If previously blueberries could only be found in the forest, today this berry is grown by many gardeners. The berry grows successfully even in the northern regions. The plant is considered quite unpretentious, and brings the harvest annually. The first berries can be harvested three to four years after planting. If you provide blueberries with competent care, the plant can live up to several decades.
Selection of variety for planting
Breeders have created many varieties of blueberries for growing in the garden. All of them are divided into:
- Early ripe. The first berries are ready in early July. These include: Duke, Spartan, Stanley, Northblue, Blueetta.
- Mid-ripening delight with berries at the end of July. This is Patriot, Toro, Elizabeth, Nelson, Rancosas, Bluegold.
- Late-ripening ripen no earlier than the end of summer. Most in demand Eliot, Gorbert, Jersey.
These are the best blueberry varieties recommended by many gardeners. However, when choosing a variety, you need to take into account many nuances: climatic conditions, site features, taste preferences.
Blueberries are short, medium and tall. For the northern territories, bushes of low growth are more suitable. Sredneroslye grow in any climaticconditions.
The varieties are not divided according to taste, a lot depends on personal preferences. A lot of positive feedback from gardeners was acquired by the Bluecrop variety due to large juicy fruits.
Choosing a seat
The common blueberry prefers open areas protected from the winds. Shady areas will not suit her, the berries will turn out sour on them.
Blueberries thrive in peaty soils with an acidity level of 3, 5-4, 5. Neutral and alkaline soils are not suitable, as blueberry root structures will not grow on them. Soil drainage is important for blueberries, waterlogging will adversely affect the development of the bush. You can increase the acidity of the soil by adding citric acid (3 teaspoons per bucket of water).
Before planting, a hole is prepared with dimensions of 60 by 60 cm, 60 cm deep.
A nutrient substrate consisting of sawdust, peat, needles, sand and sulfur is poured into the pit. Everything is thoroughly mixed and compacted.
You don't need to add manure and ash, it's bad for blueberries. The optimal interval between bushes is one meter.
How to plant blueberries?
Gardeners do not grow berries from seeds, it is too troublesome, suitable only for specialized nurseries. It is easier to plant a plant with a seedling.
You can buy seedlings from experienced gardeners or nurseries. When buying, you need to carefully examine the future bush. He shouldn't bedamaged by diseases and insects. Seedlings with a closed root system differ in the most successful survival, they are sold in pots.
It is better to plant common blueberries in spring. When planting in summer, there is a risk that the plant will not have time to take root.
How to plant blueberries? When planting a seedling, adhere to the following algorithm:
- The container where the seedling is located is lowered into the water for 15 minutes.
- The soil around the seedling is gently kneaded. Roots must be handled with care.
- The plant is buried in the soil by 5 cm.
- The earth is watered, the bush is mulched with sawdust.
Then you need to carry out competent and regular care for blueberries, and then the plant will bring good yields.
Growing blueberries is not difficult for an experienced gardener, because their care is about the same as for other crops.
Watering blueberries is done carefully so as not to flood the plant. It is important to prevent stagnant water in the area. Timely watering is needed especially during the appearance of flowers and berries.
A couple of weeks after planting, the bush can be fed. Blueberries are fed with mineral compounds of phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. After fertilizing, the bushes are watered. The following year, blueberries are fertilized in April and June. Don't go overboard with organics.
Sour peat is considered the best fertilizing for blueberries. If there is no peat mixture available, rotted coniferous litter can be mixed into the ground. Himmulch tree trunks.
Caring for blueberries also means regular loosening of the ground under the bushes. This must be done three times per season. Loosening too often is not worth it, so as not to destroy the roots.
The near-trunk circle is mulched with a layer of 12 cm. This will help blueberries survive hot summers and frosty winters. Sawdust, needles, peat, oak leaves are suitable for mulching. You can update the layer a couple of times per season.
Pruning starts no earlier than the sixth year. Remove dead and diseased branches. It is best to prune at the onset of winter and spring. The lower growth is removed, the bush should not thicken much, this will help prevent fungal infections.
In severe winters, blueberries are covered with non-woven fabric or sawdust.
If the cultivation of the berry on the site was successful, you can start its reproduction. This is done in two ways:
- Cuttings. One of the best options. Harvesting shoots should begin in autumn or winter. The shoots are lowered into a bag and placed in a cold, dark place. In the spring, the shoots are cut into cuttings 20 cm long and rooted in a sand-peat mixture. Cuttings can be planted in the soil in autumn, starting in September.
- Layers. The method can be applied at a time when the plant is already getting ready for bed.
The lower branches are bent down and covered with nutrient soil. Cover with foil on top. In spring, layering can be planted in a permanent place. It is important to ensure that the roots reach sufficient size.
Disease and pest prevention
To protect the bushes from the invasion of pests and the appearance of diseases, a number of measures must be taken:
- Spring bushes are sprayed with Bordeaux liquid and polycarbacin solution.
- With the appearance of leaves, the bushes are treated with any fungicide, the treatments are repeated three times.
- Having harvested, the fungicide treatment is done again.
- The last treatment is carried out before the onset of winter.
Common blueberries are rarely affected by diseases. Of the possible diseases occur:
- Stem cancer. The disease is caused by a fungus. Initially, brown spots appear on the branches, which increase and cover all the shoots and leaves. The disease can cause complete loss of the bush. To prevent it, it is important not to let the soil under the blueberries become waterlogged and you should not plant bushes too close to each other. A solution of "Topsin" and "Euparen" will help from the spots that appear.
- Grey rot. Also fungal infections. The disease captures the entire bush, starting with reddish spots that gradually lighten. Bordeaux fluid is needed to fight rot.
- Moniliosis. Fungal disease, dangerous for the bush and fruits. It manifests itself in the drying of berries and other parts of the blueberry bush. Bordeaux liquid is effective against moniliosis.
- Physalosporosis. The disease affects branches usually in late summer. First, spots appear, which turn into wounds the next year. Helps with illnessfoundationol, Bordeaux liquid.
- White spotting. Leaves affect white spots, gradually the leaves fall off. It is important to burn the diseased foliage and change the mulch. Bordeaux liquid helps with spotting.
There are also viral diseases. As a rule, there are no methods to deal with them; plantings have to be eradicated.
Insect parasites, as a rule, bypass blueberries. This cannot but please its owner.
Gardener should be careful that pine silkworm caterpillars do not start up in the bushes. They weave webs and reduce the yield of bushes by eating greens and buds.
Danger can represent scale insects and aphids. It is enough to manually collect butterflies from the bushes. If this does not help, you can apply chemicals. Spray after harvest.
Birds really like blueberries, for them this is a real delicacy. Garden scarecrows will help protect plantings from birds. You can hang bright ribbons on branches that will scare away birds.
These simple blueberry bush care measures will help you grow a good berry crop in your area.