Growing blueberries - planting and care
Blueberry varieties can even be used as a decoration, due to its flowering and beautiful leaf color in the fall.
Blueberry is a deciduous plant that belongs to the lingonberry family. The homeland of blueberries is North America, where the selection of this culture began a long time ago, and to date, a large number of excellent varieties have been created. They grow it there as an industrial plant with great success.
In addition to North America, blueberries are produced in large volumes in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria, in slightly smaller volumes - in France and Poland, plantations are laid in Portugal, Japan. Spain and the CIS countries Even in Belarus there are experimental plantings that already number several dozen hectares.
Tall blueberry itself - it is a very tall shrub reaching a height of two or more meters - forms fragrant, sweet and sour fruits that are sometimes collected in fairly dense brushes, numbering up to six gradually ripening berries. The harvest of modern varieties of blueberries can exceed 7 kg per bush, and the productive age is sometimes estimated to be 20 years.
PLACE IN THE GARDEN FOR THE DOVES
Before planting a seedling on a plot, it is necessary to select a suitable plot of land - the main one, so that it is well leveled (without micro-depressions), warm up and illuminated by the sun. The soil of the site should be light, loose, and well aerated. most importantly, acidic - pH not more than 5,0, and preferably 3,5-4. It would only be better if peat (a bucket per square meter) had been added before, and the soil was hygroscopic, that is, it could retain moisture, but was not swampy.
The main problem that everyone who wants to grow blueberries on the site faces is the achievement of a certain level of soil acidity. Blueberries are very demanding on this, they can still grow on neutral soil, although growth will be weak, and the yield will not be very large, but on alkaline soil they will not grow at all or very slowly.
It was lucky for those who already have acidic soil, but for those who have neutral soil, and even the area is not so big, you will have to try. Naturally, no one will acidify the whole site, this is difficult and expensive, so you can use the advice of what is called “experienced”. To do this, in the place where you purchase blueberry seedlings, buy a bag of sour peat. Sour peat should be mixed with ordinary soil in a ratio of approximately 1: 1, then it is enough to check the acidity of the mixture.
HOW TO SPRAY THE PIGEON
Next, proceed to planting, for this, initially and preferably in advance (for a couple of days), dig a landing hole and cover all its edges with plastic wrap. After that, the hole should be filled on a little more than half, prepared with a mixture of peat and soil. On this acidic mixture should be placed the root system of the seedling and cover it to the borders of the soil. When planting, it is necessary to distribute the roots evenly, without wringing or bending them too much.
3. Blueberry Blossom
After that, it is advisable to compact the soil, pour and mix the upper layer in order to preserve moisture, residues of sour peat. The film in this case is necessary in order to hold the acid in the hole as long as possible; it will not allow the soil surrounding the roots to dissolve the acid.
CARE OF THE PIGEON
Further care of the plants is simple, for the first few years it is necessary to monitor the soil moisture - to irrigate in a drought and remove weeds in the near-trunk strip. As soon as the plants grow and the bushes reach a height of about one and a half meters, you can start feeding. As a top dressing, combined mineral fertilizers are most often used (nitroammophosco - a teaspoon under a bush).
See also: Forming a high blueberry - EXPERT tips
CUTTING OF BLUEBERRY
A separate element of care is trimming. Blueberry is a branching shrub, and often it thickens quite a lot, which leads to a decrease in yield and the transition of fruiting to the periphery of the bush.
Pruning can begin from around the fifth year of plant life. Then it can be carried out annually, and both winter and early spring are suitable for this, but always before the buds open. It is better for novice gardeners to prune pruning to sanitary - remove all old, diseased shoots, broken ones or those that give very short growths.
Blueberry seedlings are currently easy to get, it is better to buy them for three years, for smaller plants often do not survive, well, and it is best to plant them in spring, because in the fall they often do not survive.
1. Blueberry blossom is usually abundant.
2. Blueberry bush "Blyukrop"
If there are already blueberries on the plot and the plants are running with a heavily thickened crown, then you can apply anti-aging pruning. Initially, absolutely all old shoots should be cut out (as a rule, there are no increments at all), then you can also delete those that give increments of 3-5 length.
It is easier to lighten the center of the crown by removing all the shoots that grow inside the bush - they are usually very thin. An ideal bush usually consists of 7-8 young and well-developed branches.
The main thing is not to rush, it is better to let the fruits ripen completely, but in this case you need to monitor the birds, the birds can greatly spoil the crop, so you can put a couple of scarecrows on the site. It will take several days to wait for the full ripening of all berries in the brush, but this also has its advantages, so you can, for example, extend the season by collecting them in several stages.
Blueberries are quite dense, but it is better not to take capacious containers for their collection. The best option is containers with a capacity of not more than two kilograms, and it is better to choose wide so that the layer of berries is as small as possible.
After picking, the berries can be eaten fresh, put into processing or stored, by the way, they are stored for a very long time. In an ordinary domestic refrigerator, being frozen, they can easily lie down until the new harvest and, when defrosting, look attractive, and the taste becomes even better.
BEST VARIOUS VARIETIES
Let's say a few words about varieties, there are six of them in the State Register. "Blyukrop"- a variety of medium ripening (early August). Harvest from an adult plant can reach 8 kg. Fully ripe berries are light blue in color and reach a diameter of 16 mm, having, among other things, a pleasant, dessert flavor. Ripening of fruits in the brush is not simultaneous, usually about a week it is necessary that all fruits ripen. Plants of this variety are beautiful, change the color of foliage from saturated green to fiery red in autumn. The variety is very resistant to short-term drought, can withstand severe frosts.
«Aurora»- berries of this variety are suitable for all types of processing. The variety has a very late ripening period, and also gives stable and annual yields of 9-10 kg from the bush. Positive signs are also high winter hardiness (up to -200 ° C) and drought tolerance.
Cultivator «Duke"- the first fruits begin to ripen in mid-July, but this is not all the positive properties of the variety. In addition, the variety forms few shoots, that is, it does not thicken much, so for about 6-7 years you can not touch pruning. Yes, and the yield of the variety is excellent, from an adult plant you can collect up to 8 kg of berries. Ripe berries are quite dense, and can be stored well, and transported well, too. An equally important positive feature is the simultaneity of ripening.
5. Berries varieties "Blyukrop"
The soil acidity is checked by litmus test - the final color of the paper after contact with the soil is compared with the scale, and so the acidity is determined. If the mixture "suits" the blueberry in pH, then you can use it.
The period of consumption of fresh blueberries can be extended if the “Huron” variety is also planted on the plot. The first berries of this variety begin to ripen closer to the end of August, the crop from the plant is 4-5 kg, this is a bit, but a small amount of berries compensate for their excellent taste and solid size (up to 15 mm in diameter).
The late terms of ripening and stable fruiting are characterized by cultivars "Liberty" and "Draper". Plants are quite powerful, have active growth and are suitable for laying even industrial areas.
The varieties are skoroplodny and actively increase the harvest. Ripened fruits have a dark blue color, spherical shape and sweet, pleasant taste. Fruits can be harvested at the end of June, the collection period is usually stretched for a week, as the berries ripen non-simultaneously. The varieties are resistant to short-term drought and can survive even a harsh winter (up to -20 ° C), being covered under snow.
Growing Blueberries - VIDEO
© Author: N.Khromov
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