Jersey blueberries: variety description, planting, garden bush care
Jersey Garden Blueberry is one of the oldest and most widespread varieties. It began to be cultivated back in 1928. This late-ripening variety is very productive, it is characterized by high winter hardiness and resistance to late spring frosts and viruses. A description of this variety, agricultural technology of its cultivation and care, you can find in the review.
The birthplace of culture is North America. It is more common in the eastern United States (from Maine in the north to South Carolina and Alabama in the south and Wisconsin in the west) and eastern Canada (in the provinces of Nova Scotia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Ontario). In the wild, distributed in wetlands and dense forest thickets.
Did you know? Blueberry is a symbol of the state of New Jersey (USA). From here came the name of one of the most popular varieties of this culture.
The variety is represented by a well-designed shrub with high decorative value. The plant is tall, usually reaches 1.5–2 m in height and 1.5–2.5 m in width. An adult shrub fructifies every year and gives a plentiful harvest - from one plant, on average, 4-6 kg of berries are harvested. This variety is one of the best pollinators for other varieties of blueberries.
Jersey rhizome is fibrous, densely branched, located in a layer of the earth with a depth of 20–25 cm. There are no hairs on the roots. The growth of the underground part begins in the spring, when the soil warms up to + 5 ° C, which usually occurs during the budding phase. The Korean system is growing until the end of May. The resumption of the process occurs in the fall, during the harvesting season and before the fall of the leaves.
Leaf plates are rather large, adjacent. They reach 8 cm in length and 4 cm in width. The edges can be solid or jagged. Placed leaves on short petioles. The shape is elliptical, the color is light green. The surface of the plates is smooth, shiny.
The fruits of Jersey are small or medium, very dense structure. The size of one instance in diameter is approximately 2.5 cm. The berries are light blue, round in shape. They are bundles placed on long branches.
Taste qualities are rated much higher than other varieties. The berry is very sweet, mainly used for processing - jam, jelly, syrups, sauces are prepared from the fruits of Jersey. Blueberries can be eaten both fresh and frozen. Crumpled fruits are great as a filling for baking.
Features of planting and care
The presented variety develops well on most soil types. But the best soil for it is considered a loose mixture of sand and peat. In addition, for a full-fledged growth, Jersey blueberries require an acidic or slightly acidic pH level (3.5–5).
Important! Planting area under blueberries, choose protected from cold winds and well-lit by the sun. The berry should not be in the shade of trees or buildings.
2 months before planting, blueberries dig holes about 40-50 cm deep and 50-60 cm in diameter. The distance between the recesses should be on average from 1 to 1.5 m. It is advisable to use 2-3-year-old seedlings as planting material. Before planting, the roots are placed for 10-20 minutes in water.
The direct planting of Jersey blueberry seedlings is carried out according to the following scheme:
- Place acid peat, fallen leaves, crushed bark and sawdust on the bottom of the hole.
- Dip the seedling in the pit, carefully spreading its roots.
- Fill the pit with soil and compact it. At the same time, deepen the zone where the root goes into the trunk by 5 cm.
- With the final step, the soil under a young bush is watered and mulched with shredded pine bark, fallen leaves, needles or sawdust (5–10 cm layer).
After planting, periodic surface loosening of the soil and removal of weeds around the bush is necessarily performed. Loosening also needs to be done every time before watering. In the first few weeks after planting, young plants are abundantly irrigated - twice a week, 5-6 liters per plant.
Then one procedure per week is enough. For mature bushes, as well as in the fruiting phase, the amount of water is increased to 10 liters per plant. In the spring season, watering is often combined with top dressing, breeding 1 tbsp. l ammonium sulfate in 10 liters of water.
Important! Organic blueberries are forbidden to feed. Its use causes alkalization of the soil, which can lead to the death of planting.
A bush of 2 years of age and older requires the introduction of complex mineral fertilizers. The procedure is carried out before budding and during flowering. First introduced 1 tbsp. l of the nutrient mixture, in the future, the amount must be doubled each time. From 5-6 years, the norm is fixed.
Cut a bush of blueberries in the first half of March, starting from 2 years of age. After forming pruning, 5–8 strong shoots should remain on the adult bush. For 6 years after planting, the plant needs periodic rejuvenation: stems older than 4-5 years old, as well as all damaged, dried and diseased branches, are removed. The procedure helps maintain a high level of fertility.
As for the shelter for the winter, it is required only in areas with severe winters. Stalks are tied with spruce branches, then wrapped with any non-woven material. Harvest Jersey ready for harvest in late August. The fruits ripen unevenly, so the process of removing berries from the bushes takes several weeks. Ripe fruits are easily separated from the brush. Sports are also suitable for mechanized gathering.
Did you know? In the USA and Canada, more than 20 blueberry festivals are held every year, where they sell various dishes from this sweet berry.
The cultivation of blueberries varieties of Jersey will not give you unnecessary trouble. Following the above recommendations, even a novice gardener will be able to harvest a worthy crop of this valuable and delicious berry.