Varieties of blueberries for growing in Siberia
Blueberries are tasty and healthy. They are eaten in kind, used in cakes and harvested jam for the winter. They grow on a deciduous shrub that emerged from North America. Blueberries show fairly high yields in areas with a temperate and warm climate. About how to grow it in Siberia and what varieties are suitable for this, read further in the review.
The best varieties of blueberries for Siberia
Blueberries are an ideal crop for growing in gardens with well-drained acidic soil under full sun. There are several main groups of this plant: tall, short and half tall. Its dwarf varieties can be grown even in small containers, decorating the patio and relaxation areas in the garden.
Description of the first garden varieties appeared at the turn of the 20th century. They immediately became extremely popular. The most common are characterized by tallness up to 3 m, large berries and a good harvest. Another part of the cultivars comes from low-growing wild marsh plants. They grow in large numbers in Siberia and the Urals. Siberian frosts are well tolerated, as well as a damp, cold climate.
If you decide to grow blueberries on the site, then start by picking the right varieties. A short summer makes you prefer those that are resistant to frost and are characterized by a short growing season
Bluecrop (Bluecrop) received in 1915. It is the most popular variety in the world. It was brought into the territory of the USSR almost immediately as soon as it appeared. Gardeners celebrate its high decorative properties. In summer, shrubs are decorated with green foliage, but in autumn, plants transform, surprising others with red leaves on red shoots. The Blucrop bushes need extensive space because they grow up to 2 m in height and have the same width. Flowering occurs in May, and harvesting in August.
Important! Blucrop is known for its shallow, not deep-lying roots. Therefore, be careful when loosening so as not to damage them.
Medium hard light blue fruits are known for their excellent taste and cracking resistance.. The variety is also resistant to disease and drought. It will grow well in 4-7 climatic zones and tolerate frosts well up to -35 ° С. But growing it in the southern regions is not recommended due to the fact that it does not develop well in hot climates.
Bluray (Blueray) Designed for the same climatic zones as Blucrop. It easily tolerates frosts down to -35 ° C. Received in 1955 by crossing several other varieties. Its height reaches 1.8 m. The bush is characterized by spreading. Sweet light blue berries of this variety begin to ripen in early or mid-July. Their mass is 2.2 g.
Berries are known for their resistance to cracking, intense blueberry flavor, aroma and dense pulp. The variety is widespread due to its high yield.. But since there are extremely many berries, gardeners are advised to regularly thin out the plants. Bluureur goes well with other varieties and needs cross-pollination.
You will be surprised, but blueberries are not only blue. Breeders obtained varieties with pink berries. Rose Champagne It tolerates frosts up to -30 ° C. Like other varieties, it is suitable for cultivation in Siberia. Upright bushes reach a height of 3 m. In spring, they are abundantly covered with pink-white flowers, similar to bells, and in the fall they delight the eye with bright orange, turning into red foliage.
Did you know? Fast-growing pink varieties of blueberries can grow and bear fruit stably for 20 years.
When the leaves fall, the plant still retains decorativeness due to the red-brown bark of the shoots. In technical maturity, the fruits of Rose Champaign are pale green.As they mature, they become pink. Needs cross-pollination and can produce up to 10 kg of fruit per year.
The variety is characterized by the same pink berries. Pink Lemonade. It is slightly less winter-hardy - tolerates frosts up to -25 ° C. But then it is self-fertile and is one of the most common pollinators. Its fruits ripen in late July or early August. The variety has a stable yield - up to 4-5 kg from one bush. The height of the plant is about 2.5 m.
Sunshine Blue - These are brightly colored blue clusters of berries against a background of light green foliage. From the point of view of decorativeness, this is a very interesting bush: with pink flowers in the spring and bright blue berries in the summer against a background of attractive green leaves, which in the fall will become burgundy red. Medium-sized sweet berries will be ready for harvest in late July or early August.
Productivity from 1 bush is 4.5 kg. The variety is ideal for small areas. Its low height makes it possible to grow in containers. Sunshine tolerates any soil, including high pH. It can grow and bear fruit in the northern regions. But according to gardeners, in a warm climate it shows the best yield. Needs a pollinator companion.
If you are more attracted to undersized instances - plant on the site Top Hat it grows well both in pots and in open ground. The variety has a lot of features. This is a hybrid of blueberries with blueberries, which tolerates frosts down to -34 ° C. Winter hardiness is one of the highest. He even tolerates periods of sudden changes in weather - from frost to thaw and vice versa. Therefore, it does not need shelter for the winter. But if there are hares in your area, it is advisable to protect the bush from them.
The top hat is decorative throughout the growing season. In spring, the plant is covered with white flowers. In July, its branches are covered with a huge number of dark berries with a bluish waxy coating. They have excellent taste. In autumn, Tophat leaves become bronze-golden. The variety is undemanding to soil and can grow everywhere - from sand to peat bogs. But growing blueberries on clay is not worth it - the plants will die.
Northland - one of the most frost-resistant varieties. It tolerates temperatures well up to -40 ° C. No matter how harsh the winter was, you will be provided with 4-8 kg of delicious berries from each bush. The height of the plant is 1.2 m.
Since the bush forms a lot of overgrowth and is very spreading, about 2 m of territory is allocated to it. Northland is easy to grow and adapt to different soil types and conditions.. It is characterized by a plentiful harvest of sweet berries with a high sugar content.
Elizabeth - one of the most delicious and large-fruited varieties. It is named after the one who initiated the selection of garden varieties of blueberries - Elizabeth Coleman. She set the goal of growing commercially viable varieties that are characterized by large fruits with high flavor characteristics. And the variety named after her is one of those.
Elizabeth's bushes will bring you up to 7 kg of berries with a rich sweet grape-blueberry taste. They reach a diameter of 17 mm. Ripen gradually over 2 weeks. Ripening period is August. Fruits are perfectly transported and stored. For transportation cardboard boxes designed for 1-1.5 kg of berries weight are suitable.
Before the emergence of varieties Liberty (Liberty) and Aurora (Aurora), blueberries Elliott (Elliott) was a leader among later varieties. Its medium-sized fruits ripened within 3-5 weeks, which made the plant attractive for cultivation in household plots. Due to its high productivity and the potential for industrial cultivation, it is still in demand..
Important! Be careful when picking Elliot berries.At high air temperatures, they tend to crumble.
Elliot berries ripen in late August. At first, their taste is rather tart. But by the first frosts it becomes softer. The variety is self-fertile, but when grown next to it, other varieties show a higher yield - up to 8 kg from a bush with good care.
In March 2018, a new variety was introduced at a conference on blueberry varieties. Top Shelf. The bush is characterized by great growth power. Its shoots form a vase and do not require a large plot for growing.
The plant has sky blue berries of excellent taste.. Their maturation occurs 2-3 weeks later than the famous Duke. They are perfectly kept. Variety producer - David M. Brazelton (USA), 2012. The variety is suitable for commercial cultivation in regions with frosty winters as well as in those where the weather conditions are milder.
How to grow blueberries in Siberia
First of all, it is worth noting the climatic features of Siberia:
- climate is continental;
- prevailing winds come from the Arctic Ocean or the east;
- the weather is pretty stable and rainfall also;
- average winter temperatures in Western Siberia - from -16 ° C to -30 ° C, in Eastern - up to -38 ° C;
- winter duration - from 5 to 9 months a year.
Therefore, plants that will be grown in the open ground must first have a short vegetative period. But if they are grown in a greenhouse, then the choice of varieties will become more diverse.
Did you know? In regions where strong winds often blow, the air flow causes the plants to rub against each other, as a result of which the bark is injured and pathogens get inside the plant.
Also consider the minimum temperatures in your area. And do not plant varieties for which the index of winter hardiness or the permissible climatic zone is not indicated.
As for diseases, in the wild blueberries do well with both diseases and pests. All modern varieties come from the wild and were obtained only in the last 100-150 years.. Therefore, many gardeners consider this factor insignificant. In addition, diseases always weaken plants. And weak bushes in frosty winters usually die. Therefore, all frost-resistant varieties are resistant to disease.
Blueberry prefers sunny areas, but tolerates partial shade too. The soil should be loose and well-drained.. If you decide how many bushes to plant - stop the choice on 2-3 different varieties. Their harvest is enough for a small family.
The next step will be the preparation of the site. Blueberries prefer soil with a low pH (usually in the range of 4.5 to 5.5) and a high concentration of nutrients. Before choosing, measure the level of acidity using a test kit from a gardening store. If your city does not have one, just order its delivery via the Internet.
There are several ways to lower your pH:
- the addition of compost or humus during planting naturally reduces the pH level;
- some gardeners recommend replacing 1/3 of the soil with the same volume of sphagnum moss or peat when preparing a planting site.
For plants that are grown in containers, a mixture of half peat moss in combination with ordinary soil is suitable. A composition of 50% peat, 40% tree bark and 10% sand is also favorable.
Since blueberries prefer acidic soil, adding potassium during planting will be the right solution. A lot of potassium is found in wood ash. Watering the earth with a solution of 1 tbsp. tablespoons of white vinegar, dissolved in 10 liters of water, will also increase the acidity of the soil and can be used if ash is not at hand.
- For planting, dig a hole 5–7 cm larger than the size of the root ball. Remove the plant from the container in which it arrived from the nursery.
- If there are several bushes, then do the next hole at a distance of 1–1.5 m from the previous one.
- Cut off the ends of the roots to stimulate their further growth.
- Position the plant so that the current planting site is 4 cm lower than the previous one. Add or remove soil from the pit to fulfill this condition.
- Fill the hole and compact the ground around the trunk.
- Abundantly water the planted bush.
Blueberries are pollinated by bees and bumblebees.. But some plants are not self-pollinated. Therefore, bushes of two varieties should be located no further than 30 m from each other.
After landing, cover the trunk area with mulch. This can be a layer of wood chips, sawdust, pine needles or other material up to 10 cm high. Avoid using grass - this will increase the number of weeds. Also, do not use cedar or other odorous species of wood.
Important! Blueberry roots are fibrous, occurring at the very surface of the soil. To avoid damage, a mulch layer is used in regions with frequent changes in temperature conditions.
In autumn, the mulch layer is removed, and when the soil freezes, they are returned to their original place. It will provide insulation between the cold air and the roots.
The subtleties of care
When plants are planted, all weeds are necessarily removed and subsequently maintain this state. Weed herbs compete with cultivars for nutrients and water. If mulch is used, then it will impede their growth.
As plants develop, they deplete the soil. Therefore, the annual application of the next portion of fertilizer is required. They are introduced before the buds open.
The approximate composition of top dressing per bush:
- ammonium sulfate - 100 g;
- potash fertilizers without chlorine - 40 g;
- magnesium - 15 g.
When the plant finishes fruiting and the crop is harvested, this same feed is repeated again. If the soil acidity level is insufficient, then fertilizing with a solution of colloidal sulfur is carried out - 10 g per 10 liters of water. This composition is introduced into the basal zone.
The plant also needs periodic pruning. In the first years after planting, it is not carried out. Then they try to remove old, prolific wood once every 3-4 years in order to stimulate the growth of new shoots.
Since the roots of the plant are shallow, then he need frequent watering. Frequency - 2 times a week. Volume - up to 1.5 buckets of water for each bush. If it rains, then the amount of watering is reduced.
Harvesting and storage
First of all, wait until all the berries on the bush become the same color. Gently shake the twig, ripe fruit will fall in your hand. Now you can start collecting them. Harvest season depends on the variety and can be in June and in August.
The bush does not ripen at the same time, but gradually. First, the fruits located in the upper part of the shoot ripen, and then those below. Ripening lasts up to 2-3 weeks. Therefore, plan the picking of berries in several stages.
Important! Blueberries do not ripen after harvest. Therefore, do not pick half-ripe berries.
You can determine the maturity to taste. Green - they are more astringent, and as they mature, they acquire more sweetness.Collection Algorithm:
- Place your palm under the branch.
- Carefully slide the berry from the stem into the palm of your hand with your thumb.
- Dip it in a basket or bucket.
Pick early in the morning. At this time, the berries are not overheated by the sun, which allows them to be stored for 1-2 days longer without treatment. Blueberry is the owner of a thin peel. Her berries cannot be stored for long. In the refrigerator - no more than a week. In frozen form - no more than 6-8 months. In the form of jam and other preparations - up to three years.
Pest and disease protection
Plant diseases occur in different seasons. Fortunately, only when favorable conditions are created for them. For example, the plant is weakened, and the pathogen is present in the environment. And the more susceptible the variety, the harder the bush tolerates the disease.
The main diseases of blueberries:
- Bacterial cancer caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae.It is especially dangerous for young plants due to the fact that their wood is saturated with juice and more prone to infection. The bacterium penetrates through mechanical damage to the shoots and leaves. To combat the disease, it is important to prune the affected branches in time, especially before the autumn rains. From the end of summer, avoid the introduction of nitrogen, it contributes to the development of pathogenic microflora. For prevention and control, spraying with copper-based fungicides is used in the first week of October and 3-4 weeks after the first spraying.
- Crown galls caused by bacteria Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The pathogen is spread by spraying during rain, irrigation, as well as using garden tools. The main symptom is yellow pimples on the stems and roots. Do not plant plants that have galls on the site. Plant blueberries only in sunny areas. The rays of the sun destroy the pathogen.
- Root rot occurs due to violation of the irrigation regime and stagnation of moisture at the roots. They turn gray, lose their ability to consume nutrients from the soil, rot and the plant dies. The main way to fight is to observe the correct planting and watering regime.
- Late blight caused by the soil pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi. The mushroom develops well in warm weather, and dies in winter. Distributed with contaminated water and soil. Symptoms include stunting and leaf chlorosis. Phytophthora is a problem of wet areas. Therefore, choose well-drained soils and avoid clay, heavy soils with poor drainage.
- Mummification berries occurs due to the defeat of the fungus Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi. Normally developed fruits dry out prematurely. Leaves may also blacken and crumble. For prevention, the bushes are treated with urea. Processing time - in the spring before budding.
- Moniliosis or fruit rot is manifested in the fact that the fruits suddenly darken, begin to rot and fall off. Affected berries must be removed, and the plant treated with a 1% solution of Bordeaux fluid.
- Phomopsis also a fungal disease. It appears in the form of brown spots with a lighter center on the leaves. To combat the problem, the plant is treated with "Tridex" 3 times, every 7 days from the date of detection.
- Alternariosis causes fungus Alternaria tenuissima. The disease can also develop on the already picked berries, if they had spores of the fungus. A damaged fruit can be covered with a blackish or dark green mass of spores, which gives the surface a dull shade. At the time of collection, such a fruit may be dry, but it will begin to rot after a while. Therefore, do not harvest after rain when the berries are wet. Spray with copper-based fungicides in early spring before buds open and when signs of illness are noticed.
To effectively resist pathogenic microflora, carry out preventive spraying. Also, do not forget that it is better to plant disease-resistant varieties than to treat those that will be affected as soon as the appropriate conditions arise.
Did you know? Blueberries are useful for normalizing the functioning of the cardiovascular system, lowering cholesterol and contributing to weight loss. She is also a great antidepressant.
The main pest of berries is birds. They peck on delicious blueberries with pleasure, regardless of what color the fruit is: pink, blue or dark blue. To protect against them, farmers cover the bushes with a net as soon as the crop begins to ripen. Choose a mesh with small holes so as not to let small birds pass. And set it on stakes. It should not lie on the bush itself.
The main pests:
- Butterfly shooter heather lays eggs on the leaves of the bush. Her bright black and white shaggy caterpillars with an orange head are visible from afar. They actively eat greens and young branches.To combat them, they use Fufanon or Actellik.
- At blueberry moth caterpillars also feed on leaves. They have a noticeable blue-yellow color with black stripes along the length of the body. They appear in May. For the fight, they use Kinmix or Inta-Vir.
- Leaflet - A popular pest of gardens. Its bright salad-colored caterpillars also feed on plant juices. And when it comes time to pupate, they twist the leaf, which gave the name to the insect. Most insecticides with a wide spectrum of action are suitable for controlling the leafworm.
Although there can be many diseases, as well as pests, remember that they rarely infect healthy powerful plants. therefore Do not neglect top dressing and timely prevent disease.
If there are many varieties, it is difficult to choose any one. Fortunately, this is not necessary when growing blueberries. Planting several varieties nearby, increases the yield of each as a result of cross-pollination. Also, be sure to consider the conditions under which this plant gives the maximum yield and try to stick to them.