Planting and caring for blueberries in the suburbs
Every gardener dreams of a rich harvest of fruits and berries. However, not all plants are able to take root and bear fruit well in the midland. Thus, summer residents often prefer unpretentious berry crops, among which in recent years blueberries have been increasingly found. About what are the features of growing this healthy berry in the suburbs, and will be discussed further.
The plant is a deciduous shrub up to half a meter high. Garden varieties are taller - can reach 1 meter. The berries are small, rounded, blue with a bluish tinge. North America is considered the birthplace of blueberries, respectively, the growing environment should be as close as possible to the natural for this plant.
Did you know? In nature, under favorable conditions, shrubs of the plant are able to reach the age of 100 years and at the same time bear fruit.
For planting in the suburbs, taking into account the climatic characteristics of the region, the varieties that are grown in Canada are best suited: North Blue, North Country, Patriot. In order for the culture to take root well and quickly, it should be planted in the spring, in the second decade of April.
For blueberries to take root, it is important to choose the right site for its planting. The place where the bush is planned to be planted should be even, moderately lit (too shaded areas should be avoided), protected from drafts and strong winds.
The composition of the soil is the determining factor of choice: acidic, loose, light soil with an acidity pH of 3.5–4.5 is recommended.
Video: Proper planting of blueberries
In order for the seedlings to take root well, it is necessary to carefully prepare the selected site, dig the soil, if necessary, you can acidify the soil with citric acid (based on 1 bush - 60–80 grams of food acid per 10 liters of water). The acidification solution is poured into prepared pits after moistening the soil with plain water.
Important! Watering with citric acid is carried out 2-3 days before planting to prevent burns to the root system.
Preparing the pit for landing
Pits for planting blueberries are prepared in advance. First, holes with a diameter of 70–80 cm and a depth of 50–60 cm are dug. The excavated soil is deposited - it is useful for preparing the planting substrate, which is a mixture of an equal amount of removed soil, sand, peat and humus.
The resulting product is poured into the dug pits, and after two days you can plant the plants. When planting bushes in the substrate, a recess is made in which the roots of the plant are lowered and carefully spread out, sprinkling on top. After planting, the garden culture is well watered - 20 liters of water under 1 bush.
To preserve nutrients in the soil, as well as to protect against weeds, the area around the trunk of the bush needs to be mulched. For this purpose, wood sawdust and peat are perfectly suitable. Mulch is distributed after the first watering.
The subtleties of care
Berry care is not too problematic if the plant was initially created as comfortable as possible.
Blueberries are called swamp berries - this explains her love of moisture. Nevertheless, stagnation of water in the root area is detrimental to the plant, so the issue of soil moisture should be approached reasonably.
Important! It is necessary to increase the amount of irrigation during the ripening period of the berries, since with a lack of water the fruits will grow dry and small.
If the soil around the trunks is not mulched, watering is done every other day, pouring 10 liters of water under the root of each bush. During periods of drought, you can water the plant daily. If, after planting, mulching was carried out, the regimen should be adjusted: usually 1-2 waterings per week in the same amount are enough. In rainy summers, blueberries can do only with natural moisture, 1 watering in 14 days is allowed.
Fertilizer and fertilizing
Topping blueberries is an important issue, since the introduction of various means affects the composition of the soil and its acidity. The first and most important rule is that the use of organic fertilizers is strictly prohibited, since the crop in question does not tolerate them.
Mineral fertilizers are not applied immediately, but after the seedling reaches the age of 3-4 years. Top dressing is carried out in several stages:
- In the spring, before the swelling of the kidneys (the end of March). Under each shrub make 20 grams of potassium salt, according to the instructions.
- Second phase designed to stimulate the plant and support its growth. To do this, use nitrofoska in the amount of 30 grams per bush in accordance with the instructions.
- Third feeding carried out similarly to the previous, nitrophosic, it falls at the beginning of the fruiting period.
Trimming the plant is recommended starting from the age of three. The procedure is carried out once a year, in the spring until the formation of kidneys, in the beginning - mid-March. Old, broken, damaged, diseased branches and shoots are removed from the bush. Cropping, forming a crown, which is carried out as necessary for adult plants, is also allowed.
Garden blueberry is considered a self-pollinated plantHowever, the experience of gardeners shows that productivity increases when several different plant varieties are planted nearby.
Did you know? From ancient times, the juice of blueberry berries was used as a dye for fabrics, and subsequently for coloring wooden furniture.
In general, tall cultivars tolerate frosts without shelter. But if the variety is medium-sized, then care should be taken to preserve it, since the winters near Moscow can be quite severe for the plant.
In preparation for wintering the branches of the plant are bent to the ground and covered with a dense layer of spruce. You can use burlap. To do this, the branches are first wrapped in burlap, tied with a rope, then bent to the surface of the soil and fixed. During snowfall, you can throw a layer of light snow on top.
The berries of blueberries ripen unevenly, so the harvesting process can be carried out in stages, starting from July and until mid-September.
Many gardeners prefer to remove the berries immediately after staining them in blue, explaining that such fruits are longer and better stored. However, practice shows that the sugar level in berry juice rises to its maximum 5-7 days after staining the berries, accordingly, the fruits collected during this period will be more delicious and sweet.
Blueberries are not stored long after harvest, for a maximum of a week, therefore, to preserve the crop, it is best to resort to a method such as freezing, while the vitamins remain in the berries for up to 12 months
So, having examined the peculiarities of blueberries, we can conclude that this culture, due to its stability and unpretentiousness in care, is ideal for growing in dachas near Moscow.