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Growing Blueberries In The Garden - 1
Growing Blueberries In The Garden - 1

Video: Growing Blueberries In The Garden - 1

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Video: Growing Blueberries From Planting to Harvest 2023, February
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"Black berry" of your garden

american blueberry
american blueberry

This culture has only recently begun to gain prominence in our gardens. When I start telling my colleagues about her, I almost always meet with a very skeptical attitude from the interlocutors. They say: why are blueberries in the garden? I went to the swamp - and scored as much as necessary. Well, if you don't feel like going into the forest, then you can collect and eat honeysuckle. When you show photographs of bushes one and a half meters or more and give them a taste of the berries, this is where undoubted interest manifests itself, and questions arise: will this blueberry, having an American origin, grow in our St. Petersburg conditions? Where to get it and what grade is the best?

How tall garden blueberries were created

It has its origins in the North American blueberry species. In the flora of North America, there are 26 species in total. The cultivated high-growing blueberry was obtained by crossing between two types of tall blueberries and one type of undersized. In the second half of the 20th century, the hexaploid blueberry Ema was included in hybridization. Work on the cultivation of blueberries has been carried out since the beginning of the 20th century by the American botanist F.V. Covillom by selecting the most valuable wild-growing forms. For 30 years he has received 15 varieties. After the death of Coville, this work was continued by J. M. Darrow. According to the developed program, the seedlings were grown and evaluated in a wide variety of soil and climatic conditions. By the early 1980s, 45 varieties of tall blueberries, 11 varieties of Amy's blueberries and 3 varieties of undersized blueberries were registered.

american blueberry flowers
american blueberry flowers

After the start of work with blueberries in the United States, interest in this culture arose in other countries. In 1926, blueberry cultivar testing began in Canada. In the 50s of the twentieth century, experimental cultivation of American blueberries began in a number of European countries. The experience of American researchers was studied, experimental stations were established, and selection work was carried out. The studies were carried out in Finland, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Italy. As a result of these works, the first European varieties were obtained.

In 1964, the study of American tall blueberries began in the former USSR. The first collection was founded in the Main Botanical Garden (Moscow) by I. A. Danilova, and since 1980 this blueberry has been studied in the Central Botanical Garden of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus (Minsk). As a result of the research, the prospects of growing tall blueberries and its advantage over our local wild-growing species - marsh blueberries, were proved, both in terms of fruit size, yield, and taste and medico-biological value.

Experimental gardeners also decided to keep up with scientific institutions, and some of them began to study tall blueberries in their garden plots. Since in those days there were no seedlings or cuttings of American blueberries, those who wanted to try to grow this culture, in all possible ways, got the seeds of cultivated varieties in scientific institutions.

Unfortunately, in most cases, seedlings obtained from seeds differed significantly from their parents in smaller fruits, but even such they were usually larger than wild blueberries, and they tasted better than ordinary blueberries and in all cases were not inferior in taste to blueberries. Of course, the seed propagation method for American blueberries is very difficult, and it requires large land areas, a large number of seedlings and time for selecting the best specimens for fruiting. Currently, gardeners wishing to take up this culture will no longer need such titanic efforts, since varietal seedlings can be purchased

blueberry
blueberry

Features of culture

Varietal tall blueberry- deciduous shrub 1.5-2.5 meters high. The root system is represented by a network of fibrous roots with several orders of branching. A distinctive feature of the root system of blueberries, like other lingonberry crops, is the almost absence of the main root (there is only a small part of it, about 3 cm) and root hairs for the absorption and absorption of water and nutrients. Blueberry roots have mycorrhiza, i.e. fungi that are in symbiosis with the root and perform the functions of root hairs. The adventitious roots are formed in blueberries only in the area of ​​the short main root and, in extremely rare cases, are on the renewal shoots. Even in shoots lying or bent to the ground, they do not appear (in the rarest cases in the 2-3rd year), therefore, tall blueberries practically do not reproduce by layering,and it is extremely difficult to reproduce by cuttings.

Its shoots are slightly ribbed, their color varies from bright green to light brown. Depending on the location and nature of growth, shoots are divided into two types: formation shoots and branching shoots. Formation shoots develop from underground buds or buds located at the base of old stems. Usually these shoots are very powerful and can reach a length of one and a half meters. The growth of shoots of formation begins in the second half of May and continues until the end of August - early September. Sometimes they do not have time to complete their growth before the onset of frost, and their tops freeze over, which, however, does not affect the normal development of the bush and fruiting. The next year, branching shoots develop from the axillary leaves on the shoots of formation, the length of which usually does not exceed 8-20 cm.

american blueberry
american blueberry

The growth of these shoots usually begins in late April - early May and continues until the end of June. In July, flower buds are laid on the tops and in the axils of the upper leaves, forming the next year's harvest. In the axils of the lower leaves, vegetative branching buds of the second order are laid, etc. The higher the branching order of these shoots, the shorter they are, for example, branching shoots of 4-5 orders are only 3-5 cm long.

Vegetative and generative (flower) buds of tall blueberries differ both in their placement on the shoots and in their shape and size. Spherical flower buds are located at the ends of the branching shoots of last year's growth. Vegetative (growth) buds are much smaller than generative ones and are located along the entire length of the shoots of branching and formation in the leaf axils.

american blueberry
american blueberry

The leaves of the varietal American blueberry are large, dark green, shiny, on short petioles, entire or toothed. The leaf shape is elliptical or oval. Leaf length and width can vary greatly depending on growing conditions and varietal characteristics. For example, the Rankokas variety has the shortest and narrowest leaf blade (6.5 x 2.8 cm), the Scammel variety has a long (8.5 cm), and the Blurei variety has a very wide (4.2 cm) leaf blade. Flowers are large - corolla length up to 10-12 mm, white or pink color. Flowers are collected in racemose inflorescences of 6-10 pieces. The axis of the hand is straight, the length is from 8 to 25 mm. Brushes are loose, medium density and dense, which is determined by the length of the stalks and varietal specifics.

Blueberry fruit is a berry with numerous seeds. The size of the berries depends both on their location in the brush and on the grade. The first ripe berries are, as a rule, much larger than the rest, sometimes reaching a weight of 2.5-3.2 g. The last ripe berries are much less - 1.1-1.4 g. In some varieties, both the first and the last berries have almost the same size and weight. A number of varieties (Stanley, Erliblu, Blurey) are large-fruited, but the latter berries are much smaller than the first collection. Such varieties as Rankokas, Rubel, Tirblu and others have fruits of only medium and small sizes (1.2-1.6 g).

The color of berries in varietal blueberries is from light blue to dark blue with a bluish tinge. Their flesh is white, dense. The berries are round, flattened and even pentahedral in shape. Their skin is dense, and sometimes thin, easy to break. The taste of the berries is mostly sweet and sour, although there are also very sweet ones. The great flavor is often complemented by good blueberry to pineapple aromas, and some of the New Zealand-bred varieties even have vanilla aromas. Some varieties have no aroma at all. For example, Weymouth and Rankocas varieties

Valuable properties of varietal blueberries

In general, American Highbush blueberries taste far better than our regular marsh blueberries, and are usually as good as and sometimes superior to blueberries. Its berries are good both fresh and chilled and frozen. It is good to use blueberries for making juices and for various preservation (compotes, preserves, jams), and for filling in pies and cakes. The famous Polish scientist Dr. Kazimir Smolyazh jokes about the cultivation of this crop: "If you start growing blueberries, you will never die." His words are not far from the truth, because berries of tall blueberries have very high medico-biological qualities. The results of research on blueberries, obtained in 1998 at the Boston Medical Center (USA), exceeded all expectations.Now this berry is advertised as the elixir of youth. American researchers have shown that blueberries are capable of not only delaying the aging process, but also contributes to the rejuvenation of the body.

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