Garden blueberries are becoming increasingly popular in our country. Growing this berry in the conditions of home gardening is a very exciting and very promising occupation. To get a high yield, it is necessary not only to properly plant the crop and take care of it, but also to make the right choice of variety.
Grade Selection Rules
The best varieties of blueberries were obtained mainly by foreign breeders. It should be noted that varieties for the northwest can not always be grown on a site with other soil and climatic conditions. Therefore, it is desirable to grow regionalized varieties, having previously read their description and reviews of experienced gardeners.
In the middle zone of our country, early American and Canadian varieties are most often cultivated., the cultivation of which is not difficult, and planting and care are performed according to the standard scheme.
|Grade name||Botanical Description||Characteristics of berries||Varietal Features|
|"Taiga Beauty"||Bushes are medium-sized and slightly spreading, no more than two meters high||Large, dark blue with a bluish bloom, an average weight of not more than 0.5 g, irregularly rounded in shape, with light edges||Winter-hardy plant with resistance to diseases and main pests|
|"Blue Ray"||A plant of medium growth strength, unpretentious in care, with good yield||Berries of a light blue color, large enough, have a tart flavor||Excellent frost resistance and decent yield|
|"Blucrop"||Bushes 1.6–1.9 m high, free-form and upward-running shoots||Large, flattened, blue with a strong light blue coating||Resistance to frost, drought and the most common diseases|
|Spartan||Bushes are straight-growing, with a height of not more than 1.5−2 m, easy to care for||Light blue, very fragrant and tasty, with a delicate texture of pulp||The plant tolerates waterlogged soil|
|Duke||Bushes up to 1.2-1.8 m high, with a rather weak ability to shoot||Large, tasty fruits in light blue||Winter hardy and very productive variety|
|"Patriot"||Bushes up to 1.2-1.8 m tall, straight-growing||Berries of various sizes, collected in clusters and having a flattened shape||High resistance to fungal infection and rot, excellent taste|
|Berkeley||Adult bushes with a height of not more than 1.8−2.1 m, with strong branching||With excellent density, light blue, above average in size||Harvested is suitable for storage and transportation|
For the cultivation of blueberries in home gardening, plots represented by acidic soils with a pH of 3.5–5.0 are suitable. The soil must have sufficient moisture and air permeability, which is due to the weak and superficial root system of the berry culture. Mixtures based on acid peat and sand, soil from a pine forest and quality sandy loams are best suited for growing blueberries. Besides, Landing area should have the following qualities:
- for full growth and development, the site should be well lit by sunlight;
- the site should be protected as much as possible from strong and gusty north-directional winds;
- for the normal development of the berry culture, it is necessary to ensure stable soil moisture in the growing area;
- It is very important to protect the root system of blueberries from the harmful effects of excess moisture and stagnation of water in the ground.
Experienced gardeners recommend planting two-year-old seedlings in the early spring, which will allow the plant to grow stronger and take root well before the onset of severe winter frosts. Plants need to be planted before the sap flow begins.
The distance between the plants to be planted in each row should be at least 0.8 m, and between the rows you should definitely keep a distance of one and a half meters. Landing can be carried out both on the ridge and in specially prepared soil wells. The planting method depends on the soil and climatic features in the region of cultivation of the berry plant.
How to plant blueberries
Proper agricultural technology when growing blueberries is the key to obtaining a high and highest quality crop:
- indicators of soil moisture in the area allocated for the cultivation of garden blueberries should be approximately 60−70% of the full level of field moisture capacity;
- full watering involves making one bucket of water in the evening hours for each adult bush twice a week;
- abundant irrigation measures are especially important for berry crops in July – August, at the stage of active fruiting and laying flower buds to form a crop next year;
- to improve photosynthesis in too hot weather, sprinkling of berry bushes is carried out in the late afternoon;
- mulching should not be neglected, which will allow maintaining moisture indicators sufficient for the growth and development of the plant in the upper soil layer;
- as mulch, it is recommended to use rotted coniferous sawdust or wood bark with a layer of 8-10 cm;
- in areas with soils with acidity above 4.8 two times per season with an interval of two months, ammonium sulfate is added at the rate of 10-15 g per square meter of berry plantings;
- in the presence of an optimal pH level, the introduction of 90–92 g of ammonium sulfate, 40–42 g of potassium sulfate and 100–110 g of superphosphate for each adult plant is recommended;
- A good result is given by applying Kemira Universal wagon at the rate of 0.2 kg per square meter or Polish high-grade fertilizer Florovit.
It is very important to conduct competent pruning of adult productive blueberry bushes annually, starting from the second or third year of the life of the berry culture. In severe and snowless winters, it is recommended to protect the bushes from freezing by tying fir spruce branches or spandbond over a wooden frame.
There are several time-tested and well-established methods, allowing to conduct independent propagation of blueberries in the conditions of home gardening:
- Quickly and easily can propagate berry plantations lignified cuttingsharvested from December to early March, at rest. It is possible to harvest cuttings in spring, before the stage of kidney swelling, from mid-March to early April. Blueberry cuttings take root long enough, about two months. During this time, it is very important to regularly moisten the soil and periodically open the film coating for ventilation. Plantings should be protected from overheating or hypothermia at all stages of rooting. A good result is given to the prophylactic treatment of berry stands with the preparations Azofos, Kuprozan, Topsin-M or Fundazol.
- You can propagate garden blueberries by layering. This method is most often used to propagate the youngest berry bushes, which give a small number of shoots for propagation by cuttings, or, if necessary, propagate poorly rooted varieties. In this case, a hill of wood sawdust or peat should be poured around the plant, as well as a cold greenhouse, removed three years after reproduction. Rooted shoots need to be divided and transplanted for growing.
- Perhaps seed propagation of blueberries, but it is quite complex, so it is practically not used in home gardening. Most often, the seeds of this berry are used in breeding work.
Major diseases and pests
It is well known that berry crops that are weakened by adverse external factors or illiterate care are most often affected by diseases and plant parasites. Usually, blueberries in home gardening are affected by gray rot or botrytis, anthracnose and coccomycosis. For the purpose of prevention, it is possible to recommend the acquisition and planting of absolutely healthy planting material, as well as observing the rules for planting and pruning berry bushes with the removal of sick and weak shoots.
A prerequisite for growing garden blueberries is the preventive treatment of folk remedies or special insectofungicides. For protection purposes, it is possible to spray the berry plantations with Planriz, Fitosporin, Alirin-B, Gamair and Gliokladin. Prophylactic treatments with such immunomodulators as immunocytophytes, Zircon and Epin have proven themselves well.
Subject to agricultural technology, blueberry plantations practically do not need to use strong chemicals, which allows you to get the most environmentally friendly and healthy crop.
Benefit and harm
Tall blueberries grow throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The benefits from it are huge, the calorie content of fruits is low. Berry is used for cooking:
- dietary products;
- soft drinks;
- alcoholic drinks.
It can also be eaten fresh and used as a sugar-lowering drug. Plant care is simple.
Forest blueberry perfectly reduces pressure, regulates the activity of the cardiovascular system, improves brain activity. The plant is different in that taking its berries, you can restore the function of memory.
Planting blueberries is also due to the fact that its fruits contain vitamins K and C. As a result, the berry can be used as a tool to help form connective and bone tissue, regulating the function of blood formation, normalizing the liver.
What is useful for blueberries is that it makes it possible to prevent the appearance of oncology. Also, the fruits are rich in anthocyanins, eliminating the effects of toxins that enter the body from the environment. Since tall blueberries have vitamins and antioxidants in their composition, the intake of its berries is also possible for allergy sufferers. However, it can be harmful to children and nursing mothers.
Blueberries have a laxative effect on the intestines. Therefore, it can provoke:
Blueberry contains flavonoids. The presented substances inhibit the growth of bacteria and prevent infections in the urinary tract. Calorie content is low.
Useful properties of blueberries
The use of blueberries lies in the convenience of its storage. Berry juice does not lose its nutritional characteristics. Thus, forest blueberries can be stored for a long time in deep freezing without loss of taste.