In recent years, gardeners - lovers have gotten carried away by tall garden blueberries. However, many complain that they grow small bushes, do not give berries, and some just die, despite good care and regular feeding. The explanation is quite simple - there are a number of techniques in blueberry farming that take into account the individual characteristics of the culture that must be strictly followed.
I have grown tall garden blueberries for over 10 years and regularly get high yields of its amazing berries. Therefore, today I want to share with you my secrets.
A LITTLE STORY
North America is considered the birthplace of wild blueberry bush. From time immemorial it was used by Indian tribes as food, then it became a favorite delicacy of the first settlers who brought seedlings from the forest and planted them on their plots. With good care, the berries on the bushes became larger and sweeter.
At the beginning of the last century, American scientists and breeders became interested in this culture. In 1906, in the private nursery of the well-known biologist F. Coville, first varieties were bred from selected plants of wild blueberry - Brooks and Russell. And by the end of the 30s, about 20 varieties had already been created in several scientific institutions in the country. Entrepreneurial farmers began to create large plantations of this crop and supply it to other countries. And the price of berries was very high. Many foreign businessmen are interested in profitable business.
In the late 20s of the last century, scientific work on the creation of new varieties of blueberry garden steel began in Canada. I must say that the best varieties and the taste of the berries, and the winter hardiness of the plants were obtained here. And today in Canada blueberry garden has become the most popular berry, leaving far behind black currants, blueberries and other berry crops.
In our country, the first works on the selection of blueberry garden began in the mid 60s of the last century in the GBS of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Here was laid the whole garden of varieties of tall blueberry garden, obtained from the USA and Germany. We planted on the experimental plots also several sredneroslyh varieties sent by the zonal research institutes of the non-chernozem zone. To date, the collection of the GBS RAS has more than 20 varieties of tall blueberry gardens. Serious work on its selection is carried out in the Novosibirsk Botanical Garden.
As a result of research, it was found that early and middle varieties are best suited for growing in central Russia.
PECULIARITIES OF GROWING THE DOVES IN THE MOSCOW REGION
The most important thing you have to remember is that garden blueberries are growing not just on acidic, but on acidified soils (pH less than 3.5)! But even with such acidity, it will not grow on clay and heavy loam.
So, for good growth and regular fruiting, the blueberry garden needs light (well water and breathable) fertile acidified soils!
Therefore, we prepare the pit for planting as follows.
We take out the soil to a depth of 2 bayonets shovels. The diameter of the landing pit - 80 cm. The upper fertile layer is set aside. On clay soils at the bottom we lay a drainage from sand mixed with gravel (a layer of 5-6 cm), put sand on the sandy layers of the same thickness (so that the water does not leave quickly). Then separately prepare the planting ground. In equal proportions, we take the top layer of land from the landing pit, river sand, humus (compost or rotted manure), sawdust, high-moor peat and pine litter (pine or spruce). All this is well mixed and fill the landing hole.
Pits are prepared 2-3 days before planting in order to have time to acidify the soil in them, without burning the roots of the seedlings. And here many gardeners make a terrible mistake. Than the earth is not acidic! And acetic essence, and hydrochloric acid, and other similar chemicals. Do not forget that the plant is a living organism, which can also be poisoned!
The soil under the blueberry garden is acidified exclusively with citric acid solution (2 standard packages for 10 liters of water for one plant). First, the soil is well soaked from the hose with ordinary water to a pasty state, and then 1 watering solution of citric acid is poured into it.
Planted in 2 days, making a depression in the middle of the pit and straightening the roots well. After planting, the plant is watered (2 watering cans under the bush) with ordinary water. From above, the trunk circle mulch with sawdust or peat. I also spread fir and pine cones in 3 layers on top of this. They will keep moisture well, acidify the soil, and weeds will not grow. Yes, and breathability while improving.
When planting, it should be remembered that the garden blueberry is a light-loving plant, therefore it should be planted in a well-lit place, protected from the wind.
It is necessary to fertilize garden blueberries in the same way as other berry cultures. In the spring she needs nitrogen, in the summer and autumn - phosphorus and potassium. At the beginning of May, I bring in rotten manure and some mineral complex. At the end of August after the end of fruiting - double superphosphate, potassium sulphate and complex mineral fertilizer.
For the season, 3 times I acidify all the bushes with citric acid solution (in spring and autumn - 2 packets of 10 liters of water, in summer -1 packet).
And what should be remembered. Doves-ka tall - plant "vodohleb." In the heat it needs frequent and abundant watering. In a rainy summer, I make temporary drainage grooves for draining water from the tree trunk so that it does not stand there, preventing access of oxygen to the roots.
That's all the tricks! Following all the recommendations, every summer you will collect high yields of this very tasty, and most importantly - useful berries!
Varieties of deep in my area
Many Russian gardeners prefer varieties of American and Canadian breeding. They have a high ability to quickly form new shoots, they are characterized by intensive growth, large tasty berries. Domestic varieties, in my opinion, have the worst taste and other qualities and fruits, and the plant itself, apparently, because when they were created our low-growing blueberry was used.
I will tell only about those varieties that she experienced. 12 years ago, it was quite difficult to get blueberry seedlings. The plant is cross-shedding, so it was necessary to plant at least 2 bushes. I was lucky: I bought two elite saplings, but unfortunately, one variety - Blyukrop. To my surprise, after 2 years they gave the first berries, and on the third they flourished and pleased us with good harvests.
Medium-ripe, very fruitful variety, one of the most famous and beloved gardeners. Most suitable for growing in central Russia. It is considered a benchmark for other varieties. The bush is vigorous, upright, 1.8-2 m high.
It has a high yield (7–9 kg from an adult bush) and good adaptation to soil conditions, withstands drought well. The berries are large, light blue with a slight touch. The taste is pleasant, a little tart. The berries are of very high quality, suitable for manual and mechanized harvesting (especially the fruits of late fees). In case of crop overloading, supports should be inserted under the branches. After 9-10 years, the bush requires a strong pruning. One of the most frost-resistant varieties (can withstand temperatures as low as minus 36 °), resistant to spring frosts.
In the next two years, I planted another 4 wonderful varieties, which I also gladly recommend to readers.
The variety has the largest berries. Bred by University of Michigan breeders. It belongs to the northern tall varieties of blueberries, which are characterized by relatively late flowering and high winter resistance. The height of the bush is on average 1.3-1.6 m. The bush is raised and spreading - up to 1.25 m in width. Lignified shoots of an adult plant are powerful (3-4 cm in diameter), brown in color. The berries are light blue in color, covered with a dense wax coating. They are very large - up to 30 mm in diameter. The skin is dense, with a small scar, the flesh is greenish, of a pleasant sweet taste. By the way, the juice of the berries of this variety is colorless and does not leave any stains on the clothes. Best suited for growing in central Russia.
Denis Blue (Denise Blue).
The berries are large, weighing about 1.8 g, sweet. The flesh is juicy, firm, sweet and sour. Fruiting begins in the first half of August. From one bush collect up to 8 kg of berries.
After collection, they can be stored in the cellar or in the refrigerator for more than 2 weeks. The variety is self-pollinated, frost-resistant, resistant to anthracnose and other fungal diseases. A variety of medium ripening.
North Blue (North Blue).
Hybrid of tall and narrow-leaved Canadian (undersized) blueberry. The most winter-hardy and the smallest among medium-growth (bush height does not exceed 80 cm), but with a good yield - about 3 kg from one plant. Berries are large - up to 20 mm in diameter, dark blue, with a small scar. Dense pulp is sweet and aromatic. The harvest begins to ripen at the end of July. I collect it in 4-5 receptions within a month. The frost resistance of the bush and flower buds is very high - up to minus 40 °. Berries of this variety have excellent healing properties. They have the highest content of anthocyanins - about 7 g per 100 g of dry berries.
North Kangri (North Country).
Wonderful variety of medium ripening. Fruiting begins in early August. The bush is a powerful, rounded shape, 70-90 cm high. The berries are rather large (up to 15 mm in diameter) and very tasty - sweet with a pleasant aroma of forest blueberries. The frost resistance of the bush and flower buds is very high - up to minus 40 °. The variety is resistant to disease and drought. The harvest is average (2.5-3.5 kg from a bush), but regular. The variety is partially self-fertile, however, additional pollination increases the yield at least twice. The very same variety - the best pollinator for any other varieties.
© Author: O. IVANOVA, experienced gardener Moscow region
What are the differences between cultivated blueberries from wild ones?
It is known that wild-growing varieties live exclusively in northern latitudes, including Iceland, the United Kingdom and some regions of North America. Also overgrown with shrubs cover this vast territory of the Far Eastern regions of Russia. When growing in the wild, blueberries prefer swampy soils with high acidity and humidity. It perfectly tolerates extremely low temperatures and can bear fruit even in the tundra, where it is a valuable source of food for many animals.
Excellent cold resistance and unpretentiousness to care passed to the cultivated form of blueberries. In addition, the breeders were able to even improve some of the properties of the plant, making it more productive and non-capricious. Highlight the key benefits of garden varieties for the Moscow region:
- higher shoots growing up to 70 centimeters. For comparison, wild-growing individuals reach only 25-30 centimeters. In addition, the garden crop can produce 12 kilograms of ripe berries from one shrub, which is several times more than its relative,
- garden blueberry berries are characterized by a special meatiness and large sizewhich can hardly be met in the wild
- fruiting culture begins within 2-3 years from the moment of planting. To understand, wild varieties bear fruit only at the age of 15,
- also a valuable advantage of hybrid varieties is resistance to all sorts of pests and diseases,
However, apart from the indisputable advantages, garden blueberries have their drawbacks. They are represented by the following nuances:
- Scanty composition. Berries sprouting in the natural environment provide much more nutrients and microelements than domestic ones,
- The duration of the life cycle. Wild-growing individuals are able to live and give good fruit for 50 years or more. In garden specimens, this figure is much lower, and every 6 years the plant needs to be transplanted by cutting new cuttings. Otherwise, yield figures will plummet, and the size of the fruit will decrease,
In any case, it is very beneficial to plant a blueberry in my garden, because The cost of ripe berries on the market is quite high. And the care of the plant does not require much effort or difficulty.
Features planting garden blueberries in the suburbs
The success of the landing is determined by the choice of the seat. It is known that the maximum productivity of growth is present in areas with abundant lighting and reliable protection from drafts.
Most beginner gardeners mistakenly thinkthat in home cultivation it is necessary to provide conditions such as in the natural environment, so they plant it in shaded areas with high humidity, for example, near tall trees. However, in such an environment, the plant does not produce good fruit. And besides, she will be exposed to all sorts of diseases and dangerous insects.
An important condition for the full growth and development of culture is soil acidity. The plant grows normally with a pH of 3.5-4.5. If there is no such level, you can use a solution of colloidal sulfur or sulfuric acid.
It is also important that no other plants have been grown in the selected area for the past few years. To planting blueberries in the suburbs better to start in spring or autumn. Naturally, experienced gardeners choose spring planting, which allows the culture to form normally and grow stronger by winter.
Planting blueberries need to have time to do until the buds swell. In most cases, the Moscow region gardeners spend the action in mid-April. When searching for a seedling, give preference to those individuals that are offered in a pot with a closed root system. Their vitality is much higher. Before planting, the container with the seedling should be placed in water for 30 minutes, after which it will remain to get a young plant, straighten the roots and clean them from the earthy coma.
The landing procedure itself is performed as follows:
- Digging fossa a depth of 50 centimeters, in the process of which, a distance of 50 centimeters is created between the holes, if we are talking about short-growing varieties, and 1 meter, if about tall ones,
- It is important to pre-loosen the bottom of the fossa and lay it out with a peat bog that mixes with sawdust or pine needles. After that, 50 grams of sulfur should be added to the soil, once again mixing the entire composition. In this case, comfortable conditions for the full development of culture will be provided in the best possible way.
Peculiarities of care
After carrying out the above actions, it remains to stop the seedling in the hole, straighten the roots and sprinkle it abundantly with soil, watering it abundantly. Also, careful mulching with conifer sawdust will not hurt.
In the future, the success of the development of blueberries will depend on proper care, which consists in regular watering of the bushes every two weeks. When doing this, you need to use citric acid or apple cider vinegar, in a proportion of 20 grams per 5 liters of water.
If you choose an autumn planting, then manage to implement it a month before the cold weather, that is, in October. The technology of autumn planting is in the same events, although at the end you need to trim another yearling seedling and remove weak twigs using a shears. In case you bought a two-year sapling, trimming measures are not needed.
Observing all the recommendations and rules for caring for blueberries after planting, you can enjoy first, good enough harvest in a year. And in the following years, the culture developed in a special way as much as possible, care must be especially careful and responsible. Otherwise, it will simply cease to be fertile and wither.
Growing garden blueberries in the suburbs
Despite the unpretentious nature, garden varieties of blueberries need proper care, especially if they are grown in the suburbs, where temperature conditions may be unpredictable. In general, care for the culture is simple and consists only in such features:
- Regular watering, which is held every two weeks. The procedure is obligatory, even if it is raining outside. If we are talking about hot weather, the intensity of irrigation increases up to 2 times a day - in the morning and evening, when the sun's rays not much burn bush. The water rate is 1 bucket per bush,
- Loosening the soil composition. The action is carried out several times a season. You must understand that the blueberry root system is shallow from the surface, about 20 centimeters, so you should not loosen the earth deeper than 10 centimeters,
- Cleaning beds from weeds. All kinds of plants and weeds have a bad effect on the formation of a strong root system. They affect the rhizome depressing, so in the list of indispensable features of care, weeding from weeds should occupy an important place,
- Feeding. Regular feeding will be relevant in the spring. Superphosphate, composition of zinc sulphate, ammonium sulphate, potassium sulphate and magnesium sulphate will be a good stimulator of growth.
В первый год жизни, голубику можно удобрять лишь минеральными комплексами, которые вносятся в землю в начале весны. Азотосодержащие препараты вносят в 3 этапа:
- в начале набухания почек ранней весной,
- в первых числах мая,
- в начале первого летнего месяца,
При поиске подходящих подкормок нужно отдавать предпочтение минеральным удобрениям с кислой реакцией. Органические составы губительны для культуры.
При внимательном уходе, растение подскажет, каких именно удобрений не хватает. If in spring time leaves get red tintedk, they need phosphates. If the foliage has decreased in size and faded, most likely we are talking about a lack of nitrogen. If the upper leaves turn black, you need to feed the soil with potassium. The presence of yellowness is the result of a lack of boron.
Pruning and crop protection from pests
To enjoy the excellent harvest from the cultivation of blueberries in the suburbs, in the first year of life, you need to intensively prune excess shoots. Individuals aged 2–4 years require compulsory spring pruning, which contributes to formation of a solid skeleton. It will also reduce the load on the branches during the period of active fruiting, when the branches can simply break off under the influence of large and heavy fruits.
Pruning removes all branches with fertile buds. If the culture is four years old, it is necessary to cut off both the old parts and the increments in the base zone. In summer and autumn, you can get rid of diseased twigs. Annual bushes require regular cleaning of flowers.
Blueberries have a strong and resistant to all sorts of pests character. However, some diseases can cause her a lot of trouble. Among them: pochite mite, aphid and tsvetoed. To solve the problem with the kidney mite, it is enough to have time to process bushes composition "Nitrafen" in the early stages, given the walkthrough. An effective remedy against aphids is "Confidor" or "Bi-58". It is better to proceed with the treatment once every two weeks after the swelling of the kidneys. The flowering tiger bearer is destroyed by the drugs Intra-Vir and Fufanon.
In addition, the culture can be exposed to such diseases:
- Gray rot. The active development of the problem is noticed when grown in conditions of high humidity. For struggle the structure of "Eurapena" in a proportion of 2 grams of means per liter of liquid is used. For preventive purposes, only regular pruning and transplanting of shrubs,
- Monoliosis. The affected culture may exhibit such symptoms as with exposure to frost. You must get rid of all the affected parts, after which it remains to process the bush with Topaz, following the step-by-step instructions,
- Physalosporosis. The problem is accompanied by the appearance of reddish spots on young twigs. To stop further development, it is enough to cut and burn all diseased shoots,
- Stalk cancer. A similar disease begins with the formation of tiny red spots on the leaves, which begin to grow in size as the problem progresses. Ultimately, the leaves are covered with ulcers. To overcome the problem, it is enough to spray the culture with fungicidal agents.
How does a garden blueberry differ from its wild relative?
Wild Blueberry grows only in the northern hemisphere, it can be found in Iceland, Great Britain, North America and in the northern and far eastern regions of Russia. The plant is very unpretentious, and in nature prefers to grow in the marshland. Easily withstands low temperatures, so it feels great even in the tundra.
Garden blueberries inherited simplicity and frost resistance. Besides, some characteristics of the plant have been improved by breeders:
- Shoots became higher (70 cm instead of 25-30 cm), and the number of berries on one stem increased, which had a positive impact on the yield of the plant. It reaches 12 kg from a bush.
- Homemade berries are large and fleshy, in nature, this can not be found.
- Fruiting garden varieties begin already 2-3 years , the wild variety gives fruit only for 15 year of life.
- Cultivated varieties resistance to pests and diseases.
But in some respects the garden plant is inferior to its progenitor:
- Fruit Benefit. Berry grown in natural conditions will always contain more vitamins than home.
- Lifespan. The bush of wild blueberry bears fruit for more than 50 years, but the garden cannot boast with such longevity. The house plant needs to be replanted every 6 years with cutting of new cuttings, otherwise the yield will fall sharply and the fruits will be ground.
In any case, planting blueberries in his garden is a profitable event, especially considering the market value of fresh berries. Yes, and in the care of the plant is absolutely unsightly.
Planting garden blueberries in spring and autumn
The success of the landing depends primarily on the correct location. Where to plant this plant? Blueberries need to choose a plot with good illumination and protection from the wind.
Be sure to check the acidity level of the soil. The plant requires acidic soil with a pH of 3.5-4.5 . If your soil does not meet the requirements, it can be acidified. Colloidal sulfur or a battery electrolyte (sulfuric acid only) is suitable for this. 1 ml of electrolyte, diluted in 1 liter of water, lowers the soil pH by 2 points.
Another important point - the site must be restedthat is, over the past few years nothing should have been grown on it.
Suitable for planting, both spring and autumn. But spring planting is preferable, as it allows the plant to get strong enough for the winter.
When planting blueberries in the spring, you need to have time to do it before the buds swell. For Moscow region is the middle of April. The seedling is better to buy in a pot, its root system will be more viable. Place the pot in a container of water for 30 minutes before planting. then get a young plant, straighten the roots and gently clean them from the ground.
Planting a garden blueberry
The landing procedure itself is as follows:
- Dig a hole 50 cm deep. When planting several plants at once, between the holes it is necessary to make a distance of 50 cm for varieties of undersized and 1 meter for tall ones.
- Loosen the bottom of the fossa and put there a peat blended with sawdust and pine needles. Then add sulfur in the amount of 50 g and mix everything thoroughly again. Thus, ideal sour conditions will be created in which blueberries will actively develop.
- Place the seedling in the hole, straighten it roots and fill it with primer.
- Shower and mulch heavily using conifer sawdust.
In the future, seedlings require watering every 2 weeks. In this case, the water must be enriched with citric acid or apple cider vinegar (20 g per 5 l of water).
If you nevertheless decided to plant the plant in the fall, then it should be done a month before the steady cold, that is, during October. The technology of autumn planting includes all the same actions., but at the end, pruning of a one-year-old seedling is still required. Using a shear cutter, remove the weak twigs, and shorten the sturdy ones by half.
Under all conditions, blueberries will quickly grow and next year we will delight you with the first small crop. And in order to further yield a high level, the plant must provide proper care.
Care of an adult plant, especially growing
Caring for blueberries includes standard procedures.
It is needed every 2 weeks, even if the weather is rainy. And in the hot dry period, the plant should be moistened 2 times a day - in the morning and in the evening, when the sun's rays are not too scorching. Water rate - 1 bucket per bush.
It needs to be done several times per season. It should be borne in mind that the blueberry root system is located close to the surface, about 20 cm. Therefore, it is not necessary to penetrate into the ground deeper than 10 cm.
Weeds prevent the root system from getting food in the required amount, get rid of them regularly.
Fertilizers must be applied in early spring. The easiest way to stimulate plant growth with superphosphate, zinc sulfate, ammonium sulfate, potassium sulfate and magnesium sulphate.
In the first year after planting, the use of mineral fertilizers is sufficient, applying them in early spring
Nitrogen fertilizers are applied in 3 stages:
- in the period of swelling of the kidneys in early spring,
- in the beginning of May,
- At the beginning of June.
If you carefully observe the plant, it will tell you what kind of fertilizer you need. If in the spring the leaves become red, phosphates are required. Foliage shredded and faded - a sign of lack of nitrogen. If the upper leaves turn black, there is little potassium in the soil, and yellowness indicates boron deficiency.
To harvest every year, during the period of swelling of the kidneys, it is necessary to prune the plant. Bushes, aged 2-4 years are subject to mandatory spring pruningto form a strong skeleton, and during the fruiting of the branch is not broken off under the weight of the fruit. All branches with fruit buds are pruned. In plants from 4 years old, all old branches and growths at the base are removed. In summer and autumn, you can additionally get rid of diseased twigs. And in the annual bushes need to remove flowers in the spring.
Pest and disease protection
Blueberries, most often, are attacked by kidney mites, aphids and tsvetoeda. Effective kidney tick protection There will be a treatment of the bushes before the blooming of the kidneys with “Nitrafen”, according to the package instructions. To combat aphids the plant must be sprayed several times with "Confidor" or "BI-58". Treatment should begin after swelling of the kidneys every 2 weeks. Flowerbird will help win the drugs "Inta-Vir" and "Fufanon."
Among the diseases of blueberry are:
- Gray rot. Develops with high humidity. The processing of the branches with “Eurapin” helps (for 1 l of 2 g of the product). For prophylaxis, it is necessary to timely trim and replace the shrubs.
- Monilioz. Infected blueberries look like they are damaged by frost. First of all, it is necessary to remove all affected parts of the plant, and then treat it with Topaz, according to the instructions.
- Physalosporosis. These are small reddish spots that appear on young twigs. To stop the development of the disease, cut and burn all diseased shoots.
- Stalk cancer. It begins with the appearance of small red spots on the leaves, which eventually grow and become brown. And later, on the shoots, ulcers begin to appear, which also gradually increase in size. Timely pruning and destruction of diseased branches, as well as treatment with fungicides - “Fundazole” or “Topsin”, act as a fight against the disease. It is necessary to make 3 treatments before flowering (every 7 days), and 3 more after harvesting.
Preparing for the winter
Blueberries are resistant to cold, and can easily withstand up to -35 degrees , but shelter for the winter she, however, does not interfere. This is especially true of tall plants, in which branches can freeze during a snowless winter.
Blueberries are resistant to severe frosts, but preparation for the winter is necessary.
As a shelter is used lapnik, spunbond, burlap, or any other material, but not the plastic film. Ukryvna material is stretched on a frame of arcs or pegs.
It happens that the gardener has planted according to all the rules, and is properly caring for the plant, but the crop is still not there, or the plant is dying. The reason for this may be the wrong choice of seedlingswhen the variety is not adapted to grow in your area. Therefore, we will further consider what varieties of blueberries will actively develop and bear fruit in the Moscow region.
The best fruit varieties of blueberries for the Moscow region
For the suburban dacha it is worth choosing tall varieties that easily tolerate adverse weather conditions. For this region, American high-quality blueberry varieties are ideal.
Mid-season variety with a yield of up to 9 kg per shrub. The bush is upright and tall, the height of shoots reaches 2 m . The berries are large, light blue with a tart taste. Resistant to frost, can withstand temperatures as low as 35 degrees. It is also experiencing drought.
Medium early variety. Shrubs grow to 1.5 meters . The berries are very large, pleasant taste. The variety is high-yielding, prone to fruit overload and thickening, and therefore needs frequent pruning. Self-pollinating, but when other varieties grow nearby, cross-pollination is possible, which has a positive effect on yield. Winter hardiness is high (up to -37).
The variety is short (1-1.2 m), but with powerful and spreading bushes. It has a good stable yield, ripening by mid-July. Up to 8 kg of fruits can be collected from a bush. Berries are medium in size, sweet in taste, suitable for long term storage. Small compact bushes have high decorative properties, while unpretentious, and are suitable for growing in the northern regions.
Small (0.6-0.9 m) and dense bushes are valued not only for delicious berries, but also for their high decorative effect. Fruits are large, up to 18 mm in diameter, dark blue, their ripening ends in early August. Possess dessert taste and long shelf life. The resistance of the variety to frost is good, withstands up to -35 degrees.
Any of these varieties will feel great in the climate around Moscow, and with proper care will provide you with abundant crops most useful berries for many years.
The plant belongs to deciduous shrubs of the genus Vaccinium (Vaccinium), belonging to the heather family (Eircaceae). Latin name - Vaccinium uliginosum.
It grows in almost all the northern regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Wild thickets of this berry can be found in the tundra, forest-tundra, forest zone and alpine mountain belt. Most often it settles on peatlands and marshes, but sometimes it occurs along rivers and lakes. It can both grow in small groups, and form overgrowths of huge size, for example, blueberry Mari in Transbaikalia with an area of several tens of kilometers.
Wild and domesticated species
It must be borne in mind that wild blueberry berry for planting in the garden unfitbut. In order to grow this crop at home, American and Canadian breeders at the beginning of the last century brought out special cultivated varieties that compare favorably with their wild progenitor with a number of very important qualities. In general, the difference between wild and domesticated blueberries is as follows:
- Productivity The height of wild blueberries is about 35−50 centimeters. A varietal berry bush height varies from one and a half to two meters, depending on the particular variety. Accordingly, the number of berries on one bush increases. The yield of varietal blueberries can reach 12 kg per bush, while in the wild it does not exceed 2 kg. The berries in cultivated varieties are larger and fleshy.
- Start fruiting. Varietal blueberries give the first fruits in 2−3 years after planting. Wild begins to bear fruit after 15 years.
- Artificially bred varieties are more resistant to pests and diseases.
However, not everything is so rosy and smooth with cultural varieties. There are a couple of very important indicators by which wild blueberries greatly exceed their cultivated counterparts. And here, no selection will help. These indicators are as follows:
- Nutritious and vitamin value. Berries of blueberries grown in the wild, contain several orders of magnitude more vitamins and nutrients than varietal blueberries.
- Lifespan. In the wild, blueberry bush lives and bears fruit for more than 50 years. The lifespan and, consequently, the fruiting term of a blueberry domesticated is 5-6 years.
Varieties for the Moscow region
The middle zone is characterized by short winter thaws with rare snowless winters, therefore, only early and mid-season frost-resistant varieties have time to mature in the climate of the Moscow region. Among the most well-established in our climate, the following varieties can be distinguished:
- Bluecrop. Mid-size, grows to one and a half meters. The berries are large, fleshy, with a characteristic matte coating and very tasty. From one bush they harvest up to 8-9 kg of crop. Maturation continues from late July to mid-August. The variety is extremely frost-resistant, able to survive the winter frosts down to -34 ° C without special shelters, if the winter is snowy.
- Blur (Blueray). Taller, reaches 1.8-2 meters in height. The average yield of 7-8 kg per bush. Fragrant large berries of bright blue color reach up to 2 cm in diameter. Ripen by the end of July. The grade differs in extremely high frost resistance.
- Duke Tall bush grows up to 1.8 m. It belongs to the early cold-resistant varieties. The fruits ripen by mid-July. Productivity to 8 kg from a bush. In conditions of a snowy winter, it quietly tolerates low temperatures down to -40 ° C.
- Patriot (Patriot). It grows up to 1.8 m. It belongs to the early large-fruited varieties. Harvest in mid-July. From one bush receive up to 7-8 kg of berries. Able to withstand winter temperatures down to -34 ° C.
- Toro (Toro). Tall early-fruited and large-fruited variety. Reaches 2 m in height. The yield from the fourth year after planting is 9-10 kg per bush. The berries ripen in early August.
- Spartan (Spartan). The early ripe grade, ripens in the middle or at the end of July. Tall (up to 2 meters in height). Productivity - up to 6 kg from a bush. Frost resistance is 24-26 degrees below zero.
- Earliblue. Srednerosly grade of early maturing. It grows up to one and a half meters. Fruits ripen to mid-July. The amount of harvest from one bush is up to 4-7 kg.
- Nortland Low sprawling bush grows to 1-1.2 m in height. The variety is early ripe, the crop ripens already in the middle of July. Отличается крайне высокой морозостойкостью, способен переносить понижение зимних температур до -35°C. Также у него очень короткий период вегетации, что делает его идеальным сортом для выращивания в северных регионах. Урожайность составляет 6—8 кг с куста.
Many varieties of blueberries are self-fertile, but for more effective fruiting it is recommended to plant several varieties in alternation at once. This type of planting will stimulate the formation and pollination of a larger number of ovaries.
Landing on the plot
Growing blueberries in the Moscow region, planting and care are not very complicated. Novice gardeners often think that if wild blueberries grow mainly in swamps, then their cultivars also need a moist and shady place. This is not true, homemade blueberries can not tolerate shading and waterlogging. It should be planted in a well-lit place in a well-drained soil, as overmoistening of the soil leads to a sharp decrease in growth and a decrease in fruiting. And the rest is unpretentious and hardy plant.
To grow a berry, you should follow a number of simple rules. The main thing - you need to know exactly when to plant blueberries in the suburbs. It can begin to be planted in the soil both in early spring, before sap flow has begun, and in the fall.
In the climate near Moscow, it is recommended to do this in the spring, since in this case the young plant will have enough time to prepare for wintering. If for some reason you have to plant in the fall, landing must be done a month before the frostso that there is time for rooting. Conditions required for planting:
- Lighting. Blueberries do not tolerate even a slight shade, so the place for planting and further cultivation must be on the south side and be maximally illuminated by the sun's rays throughout the daylight hours. Otherwise, it will be difficult to wait for a good harvest from it.
- Protection from the northern winds and winter drafts. Despite its winter hardiness, this berry is extremely negative for drafts (especially in winter). It is necessary to think over an effective windscreen.
- Acidity of the soil. One of the main conditions. Blueberry refers to those plants that are very fond of acidic soil. Experts say that the soil should be very acidic, that is, the acidity should reach about 3.5-4.5 units. Therefore, for planting necessarily prepare a special soil substrate for blueberries.
- The consistency of the soil. Substrate should be loose, air and moisture permeable. For these purposes, coniferous litter, coarse river sand and high-moor peat are necessarily introduced into the prepared soil.
Landing technology and soil composition
To grow blueberries in the suburbs, seedlings are planted in rows (several dozen bushes in the same row). The distance between the rows is 2 meters. Planting pits with a depth of 50 cm and a diameter of 60 cm are placed at a distance of 1.5 meters from each other.
The plant does not tolerate stagnant water in the soil; therefore, a drainage layer of 20 cm is mandatory placed on the bottom of the pit. Crushed stone of medium fraction or expanded clay is suitable as a drainage. On top of the drainage poured river sand with a layer of 10 cm.
A container with a seedling before planting should be placed in a container of water for 30 minutes. After that, the plant, along with the roots, is easily removed from the tank and transferred to the planting pit.
Blueberries love to grow in nitrogen-poor soils. If you add to the prepared substrate humus, then there may be growth problems that can kill the plant. The composition of the soil substrate is as follows:
- a mixture of sphagnum and moss,
- fallen needles,
- large river sand,
- garden land.
More than half of the composition of the mixture falls on sour high-moor peat, the acidity of which is 2.5–3.5 units and is ideal for the growth and development of blueberries. All other components are added in approximately equal amounts and thoroughly mixed.
After planting, the soil around the bush is mulched with needles and pieces of fir bark with a layer of 10–20 cm. Such a mulch retains moisture inside the soil substrate, at the same time slightly acidifies it and does not allow weeds to grow.
It is recommended to acidify the soil 2–3 times per season with a special solution prepared from edible citric acid. One or two packets are dissolved in 10 liters of water and the plants are watered with this solution.
An important step in the care of a plant is its pruning. Timely and proper pruning of varietal blueberries is a guarantee of a regular and abundant harvest. She started to spend on 5−6 year of landing. From now on, it must be done regularly to rejuvenate the plant. The following branches are pruned:
- excessively thickening shrubs and preventing sunlight from penetrating into the green mass of the plant,
- those who have reached the age of 5 (for varietal blueberries, this is a critical moment, if the old branches are not removed in time, the plant will die of old age over the next five years),
- dead during wintering due to low temperatures.
Regular feeding begins the next year after planting. Plant can not be fed organic fertilizer, you can only use mineral. The first fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers is carried out in early spring before leafing. The second feeding is carried out two months after the first, in this period phosphorus-potassium fertilizers are applied.
Blueberry has a specific feature - change the color of the leaves, depending on the lack of certain fertilizers. Therefore, experienced gardeners, as a rule, are guided by external observation of this plant in order to determine which fertilizers it lacks and which additional feeding should be carried out in the near future. Such signals are as follows:
- leaves have a slightly reddish hue - lack of phosphorus,
- leaves turn yellow - lack of nitrogen,
- leaf blades turn red - little magnesium,
- the tops become blue - boron deficiency,
- the tips of the leaves turn black - no potassium.
Where better to plant blueberries in the suburbs
In nature, blueberries prefer marshy peaty soil or soil from coniferous forests. Such conditions are found mainly in Siberia, the Urals and the Far East. In the climatic conditions of the Moscow region, mainly special garden varieties are grown, which are specially adapted to the climatic and soil conditions of the region.
Note: Garden blueberries are slightly higher than forest ones, since adult specimens can grow up to two meters in height.
The main requirement for planting blueberries - the correct selection of the site (Figure 1). The first thing you need to pay attention to the type of soil. It should be quite acidic, about 3.5-4 pH. In other conditions, even the strongest and healthiest seedlings can take root badly or even die after planting.
You can check the acidity of the soil using a special tester. But there is a popular way: just look at which part of your site grows well sorrel or thickets of field horsetail are constantly formed. These areas have the highest acidity and are excellent for culture.
Figure 1. Features of soil preparation and planting shrubs
In addition to the acidity of the soil, it is necessary to take into account the degree of illumination of the site. Despite the fact that blueberries prefer cool and moderate humidity, plant it better in a well-lit garden. If the shrub will constantly be in the penumbra, the berries will be small, and their taste from sweet will turn into sour.
Planting blueberries on the site
Planting blueberries in the suburbs has some features. First, you need to choose the right time to transfer seedlings to the ground. Secondly, it is necessary to pick up and prepare a good site for a bush, and, finally, precisely observe the planting technology.
Since the process of planting blueberries is different from planting other crops, we will look at its main stages in more detail:
- Landing dates: it is believed that seedlings with a closed root system (sold in containers) can be planted in the ground at any time of the year, from early spring to the beginning of autumn. However, in the Moscow region, it is better to transfer the plants to the garden in the spring, namely in the middle of April, until the buds are completely swollen. During this period, the soil warms to the optimum depth, and the spring planting will give the young shrub an opportunity to take root and grow strong in a new place before the onset of cold weather.
- Site preparation: As mentioned above, blueberries should be planted in well-lit areas with a sour soil. If the soil does not have an optimal level of acidity, it can be poured with water and citric acid (2 teaspoons of the substance per 8 liters of water) or a solution of vinegar (100 ml of table vinegar per 10 liters of water). In addition, the soil in the selected area should be well dig and free from weeds.
- Planting seedlings: When buying planting material, it is better to immediately stop your choice on saplings in containers. Such plants with a closed root system take root much better in new areas. To plant a crop in the suburbs can be individual bushes, in trenches or in the ridges. The latter method is used for high groundwater, as the plant does not tolerate stagnant moisture at the roots. Regardless of the chosen method of planting, you need to pre-prepare a special substrate, which will be filled with holes or trenches. It should consist of peat and sand in equal proportions with the addition of a small amount of chopped pine needles, pine sawdust and sulfur (about 50 grams of the substance per bucket of earthen mixture).
- Preparation of holes and placement of seedlings: at the selected site dig the desired number of wells. If you plant stunted varieties, they can be placed at a distance of 50 cm from each other. For medium-tall and tall, this gap is increased to 100 and 140 cm, respectively. The depth of the planting pit should be about 45-50 cm. It should be completely filled with a prepared substrate, a recess is made in its center, a seedling is placed in it, the roots of the plant are straightened and sprinkled with soil. From above, the soil must be compacted, thoroughly watered and mulched with peat or sawdust.
As mentioned above, for planting it is better to use seedlings that are sold in containers. However, removing the plant from the container without damaging the roots is not so easy. To avoid difficulties, in advance place the container with a sapling a bucket with water. When the soil softens, it will be much easier to extract the plant with the root.
Caring for blueberries in the suburbs: we grow seedlings
You can grow blueberries on the plot not only from ready-made saplings bought in a nursery or gardening shop. If your site already has an adult bush, you can easily propagate it with your own hands.
Figure 2. The method of reproduction by layering
To do this, use the method of rooting cuttings, and it is best to apply it to tall varieties (Figure 2). To get a new plant, the lower branch of the shrub need to bend down to the ground and secure with wire or staple. Next, the escape just need to sprinkle with a thick layer of sawdust. After two years, the sapling forms a fairly strong root system and the branch can simply be separated from the parent bush and transplanted to another site.
When growing a crop, it is important to remember that it needs some attention not only at the planting stage, but also during further cultivation. If you want your shrub to regularly delight you with a bountiful harvest of juicy and tasty berries, be prepared to properly care for it. The main recommendations you will find below.
Blueberries are considered a moisture-loving crop, while it does not tolerate stagnant moisture at the roots, so watering should be treated with special attention. Regardless of the age of the shrub, watering is carried out twice a week, pouring a bucket of water under each plant. If the weather is too dry, watering should be done daily, but it is important to ensure that the soil is not too wet.
Note: If there is enough natural rainfall, the frequency of irrigation can be reduced to once every two weeks.
It is especially important to monitor the soil moisture during the formation of buds and the ripening of berries. To find out if your plant has enough moisture, check the soil in depth: if it is wet by about 20 cm, then the plant gets enough water. If you want to simplify the task for yourself, we recommend to mongolize the tree trunk with peat or coniferous sawdust. Such a procedure, although it will take some time even during planting, will relieve you of the need to constantly remove weeds and carry out frequent watering, since the mulch layer stops the growth of weeds and prevents the evaporation of moisture from the soil.
Pruning plays an important role in the cultivation of a healthy fruiting shrub. They begin to form the plant no sooner than two to four years after planting (Figure 3). The timing of the start of pruning depends on the variety: tall species begin to form a crown as early as two years of age, and medium-growth and low-growing varieties do not cut to four.
Figure 3. Adult shrub pruning technology
The main purpose of pruning is to remove the old biennial branches that brought the harvest this year, and to remove excess shoots with fruit buds. In the first case, you strengthen the health of the plant, since the two-year-old shoots will no longer yield harvest, but will only consume the sap of the shrub. Cutting shoots with fruit buds allows thinning the shrub and forming a strong foundation for the future of the productive plant.
In the future, pruning is carried out annually, and it is desirable to carry out it in the spring, before bud break, as the autumn sanitary or formative pruning may weaken the shrub before hibernation. However, if you see signs of disease or pest damage on blueberries, sanitary pruning should be done immediately.
Top dressing of saplings
The only condition that should be observed when feeding is a ban on any organic fertilizers, since this crop does not perceive them at all. Any organic matter reduces the acidity of the soil, which negatively affects the health of the shrub.
To saturate the soil with nutrients, you should use mineral fertilizers, which are applied three times a year. The first time the shrub is fed in the spring, even before the sap flow and kidney swelling begins. During this period, 20 grams of potassium or sulfur should be added to each plant. The second time, fertilizers are added in the second half of May, adding 25-30 grams of azofosca to each shrub. The last time the plants are fed during the onset of fruiting, that is, in mid-July. To feed the plant soil around sprinkled with coniferous sawdust, mixed with chopped spruce or pine needles.
Reproduction of blueberry
In the previous sections, we have already considered how blueberry can be grown by rooting cuttings. But this is not the only way to propagate a culture. You can also get a new healthy plant from seeds or cuttings.
Seed breeding method is considered the most difficult, time consuming and laborious. First, you need to choose a ripe large berry without defects, dry it and extract the seeds from the pulp. This should be done in the fall, and the resulting planting material should be stored until spring at a temperature not higher than +5 degrees. Secondly, the seeds need to be sown properly. The optimal period is mid-April, and the seeds need to be embedded only 15 mm deep into the soil. Next, the bed should be watered and covered with a layer of mulch.
Note: During the entire warm season, the bed should be constantly watered, maintaining the optimum level of soil moisture. When the first sprouts appear, the mulch is removed, and starting from the second year - fertilizing with fertilizers for blueberries is carried out. When the plants are formed, they are transplanted to a permanent place, but it will take several years.
The reproduction of blueberry cuttings is much easier to implement at home. For this you can use both green and lignified cuttings. They take root equally, the only difference is in the preparation of planting material. Green cuttings begin to harvest from late June to mid-July, using the tops of the shoots of the current year. Lignified cuttings can be harvested from December to March, cutting planting material from one-year healthy shoots.
The cutting should be 12–15 cm long, with 2-3 buds on each of them (Figure 4).
Rooting cuttings is carried out as follows:
- A branch should be cut so that a part of the wood from the branch remains on its bottom, and all leaves should be removed from the bottom of the cutting.
- Prepared cuttings are immersed in a solution of root-forming drug for a day, after which they are planted in a greenhouse or greenhouse. Landing is desirable to carry out in early spring or late winter.
- For the next month and a half, the cuttings should be watered regularly so that the soil does not dry out.
- At the end of August, cuttings with formed roots can be transferred to a permanent bed, and in the fall, a month before the onset of frosts (approximately in October), plantings are mulched with peat or sawdust.
Весной, после таяния снега, укрытие можно снять, растения полить и повторно замульчировать. Вносить подкормки на данном этапе не нужно.
Лучшие сорта голубики для Подмосковья
Климат Подмосковья умеренный, поэтому выращивать здесь можно любые сорта садовой голубики, но лучше всего отдавать предпочтение видам, плодоношение у которых начинается с начала июля (рисунок 5).
Лучшими для Подмосковья считаются такие сорта голубики:
- Блюкроп: отличается неприхотливостью в уходе и морозостойкостью. In addition, adult shrubs tolerate a lack of moisture, without stopping the development and fruiting. Also, plants have a high yield and large size of fruits, and are resistant to diseases and pests.
- Patriot: considered one of the best varieties. In a climate of the Moscow region begins to bear fruit before other species: the first berries ripen in early July. In addition to the early onset of fruiting, the variety is characterized by moderate frost resistance, good keeping quality of fruits and resistance to diseases of horticultural crops.
- Spartan: also refers to the early ripe varieties that can be successfully grown in the suburbs. Representatives of the species are distinguished by high yields (up to 7 kg of fruits from one bush per season), as well as resistance to drought and cold.
- Toro: refers to tall mid-season varieties. It is noteworthy that the harvest can be collected in two stages: this advantage plays an important role for those who grow crops for further sale. Differs in frost resistance and immunity to disease, but to preserve the fruiting shrub requires annual pruning.
Despite the fact that most varieties of blueberries for the Moscow region are resistant to low temperatures, sheltering shrubs for the winter is still worth it. In the absence of snow cover and shelter, the tips of the shoots and roots close to the surface may freeze.
More details of the cultivation of blueberries in the Moscow region are shown in the video.
Description of the main varieties and varieties
Blueberry (Vaccínium) is a species of plants belonging to the heather family. It is a shrub or shrub 30-180 cm tall. Sometimes blueberries are confused with blueberries, but after looking at the photo, it becomes clear that these representatives of one genus have a number of differences.
In nature, the species is very common, occurs in almost all regions where the climate is cold or temperate. On the territory of our country it grows in the tundra, in the foothills of the Caucasus and Altai, in the forest-steppe belt, in the marshy forests, often in swamps and along the banks of rivers. In the middle lane, under conditions of a rather short growing season, the danger of frosty and snowless winters, early-season frost-resistant species should be chosen. Currently, there are many forms, zoned for temperate latitudes and in particular the Moscow region.
Sort Blyukrop - very valuable, it is known from 1952. It forms a tall bush, upright stems reach a height of 1.5-1.8 m. Large berries (up to 2 cm in diameter) are blue with a blue patina, form small clusters. Maturation occurs in late July - early August. The variety shows excellent resistance to diseases, droughts and frosts.
Variety Patriot valued primarily for excellent taste of berries. Bushes up to 1-1.5 m high (less often up to 1.8 m). Maturation in the Moscow region occurs in mid-July. Slightly flattened fruits 1.5-1.8 cm in size are collected in dense brushes. This variety is frost resistant and resistant to a number of diseases.
In addition to these varieties, near Moscow show excellent results:
Care, fertilization and fertilizing
Fresh planted young plants need to weed carefully. From time to time, the soil is loosened, but not deep, because the root system is superficial. An important point in the cultivation of blueberries is to prevent the earthen clod from drying out. The first time after planting is to maintain the soil in a state of constant humidity. But you can not swamp the area: avoid stagnant water. An essential element in caring for blueberries is pruning. It is recommended to carry it out in early spring, before the start of sap flow. The cropping procedure becomes clearer after watching the video.
Fertilize blueberries should be minerals, organic matter is bad for the plant. In the Moscow region, two spring dressings are required. The first is carried out during the swelling of the kidneys, the second at the end of May. The older the shrub, the greater the dose of complex fertilizers applied to it.
Blueberries are notable for the fact that the appearance of the plant clearly indicates the need for certain substances.
- With a lack of nitrogen growth slows down, the leaves turn yellow.
- If a phosphorus deficiency occurs, the leaf plate rises to the stem and becomes reddish.
- When the need for potash substances is high, the tips of the leaves and shoots turn black.
- In the mode of magnesium deficiency - the edges of the leaves turn red.
- With a shortage of boron - young tops turn blue.
Observing the condition of the plant, you can determine the needs and feed the bush in a timely manner.
The most typical diseases and pests
Affected by fungal diseases, such as:
- Cancer stalk.
- Gray rot.
- Monilioz fruits.
- White leaf spot.
- Double leaf spot.
To combat these unpleasant phenomena, you need to cut the affected branches and dispose of them. Treat with suitable fungicides. Sometimes blueberries suffer from viral and mycoplasmal diseases. In this case, the plant will have to be completely removed and the soil disinfected. Pests rarely attack blueberries, only some caterpillars and moths eat it. But birds can do much harm, pecking berries. Against the birds, you can try to stretch a thin mesh or agrospan over the bushes.
Although the cultivation of blueberries is quite time-consuming process, getting valuable berries is worth it. Fruits are used in cooking (including for making compotes, jams and preserves), medicine, consumed fresh. We must remember that it is important to acidify the soil. Given the subtleties of cultivation described in the article, it is possible to get a rich harvest.
Habitat and growing conditions
Blueberries are a separate subfamily with several species. Tall are named in accordance with the growing area - "Canadian" and "American." In Russia, blueberries are an indispensable attribute of shrub and mountain tundra. It grows well on swampy soils (marsh blueberries), in coniferous forests (forest), in dense thickets of cedar elfin woods. Distributed in Siberia, the Far East, in the forest zone of the European part of the Russian Federation.
In the suburbs are grown not wild, and garden blueberries. It is a taller plant with a height of 150–200 cm. It prefers soils with an acidity level in the range of 3.5–5. Rarely among gardeners who knows exactly what the pH value on his site. Therefore, focus on those plants that feel good on the existing soil in the garden or the surrounding area. If horsetail or sorrel grows here - this is a sign of favorable conditions for planting blueberries.
The climate of the Moscow region is great for growing a wide variety of garden varieties, from early to late ripening. This shrub prefers moderately humid, cool weather conditions, as evidenced by its habitat in the wild. Since the climate of the Moscow region is characterized by a relatively short growing season, early and mid-season varieties are predominantly grown here.
It was bred in America in 1908, it has been known in Russia since 1952. It proved to be unpretentious, cold-resistant, and tolerating temporary periods of drought. The bush is tall, 150–180 cm. It is abundantly fruiting; the diameter of the berries can reach 20 mm. The ripening period is the third decade of July. The variety showed high resistance to various diseases.
The variety is notable for high yield (4–6 kg from a bush) and tasty sour-sweet berries. Differs in good frost resistance. In the winter in the suburbs does not freeze, does not require shelter. But he has his minus: the berries are juicy and soft, low quality. Gardeners do not recommend growing Early Blue for sale, but it is great for home-made products. Ripens in late July.
Bred in the USA in 1976, widely known among connoisseurs of garden blueberries. In the conditions of the climate near Moscow begins to bear fruit one of the first: from mid-July. The berries are oval-shaped, with a matte coating, with a diameter of 12-15 mm. The bush is frost-resistant, resistant to most diseases of garden plants. Differs in good keeping quality, it is suitable for transportation. The taste of berries is sweet and sour with a piquant, barely noticeable bitterness.
One more early ripe grade which is perfectly fructifying in the conditions of Moscow area. It can certainly be called the earliest, but this is not the only advantage of the variety. It has a high yield (up to 7 kg from a bush), drought and frost. The berries are light blue with a matte coating, the average diameter is 16-18 mm. Suitable for storage and transportation, have good taste.
Tall mid-season variety. Crop harvested in two stages. Shrub 180–200 cm tall, with large (15–18 mm) sour-sweet berries. There is a shallow scar on the fruits. It tolerates frosts right up to –34 ° C; annual pruning is required in care. Immune to most heath diseases.
When to plant in the country: time
Blueberries are planted in spring or autumn. The first option is preferable, as the plant has time to settle down and even give the first few crops. For Moscow, the optimal spring planting period is mid-April. By this time, the soil manages to warm up to the depth sufficient for this procedure. The optimal period is until the kidneys swell. Planting blueberry seedlings is carried out after the second half of April
Autumn planting is fraught with difficulty. Here the main thing is to correctly determine its term: a month before the first frost. Approximately the second decade of October. But the climate of the Moscow region is unpredictable, and in early November a significant cooling can occur. For this reason, most gardeners in the region prefer not to risk it and plant blueberries in the spring.
Reference! During autumn planting, one-year-old plants are pruned: they cut off weak branches and shorten strong branches by half. Biennial seedlings do not need this procedure.
Selection and preparation of places for growing
First of all, you need to correctly determine the place for the seedling and, if necessary, prepare the soil. As already mentioned, blueberries prefer acidified soils. If the soil at the site is not sufficiently acidic, the situation is corrected in the following ways:
- watering with citric acid solution at the rate of 2 tsp. 8 liters of water
- introduction of electrolyte (50 ml per 1 l of water - per 1 m 2),
- watering with a solution of 9% vinegar at the rate of 100 ml per 10 l of water.
The soil should be breathable. On a clay shrub will develop poorly and may wither. Optimal soils for blueberries:
- sour peat,
- soil gathered in the forest with a predominance of coniferous trees,
- sandy loam
Wild blueberry varieties are unpretentious and bear fruit well even in dense forest thickets. This can not be said about the garden. All of them need good lighting, which is one of the most important criteria for choosing a landing site.
Another significant condition - protection from the wind. In this regard, it is recommended to plant shrubs along any shelters: fences, economic and other buildings.
Important! Blueberries can react negatively to predecessors that grow earlier in the place chosen for it. Therefore, at least a year it should be “fallow”, or nothing should grow here except for herbs.
It is optimal to buy seedlings in containers with shoots not less than 50 cm long. For easier removal of the plant from the container half an hour before planting, the container is immersed in relatively hot water. The soil will become soft, when excavated, the earthen room will not crack and the roots will not be damaged.
There are three possible landing methods:
- in the trench, with a distance between them from 1.5 to 2 m,
- in the "wells" / pit
- on the ridges.
The first and second methods are selected at GWL (groundwater level) 80–150 cm. They are not suitable for clay soils and loams. For heavy soils, there is a third way to plant garden blueberries: on the ridges.
Regardless of the method chosen, it will be necessary to prepare a substrate that will be laid on the bottom of the pits or trenches. For this purpose, in equal parts take the most available materials and mixtures:
- crushed sphagnum peat,
- river sand without large stones
- conifer shavings and sawdust (except for spruce),
- fallen needles,
- spruce and other cones,
- coniferous humus.
Important! Compost, ashes and organic fertilizers (manure) should not be applied during planting. They have a negative effect on the root system of the shrub.
- At the selected location mark the location of the bushes. If stunted varieties are planted, the distance between plants is 50–60 cm. For medium-sized shrubs, 90–100 m. Distance between tall ones is 120–140 cm.
- Dig pits or trenches 40–45 cm deep.
- At the bottom of the stack pre-cooked substrate with a layer of 10-15 cm.
- Carefully remove the sapling from the container.
- Set the bush in the pit, straighten the roots.
Blueberry planting scheme
- Sprinkle the roots with the substrate and lightly tamp.
- Fill the hole in layers with the ground taken out earlier, compacting it.
- Abundantly watered sapling.
- Pristvolny circle filled with mulch. Use rotten peat, sawdust, pine needles or a mixture of these components.
Attention! After planting, blueberries for 1.5 months are watered abundantly 1 time in 2 weeks.
How to plant: video experience
All varieties of garden blueberries are unpretentious, but this does not exclude the need to care for shrubs. He quickly responds to care: acquires decorative and fruit well.
One of the most important care procedures is watering. For young and adult bush, it should be regular and moderately abundant. In the rainy period, it is sufficient to carry it out once every 2 weeks. In a drought, blueberries require special attention: it is watered moderately, but daily, morning and evening.
Soil moisture is especially important during the period of bud formation and ripening of berries. At this time, you need to strive to ensure that the top 20 cm of the soil layer is always wet. In order to prevent its drying, the root space is mulched in any convenient way.
For good plant development, breathable soil is needed. In this regard, several times a season, it is loosened to a depth of 8–10 cm (no more!). For this purpose, use the appropriate garden tools. Weeds are also regularly removed, do not allow the thickets of grass to grow around the bushes.
For the proper cultivation of garden blueberries remember one rule: this plant can not be fed organic fertilizers. They reduce the acidity of the soil and adversely affect the growth of shrubs.
Blueberry feeding is done three times a year:
- in spring, before the buds swell - 20 g of potassium or sulfur for each bush,
- in the 2nd – 3rd decade of May - 25–30 g of azofoski under each bush,
- in the middle of July - coniferous humus, sawdust mixed with pine needles.
The first pruning is carried out in the spring of the 2-4th year after planting. They look at the condition of the bush: if it is tall, the procedure is needed already for two-year-old saplings, if it is low or medium growth - for 3-4-year-olds. The purpose of pruning is to remove all branches with fruit buds. In such a way form the strong basis of a productive bush.
The second pruning is carried out in the spring on the 5-6th year after planting. During this period, it is necessary to remove all dry and diseased branches, especially those that come into contact with the ground.
Attention! Autumn pruning is required if the shrub is untidy and there are a lot of dry branches on it.
It affects the plant in rainy seasons, the main cause of which is an excess of moisture. Prevention:
- drainage device
- timely pruning,
- in the rain the soil around the bushes do not mulch.
Disease treatment consists of spraying the crown. For this purpose, prepare a solution of "Eurapena" at the rate of 2 g per 1 liter of water.
The first sign of plant damage is the appearance of red spots on the leaves. Soon they become brown, and sores appear on the branches. The treatment consists of removing the affected shoots, treating the plant with “Fundazole” or “Topsin” at the rate of 10 g per 10 l of water.
A characteristic symptom of the disease - drooping leaves, as if nailed with frost. The disease is easily treated by treating the crown with Topaz (1 ampoule per 5 liters of water).
Of the pests most often appear:
- kidney mite (as a preventive measure, treatment with “Nitrafen” is required in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, spraying is carried out until the first leaflets appear),
- aphid (disposed of with the help of "Condifor" at the rate of 1-2 g per 100 ml of water),
- tsvetoed (struggling with the help of "Intavira" at the rate of 1 tablet per 10 liters of water).
Preparing for the winter
Despite the endurance and frost resistance of most varieties of garden blueberries, it freezes out at temperatures below –35 ° C. For Moscow, such frosts are not uncommon, so the shrubs must cover for the winter. To this end, build a strong frame of wire arcs, which put the burlap, spanbond or lapnik.
Attention! The polyethylene film is not used, since under it the air exchange that is optimal for the plant is disturbed.
You can do otherwise:
- bend down branches
- fix them on the ground with staples,
- wrap with sacking or agrofibre.
The appearance of the shrub can signal trouble:
- raised leaves with a reddish tinge - lack of phosphorus,
- red leaves - lack of magnesium,
- the blackened tips of the leaves are a lack of boron.
Ситуацию исправляют внесением необходимого вещества. На упаковках препаратов есть инструкция производителя, в которой указана оптимальная доза при разных признаках проблем с растением.
Самый сложный способ. Он оптимален для питомников и в случае необходимости получения редкого сорта. Методику выращивания из семян садоводы редко используют, но знать о ней не помешает.
Stages of growing blueberries from seed:
- Choose a ripe large berry with no signs of rot and disease.
- Dry, remove the seeds. Store them until spring at a temperature of from 0 ° C to + 5 ° C.
- Planted in April in the heated soil to a depth of 15 mm.
- Cover with a layer of mulch.
- During the season, watered regularly, maintaining moderate soil moisture.
Starting from the second year, fertilizing is required, which is required for garden blueberries.
Reproduction by cuttings
Blueberries are propagated by green and salted cuttings. The difference lies only in the method of obtaining planting material. All other stages of cultivation are the same.
Green cuttings are harvested in the middle of summer (from late June to late July) from the shoots of the current year.
- Sharply tear off or cut the branch downwards so that there remains a part of last year's wood (heel).
- At the bottom of the stalk remove all the leaves.
- On the day immersed in the solution "Kornevina".
- Planted in a greenhouse or greenhouse.
- For 1.5 months, watered regularly, preventing the soil from drying out.
- In late August, planted in a permanent place.
- In late October, cover with a layer of peat or sawdust. From above stack spandbond.
- In the spring, the insulation layer is removed. The plant is not fed.
Littered cuttings are harvested from December to March. Use one-year strong shoots. Cut them into segments 12–15 cm long, each with 3-4 buds. Tied in a bun and stored until spring in the refrigerator, cellar or snowdrift. In March, transferred to heat for acclimatization. A day before planting immersed in the solution "Kornevina". As in the case of green cuttings, planted in a greenhouse or greenhouse.
Reproduction by layering
This method is optimal for tall varieties of garden blueberries. It is quite simple and popular. It is as follows:
- the lower branch of the bush is bent to the ground,
- if necessary, fix the bracket from the wire,
- sprinkled with a layer of sawdust.
After 2-3 years, a sufficiently developed root system is formed in this place. The branch is carefully separated from the parent bush and transplanted to the place chosen for it.
Blueberry varieties for the Moscow region: reviews practitioners
We planted a couple of Patriot bushes last fall. Everything is as it should be with sour peat and mulch in the company to the same "peat-acid lovers" - rododendrons and magnolias. For the winter they sheltered slightly. Now it looks very cheerful.
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I'm just engaged in growing it in the Moscow region, near Mozhaisk. The first acquaintance with blueberries was in 1998. Now in my collection there are Duke, Patriot, Bleukrop, Erliblyu, River, Puru, Toro, Northland, Rankos, and Northcantry. Saplings were purchased not in Russia in the markets, but directly from the planters, so the regrading was excluded, and each variety has its own characteristics, which allow it to be identified almost 100%. As for winter hardiness, I can say that almost all the varieties I have listed, it is quite satisfactory. It was only in severe frosts that freezing of non-lignified shoots was observed, and sometimes flower buds froze over. The comb for blueberry is not needed, because It will hurt the berries, and it will be difficult to divide the ripe and unripe berries.
The middle-ripening variety Bleukrop, which is supposed to ripen in early August, has already been harvested by 80% and only because of its extended fruiting, earlier varieties ended in late July. This is probably due to the warming of the climate and the increase in the growing season over the last 15–20 years that have elapsed since the beginning of the cultivation of this crop in our country.
Growing blueberries in the Moscow region is a proven and well-known process that everyone can master. It is important to choose the right variety, prepare the soil and properly plant the plant. Recommendations for the care of them will help annually get abundant crops of berries.