How to plant garden blueberries in your country house
When the time comes for picking wild berries, they become interested in gardeners who own summer cottages. This is not surprising, because such fruits have many useful trace elements and vitamins. But, since picking wild berries is difficult and painstaking, breeders have bred varieties that can grow right in the garden. And blueberries are on their list.
Blueberry Botanical Description
In nature, blueberries are found in large numbers near pine trees. This location is due to similar preferences in soil, environment and groundwater. The most common berry in the northern regions of the globe. It can be found in the taiga, North America and Europe.
Did you know? The people call the plant differently. The most popular words are blueberry, chernega, blueberry and blueberry.
The specific name is myrtle leaf blueberry, Vaccinium myrtillus. It was given due to the similarity of blueberries with another plant - myrtle. The name "blueberry" comes from the color of berries and juice. The violet-black pigment is so stable that it does not wash off for weeks. The closest relatives of the berry are considered to be cranberries, blueberries and cranberries.
A really large crop will be harvested only by growing on a personal plot, so the gardener should know the rules for caring for the shrub and planting in open ground.
Over the past few decades, a huge number of artificial varieties have been bred. They differ from forest blueberries in that this berry was crossed, for example, with blueberries. Despite the change in genes, the version of the plant intended for growing in the garden is in no way inferior in useful properties.
Blueberries can be identified by the following description:
- This shrub is stunted and takes off foliage for the winter.
- The root system is large. Many minor shoots branch from the main trunk. The root penetrates deeper into the earth by no more than 15 cm. In this case, the bush continues to be firmly fixed in the ground.
- Ground shoots have a brown tint. A bush may have several shoots. The surface of the stem is thick, slightly ribbed. They have small gutters that help the water drain directly to the root.
- Many branches depart from the main trunk. Some of them are green, these are young shoots. And the others are brown. These are the branches that are numb.
- The height of the blueberry bush can reach 50 cm. The smallest - 10 cm. This value depends on the plant variety.
- On short petioles, oval-shaped leaves are attached to the branches.
- In autumn, the foliage acquires a bright red color.
- In the spring, flowers begin to appear. They have a characteristic nondescript greenish-pink hue. Divided into 5 cloves. Each flower has 10 stamens and a pistil. They are lowered so that during rain the drops do not bring down pollen. Pollinated by bumblebees and bees.
- The berry has a rounded shape. Its diameter is from 0.6 to 1 cm. Most often it is dark blue, almost ink color. On the surface there is a small bluish coating, which is easily removed by contact. Inside the color of the fruit is purple. Juice quickly and permanently stains human skin.
- Fruiting of the bush begins in July and continues until September.
- Blueberry seeds can be carried by birds who like to eat berries.
- The seeds themselves are very small. They are located inside the berries and are not digested.
- Cultivating cultivars is not difficult, but in order to get a good harvest, you must follow the established rules.
- The plant easily tolerates cold and drought. It grows well in almost any soil. Virtually unaffected by disease and not affected by pests.
- The collected berries are often frozen for the winter, dried, made jam and other preparations. Along with leaves, they are often used in folk medicine. Blueberries are often found in design groups, playing the role of an ornamental plant.
When to plant
In most cases, the time to plant blueberries is individual for each region of the country. Since blueberries love the cool, it’s recommended to pick a dry autumn or spring day for planting.
Why is it better to plant in spring
There is an opinion, and it is not unreasonable that in spring you should refuse to plant blueberries in the country. However, it is relevant only for residents of the southern parts of the country.
Important! In the first few months after planting, it is recommended to artificially shade the bushes. Otherwise, the sun's rays can burn delicate foliage.
The best period for planting blueberries in the central and northern regions is late spring. It is at this time of year that frosts will not return. Over the summer, new seedlings will grow stronger and independently prepare for the upcoming wintering.
If you plant bushes in the fall, there is a high probability of plant death, because during this period the first frosts on the ground already begin to appear, and the temperature drops at a high speed.
Choosing a place to land
According to the description, the cultural berry is practically no different from the forest one, but the procedure for planting, leaving and choosing a place is completely different. If in the forest the bush is constantly in the shade, then in the garden it will be best for him in a sunny place. If there is not enough light, the amount of yield will decrease, and the berries will decrease in size.
A strong wind, especially cold in winter, is considered one of the enemies of cultivars. Therefore, the southern sections of the garden, which are practically not blown, are selected. It can be a small garden behind a building or a hedge. A special microclimate is often created here. And long-lying snow helps protect plants from fatal frosts. In these cases, the cottage is an ideal place to grow a plant.
What soil does blueberry like
Blueberry bushes are very demanding on the composition of the soil. It should also have a specific acidity level. Groundwater should also be located at a distance of 40-60 cm from the surface. If they lie deeper, the plants will have to be watered more often.
It should abandon the planting of berries in lowlands or on clay soils. Moisture accumulated here badly affects the development of the plant. Due to its excess, roots can begin to rot. If, besides loam, there is no other soil, you can loosen it and add sand. A bucket of this material is added for every 1 m².
For 1 year before planting blueberry bushes, the following substances are allowed:
- ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate 20 g each;
- nitroammophosk and potassium sulfate of 10 g per 1 m².
What should be the acidity of the soil
Soil acidity is very important for blueberries. It should be slightly overestimated: usually this indicator ranges from 3.8 to 5 pH. Since this level cannot be found in black soil in most cases, it must be artificially acidified.
How to acidify the earth
There are several ways to add acidity to the area where this crop grows. The first is mulching. For this process, an acidic material is selected; most often it is waste from the processing of conifers or shrubs. Abundant in burs, the fallen needles and tree bark are also great for creating mulch. You can use sawdust of spruce or pine.
Secondly, artificially created high acidity when watering. For this, any food acid is added to 10 liters of water: citric or table vinegar. Thirdly, chemicals are introduced.
Garden sulfur is a great way to increase the acid content in the soil. This powder can both process mulch and spill the surface of the earth under a bush. At the same time, instructions on the amount of chemical used are strictly observed.
It is allowed a few days before planting to pour the site with a solution of oxalic or citric acid at the rate of 15 g per 10 liters. If apple cider vinegar is used, then it will need 100 ml per 10 liters of water. Powdered sulfur also dissolves in liquids. She will need 60 g per 1 m².
How to plant
To make the bushes better rooted in a new place, you can use a substance called hydrogel. To create a mixture on one bush, you will need only 10 g of substance and 3 water. The substance must swell, then it is mixed with the earth. The properties of a hydrogel are that it can retain moisture for a long time, but at the same time it can protect the root system from its excess. And this is very important for a young blueberry seedling.
Important! Hydrogel increases the plant's resistance to stress, has a beneficial effect on it, prevents drying and increases the yield.
To plant a blueberry bush correctly, you need to use a detailed step-by-step procedure:
- Pits should be at a distance of 1 m from each other. Their depth should be equal to 80 cm and a width of 60 cm.
- Drainage is laid at the bottom of the recess. It can be pebbles, expanded clay and prepared substrate.
- The soil is filled with water. It is important to wait for its complete absorption.
- The earthen lump slightly warms up, the roots of the plant are straightened and set on the bottom of the pit.
- The earth pours so that the seedlings in it do not go deep.
- Again, an ordinary strait is held.
- After absorbing moisture, a layer of mulch is laid. Used bark, needles or sawdust.
Video: how to plant blueberries
You should know that the propagation of the blueberry bush is possible by dividing the mother plant, cuttings, seedlings or seeds.
To plant a bed of blueberry seedlings, you will need to purchase two or three year old plants. The purchase is carried out in specialized stores or nurseries - only in this case the gardener receives planting material in containers. If you buy a bush without it, then the bare roots can quickly dry out and the plant will not take root.
Just before planting, the seedling is removed and placed in water for 30 minutes. The subsequent process is described above.
You can get the seeds yourself - for this you need only berries purchased or grown on your site.
Course of action:
- Harvested ripe berries are picked from the bush.
- With the help of improvised means, they are ground to a mushy state and filled with water.
- The liquid is drained several times to get rid of juice and floated unfit material.
- The seeds that have settled on the bottom are dried and planted in peat, which is placed in a container.
- Then the container is placed in the greenhouse. The greenhouse is regularly ventilated, and planting material is watered.
- For the winter, the tank is brought into a room where a constant temperature of +5 ... + 10 ° С will be maintained. If you leave it in the garden, then the surface is covered with agrofibre, which is folded into several layers.
In the spring, when the soil is completely rid of permafrost, the covering material must be removed, and the seed that has sprouted should be planted in separate pots. Here the seedlings continue to grow. For this purpose, a shaded and sheltered from the winds place is suitable. After a year, bushes can be planted in the open ground.
Young shoots that are suitable for the cuttings procedure are cut in early July. Their length should be from 5 to 7 cm. The resulting material is trimmed and placed in a special solution that stimulates the growth of roots.Among modern drugs, “Kornevin” and “Heteroauxin” are distinguished. Just one hour stay of cuttings in such a composition.
Peat is poured into the pot. 1 container is planted in each container. Immediately after planting, the material is watered and covered with a film.
Within one month, constant irrigation of shoots and ventilation is carried out. As soon as the roots appear, blueberry bushes need to be planted in open ground for growing. In this state, they develop until the onset of autumn or until next year.
Division of the mother bush
In autumn, before the onset of cold weather, one of the thickest blueberry bushes is completely dug from the ground. It is separated by a sharp object so that two different plants are obtained, each with fully formed roots and buds.
The process, which is taken from the mother bush, is called partial. It can be used as a fully formed seedling for planting in open ground. The optimal number of healthy buds on the shoot is at least 5 pieces. The planting procedure is similar to the above. It is allowed to transplant a partial shoot into a pot, but it will have to be left indoors for the winter.
Garden blueberry bush needs constant, but simple care. Compliance with agricultural regulations is mandatory for every gardener who wants to get a good and rich harvest. For each procedure, detailed rules will be presented below.
To do this, you will need:
- preparation for winter;
- pest and disease control.
Video: blueberry care
This procedure is considered one of the most important and time-consuming. Each bush requires abundant, but not constant, but depending on the circumstances watering. If the weather is hot, then watering is carried out more often than 2 times in 30 days. Otherwise, a maximum of 3 irrigations per month is sufficient.
The amount of water introduced will be different each time. The essence of the procedure is to ensure that under the bush constantly remained moist earth, but water does not accumulate. In no case should dampness be allowed. Moisture should be evenly distributed to a depth of 15–25 cm.
It is recommended to water once with the addition of citric acid. This will serve as a great way to further oxidize the soil.
Many gardeners claim that cultivated varieties of blueberries practically do not tolerate the introduction of organic fertilizers, so they need to choose a special complex mixture of mineral compounds. It is recommended to make them once a year with the onset of the first warm spring days. At the same time of the year, you can additionally fertilize the soil with a small amount of sawdust, old needles or bark of trees.
Did you know? In Krasnovishersk (Russia), a blueberry festival is held annually. In 2012, a pie with this berry over 70 m long was baked here. It ended up in the Guinness Book of Records.
The first pruning procedure should be carried out when the bush is at least 3 years old. After its implementation, the plant should remain with at least seven healthy shoots. Those branches that are over 4 years old are trimmed to a length of 20 cm. It is believed that such a technology will make it possible to get a larger crop next year.
Pruning is also done to rejuvenate older bushes. Their age should be more than 15 years. In this case, absolutely all branches are cut to a length of 20 cm.
Usually, a bush transplant is required in two cases: it should be rejuvenated, or the plant needs a new place. Varietal plants perfectly tolerate rapid movement to another site. To perform this procedure, you just need to dig a bush from its original location while maintaining a lump of earth around the root. On the new site, a hole is dug by the technology that is done during landing.The ideal time, depending on the region, is late autumn or early spring.
Did you know? Most blueberries are grown in the United States, Maine.
Any blueberry, even that variety that is artificially bred, is winter hardy, so you should not perform any special and mandatory actions to protect it from the cold. If desired, the gardener can wrap the branches of the plant with a film or other material. In this form, he is not afraid of even severe frosts.
Diseases and Pests
Garden blueberries, like wild berries, are resistant to diseases and pests. But in some cases, she will also need a set of preventive measures.
As a preventative measure, you can treat plantings with insecticides and fungicides in early spring. It is also required to constantly conduct a visual inspection of each individual bush.
If small insects were noticed during the observation, immediate spraying is required. Most often, blueberries are affected by aphids and scale insects. You can get rid of them with the help of modern drugs "Actara" or "Actellik."
Of the diseases, rust and gray mold most often affects the shrub. In both cases, their pathogen is a fungus. To combat it, any of the popular fungicidal preparations is used. such as Fundazole. They can be found in abundance in stores. Bordeaux liquid will also help here. The most dangerous disease is spotting. In this case, the affected bush is dug up and burned, the earth around is dug up.
Although blueberries and unpretentious plants, let the matter go by chance should not. With careful care, it will delight you with an abundance of large juicy berries, so it is recommended that the above rules be observed. They guarantee the safety of your plantation for many years. The main thing is to love gardening, and then you will succeed.