second popular fertilizer for blueberries refers to the type phosphate and potash. They are necessary to increase the stability of blueberries to frost and other external influences. Also with their help it is possible to significantly increase the fruitfulness of the shrub and improve the taste of the fruit. The lack of such fertilizer can be recognized by the purple leaves pressed to the stem.
To prevent this from happening, used superphosphate, which is added in the amount of 100 grams per bush during the year. The first part of it in the amount of 1/2 of the whole norm is added in April, the rest - in the first week of June.
In a similar way is introduced and potash fertilizer in the amount of 40 grams per bush. This protects the plant from pests and increases its frost resistance. When applying fertilizers do not forget about other elements - magnesium, calcium and iron. But if the plant feels normal, adding them is optional.
How to water blueberry vinegar
This shrub grows only on acidic soil, so when planting it is necessary to increase its acidity. This can be done using table vinegar, which is diluted in water per 100 ml per 10 liters of water.
This will allow the plant's root system to fully receive nitrogen and other elements in the soil. In other words, feeding blueberries is a fairly simple procedure. Important follow the rules and recommendations. In this case, you can count on an excellent yield and durability of the growth of the plant itself.
Basic rules for growing blueberries
Most garden plants require neutral soil. With increasing acid, the growth of vegetable crops and fruits is inhibited. But not blueberries. This plant can not tolerate neutral, and especially alkaline soils.
Therefore, a special bed is reserved for it, where the soil pH will be artificially maintained from 4 to 4.5 units. The following requirement of the plant is connected with this: blueberry feeding is carried out only with mineral substances.
In previous articles, all gardeners were recommended to alternate between mineral and organic fertilizers. This is for all other cultures, but not for blueberries. Tall blueberries are contraindicated in organics, as they alkalize the soil.
The bed should be well lit on all sides.
Only under this condition is it possible to get from 4 to 6 kg of berries from a bush per season. The plant loves water, but does not tolerate flooding, so it is best if the bed is dry. Water can always be added.
How to use fertilizers
Of great importance for feeding blueberry garden in the spring has nitrogen. It depends on him how much the plant grows, gathers green mass and fastens the fruit. In the case of a lack of mineral nitrogen, the plant will be weak, throw flowers.
Rules for the use of nitrogen fertilizers for blueberries:
- make in liquid form only at the root, avoiding contact with the leaves,
- 2/3 to make in the spring, 1/3 - in the summer during fruiting,
- standards must be strictly followed the instructions
- pellets are scattered under a bush at some distance from the shoot.
Nitrogen fertilizer for blueberries does not apply in the fall. It stimulates the growth of shoots that do not have time to cover with wood for the winter and may die. To overdo it with nitrogen is harmful and not profitable, since all the energy of the bush goes into growth, and the berries will be scarce. With regular mulching of soil with sawdust, nitrogen dosage is doubled, as wood takes nutrients from the plant.
Potash and phosphate substances for blueberry supplements are also made in the form of mineral mixtures. The only thing that the berry does not like is the chloride additives, therefore it is applied potassium sulphate or potassium salt at the rate of 40 g per adult plant.
From phosphate - superphosphate 100 g per bush. Potassium is responsible for the wintering and taste of berries. To determine the deficit can be drying leaves. Phosphorus starvation causes a change in the color of the leaf plates: they become red. Closer to the fall - this is normal. If the leaves are green, it means that a lot of nitrogen fertilizers have been applied.
Video: Blueberry in my garden and how to fertilize it
If the plant does not show a lack of batteries, you do not need to feed it. It is desirable to make all substances not in a complex, but separately.
Sometimes it is necessary to feed blueberries in the fall with fertilizers containing magnesium, iron and calcium. With calcium, you need to be careful, since its introduction into the soil can dramatically increase the alkalinity. Trace elements are desirable to make in the form of a complex solution under the root.
How to create an acidic environment in the ground
There are special mixtures than to feed blueberries. They contain a balanced amount of nutrients and soil oxidizers. You can use fertilizers that are suitable for rhododendrons - they also love sour soil. If there are none, you will have to experiment.
Experienced gardeners use various acids for the berry bed:
- lemon - 5 g per bucket,
- acetic acid - 100 ml per bucket of water,
- sulfuric acid in the form of an acid for a battery of 30 ml / 10 l of water or powdered sulfur of 15 g / square meter.
Acid solutions contribute in the spring - in April or May. Need to catch before the movement of juices. The soil before it is watered to a depth of 20 cm, where the bulk of the roots is located. If the ground is wet enough after the snow melts, you can not water it additionally, immediately apply liquid dressing.
High peat has a high acidity, so it can be used as a feed for blueberries in August.
When the bushes are transplanted into the hole, they make a mixture of coniferous sawdust with peat. This will create the necessary environment and the plants will take root faster. Another condition - when transplanting seedlings from one place to another, it is necessary to fully transfer the earthen clod of plants to a new bed.
The fact is that on the roots colonies of mycorrhiza, mushrooms, with which blueberry has friendly relations - a symbiosis, are formed. It is necessary that these "friends" remain on the roots.
A shrub hole is made larger: a meter in diameter and half a meter deep. The distance is desirable to withstand about 1.5 m between the bushes, so that the plant is well lit and it is convenient to walk between plantings. Pit fall asleep and red peat, not compacting.
For quick rooting, you need to create good air permeability in the ground. After planting the bush is watered with a solution of acid and fertilizer. In the future, the following watering schedule should be maintained:
- once a week plain water
- once a month - sour.
Acidic water can not do foliar spraying. Feeding blueberries in the summer with nitrogen using the foliar method is rarely used if leaf chlorosis has begun. In this case, dilute the urea in water: half or third of the norm according to the instructions, and so sprayed. It is impossible to carry out watering and foliar treatment with a mixture of the same concentration.
Blueberry fertilizer terms
How to feed blueberries correctly, only experienced gardeners know. To never make mistakes in the care of tall garden blueberries, The following mixture is recommended:
- ammonium sulphate - 90 g,
- normal superphosphate - 110 g,
- potassium sulfate - 40 g
All mixed and divided between plants on the principle of "who is older - the more":
- 1 tablespoon biennial plants,
- 2 - three years old
- 4 to four years old
- 8 spoons relies five years,
- six year old bushes - 16 spoons.
Over 6 years old, berries are scattered 16 spoons. Top dressing of a blueberry garden in the spring is carried out twice. The first time at the beginning of the formation of kidneys, the second time with ammonium sulphate after six weeks. In the summer of nutrients contribute as needed, if there is yellowing or twisting of the leaves.
In autumn, blueberries are restored after fruiting. For this, she needs potassium and phosphorus. Autumn dressing of blueberry garden affects the yield of the next season, as vegetative buds are laid in the current season.
Of great importance is the autumn pruning of berry bushes. Cut weak or damaged shoots. In order for the berries to be larger, pruned fruiting shoots, leaving 5 buds from the root. After 4 - 5 years after planting the shrub is completely cut. Only roots are saved. Thus, the plant is rejuvenated.
The bushes reach maximum fructification at the age of 6 years, but with proper care and regular feeding, you can begin to receive crops from four and five year old plants.
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Spring or autumn?
The requirements of marshy and undersized blueberries are somewhat different from those of tall blueberries due to their greater simplicity. So, the first two types of top dressing are required only if there is a shortage of any nutrient, but tall blueberries need to be fed twice a year - with nitrogen fertilizers in the spring and complex in the autumn.
Top dressing of blueberry helps to saturate the soil with missing microelements
Top dressing blueberries pursue the main goal - maintaining all the necessary trace elements in the soil in the right quantity. It happens that the plant lacks, say, magnesium - in this case, it is applied fertilizer with the content of magnesium and nothing more.
Blueberries are fertilized according to the principle "do no harm": everything is within reasonable limits, no more, no less. This culture is demanding on dosages, and undernourishment can weaken the plant, as well as an excess of this or that substance.
Signs of micronutrient deficiencies
When a blueberry lacks any trace element in the soil, this affects both the speed of its development and its appearance. Visually, the lack of certain substances can be easily noticed by the dying parts of the plant, the change in the color of the leaves or their shape. Lack of magnesium or nitrogen manifest themselves in different ways. We recommend to get acquainted with substances, the lack of which can lead to unpleasant consequences, and with signs on which it is possible to recognize the need for extraordinary feeding.
- Nitrogen - with a shortage of this trace element, the plant slows growth, and the leaves become yellow. If there is very little nitrogen, the yellowness covers the whole shrub, and the leaves begin to turn red.
- Phosphorus - in this case, the leaves of the blueberry begin to turn red and acquire a purple hue, clinging to the stem.
- Calcium - the color of the leaves at the edges becomes yellow, and their shape changes during deformation.
- Potassium - its deficiency is easily identified by the dying tips of the leaves and the tips of the young shoots.
- Magnesium - the edges of the leaves begin to turn red.
- Boron - shoots cease to grow, and bluish color is added to the leaf color.
- Железо — листья желтеют и покрываются сеточкой зеленоватого оттенка.
- Sulfur - leaves become pale, and in a critical case - white.
Ways of feeding and nuances
Blueberries are demanding for applied mineral fertilizers and need a small amount of them; they do not benefit from overfeeding. Before fertilizing a plant, one should be guided by the following points: the age of the blueberry bush, soil acidity, the amount of nitrogen contained in it, the irrigation schedule and the condition of the mulching material, whether coniferous or deciduous sawdust.
On the beds that give a good harvest, it is not necessary to analyze the soil, the number of berries on the branches will tell about it in the best way. However, once every three to four years, it is advisable to carry out this procedure in order to identify the level of acidity and the presence of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and other trace elements in the soil.
In order to be aware of the content of all necessary trace elements in the soil, it is not necessary to wait for yellowing or redness of the leaves, it is better to analyze the soil every 3-4 years.
The best options for dressings and their dosages
Ammonium sulfate is one of the best fertilizer options for this garden crop. It is made in three stages.
- Stage 1: during the beginning of sap flow - 40% of the annual volume (which, by the way, is 70-90g per bush)
- Stage 2: at the beginning of May - 35%
- Stage 3: in early June - 25%.
If sawdust acts as a mulch, the dose is doubled. After that, until the next spring, blueberries will not need additional fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers.
Important: on a regular basis, the application of top dressing occurs when growing tall blueberries, since the rest of its species are much less demanding of this procedure.
Ammonium sulfate is a useful fertilizer that compensates for the lack of nitrogen and sulfur in the soil.
Phosphate fertilizers, superphosphate - are applied in summer and autumn at the rate of 100g per bush.
Supersphosphate - a popular phosphate fertilizer
Magnesium sulfate is used once a season in the amount of 15g per bush.
Magnesium sulphate is used not only in the pharmaceutical industry, but also in garden beds.
Potassium sulfate and zinc sulfate are also used only once a year and spend 2 grams per bush.
Calcium deficiency is rarely seen in the practice of growing blueberries. In this case, it is recommended to make leaf preparations for feeding. The best solution is Fitofert Energy 0-15-35 Finish. Use 20-30gr per 10l of water. This not only restores the level of calcium, but also potassium and phosphorus.
In early spring and in June, complex fertilizers are applied - azofoska, Kemira wagon, florovit at the rate of 20-40gr per plant. The dosage depends on the age of the plant and increases exponentially every year. So for a two-year bush use 1 tablespoon of the drug, while under the three-year-old take 2 tablespoons, under the four-year-old - 4 tablespoons, under the five-year - 8 tablespoons. and under six years - 16 tbsp.
Mineral fertilizer is used twice: in the spring, when the bush begins to grow, and after picking the berries (at this time, unlike spring, nitrogen-containing preparations are not used). As an exception to the general rule, you can give an example of adding a mineral feed to the drip irrigation system on a weekly basis - this technique can be used during the entire growing season, with the exception of the harvest period.
Organic fertilizers such as dung, ash or compost are contraindicated. But when making minerals, it is necessary to take into account the presence of mulch in the form of sawdust and increase the dose of nitrogen in the top-dressing, since this trace element is well absorbed by the mulch layer.
Video: How to feed blueberries?
Blueberries are difficult to grow a plant, but if you keep the necessary dosage of drugs, make them in a timely manner, then ensure its correct and healthy development for a long time. All your efforts are worth it - after all, blueberries are not only a real long-liver capable of growing up to a hundred years old, but also a storehouse of healthy substances, as well as just a source of delicious berries.
The vagaries of garden culture, especially growing
Blueberries take root in acidic soil with a PH level of 4 to 5. If the acidity of the soil is low, mineral-alkaline compounds must be applied during planting.
Sulfur is best used. When a trace element enters the soil, it is oxidized, as a result, blueberries grow better. Instead of sulfur, you can use citric acid: take 1 tsp. powder, dilute with water in an amount of 2 liters and moisten the ground.
If the acidity level is too high (as in peat soil), deactivation should be performed: take a handful of sand, mix with the same amount of limestone flour and deposit the mixture under the digging. Blueberries need mineral compounds in spring and autumn, it does not tolerate organic! Shrub not fertilize:
Regardless of the composition of the soil, it is necessary to moderately fertilize. A large amount of nutrients is harmful, as it can lead to diseases in which the leaves will be covered with spots, and the roots rot. It is necessary to monitor how the plant reacts to certain formulations. If, when using one of them, the leaves grow dull and the berries become shallow, limit feeding.
It is worth remembering that fertilizers accumulate in the soil. It is for this reason that they are introduced in minimal quantities several times per season.
For young and adult shrubs
Blueberries prefer mineral compounds. They must contain trace elements:
Preparations are needed for the complete photosynthesis of culture. If the blueberry lacks nitrogen, it lags behind in growth, the fruits become small and tasteless. Lack of nitrogen is reflected in the state of the leaves: they turn yellow, dry up. To compensate for the lack of trace elements, should be made of ammonium sulfate. Urea can be used instead.
Fertilizer is diluted with water in accordance with the instructions, applied to the surface of the soil. The mixture should not fall on the leaves! Granular fertilizers are applied during planting, laying in a small layer.
If you plan to use them for adult crops, scatter the granules at a distance of 20-30 cm from the bush. It is not recommended to spray blueberries with nitrogen compounds. This dressing can lead to burn leaves.
What are dangerous dosed feeds
If the soil where blueberries grow is saturated with microelements, active growth is observed, while the berries are lagging behind in development. The leaves retain their green color until autumn, which is not normal. Excess nitrogen is reflected in the growth of shoots. In this case, the bush spends forces on them, and the berries ripen slowly.
If you add a lot of nitrogen, the shrub will not be able to stiffen, which will lead to freezing in the cold season. If there is an excess, trace elements should be washed using calcium and phosphorus agents. Wood ash can be used instead.
Nitrogen compounds contribute to planting, they are buried in the soil. Blueberries respond well to ammonium sulfate. Annual shrubs require 30 g per year. The next 5-6 years will need to increase the amount of ammonium sulfate in 2 times. When the plant is fully formed, you will need to make 100 g per year.
Mulching protects the culture from the cold. If sawdust has been selected for this procedure, it is recommended to deposit more nitrogen.
The fact is that the mulch also absorbs fertilizer. For blueberries covered for the winter, the dosage of ammonium sulfate should be 1.5 times higher. Novice gardeners are interested in how to feed the garden blueberries in the spring.
Nitric compounds - what you need! They are introduced in stages:
- For the first time in early March, use 50% of the annual norm, which is 100 g for adult plants.
- In May, contribute 30%
- The rest is used in June and early July.
The use of phosphorus and potassium
To strengthen the immune system of the plant, it is necessary to make phosphate and potassium compounds. Thanks to them, it will show resistance to diseases and will form large berries. If the shrub lacks micronutrients, the leaves are pressed against the stem, turn purple.
Blueberries respond positively to superphosphate. The tool is made with the calculation of 100 g per bush: 60% in early April and 40% in early June.
The drug, which has a phosphate, increases resistance to frost and has a moisturizing effect. It contains potassium, thanks to which the plant is resistant to pests. Per adult bush requires 30 g of potassium sulfate.
Other formulations for blueberry
If it lacks calcium, iron and magnesium, the shoots grow dull and leaves fade. The lack of trace elements - the cause of poor crop. To blueberries pleased juicy fruits, it is necessary to make complex compositions 2 times a year. Shrub reacts poorly to products with chlorides, with care you need to take this into account.
Blueberries can not be called too capricious culture, but it should be fertilized. If you moderately make chemicals, it will be better to grow and spend energy on berries, which are very good for health. With proper care, the shrub will bear fruit for many years!
Why feed blueberries?
In the traditional view of blueberries - wild berries, growing in wetlands. Its dark sour-sweet berries are covered with bloom, which creates a familiar blue color, which gave the name to the plant.
The garden variety has some differences from its forest counterpart. For the artificial cultivation of suitable tall blueberries - one of the varieties of this berry, very different from the stunted and creeping forms on the ground. Garden blueberries can reach a height of 2 meters. Caring for it is significantly different from the conditions of growth of wild berries.
Blueberries normally grow and develop exclusively in acidic soil with an optimal value of 4-5pH. When planting shrubs soil quality should be given special attention.
To accelerate the acclimatization of planted shrubs of garden blueberries in new conditions and provide the plant with all that it needs for growth and development, it is recommended to sow the planting soil with useful substances. To this end, one-third of the soil brought from the forest is added to the land - the natural habitat of blueberry.
In addition, you can make a sand-peat mixture. After preparing the planting pit, you need to pour some coniferous sawdust and peat into it, and then place the seedling in the soil base.
To increase the acidity, sulfur (40-60 grams) or citric acid (50-70 grams) per square meter is added to the soil. Sulfur oxidized by bacteria in the soil turns into sulfuric acid. These substances can be added in an aqueous solution by pre-moistening the planting soil or laying solid granulates in the soil before planting.
If soil acidity is excessive, which is characteristic of peaty rocks, it is necessary to add sand or dolomite flour for deoxidation.
Many gardeners in the cultivation of blueberries do not pay enough attention to dressing, focusing only on the creation of an acidic environment. For optimal growth and fruiting blueberries require a certain set of trace elements and chemicals that must be contained in the soil.
Rarely on which summer cottage does the ground fully meet all requirements. These or other elements, that is, fertilizers, must be introduced into it artificially. By providing blueberries with the right care, including regular feeding, you can get up to 9 kilograms of berries from the bush.
Compared with other berry bushes, the need for blueberries in additional nutrition is much higher. Fertilizers are required by the plant to ensure proper growth and formation, as well as to maintain a high concentration of nutrients and vitamins in the berries.
Top dressings bring under the certain schedule, their proportions strictly observe. Violation of the rules can lead to inhibition in growth, the appearance of typical diseases, low yields.
General rules and methods of feeding
Blueberries in the first year of planting do not require additional feeding and specific nutrition. It can be limited to fortified mulching, sprinkling the ground around the shrub with a composition of spruce needles, straw, pine bark and conifer sawdust. The thickness of the layer of mulch should be 10-15 centimeters. Soil before carrying out this manipulation must be well moistened.
Blueberry shrubs should be fed from the second year of life, gradually introducing top dressing. There are special mixtures created specifically for garden blueberry fertilizer, which include all the substances necessary for the plant and trace elements in optimal proportions.
Any fertilizer should be dosed. The destructive effect on the plant has not only the lack of necessary substances, but also their excess. The reaction of blueberries to fertilizers should be constantly monitored and, if necessary, make adjustments to the feeding plan.
Excess fertilizer in the soil is much more dangerous than their lack. Even after the termination of fertilization, their concentration remains high due to the ability to accumulate in the soil. For fertilizer tall blueberries can only be used mineral compounds. The use of organic fertilizers is not allowed. Causing alkalization of the soil, it can lead to the death of planting.
Among the mineral varieties of top dressing, fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are most important.
The main element for feeding garden blueberries is nitrogen, which is responsible for the growth of shrubs and the formation of fruit on its branches. Lack of nitrogen causes a suspension of plant growth, yellowing of leaves, shallowing fruits and reducing their number. Ammonium sulfate is usually used as a nitrogen fertilizer, less often - different types of nitrate and urea.
It is important not to forget that nitrogen-containing substances must be introduced very carefully in order to prevent them from falling directly on the leaves of the shrub. Fertilizers are diluted in water and at a distance of at least 15 centimeters from the bush they irrigate the soil.
Granular fertilizers are best used only when planting plants, putting them evenly in the planting soil. With further use of the granules it is important to scatter a short distance from the bush. Only in emergency cases, nitrogen supplements are used for spraying the plants, while the active substance is dissolved in a large amount of water.
In supplying the plant with nitrogen, one should not be overly zealous: an excess of substance is detrimental to the plant and does not lead to anything good. Increased nitrogen concentration in the soil worsens the taste of berries and causes excessive growth of the shrub at the end of the season.
Instead of acquiring a red tint, the leaves remain bright green with the onset of autumn, and the shoots become excessively long. The shrub directs all the energy to the growth of shoots, leaving nothing to ripen the berries. Before the onset of cold weather, he does not have time to stiffen and may freeze. To eliminate the excess nitrogen in the soil, it is washed out with phosphorus and potassium containing substances.
The first fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers is carried out before planting, adding the necessary elements to the soil. Using ammonium sulphate as a fertilizer, in the first year 10-15 grams are usually applied to one shrub. In the next 6 years, the amount of fertilizer should be doubled annually. Plant growth after this ends and you only need to maintain the received dose of ammonium sulfate or its equivalent.
Getting into the plants, nitrogen stimulates the active growth of the vegetative mass and helps to improve the development of fruits. The need for blueberries in this element throughout the season does not exceed 100 grams.
Bring them on this schedule:
- before swelling of the kidneys - 50 grams (half of the annual amount) under each bush,
- the first decade of May - another 30 grams
- the beginning of June - the remaining 20 grams.
When planting mulching, that is, filling a layer of sawdust that protects the soil from drying out, the amount of nitrogen fertilizers needs to be adjusted upwards, as the mulch sucks the nitrogen out of the soil. The consumption rate of ammonium sulfate for mulched soil, as compared with the usual dose, is doubled.
To increase the vitality of blueberries and resistance to any external influences, it is necessary to add phosphorus to the soil. It improves the taste of grown berries and contributes to higher yields. With a lack of phosphorus leaves acquire a purple hue and pressed against the stem.
Usually, superphosphate is used as a fertilizer. The annual required dose per bush is not more than 45-50 grams of this substance.
Bring it in two parts: in April - the first two thirds, in early June - the remaining third:
- the first decade of April - 30 grams of phosphate fertilizers,
- the beginning of June - another 15 grams.
A sufficient amount of potassium in the plant provides resistance to lack of moisture and frost. Potash supplementation helps protect the shrub from garden pests. Usually used potassium sulfate in the amount of 30-40 grams per adult bush. The scheme of application of this fertilizer is the same as that of phosphate.
Potassium fertilizers are especially important for the root system of plants. Кроме того, калий способствует усилению процесса фотосинтеза, улучшает окраску ягод и усиливает их аромат.
Все удобрения желательно вносить отдельно, учитывая конкретные потребности растения в них. Можно использовать и комплексные составы, в которых содержатся сразу все элементы. При этом важно учитывать соотношение веществ в комплексном удобрении, чтобы выбрать подходящее для конкретного вида почвы.
Features feeding in the spring
Blueberries respond very well to mineral supplements. The first time the plants are fertilized in April-May before the start of sap flow. You can use the complete mineral fertilizers (Azofoska, Fertika Universal), which include the NPK complex containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. In May, it is recommended to start watering the soil with acidifying solutions.
With the beginning of flowering, the blueberry shrubs are fed a second time. You can use the same fertilizer as in the first spring feeding. Dry soil is recommended to be watered with water beforehand, then diluted with mineral fertilizer and applied for each plant.
Features feeding in summer and autumn
At the end of June and the beginning of July, when the berries begin to fill, they carry out the third dressing of blueberries with mineral fertilizers, ensuring a uniform ripening of the crop. Fertilization rate should not be exceeded: excess accumulates in fruits in the form of nitrates.
In July and August, they continue to water the blueberries with acidified water. The less acidic soil was introduced during the planting of blueberries, the more frequently and more abundantly watering of blueberries should be such solutions:
- 3 liters of water - 1 teaspoon of oxalic or citric acid,
- 10 liters of water - 1 cup of apple cider vinegar (9%).
Every 2 weeks at watering it is recommended to replace plain water with these solutions. In hot weather, 1-3 buckets of water are poured under the bush.
In late August and early September, blueberries are fed up for the last time in order to strengthen the plant and increase its frost resistance. The final feeding consists of 15 grams of magnesium sulfate and 2 grams of zinc sulfate.
What and how to feed the garden blueberries in spring
Blueberries are considered one of the most useful berries. It has a pleasant sweet-sour taste and dense flesh. In nature, blueberry bushes can be found in swampy areas, and the collection of wild berries is quite complex, so they are expensive. But, fortunately, the breeders have developed special garden varieties of blueberries, which can be grown on their own plot.
Like any other culture, blueberries require some care. But the key role is given to the creation of optimal acid conditions of the soil and spring feeding. If it is easy to increase the acidity of the soil, simply add table vinegar or citric acid to the water for irrigation, or sprinkle the soil with sulfur, but with fertilizer you should be especially careful. In this article you will learn how to properly feed garden blueberries in the spring and what fertilizers are best used for this purpose.
Top dressing blueberries in spring: where to start
Before you start feeding, you should determine the level of acidity of the soil on the site. The fact is that in natural conditions the shrub grows only on acidic soils, and in most gardens the soil has a neutral acidity.
Note: You can check the level of soil acidity with the help of special testers, which are often sold in gardening stores.
In order to increase the acidity of the soil, even during planting, it is necessary to add high-moor peat or some ground from coniferous forest to each well. But, if you did not have time to carry out this procedure during planting, you can add sulfur to the soil, cover the trunk circle with a layer of mulch from high-moor peat, or pour acidified water over the shrub.
When planning a top dressing, consider the age of your seedling: annual plants do not need additional feed. Even on the contrary: the introduction of nitrogen fertilizing in the soil stimulates the formation of young shoots and the shrub may even bear fruit, but it will weaken greatly and may die in winter. Therefore, it is recommended to start fertilizing not earlier than in the second year after planting.
Terms of feeding blueberries
No less important role in feeding is compliance with the timing. It is important that fertilizer can and should be applied not only in spring, but also in autumn (Figure 1). In this case, the key role in successful cultivation is assigned to spring activities.
In general, blueberries are fed in several stages:
- First introduction carried out in early spring, before the awakening of the kidneys. For this purpose, mineral fertilizers with a high content of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are used. It is noteworthy that the period of awakening of the shrub from the period of winter dormancy differs depending on the region, therefore, the first feeding is carried out at different times.
- Second time feeding is carried out during flowering. As a rule, this period falls on May-July. However, it should be borne in mind that at this time the solar activity is greatly increased and the soil loses moisture. Therefore, before making additional dressings, it is recommended to water the bush first and only after that to apply fertilizer. As in the case of the first top dressing, mineral preparations are used which contain calcium, phosphorus or nitrogen.
- Third entry carried out after completion of flowering, when ovaries begin to form and ripen berries. In this case, it is better to use complex mineral supplements for berries and shrubs.
- Last time Blueberries are fed after harvest to give the plant the necessary amount of nutrients before wintering.
However, it should be borne in mind that compliance with the timing of feeding is not the only subtlety that should be considered when growing a crop. It is also important to know which fertilizers are best suited for this crop, and according to which scheme they should be applied.
What and how to feed blueberries in spring
Choosing fertilizer for blueberries, first of all it should be borne in mind that this crop absolutely does not tolerate organic matter, therefore manure, humus, compost or any other substances of natural origin are absolutely not suitable for it. The most important elements are potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus, so the advantage should be given to mineral supplements.
Note: If the soil contains too few of these elements, the shrub will first begin to ache, become more susceptible to the effects of pests, weaken greatly and may even die.
Potassium, magnesium and sulfur are considered important elements for the full growth and abundant fruiting of blueberries. At the same time, it is necessary to introduce such substances only when necessary, since their deficiency does not cause serious negative consequences. The remaining minerals are successfully absorbed by the plant from the soil, so it is not necessary to add them artificially.
If you want to feed blueberries, it is better not to experiment with minerals and immediately use special fertilizers for this shrub:
- Florovit treats complex mineral fertilizers. The substance does not contain nitrates, and it contains all the necessary elements to prevent chlorosis and leaf fall. The drug is applied three times per season with a break of 1 month, starting in mid-April (Figure 2).
- Lifdrip - A special mixture of nutrients, which is well dissolved in water. The drug is aimed at increasing yields and strengthening the culture. After being treated with the substance, blueberries become more resistant to the effects of negative environmental factors. It is recommended to bring this drug during flowering, formation of ovaries and ripening of fruits, and you can use both root and foliar method.
- Bona forte - Another good substance for blueberries. With its help strengthens the root system of the plant and increases the yield. But it is necessary to use the drug cautiously, no more than once per season, since an overabundance may adversely affect the health of the shrub.
If you have just planted a blueberry, but the two-year-old sapling is not well established or grows slowly, it is recommended to use the drug “Good power”. It consists of succinic acid and humates, which function as growth stimulants, improve the survival rate of the culture and activate the growth of young shoots.
We described the finished products that are specifically designed for feeding blueberries. But there are other, simpler substances that have a beneficial effect on the condition of the shrub. First, ammonium sulfate can be used as a fertilizer. It is considered the best source of sulfur and nitrogen, well acidifies the soil and increases yield. However, it should be borne in mind that ammonium sulphate is not a complete mineral fertilizer, therefore it is better to combine it with the preparations described above and add it to the soil only when its acidity decreases.
Secondly, if the soil in the area has become less acidic, it is possible to add colloidal sulfur to it. It is important to take into account that this substance does not dissolve in water, so you need to dig a hole with a depth of up to 15 cm around the shrub, pour sulfur into it and sprinkle it with a layer of soil. To increase the acidity of the soil will be enough 500 grams of substance per 10 square meters of land.
The features of fertilizing directly depend on the state of the soil and the health of the bush itself. Therefore, before feeding, carefully inspect the plant to determine what substances it lacks for full development.
Depending on the state of the culture, the instruction for feeding will look like this:
- If your shrub has not taken root well or is lagging behind in growth, in early spring, before the kidneys wake up, mineral fertilizer with a high nitrogen content should be added to the soil.
- To increase the yield and saturation of the plant with nutrients, you can use ready-made fertilizer for rhododendrons. It contains all the necessary nutrients blueberries: nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus in the optimal ratio.
- Ammonium sulfate is considered the simplest fertilizer. It can be used not only to saturate the soil with nitrogen, but also to acidify the soil. One adult shrub requires about 90 grams of the drug per season. Ammonium sulfate should be added three times. The first - before the awakening of the kidneys, the second - in a month, and the third time - in early June. The drug is distributed in a clear percentage: 40% of the total amount is required for the first feeding, 35% for the second and 20% for the third.
- To restore the magnesium balance in the soil, shrubs recommend spraying magnesium sulfate, dissolving 100 grams of the substance in 10 liters of water.
Despite the fact that nitrogen plays a key role in growing crops, it is also impossible to be too zealous with the introduction of this fertilizer. This is especially true of young plants of the first year of life. They are recommended not to feed at all, because fertilizers stimulate too strong growth of shoots, and the shrub will weaken before hibernation. Adult specimens are also not recommended to give too much nitrogen: an excess of this substance can cause root burns.
Signs of fertilizer overload
Fertilizers play an important role in the cultivation of blueberries, but during fertilizing it is important to remember that an overabundance affects the crop much worse than a deficiency. For example, too high nitrogen content in the soil makes the plant more susceptible to infectious diseases, and an excess of phosphorus and potassium can provoke rot (Figure 3).
Note: Minerals that are introduced in too large quantities, not only adversely affect the health of the plant, but also accumulate in the soil. Accordingly, the symptoms of excess may persist for a long time.
Experienced gardeners recommend attentively observing the shrub, and feeding only if it is needed. It should be remembered that it is much better to underfeed the shrub than to feed it.
There are certain signs by which it can be determined that the plant really lacks nutrients:
- Lack of nitrogen is accompanied by a lag in growth and yellowing of the leaves.
- Phosphorus deficiency also changes the appearance of leaf plates. They acquire a rich red hue and begin to cling to the stem.
- With a lack of calcium on the edge of the leaf plates appears yellowness, and the leaves themselves are deformed.
- If the plant lacks potassium, the tips of the leaves and young shoots will begin to dry out.
By focusing on these symptoms, you can easily determine when the crop really lacks fertilizer. However, it should be remembered that it is still best to conduct top dressing in a timely manner so that the shrub develops evenly and abundantly bear fruit. In order not to cause an oversupply of nutrients, it is necessary to strictly observe the dosage of fertilizers and apply them only at suitable periods.
What is not worth fertilizing blueberries
From the point of view of fertilizers, blueberries are considered to be quite a capricious crop, since it is far from being fed with any substance. Traditionally, organic fertilizer is considered the best fertilizer for most crops, but it is completely unsuitable for blueberries.
This shrub is strictly forbidden to feed manure, humus, compost or any other organic matter. All these dressings make the soil too alkaline, and blueberries prefer exceptionally acidic soil conditions. If the shrub is regularly fed organic matter, it can completely die.
Mineral dressing, too, can not use all. Of the fertilizers of this group are contraindicated preparations containing chlorine and nitrates. But the main condition for the introduction is not only the selection of the right drug. It is important to fertilize in the correct dosage. Remember, mineral supplements should be made annually, but in moderation. If you are in doubt about the dosage, it is better to add less fertilizer to the soil than indicated in the package. So the plant will receive a sufficient amount of nutrients, but will not suffer from their oversupply.
Secrets of feeding blueberries from experienced gardeners are given in the video.