How to grow blueberry - 6 common mistakes
Blueberries are called "black pearls, the berries of millionaires," and I would call them "berries of the intellectuals." Blueberries are a demanding culture, but you can make friends with it. The cultivation methods to which we are accustomed to it are absolutely not applicable to it: manure, ash and occasionally watering ... Blueberries will not grow without an acidic, loose and wet substrate.
1. Wrong choice of blueberry seedlings.
The seedlings should be, first of all, healthy, with green leaves without spots. If you buy seedlings in early spring or late autumn, when the foliage is opal and you can not determine if the leaves are healthy, pay attention to the bark. On the branches, it should be without characteristic spots of burgundy or brown color, which indicates a disease of gudrudnia or phomopsis.
If, after all, you happened to acquire seedlings, for example, by mail (when it's impossible to control their health) and you are alarmed, just cut the diseased branches to healthy tissue. Never buy blueberries with an open root system. The plant should grow in a pot or in a container with an acidic substrate.
Reference by topic: Blueberries - cultivation and care: personal experience
2. If blueberry root blossom before planting not to soak and mash, then your blueberry will not give an increase and the crop will not.
Therefore, before planting pots with plants, immerse in a container of water for 3-4 h to saturate the earth's coma with roots of water. After this, carefully remove the plant from the pot, turn the bush roots up and down (to a depth of 4-5 cm), cut the root with a criss-cross or palm from the middle of the coma. Blueberries have very thin roots, Americans call them "angel hair", and in order for them to grow into sides, we carry out the above operation.
The blueberry bush should be placed in the pit prepared before planting, spread the roots to the sides and fill with the prepared substrate. Around the bushes make a hole and pour until full saturation with water.
After that, the hole should be covered with bark, pine or straw (layer 8-10 cm) to reduce the evaporation of moisture and maintain the friability of the substrate. In addition, the soil bacteria, processing this mulch, form lemon and acetic acid, which is so necessary for blueberries.
It is necessary to shed the soil so that not only the soil surrounding the blueberry was moist, but also soaked in water with a clod of earth in which the blueberry grew in a pot (even if you actively revoked it). Otherwise, this clod of earth, densely braided by roots (in composition it differs from the landing mixture you prepared) and will stand dry in the landing pit!
The soil around the bush will be moist, and the blueberry will suffer from its lack (I had this with rhododendron, they are from the same family of blueberries: although the soil around was very wet, the bush suffered because the root ball was completely dry). Therefore, it is very important to watch blueberries often until you see that it has begun to actively build up shoots (summer growth of 50-70 cm indicates that you liked the blueberries).
It is very desirable, if possible, to use drip irrigation to care for blueberries in the garden. When compressing the earth in your hand, you should feel moisture, but water should not flow.
3. The substrate for blueberry should be special.
From the landing hole, remove and DO NOT use all selected land. Because you surely once brought ash, manure, bird droppings to your garden, and blueberry does not endure it absolutely! Fence the excavation with boards, logs (you need to do this in order to make it easier for you to maintain the necessary acidity of the soil and humidity) and fill it with the previously prepared substrate from the upper reddish peat, coniferous litter, bark, sand, old sawdust.
Take each component in half the bag from the sugar, one bush should be enough. In light soils where there is no probability of water stagnation, the pit is digging with a depth of 40-50 cm and a width of 70-80 cm.
On heavily loamy soils, the pits are made wider and of a shallower depth (25-30 cm) and plant shrubs on a small hill (do not forget to fence and wall up after planting). Low-growth varieties are planted at a distance of 0,8-1 m from each other, medium- and vigorous - at a distance of 1,2-1,5 m.
On the plantation in our farm, we do not use mineral fertilizers, but the correct agricultural technology can successfully replace them.
4. Wrong choice of blueberry planting site.
Blueberries love the sun and do not like the wind. The place should be open and sunny. To protect from the wind from the north side, you can offer a fence, an agrotkani screen or a hedge. Fence height of 1 m breaks the wind at 10 m, that is, for a hedge 1 m high there will not be a strong wind that manages to wash the bark on branches, where the infection then easily gets. Ripening berries because of the wind lose their delightful blue coating and are poorly stored.
5. Incorrect soil acidity for blueberries.
For blueberries, it should be between pH 4 and 5,5. This is a very important indicator, otherwise the bushes will not grow well and bear fruit. Usually, the acidity of the soil on our acres is pH 6-7, you can acidify the soil to a better value with colloidal sulfur, which is sold in garden stores. 1-2 tbsp. spoons around the bush will be enough. Soil bacteria oxidize sulfur, and as a result sulfuric acid is formed, which causes a decrease in pH. Usually sulfur is introduced in the spring, but for a good result, the soil should be both moist and well aerated. Acidify the soil in the future (in case the blueberry does not give good (50-70 cm) growth and the foliage has a light green hue) preferably oxalic acid - 0,5 teaspoon per 1 bucket (10 l) of water.
6. Blueberry does not like crowded.
The distance between bushes should be at least 1 m, so that each berry has enough sun and heat.
Planting and caring for blueberries - personal experience
My first experience of planting blueberries was unsuccessful. After analyzing the mistakes, in a new way she discovered this culture.
Soil must be acidic. At first, the mixture was prepared using peat from nearby marshes. But the ideal forest land was (remove the top layer), which grows wild blueberries.
The farmer, who bought the first seedlings, did not explain that the 2-year-old plant from the container must be spread out in the soil when planting the roots! Otherwise, they grow towards each other, intertwine - and after a few years the plant dies.
On my site there is a light loam.
Blueberries need a breathable substrate. This is exactly how she filled the landing pits, but ... she did not protect their walls. Over time, due to rain and watering, heavy soil appeared in the area of the root system. As a result, due to a lack of oxygen, the processes of respiration and metabolism are disrupted, the roots rot and die. Now I enclose the walls of the landing pit with roofing material, metal plates, slate.
After planting, it is important to mulch the soil under the bushes with sawdust - preferably pine (with a layer of 10-15 cm). They retain moisture well, reflect the sun's rays - and the root system does not overheat during the heat (+ 25 ... + 30 degrees). .
The roots of garden blueberries are sensitive to chlorine, so chlorine-containing fertilizers are not suitable for culture! I use a complex mineral fertilizer for blueberry (I make it in spring and early summer, but not later than mid-June).
Very harmful to the roots of blueberries is the larvae of the May beetle. When I protect the walls of the landing pit, I leave the sides of the height 10 above the level of the soil. In such "wells" with sawdust, the pest of the egg does not delay.
© Author: Elena Semenenko
© Author: N.ANDREEVA, agronomist of a farm
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