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Growing And Varieties Of Blueberries In The Garden - 3
Growing And Varieties Of Blueberries In The Garden - 3

Video: Growing And Varieties Of Blueberries In The Garden - 3

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Video: My Top 3 Blueberry Varieties and Grape Vine Growing in My Garden | Orchard Tour 2023, February

"Black berry" of your garden

American blueberry flowers
American blueberry flowers

Blueberries are propagated mainly by lignified or green cuttings, but since it forms roots very poorly, obtaining seedlings is an extremely difficult task, because rooting of cuttings requires some preparation and very expensive fog-forming plants with automatic control.

Such technologies are only within the power of very large nurseries and specialized scientific institutions, and therefore private sellers do not produce blueberry planting material, but sell it purchased on the side. True, I have met such sellers of blueberry seedlings who declared that they were producing them in the above way. Such statements are generally astonishing, since usually the meristem is grown only for the production of ultra-pure mother plants in large nurseries and institutes, but for the direct production of seedlings, no one has ever done this due to the excessive cost of the material obtained.

It seems to me that the claims about meristem seedlings are just a publicity stunt in order to sell goods at superhigh prices. And even more so, I do not understand the point of purchasing meristem seedlings for garden plots. After all, very high-quality seedlings can be purchased 3-4 times cheaper, and this will absolutely not affect the harvest.

Also, I would not advise you to seed blueberries. Efforts will be required great, the time before entering fruiting will take a long time, and the result in almost one hundred percent of cases is significantly inferior to the parent plant, and both in the size of the fruit and in the yield. In general, it will be wasted time.

One of the factors limiting the distribution of tall blueberries in our region is severe frosts in winter, but there are several varieties that tolerate frosts down to -30 ° C and below. Semi-tall varieties, such as Bluetta, Northland, Patriot, generally winter successfully even in severe frosts - they are protected by snow, under a layer of which they are sheltered from freezing. For more confidence, some gardeners may try to bend long shoots to the ground and lightly sprinkle them with foliage, pine paws, sawdust, or plant tops, but bend carefully so as not to break the shoots. During flowering, almost all varieties can withstand temperatures down to -4 ° C, and varieties such as Northland and Bluecrop bloom without any problems even in freezing temperatures down to -7 ° C.

It is possible to grow in the North-West only varieties of early and mid-early ripening, and varieties of the middle ripening period only with a compressed ripening period. It is generally useless to grow varieties of an average ripening period with an extended period of fruiting, and even more so of an average late and late ripening period near St. Petersburg: early autumn frosts can damage up to 50-70% of the crop and even more. Of course, you can take the risk and grow such varieties, covering them from frost with a dense non-woven material (spunbond, lutrasil), but in a cold and rainy summer, like this year, even such tricks will not help.

Here is a list of varieties suitable for growing in Northwest Russia.

Early varieties:

Bluett. It was obtained as a result of a complex crossing of low blueberry (Nord Serdvik x Covill) with the Erliblu variety and introduced into cultivation in 1967. The height of the bush is 0.9-1.5 m, but due to the strong thickening, the plant requires systematic pruning. Ripening time - from mid-July. Harvest from 4.5 to 7-8 kg per bush. The big difference in the yield is due to the fact that the third and fourth collection of berries is sometimes not done due to their strong grinding. The fruits of this variety are large and medium, 11 mm in diameter, dark blue in color. The taste is very good. The decorativeness of the bush is high due to its squat, compact growth. This is one of the earliest varieties.

Spartan. Obtained by breeder Elliot in 1956. Bushes with strong growth. The harvest is very high. The berries are large, dense, light blue, very tasty. Ripens one of the first.

Dua. Height 1.2-1.8 m. Bushes with small shoots, which ensures the penetration of sunlight into the bush and requires minimal pruning efforts (once every 2-3 years). Ripening time - from the second decade of July. The yield is regularly high, reaching 6-8 kg per bush. The berries are firm, firm, very large (17 mm in diameter), light blue in color and good taste. Dua blooms relatively late. Flowers are frost-resistant and bushes frost-resistant.

Patriot. Introduced into culture in 1976. Height 1.2-1.8 m. Possesses medium vigorous growth, branches are oriented vertically upward. Plants require lightening pruning and flower bud thinning. High-yielding variety: up to 5-7 kg are harvested from the bush regularly. The fruits are very large (up to 19 mm in diameter), slightly flat, light blue. The berries that are not fully ripe have a characteristic red color, slightly sour taste, which improves when they are cooled or frozen. The plant has an excellent decorative appearance, because this variety was originally created for commercial purposes. The patriot loves bright, warm places, in other cases the taste of his fruits deteriorates. It is desirable for the variety to provide good drainage - it does not like very close groundwater. Ripens a few days before the beginning of ripening of the Blukrop variety.

American tall blueberry
American tall blueberry

From the early varieties, you can also recommend the Collins variety with a bush height of up to 1.8-2.0 m, with large tasty fruits of light blue color. The berries of this variety ripen at the end of July. The harvest is high - up to 6-7 kg. The variety has a good appearance, large leaves and can be used for decorative purposes. But the Rankokas variety is already out of use: despite a very attractive appearance and good yield, the fruits of this variety are only small and medium, which is very undesirable for industrial cultivation. The berries are sweet, sometimes slightly sweet, without aroma. This variety is now being replaced by more modern varieties.

Of the medium early and medium varieties, the following are suitable:

Bluecrop. Introduced into culture in 1952. Erect, tall bush up to 1.8-2.0 m high. The yield from a bush, if not damaged by early autumn frosts, is very high - up to 6-8 kg. Fruits are large (16 mm in diameter), light blue in color, firm, long open clusters, very good berry taste. One of the most common varieties on industrial plantations in Europe (more than 60% of the plantations are occupied by the Bluerop variety). Ripening time - from the beginning of August. The variety has a very extended ripening period; in some years, part of the crop (up to 50-70%) can be damaged by early autumn frosts. Has an excellent decorative look.

Toro (new variety). Height approximately 1.8-2.0 m. The yield is regularly high - up to 6-8 kg. The berries are large and of medium size, with good taste and color. Ripening time from the beginning of August. Unlike the Blukrop variety, it ripens in a shorter time, and therefore two harvests are enough. The short ripening period allows you to quickly harvest the crop and not be afraid of damage to the berries by early autumn frosts, as can happen with the Bluecrop variety.

In the USA and Europe, Toro is recommended as a companion to Bluecrop.

Has a wonderful decorative look. Toro is able to withstand fluctuating winter temperatures.

There are, of course, other varieties with varying strengths. They are worthy of being tested on sites near St. Petersburg, but nevertheless, one must be very careful about the choice: it is not known how the new varieties will behave in our conditions.

Since in Russia almost no nursery is engaged in the cultivation of tall blueberries, and private traders cannot start breeding them due to the complexity of this process, the bulk of the seedlings comes from abroad. This means that buyers can easily be deceived and purchase a variety that will not suit our weather conditions at all. After all, American tall blueberries are cultivated not only in America and Europe, but also in more southern countries, for example, the varieties Reka, Pura and some others are bred in New Zealand.

Therefore, you need to be very careful not to throw money down the drain, because blueberry seedlings are very expensive. I, of course, do not claim that varieties from New Zealand will not suit our conditions, but nevertheless they must be tested first, and then recommended to gardeners. After all, even Belarusian specialists working in a milder climate cannot yet express their attitude to these varieties.

berries of the American tall blueberry
berries of the American tall blueberry

Also, do not purchase blueberry seedlings with an open root system: remember - these can be bushes of ordinary wild-growing blueberries. In any case, when the first mentions of tall blueberries appeared in the literature, a lot of dubious sellers immediately appeared on the markets, selling blueberries with open roots. As it turned out later, it was an ordinary swamp blueberry dug in the forest.

In general, the topic of untidiness in the sale of seedlings is a topic for a separate conversation. Such traders only discredit the very idea of ​​gardening, because many garden owners, deceived by unscrupulous traders, then refuse to grow worthy varieties and crops altogether.

Recommendations for the cultivation of blueberries and varieties were drawn up on the basis of the experience of the author of the article, gardeners growing this crop in the North-West, as well as materials from the head of the Zhuravinka scientific and experimental base Nikolai Ruban and other Belarusian experts.

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