Blueberry and blueberries are very similar outwardly, and belong to one family of drowning, but it is completely different in taste of the berries. Wild blueberry (Vaccinium Myrtillus), known from European forests, is different from home. European blueberries are usually not cultivated, but is going in a wild form.
There are many varieties that differ in the main size of the berries and taste. Tall blueberry, adult bush reaches a height of 1.5 – 2 meters, can grow up to 2.5 m in height. With proper cultivation, you can get a crop from a bush up to 5 kg, and the bush can produce a crop of several decades.
Grow blueberries in the gardens is justified and preferably. For home cultivation, a famous American or large-scale blueberry is suitable.
Additional information! The varieties of this plant are mainly derived from blueberries (Vaccinium Corymbosum). Unlike wild grades, high growth rich in harvest and large fruits.
Branched shoots, green leaves, elliptical, leathery. Flowers bells, creamy-white (sometimes pink) are collected in the borders. Blueberry American blooms from April to May, fruits ripen from mid-July to September (depending on the variety).
Fruits of Culture
The fruits are small, slightly flashed. Blue blue juicy berries, usually sweet and very tasty. They are suitable for use in raw form, canning and freezing. It is well stored fairly well and withstand transportation.
Growing Blueberries in the garden
Not in every garden it grows well, but putting a little effort you can get a crop. Blueberry is planting at sunny places, because in the shadow of the harvest is usually lower, although it can withstand the half, but less productive where there is no sun.
Plant in the garden
A certain problem in the cultivation of blueberries is a demand for the composition of the soil. The composition and water permeability of the soil is especially important for growing blueberries. She needs sandy or sampling soil with a high content of organic substances and an extremely acidic soil reaction. Heavy clay and wet soils are not suitable.
Soil acidity for blueberries is required with a pH of 3.8 to 4.8. The yellowing of the leaves, poor yield is an indicator of not enough acidic soil. When such symptoms, you can acidify the substrate, for example, using peat or oxidizers: sulfur or iron sulfide.
Please note! Blueberry is a slow-growing shrub that has no many natural pests or diseases and, in addition to the requirements for acidic soil, it is not difficult to grow.
how to pour the soil for blueberries?
For acidification of the soil, sour peat or sawdust of coniferous plants are used. Garden peat is mixed with soil in a 1: 1 ratio to a depth of 30 cm, and then sawdust or forest mulch around the planted plants.
When acidified with sulfur, it is evenly distributed on the surface of the soil and mixed with the top layer of the soil a year before planting bushes.
Another condition of successful cultivation is a high level of humidity. Also necessary is the right level of groundwater. (at the level of 35-60 cm). In the case of a significantly low level of groundwater, it is necessary to regularly water the bushes.
Important! The basis of the care of the tall blueberry is sufficient humidity and the right pH of the soil.
It is also important to loosen the soil, carefully not to damage the roots. They have a shallow root system, mulching, also come. (You do not need to loosen when mulching).
Blueberry is usually sold in containers (the ideal age of blueberries for landing is 1-3 years). They are obtained by rooting the cuttings. They should be with a well-developed root system.
A healthy sapling should be large enough, with solid shoots and a healthy root system. Before boarding a little cut root.
It is recommended to plant a two-year bushes, since they already have a well-developed root system, they are good and starting to be fron with the next year.
The distance between the plants depends on the growth of bushes and soil type. Tall blueberry bushes are planted after 1.2-2 m, at a distance of 1.5 m between the rows. This allows you to conveniently carry out work on care and collect harvest. For pollination and easier maintaining the soil acidity, the blueberry is better to land with groups.
Plant Group in the Garden
American blueberry bushes are planted in spring or late autumn. In the spring plants are not subjected to frosts, but it is necessary to take into account the need for their watering. When landing shrubs in the fall, it is necessary to protect the roots from frosts, falling asleep the soil around the plants peat, sawdust or sheet mulch.
Additional information!Blueberry does not tolerate the soil constantly, so the landing site should not be in the recess or place where water does not flow naturally.
The landing pitch should be a width of about 1 meter and a depth of 40 to 50 cm. Instead of ordinary soil, a mixture of sand and peat is laid.
Blueberry is rooted shallow, and on the bottom of the wells should be molded sand or gravel as a drainage. When landing, it is important that the top of the root coma is not lower than the soil level in which it is planted.
At first it is necessary to process the soil around plants from weeds. Since the roots are close to the surface, extend weeds manually. The best way is mulching. For mulch under blueberries, the bark is suitable from pine or spruce, as well as sawdust of coniferous trees and beveled dry grass. Put a layer with a layer with a height of 5 to 10 cm. Mulching will provide the soil with organic substances, and in the winter protects the roots from freezing. It is changed in three or four years.
Blueberry is a water-loving plant. However, excess water can harm him. Regular and uniform watering significantly affects the size, quality and taste of berries. For irrigation, soft water is best suited, which contains as little mineral salts as possible, for example – rainwater (water from under the tap or well increases the alkalinity of the soil).
Basically, nitrogen fertilizers are used for feeding. If around the nutrient soil – do without feeding. In less nutrient soils, a balanced fertilizer can be made on fire, but only in very limited quantities compared to other plants. Excessive fertilizer can lead to damage to the roots and leaves. Alternative to fertilizer is the addition of a fresh compost layer.
After planting on the plant, leave from one to the three most powerful reprehension shoots that shorten a little so that they become stronger.
Cutting the shoots is the main proceeding procedure for American blueberries. Shrubs without cutting give a weak growth with several buds, and the yield decreases. Fruit plants on 2-3-year-old shoots, but not older than 4 years.
The first 3 years after landing are limited to the removal of weak and sick shoots. Intensive haircut spend only after the 4th year, removing all the old shoots. On average, a good bush should be 6-8 major shoots. Dry, patients, damaged, thin shoots and thinning of the middle of the bush are also removed.
Blueberry grows very slowly. The rejuvenating cut is carried out after 10-15 years of cultivation to support the new growth, when the bushes are already too thick and the yield is significantly reduced. Make it in the spring, cutting the shoots growing close to the ground. Crouching large hanging branches, leaving young without trimming, because they will give a crop.
Diseases and Pest Blueberries
Culture is relatively resistant to diseases, rarely amazed by fungal and bacterial diseases. In the event of a disease, remove damaged parts.
The biggest pests of blueberries are birds. To the ripening fruits, they are hampered by light networks that are put on the blueberries. In addition to grids, you can use various designs of barriers.
Collecting and recycling Blueberries
On one plant, blueberries ripens gradually. Harvesting should pass in stages. Collect only completely ripe berries.
Most blueberry berries ripen from June to early September, depending on the early or late grade. Blueberries best taste fresh, but it is very well preserved when boiling or freezing.
Useful properties and contraindications of blueberries
With its health properties of blueberries, it is obliged to high in vitamins and minerals:
- polyphenols possess antioxidant properties, preventing cancer and cardiovascular diseases;
- phytoestrogens regulate cholesterol levels;
- Anthocyans lower blood pressure;
- fiber and tanning substances improve the intestinal operation and contribute to the removal of toxins from the body.
The beneficial properties of blueberries have a positive effect on the intestinal activity, reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol, have a positive effect on hormonal changes occurring in our organism. Also known for their anti-cancer properties. They are low-calorie (in 100 grams of 57 kcal), suitable for diabetics, because their glycemic index is only 55.
Blueberry, and blueberries are considered healthy. However, according to some studies, Blueberry brings more benefits.