How to independently grow lingonberries in the garden
In summer cottages, gardens and household plots, lingonberries are planted for its useful berries and decorative appearance. To grow this berry culture is not difficult, but you need to familiarize yourself with the conditions that it needs.
Lingonberry - main characteristics and description of the plant
Lingonberry is an evergreen shrub, which is reckoned with the Vereskov family. Her bushes are small, reach a height of up to 15 cm. The leaves are alternate, obovate or in the form of ellipses. They reach a maximum length of up to 3 cm and a width of up to 1.5 cm. The top sheet plate is painted dark green, the bottom is light green. They grow on short petioles.
The roots of the plant are located horizontally. They have slightly raised branched shoots 15–20 cm high. A fungus settles on the rhizome, which forms mycorrhiza with the plant. It absorbs mineral substances, and then saturates them with the root system of berry bushes. During flowering, which occurs in May - June, inflorescences are formed in the form of drooping brushes, in which 10-20 flowers are collected. Corolla white or pale pink. The calyx is divided into 4 triangular lobes. There are 8 stamens.
Fruiting occurs in late summer - early fall. Fruits have a spherical shape and a diameter of up to 8 mm. They have shiny red skin. The taste of the berries is sweet and sour.
The yield of berry bushes can be 50-60 kg per one hundredth. Lingonberry leaves and shoots are used in folk medicine as a disinfectant, urinary, choleretic, anthelmintic. Berries are eaten, they are used to make jam, jam, fruit drinks, and baking stuffing.
This culture has the following characteristics:
- frost resistance;
- unpretentiousness to the composition of the soil;
- poor tolerance of drought.
Did you know? Lingonberry is a long-lived plant. It can grow 200-300 years.
Choosing a place and preparing the soil for landing
Lingonberries need well-lit areas. If you plant it in the shade, the yield and fruit quality will be significantly lower, so it is not recommended to plant shrubs under the trees. The site should be open and well ventilated, but protected from drafts and northerly winds.
When choosing a landing site, one should inquire about the level of groundwater occurrence. Berry bushes grow poorly and often get sick if they come closer than 40-60 cm to the surface of the earth. If groundwater is higher, then good drainage should be organized to remove excess moisture and high beds.It is not necessary to add lime and manure to the soil on the site, since the soil fungus that surrounds the lingonberry roots reacts poorly to them.
The composition of lingonberry soil does not impose special requirements, but it gives the best crops when planted in light, loose, acidic soils that conduct water and air well. It is best to plant it in peat bogs, sandy loam. Unsuitable for growing lingonberries are heavy, clay, loamy soils. Site preparation should be done in the fall or 2-3 weeks before planting.
For seedlings, you will need to dig a landing pit 30 cm deep (approximately on the bayonet of a shovel). Between plants it is necessary to leave 25-30 cm, between rows - 30-40 cm.
The earth dug from the pit should be mixed with peat, sawdust, needles, sand. Recommended soil mixes for the hole:
- high peat + coarse river sand in a ratio of 3 to 1;
- high peat + large river sand + sawdust + needles in a ratio of 2: 1: 1: 1.
If the soil is too poor, then it should be fed with rotted compost (2 buckets / m²), sour peat crumbs (5 buckets), nitrophos (2 tbsp.l.), superphosphate (2 tbsp. l.). Some gardeners recommend pouring it with a solution of citric acid (100 g / 3 l of water), apple cider vinegar (200 ml / 10 l of water). These funds will require 10 liters per 1 m². Sulfur (10–15 g / m²) can also be added to acidify the soil. After fertilizing, the soil should be well leveled.
Selection of planting material
It is important to choose a good variety for growing, given the climatic conditions in the region. Most varietal specimens of domestic selection are suitable for the middle band. From foreign varieties in this climate Sanna, Ida, Red Ammerland, Linnaeus, Sushi and others grow. For those who want to enjoy delicious fruits for a long time, it is recommended to look at the repair lingonberry, which bears 2 times per season.Among the best repairing varieties are Coral, Rubin.
Lingonberry seedlings are sold in containers and with an open rhizome. Planting material with closed roots can be planted throughout the growing season. Subject to the recommendations for planting and selecting a successful site, such seedlings quickly take root and grow. They are transplanted to the vegetable garden or garden without destroying the earthen coma.
Open seedlings must be planted shortly after acquisition. During the purchase, their condition should be assessed: carefully examine the rhizome, trunk, root neck. All organs should look healthy, they should not be stains, growths, rot. The root system must be well developed. Before transportation, to prevent drying of the roots of seedlings, they must be wrapped with moistened sphagnum moss.
Planting lingonberries: features
The technology of planting lingonberry seedlings is as follows:
- Put planting material in the center of the pit.
- Distribute the root system evenly.
- Fill the hole with soil mixture to the top.
- Tread lightly.
- To water
- Lay a layer of mulch 3-4 cm high from peat, cedar husk, pine bark, sawdust. For sandy soil it is better to use peat and sawdust, for peat ground - fine gravel and coarse sand.
If planting is carried out in the spring, then the seedlings must be protected from return frosts. To do this, it is worth pulling agrofibre on metal arcs. Shelter will need to be removed when the seedlings take root well, after about 2 weeks. When planting seedlings in the summer, they also need to be covered with a translucent cloth to protect them from aggressive sun. You need to accustom the plant to the sun's rays gradually, opening a shelter daily for a while.
The key to a stable and abundant harvest of lingonberries is competent and regular care. It consists of watering, top dressing, pruning, loosening, weeding, mulching, preventive treatments for diseases and harmful insects. Since this is a winter-hardy culture, there is no need for shelter for the winter. She perfectly survives frosts under a snow cover. But in early spring, when there is a threat of frost return, shelters with lutrasil or other non-woven material are needed. Low temperatures at this time can be detrimental to the bushes.
Video: How to care for lingonberries
What to feed
Lingonberries are often not worth feeding. It will be enough 1-2 times per season. When growing in peat soil, it is possible to fertilize 1 time in 2-3 years. Berry bushes respond well to mineral fertilizers and complex mixtures. Of the recommended complexes - Ogrod 2001 granules, which are designed specifically for plants from the Vereskov family, Kemira, Rastvorin products. The first fertilizer application is carried out no earlier than 3 years after the planting of seedlings in the ground.
It is recommended to add ammonium sulfate (0.5 kg / m²), potassium sulfate (1 kg), superphosphate (1.8 kg) of mineral fertilizers after snow melting.Before flowering, ammonium sulfate can be added again, and after the flowers fall, manganese and zinc sulfate (0.1 kg).
Organic fertilizers, namely manure or bird droppings, do not need to feed lingonberry bushes. They contain a lot of nitrogen, which can provoke burns on the root system.
It is strictly forbidden to feed lingonberries with chlorine-based fertilizers. Chlorine is fatal to this berry crop.
Lingonberries love moisture, but at the same time can not stand its stagnation. To take into account this feature of the plant, it is best to organize drip irrigation of the site. Irrigation is recommended to be done 2 times a week. Too frequent watering is undesirable. It should be noted that over time, humidifications wash out the acid necessary for normal growth and development of lingonberry from the soil. Therefore, once every 3-4 weeks you should water the soil with acidified solutions.
Watering must be combined with cultivations. Since the root system of the berry culture is located in the upper layers of the soil, they must be shallow and accurate.
Loosening is necessary to prevent the appearance of a dense crust on the soil surface, which prevents the normal passage of moisture and air to the rhizome. To reduce the amount of watering, cultivation and weeding, beds with lingonberries 1 time in 2-3 years should be covered with mulch. Mulching allows you to maintain the necessary level of soil moisture and inhibit weed growth.
Pruning shrubs is needed to prevent the development of diseases and attacks of harmful insects, the normal development of the plant. Lingonberries need sanitary cuttings in the spring and autumn, when the growing season has not yet begun or has already ended. During them, sick, curved, dry, damaged branches are cut out, as well as those that no longer give fruit. Anti-aging pruning is performed every 8 years. During it, the plant is cut under a stump 4 cm high. The fruiting of the trimmed bush occurs a year later.
Pest and Disease Control
In case of mistakes made during planting, ignoring the recommendations for care, lingonberry bushes can be affected by diseases and harmful insects. The main diseases of this berry culture are:
- Exobazidiosis: staining of leaves in a pinkish or whitish color; strong overgrowth of foliage; defeat of stems, pedicels, flowers. Prevention and treatment: three-time spraying with Bordeaux liquid: before flowering, at the end of flowering, 2-3 weeks after the second treatment; prophylaxis with Rovral (0.1%): before and after the growing season, treatment with Euparen, Benomil.
- Mycospheriliosis: the formation of reddish spots on the leaves. Prevention and treatment: Three-time spraying with the preparations "Fundazol", "Topsin" with interruptions of 1-1.5 weeks.
- Sclerotinia: mummification of fruits. Prevention and treatment: Topsin application (0.2%), Euparena (0.2%): 3 times before blooming at weekly intervals, 3 times after harvesting; use of Bordeaux fluid: before and after the growing season.
- Rust: the formation of brown spots on the foliage. Prevention and treatment: in order to prevent infection in the spring and autumn, Bordeaux is used; For prevention, a 1% solution is suitable, for treatment - 3%.
- Monoliosis: drying stems; deformation of shoots, leaves, flowers. Prevention and treatment: the same measures as with the defeat of mycospheriliosis.
- Gibber spotting: the appearance on the ground organs of a crust of black color; drying of the plant. Prevention and treatment: treatment with Fundazol, Topsin, Bordeaux fluid.
The greatest danger to the growth and development of lingonberries is represented by such insects:
- Leafloader. Butterfly Caterpillar Yellow Brown. It is painted in gray-green or yellow-green color. Symptoms of infection: damage to the kidneys, buds, ovaries, leaves; twisting leaves into a straw.Prevention and treatment: spraying with decoctions of tomato tops, wormwood, onions, garlic; three times treatment with insecticides "Karate", "Decis" during the formation of buds with an interval of 1-3 weeks.
- Aphid. Miniature sucking insect with body sizes up to 0.6 mm. It can be green or black, with or without wings. It feeds on plant juices. Symptoms of infection: yellowing, twisting, drying out of the leaves; the appearance on the ground organs of honey dew; stunting of shoots. Prevention and treatment: timely disposal on the site of ants - vector aphids; treatment of ground organs with a soap solution; application of Rogor, Actellika.
- Leaf beetle. A small or medium beetle with a body size of 3-15 mm and a bright color. Symptoms of infection: leaves eaten to the veins. Prevention and treatment: The use of onion, dandelion, tobacco infusions; treatments by Actellic, Fosbucid, Kemifos.
- Shield. Small insect of gray color with a hard shell. Symptoms of infection: the appearance of dark spots on ground organs; drying of the plant. Prevention and treatment: the use of drugs "Karbofos", "Aktara", "Tanrek"; spraying with coniferous or citrus tincture.
Lingonberries are propagated in three ways:
- division of the bush;
The most time-consuming and lengthy method of reproduction is by seed. Produce it as follows:
- Carry out stratification (keeping at a temperature of + 4 ... + 5 ° С in wet sand) of planting material for 4 months.
- Sow the seeds in a container filled with a mixture of peat and sand.
- Place in a well-lit place where the temperature is + 20 ° С.
- Humidify from a spray bottle.
Harvesting and storage
The fruiting of lingonberries begins in the second year after planting. Harvesting begins in September. It can be carried out before the first frost. It is important to collect fully ripened berries, because unripe fruits after breaking off the maturity are not reached. It is necessary to plan the collection in the morning or evening, so that the skin of the berries is completely dry. It is important not to clean in hot weather, as this significantly reduces the fruit's keeping time.
Did you know? In some feathered berries, lingonberries are not digested, therefore the seeds are excreted unchanged with litter. So they can spread over long distances from the parent plant.
Berries are picked by hand, placing them in small containers. After collection, they should be put in cool conditions as soon as possible. You can store the berries in room conditions, but it is better to do this in the refrigerator.The shelf life of fruits stored in the cold is 2-3 months.To preserve the berries longer, they can be dried or frozen. Dried product can be consumed for two years, frozen - for a year. You can also cook lingonberries and make jam out of it, grind with sugar or soak.
So, growing lingonberries in summer cottages and household plots is easy. The main thing is to choose a successful site, plant the plant in the recommended soil and produce quality care. Subject to these rules, berry shrubs will delight in plentiful and regular crops for a long time.