Growing blueberries at home
Tasty and healthy blueberries are much less common than their relatives - blueberries or lingonberries. The cost of the berry is high, since the shrub grows in remote places, and its industrial cultivation is poorly distributed. The desire to enjoy a large sweet berry can be realized by growing it at home.
Is it possible to grow blueberries at home
Planting blueberries in the garden beds is not always advisable due to the specific requirements of the plant for soil and moisture. Variants of the names of the bush blueberry swamp and blueberry swamp suggest that it can grow only in swamps, peatlands, along streams or rivers. As a result, abundant and regular fruiting will depend on constant monitoring of soil acidity and timely watering. The best option would be to create the necessary conditions for planting in pots or tubs, which can be placed on the windowsill or balcony of the apartment.
Important! Despite the self-fertility of the culture, to obtain a good harvest, it is recommended to grow several varieties of blueberries to ensure pollination.
It is also a great way to green the veranda or terrace of a large house. High frost resistance of the plant allows it to easily winter at temperatures up to -30 ° C. Modern varietal diversity provides a choice of shrubs with certain qualities: height, sprawling, ripening and yield.
Potted seed growing
Traditionally, blue berries are grown from seedlings. The seed method is longer and laborious, but is perfect if you like the fruits and the variety is unknown. At the same time, there is a chance to get a new variety with a different taste or size of berries from the original one. For seed selection, the most ripe fruits are kneaded and washed carefully with water.
Dense seeds, settled to the bottom, are collected and dried on a napkin. They can be stored in paper bags, preserving germination up to 10 years. Fresh seeds can be sown the same summer, in subsequent years, spring sowing is practiced. A prerequisite for pre-sowing preparation is the stratification of seed for 3 months to increase germination and viability.
Did you know? Blueberries are the most popular berry in North America. The USA and Canada annually hold about 20 blue berry festivals.
For the procedure, the seeds are placed in bulk on a damp cloth, sand, perlite or sphagnum, placed in plastic bags and placed in the refrigerator compartment with a temperature of 3-5 ° C. To protect against spoilage, the substrate is treated with antifungal drugs. Throughout the entire period of stratification, the seeds are regularly ventilated and moisturized, preventing drying.
For sowing seeds, small pots or boxes equipped with a large number of drainage holes are selected and filled to a third of the depth with pine bark, expanded clay or broken brick.
Important! Excess water from pallets must be drained, since the roots of blueberries do not tolerate flooding.
For normal development and fruiting, the plant needs acidic soil, so horse peat is taken as a substrate and tanks are filled with it. If it is absent, you can plant the seeds in loose fertile soil with a pH from 3.5 to 4.5. A solution of vinegar or citric acid is used to acidify to the desired value.
Sowing is easy to do in a few simple steps:
- Smooth the substrate and moisten it with standing water.
- Place stratified seeds on the surface, gently pressing.
- Sprinkle with a primer layer of not more than 3 mm and moisten again from the spray gun.
- Cover the surface of the box with transparent film or glass and place in a warm place.
Crops are kept under the film until shoots appear. Shelter is removed daily for ventilation. The surface of the soil all this time should not dry out, for which, as necessary, it is moistened from the spray gun. When mold appears, the surface of the soil is treated with fungicides.
At the stage of 3-4 real leaves, seedlings are dived into separate pots. Before fruiting, seedlings should grow about 4 years. Until this time, the peduncles appear are removed so that the plant does not weaken. As the bush grows, it is thinned out, removing dried branches that are diseased and growing inside the crown.Shoots appear within 2-4 weeks, after which the film is removed and the seedlings are transferred to a well-lit place with an air temperature of at least 23-25 ° C.
From the moment of sowing, blueberries need regular hydration. For irrigation of seeds, water is used that is standing and warmed up to room temperature, acidifying it to the desired value as the soil acidity decreases. After the germination of blueberries and the removal of shelter from a crate, they continue to irrigate crops 2-3 times a week. The amount of moisture depends on the volume of containers in which the culture grows.
There should be enough water to completely wet the soil, but it should not be allowed to stagnate in the sump. The superficial root system of the bush does not tolerate drying out. If during the flowering and fruiting period the plants lack moisture, the crop will be scarce not only in the current season, but also in the next year due to poor laying of the fruit buds.
Fertilizers and fertilizing
The limited volume of the pot in which the bush grows cannot sufficiently provide the plant with the forces for growth and the formation of a full crop. As a top dressing, only complex mineral fertilizers are applied, avoiding the use of manure or chicken droppings. They begin to feed blueberries from 2-3 weeks after diving into separate containers. For fertilizer use "Kemira-universal" twice a month, starting in April and ending at the end of July. The dosage indicated by the manufacturer should not be exceeded, as this can lead to seedling disease.The optimal number of top dressings of adult plants is three times a season: at the beginning of the growing season, during the formation of ovaries and after fruiting, conducting them in cloudy weather after watering. As much as possible, all nutritional requirements of the berry shrub in multicomponent mineral mixtures specially created for it were taken into account: Lifdrip, Kind Strength, Bona Forte for Blueberries, Yara Vila. After using mineral solutions, it is necessary to thoroughly wash off the residues of the fertilizer from the leaves of the plants.
Did you know? Blueberries prevent memory loss, help restore vision and exhibit a powerful antioxidant effect, superior in strength to all other vegetables and fruits.
A shrub that is not widespread in horticulture, which has a decorative appearance and healing berries with a pleasant sweet and sour taste, is worthy of attention and care. A unique dietary product for the prevention of various diseases due to proper care can grow right on the windowsill, always at hand, and delight households with spring romantic blooms, summer gray clusters of fruits and autumn crimson foliage.