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How To Grow Blueberries (Vaccinium Uliginosum) In The Garden
How To Grow Blueberries (Vaccinium Uliginosum) In The Garden

Video: How To Grow Blueberries (Vaccinium Uliginosum) In The Garden

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Video: How to Plant Blueberries: Easy Fruit Growing Guide 2023, January
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Growing blueberries

Quite exotic crops sometimes appear in gardening shops and fairs. One of them is blueberries. This plant from the heather family can be considered a distant relative of blueberries. By the way, its fruits are also a very useful berry.

Harvest varietal blueberry
Harvest varietal blueberry

For example, it slows down the aging process and improves vision. In addition, it normalizes digestion and improves the functioning of the nervous system. There are, according to various estimates, from 150 to 200 species of blueberries. In Russia, there is only one species - common blueberry, it is swampy, marsh and undersized. There are also local folk names: waterhouse, cabbage roll, dove, gonobob, gonobel, gonoboe, fool, fool, fool, drunk berry, blue grapes, titmouse. You may notice that in some regions it is considered a drunk berry. However, it is already known that there are no intoxicating substances in its berries, and the possible intoxication is explained by the wild rosemary growing nearby, the twigs of which fall into the berries when picked.

Blueberry
Blueberry

Where to get planting material?

Despite the popularity among the people, this plant is quite rare. However, sometimes there are seedlings of garden blueberry, known among botanists as Covilla blueberry, on sale. This species was obtained by the botanist Covill by crossing several North American species. Currently, more than 100 varieties of this culture have been bred, of which several dozen are large-fruited. In our conditions, to obtain a harvest, more precisely, for guaranteed ripening of berries, you can choose only early or medium varieties. Early varieties include Erliblu, Bluetta, Stanley, Duke and others. Mid-season varieties include Blue, Bluecrop, Patriot, Rancosas, Elizabeth, Berkeley and others. Their first berries appear at the end of July.

Both common and garden blueberries can be grown in the gardens. It can be propagated by annual cuttings up to 10-15 cm long. The soil for rooting is recommended to be made up of 1 part of sand and 1 part of peat. Cuttings for reproduction must be cut in early spring or autumn before the onset of frost.

Blueberry seedlings grown in this way (or purchased from nurseries) are planted in a permanent place at a distance of 1.2-1.5 m between two-year-olds and 2.4-3 m between rows if the soil is mechanized.

Blueberry
Blueberry

Growing conditions

A place for blueberries should be sunny, sheltered from the wind, with light, acidic permeable soil. Brown high-moor peat is considered ideal for her, but light mineral soils are also suitable. Clay - not suitable. As a soil, you can take the topsoil from a pine forest directly with the needles. It should be remembered that blueberries need acidic soil with a pH of 4 to 5.5. This is necessary for the development of a special fungus that forms mycorrhiza with roots. Therefore, before planting and during cultivation, it is necessary to monitor the reaction of the soil. If it is not acidic enough, it can be acidified with some fertilizers. For example, from mineral fertilizers, ammonium sulfate or nitrate are suitable for this. Some scientists even suggest watering the earth with sulfuric acid for acidification. However, this substance is alien to living nature and, I think, such a technique pollutes nature,making the berries environmentally dirty. Therefore, I believe that a more gentle method would be to shed the soil with a solution of "Baikal EM-1" diluted in a ratio of 1: 100 a week before planting. This solution has a pH of 5.5.

When planting in a hole with a diameter of 80 cm and a depth of 40 cm, it is recommended to add a phosphorus-containing fertilizer or a bucket of humus. In the absence of humus, in my opinion, it is possible to apply the AVA fertilizer as a complex fertilizer with a high phosphorus content, which has a greater return in acidic soils (digestibility up to 95%) compared to superphosphate (15%). After applying such fertilizer, in the next 2-3 years, it will be enough to apply only ammonium sulfate. In any case, it is known that manure and ash are contraindicated in blueberries. Especially ash due to its alkaline reaction.

It is best to plant seedlings in spring, but if you purchased seedlings with a closed root system (in a container) from you, then they can be planted in summer.

Blueberry, fruit
Blueberry, fruit

Plant nutrition

The opinions of gardeners who have grown blueberries differ somewhat on fertilizers for nutrition and feeding. Some write that every spring (April - May) it is necessary to apply mineral fertilizers. At the same time, it is recommended to add to one adult bush: 100 g of ammonium sulfate, 105-110 g of superphosphate, 40 g of potassium sulfate. Others believe that it is enough to feed her only ammonium sulfate. Apparently, with good filling of the holes when planting or on soils with a high content of phosphorus and potassium, only nitrogen fertilization may be sufficient. If the soil around the bush is mulched with fresh sawdust, you need to double the dose of nitrogen (i.e. add 200 g of ammonium sulfate). In addition, it is desirable to add magnesium sulfate (15-20 g) and trace elements. Magnesium and trace elements can be added in the form of Aquadon-micro fertilizer.

Plant blueberries in an area where there is no stagnation of water, and then water sparingly. It is important not to allow the topsoil to dry out (up to 20 cm) and at the same time not to overmoisten it. Blueberries need no more water than the main vegetable crops (potatoes, carrots, beets and others).

It is advisable to mulch the soil surface around the bush with sawdust in a layer 12-15 cm thick. This will solve a number of problems. Firstly, a layer of mulch will allow you to get rid of weeds, and secondly, it will regulate the water-air and temperature regime of the upper soil layer, i.e. the soil will not dry out and overheat, thirdly, it will improve the illumination of the bush, and fourthly, it will help fight diseases.

If your site has heavy clay soil, then before planting blueberries, it is necessary to put drainage on it, and only then prepare planting holes for blueberries. You can make it even easier by planting blueberries on a comb. To do this, you need to remove a layer of soil 5-8 cm deep and distribute it around the planting hole. Fill the hole with high-moor peat or a mixture of peat with sand, sawdust, pine needles so that a mound forms. Then plant a blueberry bush on the top of the mound and mulch the surface around with sawdust. As a result, excess water will drain over the soil surface, and blueberry roots will receive water and air in an optimal ratio.

Varietal blueberry, harvest
Varietal blueberry, harvest

Blueberry pruning

To obtain regular harvests and large berries, you must not forget about pruning, which begins at the age of six. At the bottom of the bush, all low, empty branches thickening the bush are cut out. Then branches older than 7-8 years are removed (six-year-olds are also possible). Of the large annual shoots, 3-5 of the strongest and healthiest are left, the rest are removed.

Like many other berry crops, blueberries can be pruned both in autumn and spring, but the best time is still in the spring before bud break. In varieties with strong upright shoots and branches, pruning is aimed at thinning the central parts of the bush, while varieties with drooping branches require the removal of weeping shoots along the periphery of the bush. Correct pruning increases the size of the berries, improves their presentation and promotes the accumulation of sugar and vitamins.

Blueberries ripen for 2-3 months and can be on the bush for up to 10 days. 3а during the growing season, 3-6 harvests of ripe berries are carried out. The container should be small and clean. Small baskets with a capacity of 400-500 grams are good for this purpose.

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