Garden blueberry: planting and care, cultivation in the garden, varieties with description
The deciduous shrub of the common blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), also called the marsh blueberry, or the marsh, or undersized, is a typical species of the genus heather family vaccinium. In nature, it can be found in regions with a cold and temperate climate throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In North America, the range of common blueberry begins in California and ends in Alaska, and in Eurasia it covers the territory from Mongolia and the Mediterranean to Iceland. Such a plant has a large number of popular names, for example: gonobel (gonobol, gonoboy, gonobob), blue grapes, drunkard (drunkard, drunk berry, drunkard), dope (fool's, fool, fool) and blueberry. The fool, gonobob, drunkard and other similar "negative" names were given to the plant by mistake, many people were sure that because of it the head starts to hurt badly, as if from a hangover. However, severe pain in the head actually occurs in people due to wild rosemary, which prefers to grow next to blueberries. The fruits of blueberries are considered very valuable, and therefore its popularity among gardeners is growing every year. In addition to the common blueberry, growing in temperate and cool areas, there is one more species, called the tall garden blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), it is from America, where it gained great popularity among gardeners. In the United States and Canada, blueberry fruits are more popular than blackcurrant berries. Canadian and American hybrids and varieties of this type of blueberry are gradually becoming more and more popular among mid-latitude gardeners, but they can only be grown in the southern regions of Russia or in Ukraine.
The genus vaccinium includes cranberries, blueberries, lingonberries and blueberries. Some scientists are sure that blueberries and blueberries are one and the same plant, while other botanists oppose this identification. The fibrous root system has no root hairs. On the surface of cylindrical erect branches there is a bark of brown or dark gray color, and the stems are painted green. The height of the common blueberry does not exceed 100 centimeters, while tall blueberries can reach up to 200 centimeters in height and even more. Short-leafly regular leaf plates are small, whole, smooth and rigid, their length is about 30 mm, and their width is up to 25 mm. Their shape is lanceolate or obovate, there is a blunt apex, and the edges are slightly bent down. On the front surface of the leaves there is a waxy coating, which is why they have a greenish-blue color, the back surface is more pale in color, there are strongly protruding veins on it. Small drooping five-toothed flowers have a whisk of a pitcher shape of white or pale pink color, which reaches 60 mm in length, there are also from 8 to 10 stamens. Flowers are located on the upper parts of last year's branches, while they sit on several pieces. Oblong blue fruits reach 1.2 cm in length, and they weigh about 1 gram. On their surface there is a bluish coating, the skin is thin, and the color of the flesh is pale green. The weight of tall blueberry fruits is 10–25 g, while in America about 10 kilograms are collected from one bush on average. In warm regions of middle latitudes, from one bush of this type of blueberry, you can collect up to 7 kilograms of fruit, but only if weather conditions are favorable. When choosing a seedling, remember that not all foreign varieties can be cultivated in mid-latitudes, since there are late-ripening varieties, and only 30 percent have time to ripen their fruits. In this regard, in mid-latitudes it is recommended to cultivate common blueberries or those varieties of tall blueberries that are medium or early ripe.
STRAWBERRY FROM A TO Z Planting, care, varieties
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Planting garden blueberries
You can plant blueberries in open soil in spring and autumn. It should be borne in mind that experienced gardeners advise doing this in the spring, since during the summer period the seedling will be able to take root and gain strength, which will allow it not to suffer from frost in the winter. Growing blueberries is relatively simple, it will be much more difficult to harvest and preserve it.
For planting blueberries, you should choose a well-lit area, while the bush needs to be protected from gusts of wind. If you plant it in a shaded place, then the harvest will be meager, and the quality of the fruit is low. This plant is very demanding on the soil, for its cultivation only acidic soil is suitable, the pH of which should be equal to 3.5-4.5. Also, experienced gardeners for planting blueberries recommend choosing the site that has been under steam for several years. The fact is that this plant reacts negatively to any predecessors. Remember that a quiet, well-lit place with peaty-loamy or peaty-sandy well-drained soil is ideal for planting. In the event that there is no plot in the garden that is ideal for growing such a shrub, it can be done with your own hands.
Planting blueberries. Caring for blueberries.
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Planting blueberries in spring
Landing in open soil in spring is done before the buds swell. When purchasing a blueberry seedling, you should carefully choose the type and variety. Your chosen plant should be suitable for growing in your area. If the climate in the region is quite cold, then it is best to buy a seedling of low-growing Canadian blueberries. In warm regions with long, hot summers, various varieties of garden blueberries can be grown. Also, when choosing a seedling, it is very important to take into account the timing of fruit ripening, they must be compared with the climatic characteristics of your region. The fact is that if you make the wrong choice, then the berries simply will not have time to ripen before the onset of frost.
Experts advise to buy seedlings with a closed root system (in a container or pot). However, during the planting of blueberries in open soil, one should take into account that its roots are so fragile that they simply cannot afford to deploy in the ground independently. In this regard, it can not simply be transferred from the tank to the landing hole. Before planting, the pot with seedlings will need to be immersed in a container of water for 15 minutes. Then the plant should be carefully removed from the pot. Hands carefully, slowly rumple the earthen lump and try to straighten the roots of blueberries.
The size of the landing pit for common blueberries and garden blueberries is the same, namely, 0.6x0.6 meters, while its depth should be 0.5 meters. If several tall seedlings are planted, then a distance of 1.2 meters is observed between them, for medium-sized varieties it should be 1 meter, and for low-growing varieties - 0.5 meters. The row spacing should be 3–3.5 meters. After the pit is ready, it is recommended to loosen its bottom and walls, which will improve air access to the root system of the seedling. Next, you need to make sure that the soil in the pit is acidic. To do this, a mixture consisting of sawdust, sand, peat and pine needles is laid at its bottom, to oxidize the resulting substrate, pour 50 grams of sulfur into it. Mix well the resulting substrate and ram it. Pouring fertilizer into the soil is not required. At the same time, it is not recommended to use organics for feeding blueberries, as it helps alkalize the soil. When the pit is ready, it is necessary to place the plant in it, its roots are carefully straightened, while they must be directed in different directions.It should be noted that after planting, the root neck of the blueberry should be 30 mm deep in the soil. Planted plants need watering. When the liquid is absorbed into the soil, its surface should be sprinkled with a layer of mulch (bark, peat, coniferous sawdust or straw), the thickness of which should be 12 centimeters.
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Planting blueberries in autumn
Planting blueberries in autumn produce exactly the same as in spring. However, if a seedling of the first year of life was used for planting, then after planting, using a pruner, all weak branches will need to be removed from it, and the remaining branches should be shortened by ½ part. In the event that the seedling is older than 2 years, then it should not be cut.
During the season, you will need to make several loosening of the surface of the trunk circle, while their depth should be within 8 centimeters. However, remember that loosening the soil often should not be, as this can cause the plant to dry out. It should also be noted that the root system of blueberries is located horizontally and very close to the soil surface (about 15 centimeters), so try not to injure it when loosening. Due to the fact that the roots of the plant are located close to the surface of the soil, it is very important to fill it with mulch. Loosening the soil can be done without first removing the mulch, and it should be replenished 2 or 3 times per season. Timely weed control is also important, they are torn out immediately after it appears on the site.
For the normal growth and development of the bush, it is still necessary to water, feed and trim it on time.
Blueberries should be watered correctly. In this case, a gardener should develop a special scheme for watering blueberries. So, the soil should always be moist, however, it should be noted that water after irrigation should not be retained in the soil for more than two days, otherwise this can cause the death of the bush. As a rule, watering is carried out twice a week 2 times a day (in the morning and evening), while at the same time 10 liters of water are poured under 1 bush. Particular attention should be paid to watering in July and August, when fruiting is observed, because it is at this time that flower buds are laid for next year. If blueberries at this time will not receive the required amount of water, then this will negatively affect the amount of the crop both this and next year. If it is very hot outside, then the bushes will need not only watering, but also spraying, this will help to avoid their overheating. Spray the plants in the early morning or after 16 hours.
Blueberry does not have special requirements for the nutritional value of the soil, however, it responds well to mineral fertilizers. Feeding is recommended in early spring, when sap flow begins and the kidneys swell. In this case, organic feeding should be completely excluded. To fertilize such a shrub, it is recommended to use the following fertilizers: potassium sulfate, superphosphate, ammonium sulfate, magnesium sulfate and zinc sulfate. The fact is that they are absorbed by the plant very well. The introduction of nitrogen-containing fertilizers (ammonium sulfate) occurs in 3 stages. So, 40 percent of the nitrogen fertilizers needed for Blueberry must be brought in when the sap flow is just beginning, 35 percent in the first days of May, and 25 percent in the first days of July. Only one shrub per season requires from 70 to 90 grams of this fertilizer. From July to next spring, the plant will no longer need nitrogen. The application of phosphorus-containing fertilizers (superphosphate) should be done in the summer and autumn, while 100 grams of the substance is taken per shrub. Zinc sulfate and potassium sulfate is applied 1 time per season and is taken at 2 grams per shrub. Magnesium sulfate is also added once a season, with 15 grams of the substance taken to the bush.
Blueberry garden.Landing and care.
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Blueberries can be propagated by seeds or one of the vegetative methods. Choose a completely healthy shrub and collect full fruits from it. From them you need to get the seeds and dry them a little. In the fall, they are sown on training beds, previously the soil on them should be dug up with the addition of acid peat. In the event that seeding is expected in the spring, the seeds will need stratification. To do this, they need to be placed on the shelf of the refrigerator for 12 weeks. Sowing is carried out in previously made grooves, while the seeds are deepened by 10 mm, and they are sprinkled on top with sand mixed with peat (3: 1). In order for seedlings to appear sooner, the crops must be properly looked after. They will need heat (from 23 to 25 degrees) and not very high air humidity (about 40 percent), and they need to be watered, weeded and loosened the soil surface in time. It is necessary to feed the plants that appeared with nitrogen-containing fertilizer in the spring, but you need to start this from the second year of life. After 2 years, the seedlings can be transplanted to a permanent place.
Blueberry propagation by cuttings
If you need a way to more quickly and reliably propagate blueberries, it is best to resort to cuttings. In spring, before the sap flow begins, or in autumn, at the end of the leaf fall, one should harvest the rhizome cuttings. Try to make the length of the stalk from 8 to 15 centimeters while the thicker the shoot, the better. The fact is that if the shoot is thick, then the roots will appear relatively quickly, and he will also begin to grow earlier. To activate survival, harvested cuttings need to be removed for 4 weeks in a place with a temperature of 1 to 5 degrees. Cuttings are planted obliquely in peat mixed with sand (1: 3). Then everything is covered with a layer of five-centimeter thickness of the same soil mixture. With proper care, after 2 years, the cuttings will become developed and strong seedlings that can be transplanted to a permanent place.
Blueberries are propagated by dividing the bush
To propagate such a plant, some gardeners resort to dividing the bush. To do this, a part of the bush is dug up and divided into dividers, while each of them should have a rhizome, in length reaching from 50 to 70 mm. Immediately after the separation of the bush, delenki is planted in a new place. The first fruits grown from the seeds of the plant give when they turn 7 or 8 years old. Blueberries, grown using the vegetative method of propagation, enter fruiting in the fourth year.
In order for the bush to bear fruit regularly, he will need timely pruning. It is carried out in the spring before the buds swell. In the event that in the summer or autumn time you find branches and stems injured or damaged by the disease on the bush, they will need to be cut and destroyed, you do not need to wait until spring. In the just planted seedlings, during the first year it is necessary to remove all the flowers, which will allow the blueberries to grow and develop correctly. The formation of a powerful plant skeleton should be dealt with from the second to the fourth year of life, this will allow the shrub to avoid injury if there is a rich harvest. To do this, cut out all affected by the disease, weak, damaged by frost or lying on the ground surface branches. Do not forget to cut all the basal shoots. After the plant is 4 years old, in addition to the diseased and weak branches, all stems that are more than 5 years old should be cut, while from the annual need to leave from 3 to 5 of the most powerful shoots. If the bush is sprawling, then he will need to remove all the drooping lower branches. And if the plant is a straight-growing variety, it will be necessary to thin out in the middle of the bush.Make sure that there is no closing of branches between adjacent bushes, as this will negatively affect the quality and time of ripening of berries.
Blueberry, trimming subtleties
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How to care in autumn
After the fruiting begins, experts advise to collect the fruits of blueberries 1 time in 7 days. It is best to pick berries in the morning, but only after the dew has evaporated. After the fruit is painted in the required color, it should ripen on the bush for a few more days. After the dense berries become soft, they can be collected. During this time, there is an increase in the weight of the fruits, as well as an increase in the amount of sugar in them. After collection, berries should be immediately removed on the shelf of the refrigerator, they should be stored at a temperature of 0 to 2 degrees for 14 days. It should be noted that the fruits can absorb extraneous odors, so they must be isolated from other products. Berries can be frozen, then they will be stored much longer. To do this, they are thoroughly washed and poured in 1 layer into the freezer. After the berries are completely frozen, they are placed in one container and again put in the freezer for storage. If desired, the fruits can be dried, in this form they are suitable for cooking delicious compotes, as well as healing infusions and decoctions.
In regions with frosty winters, blueberries will need good shelter, because if the air temperature drops below minus 25 degrees, the bush can freeze even more if there is little snow. After the bush is freed from the fruit, you should start preparing it for wintering. Throw a loop of wire or twine on the branches of the plant and slowly pull them to the surface of the site. After that, the bush should be fixed in this position and covered with burlap (it is not recommended to use a plastic film, because blueberries will not breathe under it); After the snow falls on the street, the lapnik will need to be thrown from above. Winter shelter should be removed from the plant in spring. In the event that in your region the winters are quite warm and snowy, then blueberries can survive them without shelter, especially for winter-resistant varieties.
Pests and blueberry diseases
Planting blueberries and caring for them must be followed by agrotechnical rules, in this case the plant will be healthy and strong. But even such bushes need preventive treatments from pests and diseases. Great damage to the blueberry, or rather, to its harvest, is caused by birds; they peck berries ripening on the branches. To avoid this, you can resort to the following trick, a metal mesh with small cells is neatly pulled onto the bush. Harmful insects can not cause significant damage to the bush, with the exception of rare years, when in the springtime the bushes literally cover rags and May beetles. They eat flowers and eat foliage, this negatively affects the productivity of the bush. In addition, the root system of the plant can be damaged, as the larvae of beetles eat up its roots. Also, leaf moths, aphids, pine silkworm caterpillars and scale insects can settle on the shrub. It is necessary to carry out timely collection of beetles and their larvae by hand, which are recommended to be drowned in a container filled with salt water. It is easiest to get rid of other pests by treating the shrub with Karbofos or Aktellik. Spraying blueberries with the same drugs for prevention, it is recommended in early spring and after all the fruits have been collected.
How to deal with blueberry pests
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Most often, the plant is affected by fungal diseases such as: stem cancer, branch drying (phomopsis), gray rot (botritis), fruit monoliasis, physalsporosis, white spotting (septoria) and double spotting. It should be remembered that almost all such diseases arise due to fluid stagnation in the root system of the shrub, and this happens, as a rule, due to poor water permeability of the soil or due to improper irrigation regime.At the first signs of the disease, all necessary measures should be taken to eliminate the causes of its occurrence, otherwise the plant may die. Preventive treatments are carried out at the beginning of the spring period and after the harvest is harvested, and Bordeaux liquid is used for this. The affected bush should be sprayed with Topaz 2 or 3 times, while the interval between procedures should be 7 days. You can replace Topaz with drugs like Topsin, Bordeaux fluid, or Fundazole.
Also, this plant is susceptible to mycoplasma and viral diseases such as: dwarfism, filamentous branches, mosaic, necrotic and red circular spotting. These diseases are not amenable to treatment, in this regard, the affected specimens must be excavated and destroyed as soon as possible.
If the rules of agricultural technology are violated, then this will negatively affect the condition and health of the plant. For example, it happens that the foliage of the plant begins to turn yellow. First, it turns pale green, and then turns yellow. As a rule, the problem lies in the fact that the soil on the site is not acidic. To correct the situation, peat should be introduced into the soil, after some time the color of the leaves will become normal, or rather, young leaf plates will be painted green. Yellowing of the foliage is also observed when the plant lacks nitrogen. At the same time, along with yellowing of the leaves, the growth of the stems stops, and the fruits become smaller. Nitrogen-containing fertilizers are necessary plants, they must be applied at the beginning of each season in 3 stages (described in more detail above). If the foliage changes its color to red, then this is the first symptom of the drying of the stems or cancer of the branches.
Varieties of blueberries with a description
At the moment, all varieties of blueberries are divided into 5 groups:
- Undersized varieties. At the heart of this group is a species - narrow-leaved blueberry, which is crossed with the genetic material of the northern and myrtle leaves.
- Northern tall varieties. They are highly resistant to frost and late fruiting. They were obtained on the basis of North American species, namely, tall blueberries using the genetic material of common blueberries.
- Southern tall varieties. They are complex hybrids created using tall northern blueberries and several species of blueberries growing in the south. The resulting varieties are resistant to drought. In addition, these varieties are less demanding on soil pH.
- Half tall varieties. These varieties were obtained as a result of the fact that tall varieties of blueberries continued to be saturated with genes of common blueberry. The resulting varieties are very resistant to frost, they can withstand even severe cold (up to minus 40 degrees).
- Rabbit eye. In this group, the species is considered to be the basis of varieties - rod blueberries. The resulting hybrids can quickly adapt to the hot climate and poor soil. Such varieties have a fairly long growing season, and therefore it is not recommended to grow them in regions with a temperate and cool climate. The fact is that before the onset of winter frosts, most of the crop does not have time to ripen.
Of these groups, only northern tall varieties are recommended to be cultivated in mid-latitudes. The most popular northern tall varieties:
- Bluegold. This mid-season variety is mid-season. The shape of the bush is semi-dispersed, and medium-sized fruits have a sour-sweet taste. It is highly resistant to frost. Bushes need to be thinned often, and they also need enhanced pruning.
- Patriot. It is a mid-season and tall variety. The height of the spreading plant does not exceed 150 centimeters. The large fruits of a pale blue color are covered with dense skin. Ripening is observed in July and August. Crops are stably high, so, from 1 plant collect up to 7 kilograms of fruit.It is frost-resistant and also resistant to diseases characteristic of blueberries.
- Chippewa. This variety is early ripe and medium. The height of the bush is about 100 centimeters. The pale blue fruits are large and medium in size and have a very sweet taste. The plant is highly resistant to frost, it is able to withstand a temperature drop of minus 30 degrees. This variety can be cultivated in containers and in the country.
- Duke. The variety is tall, late flowering, but early ripe. The height of the bush is about 200 centimeters. Bushes bloom at the end of spring frost. Due to early ripening, this variety is characterized by stable high yields, while large and medium-sized fruits do not grow smaller over the years. It has a very high resistance to frost, but the plant needs enhanced pruning.
- Sunrise. Medium high grade. The bush is sprawling, it has a relatively weak shoot formation. As a result of this, such a plant does not need to be pruned often. Dense large fruits of a slightly flattened shape, have high palatability and mature in mid-July. With proper care from one plant, up to 4 kilograms of berries are collected. This shrub often suffers from spring back frosts.
- Chanticleer. Srednerosly variety. The bush has ascending branches. Flowering begins after the end of spring frosts. Pale blue medium-sized fruits have a sweet-sour taste and ripen in the last days of June. About 1 kg of berries is removed from 1 plant. The plant has high frost resistance.
- Northland. Undersized variety. In height, a sprawling bush reaches no more than 100 centimeters. It has a stable high yield. From 1 bush, remove up to 5-8 kg of berries, they are dense, medium in size and blue in color. Fruits have high palatability. This plant has a high resistance to frost and a short growing season. Before the onset of winter, all the fruits have time to ripen. This shrub is also used in decorative floriculture, as it is compact and stunted.
- Elizabeth. The variety is tall late. Spreading bush. Upright stems and shoots have a pale red tint, this is considered characteristic of the varieties characterized by a very high resistance to frost. 4-6 kg of fruits are harvested from one plant. This shrub is one of the varieties in which the fruits have the highest taste. The fruits are large (diameter about 2.2 cm) fragrant and very sweet in taste, the beginning of their ripening falls on the first days of August. Before the onset of winter, all the fruits do not have time to ripen.
Varieties of blueberries. Tall Blueberry Care
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Properties of blueberries: benefits and harms
Useful properties of blueberries
After blueberries were carefully studied by scientists, it became clear that she was the owner of unique qualities. It helps to improve the activity of the pancreas and intestines, protect the body from radioactive radiation, strengthen the vascular walls, as well as slow down the aging of nerve cells. She is the owner of an anti-zingotic, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, choleretic, anti-sclerotic, and also cardiotonic effect. The composition of blueberries includes provitamin A, vitamins B1, B2, C, PP, which is responsible for the elasticity of the capillaries of the epidermis and reduces the risk of varicose veins, there are still 6 amino acids, phosphorus, calcium and iron, while it is in the fruits of this plant in a form in which the comparative is easily absorbed by the human body. Blueberries have proven effective during the treatment of atherosclerosis, capillarotoxicosis, rheumatism, hypertension, tonsillitis and other diseases.
Juice from the fruits of such a plant is recommended for use in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, in diabetes and with fever.The fruits themselves help eliminate eye spasm and restore vision. They also contain pectins, which contribute to the binding of radioactive metals and the cleansing of the body from them. Still in the fruits are highly active antioxidants that prevent cancer cells from forming in the body.
The fruits of such a shrub in alternative medicine are used fresh, and even from them prepare infusions, decoctions and tinctures. It will be useful to eat them for both absolutely healthy and sick people, because fresh fruits help strengthen the body's immune forces and its saturation with vitamins. But the fruits, stems, and leaf plates of such a plant have healing properties.
Blueberry broth is recommended for use in heart diseases. To prepare it, you need to pour 2 large spoons of chopped leaves and young branches into an enameled pan, 200 ml of freshly boiled water are poured there. The container is covered tightly with a lid and kept in a water bath for 30 minutes. The cooled broth needs to be filtered, while it is imperative to squeeze out the remaining. The resulting broth is brought to 200 ml with boiled water. It is drunk 1 large spoon 4 times a day.
The infusion of blueberry fruits is very effective for diarrhea and dysentery. To prepare it, you need to combine 1 large spoon of dried blueberry with 200 ml of freshly boiled water. Soak the mixture for 5 minutes. over low heat and then 15 min. under the cover. They drink the drug in 1 large spoon 4 times a day.
Also, a decoction of blueberries is indicated for diabetes. To prepare it, you need to connect 1 large spoonful of chopped dried leaves and branches of blueberries with 400 ml of freshly boiled water. Blend 5 min. stand on low heat. After the drink under the lid has infused for 60 minutes, it must be filtered. A decoction is drunk half a glass three times a day before a meal.
Useful properties of blueberries
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Blueberries can be consumed by absolutely everyone, since it has no contraindications. But all the same, one should know the measure, since if an uncontrolled eating a large number of blueberry fruits, they can harm the body. When overeating, a person has vomiting, nausea, or an allergic reaction. A large amount of antioxidants in the body reduces the amount of oxygen entering the muscles, which leads to a violation of the muscle functions of the body. With moderate eating of blueberries in the summer, and with regular use of stewed fruit, preserves, infusions and decoctions of it in the winter, it is quite possible to become a long-liver, which is also the shrub itself, which, with proper care, can live 100 years.