STRAWBERRY: HOW TO GROW AND WHAT IT NEEDS TO DO TO DO IT. LANDING AND CARE
Many gardeners try to grow blueberries by analogy with other berries (for example, like the same currant), which is a big mistake. About this warns the head of the NGO "Biotechnological complex" TsBSNAN, candidate of biological sciences Alexander VEEVNIK.
The plants are similar, but agricultural technology is fundamentally different: what is good for currants is fatal for blueberries. We will tell you what are the most important moments in caring for blueberries.
THE BEGINNING OF THE RIPING OF THE BLUEBERRY
- Early ripe varieties - mid-July
- Mid-season - end of July-beginning of August
- Late ripening - the first half of August
PERIOD OF CROP
Depending on the variety, it lasts from 20 days to 1,5 months
In August, blueberries of medium late and late varieties ripen. During this period, as they say in some sources, plants especially need watering. Others recommend that “water procedures” be reduced to a minimum.
Who is right?
- The blueberries tall roots lie no deeper than 35 cm. Moreover, there are no suction hairs on them (that is, they cannot independently extract water from the soil). Their function is performed by the mycelium of the fungus, with which the roots enter into symbiosis, forming mycorrhiza (mushroom root). In dry periods, mycorrhiza dries quickly. Therefore, the question of whether to water or not to water should not even arise! The soil under the blueberry bushes in the season should always be moderately moist. To solve this issue, drip irrigation will help.
Summer residents, having tasted blueberries in the summer, immediately light up with a desire to "prescribe" the plant in their area. Is it possible to plant it in the fall?
- Planting any young plants in the winter, except for the most cold-resistant ones, is a risk. And even protective measures do not always save: if you weakly cover, plants can suffer from frost; overdo it with insulation - with mild winters or during thaws, bushes can vypryat. Therefore, it is better to plant blueberries in spring (in April).
In the foreground is the choice of place. Ideally, this should be a gentle slope in the south or south-west direction. Blueberries need acidic soil. Choosing a plot for it does not matter what you previously grew on it. You still have to create an artificial substrate.
I advise you to plant it not in holes, but in a trench with a width of 60-80 cm and a depth of 25-30 cm (a little more than a shovel bayonet). The distance between the centers of the bushes is 1,2 m, adding 0,6 m to the extreme plants of the row. The trench can be completely filled with horse acid peat or mixed with wood chips, sawdust, half-ripened needle of coniferous trees (in an arbitrary amount). It is important to create optimal conditions for the life of mycorrhizal fungi, since they supply water and mineral nutrition to the roots of blueberries. Refueling the landing trench with rotted manure, as summer residents often do, is unacceptable: mycorrhiza does not work in such conditions (that is, the bush does not receive food).
And what other mistakes make amateur gardeners in caring for blueberries?
- They feed plants in the second half of summer. All dressings need to be completed until about mid-June. The main mineral fertilizer is ammonium sulfate. Plan the first fertilizer dry fertilizer in late April. The remaining three - every 15 days each (fill in the soil 20-25 g per bush for one top dressing). If the plantings are mulched with fresh sawdust or wood chips, double the dose of fertilizers due to urea, so that there is no competition for nitrogen between mycorrhiza and bacteria that process sawdust to a state suitable for fungus root (blueberry extracts phosphorus, potassium and microelements from blueberries from sawdust, chips , needles).
Often blueberries are planted in the shade of other plants. But because of this neighborhood, flower buds are practically not laid.
Another common mistake is bush thickening, which leads to overloading the crop and reducing the size of the berries.
By the way, about the thickening of blueberries: inexperienced gardeners, as a rule, are pruned by pruning. At what age should this operation be performed?
- After planting, three years to cut blueberries do not need. Only remove branches that are dry, broken and with obvious signs of illness. In the fourth year, bushes need to be thinned out (from the second half of February). Cut 5-6-year branches with small annual growth. Be guided that in the bush there were 5-7 shoots from the ground. Also, with your hands, pinch off the growing branches at the base of the main shoots.
Recorded by Victoria Gulko
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HOW TO SAVE THE BLUEBERRY BERRIES
If you want to keep blueberries longer, immediately after picking them you need to cool as quickly as possible. At 0 degrees, the fruits are stored for up to five weeks, at + 4,5 degrees. - three weeks. The shelf life of frozen blueberries is up to 18 months.
TIP: Every two to three years, mulch rows of blueberries with wood chips or sawdust in a layer of 10-15 cm. Mulch protects the lower layers of the substrate from overheating and does not allow weeds to germinate.
A cup of blueberries per day - and your head doesn’t hurt!
They began to grow blueberries in the garden when the doctor advised her mother, who was tormented by high blood pressure, to regularly eat a cup of these blue berries. Surprisingly, today mom forgot about frequent headaches with throbbing in the temples. Blueberries slow down the development of hypertension, and also reduces the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
О I felt the tremendous effect of these delicious berries on myself and I became much less sick. After all, blueberries increase the body's resistance to infections and protect against colds, strengthening immunity.
Olga Minyaeva, Serpukhov
MEET: BLACKBERRY NARROW
Few have heard of the narrow-leaved blueberry, a close "relative" of the already popular tall blueberry. Nevertheless, the plant has every chance to win the hearts of our amateur gardeners.
If tall blueberries are more suitable for the southern and central zones, then residents of the northern region can safely master the narrow-leaved (for example, Yanka, Polovchanka, Motego varieties). For normal growth, it also needs acidic soil (pH - 4,2-5,2).
Two-year-old seedlings are best planted in the spring (in the third decade of April). But if the site is flooded with melt water, autumn landing is allowed - in the second decade of October. When planting, deepen the root collar by 5-7 cm, leaving 1 m between the plants and 2 m between the rows.
The first 2 years after planting, the narrow-leaved blueberry grows, forming a continuous carpet. Most of the shoots grow with a slope to the ground, almost spreads. Thanks to these plants, even a small layer of snow in winter is enough to survive frosts.
Every 3-4 years of fruiting, completely mow the aerial part (in October). After such anti-aging pruning, mulch the area with straw, horse peat, wood chips, rotted pine sawdust, shredded pine bark (layer in 3-5 cm). Over the next two years, the berry will grow again.
In the early spring after the snow melts, feed the plants with the mineral fertilizer Rastvorin brand A (close it up in the soil within a radius of 25 cm from the center of the bush).
For the prevention of diseases in the first decade of May, treat the fungicide Scor (according to instructions).
Blueberry: OUR READERS ADVICE
Tatyana SAVCHENKOVA from the village of Semkovo, when growing tall blueberries, adheres to the strict advice that she received from a farmer many years ago: if your soil is not suitable for this berry crop, then do not torment yourself or the plant.
For blueberries, the earth should be light, breathable, moderately moist, with good drainage. And necessarily acidic (pH - 3, 5-4, 5). Horse peat has such properties. But there is a nuance that Tatyana Samuilovna draws attention to:
- If earlier the blueberries were categorical and said that only sour peat is suitable for the culture and nothing else, today I hear from experts that the plant loves ... good organic matter. But not manure! It's about biohumus. Of course, the substrate for blueberries should be acidic, but if you put a couple of handfuls of vermicompost into the planting hole, the plant will only be grateful.
I buy seedlings with a closed root system: they can be planted throughout the growing season, and they take root well. I prepare the plot this way: I fill the planting pit with a mixture of purchased peat, coniferous litter and sand (approximately in equal parts), add 1-2 handfuls of vermicompost. And be sure to pour the granules of the preparation Zemlin (according to the instructions) - from the crunch, which are many on the site. After planting, blueberries must be watered and mulched with rotted sawdust.
And yet, with regard to organics for blueberries: on the Internet, in search of information, I came across the advice of Ukrainian farmer Oleg Vagin. He pours blueberry plantings with a solution of potassium humate - and is pleased with the result. The active substance is obtained from the remains of brown coal, extracts from peat, silt. I became interested in such top dressing - it helps seedlings to take root quickly, provides an incentive for further growth and development. In a solution of potassium humate (40 ml per 500 ml of water), it is good to lower the roots of the seedling for 10-15 hours before planting. But since I have planting material with a closed root system, I use this product to water blueberries (I dilute 50 ml of the drug in 10 liters of water). I feed 4 times per season: in April; after 3 weeks; at the stage of bud formation; during flowering.
© Author: Victoria GULKO.
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© Author: Anton VOLOTOVICH, Ph.D. biol. sciences, associate professor Laboratory of the farm “Boksha”
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