sadiplod - everything about berries and their cultivation

Blueberries - group planting and care

 Photo of group planting of blueberries and caring for them

Group planting and care of blueberries is advisable for obtaining a large harvest. Group plantings look more natural than single shrubs. In natural conditions, plants usually grow in small groups, so such conditions are the most comfortable for them.

The number of plants may vary depending on the size of the plot. It is recommended to plant blueberries of different varieties to obtain more berries. The distance between the bushes should be about one and a half meters, and between the rows - a meter.

To ensure that plants receive the maximum amount of light, they are planted in rows from north to south.

When preparing planting holes, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of the plant. The blueberry root system is fibrous with highly branched and tangled roots. The roots grow up to 90 cm in width. Planting holes should be about 60 cm deep. The bottom of the hole is lined with pine sawdust, peat and sulfur.

Planting is best done in the spring before the buds swell. Blueberry seedlings must have a closed root system and no visible damage. If the blueberries are sluggish with a poorly developed root system, such a plant will most likely not take root on the site. The age of the seedling should not exceed 3 years. Before planting, seedlings must be placed in water for 10 minutes. During this time, the earthen lump will soften, and the roots can be carefully straightened without damaging them. If you neglect this procedure, there is a risk of damaging the root system. Injuries to the root system received during planting will lead to the death of the plant.

After planting, the plant needs to be watered and mulched. Watering can be done manually or using an automated method. The watering norm for a seedling is one liter of water per day. For an older plant - 12 liters, and for a mature plant - 22 liters of water. The watering regime can be adjusted depending on the type of soil and its drainage system. In general, blueberries require from 25 to 40 mm of moisture per week, which makes it clear that the plant is very demanding when it comes to watering. It is necessary to constantly monitor soil moisture. Overwatering can lead to rotting of the roots and a decrease in the number of berries.

You can use special devices to measure soil moisture - a strain gauge.

If the soil is not sufficiently moistened, cracked soil can damage the roots. The plant will be under stress if the soil moisture is less than 2.5 cm, but this may not be noticeable from the outside.

Group planting requires more thorough weeding and hilling. Plants should be located on the site in such a way as not to shade each other. Blueberries love the sun very much, and its lack will certainly affect fruiting.

The big advantage of group planting is its good resistance to strong winds.

Blueberries, soil for planting

It is best to choose peat soil with high acidity for planting blueberries. Blueberries can grow in clay soil, but in this case there must be good drainage. The lighter the soil, the better the plant will feel in it. In nature, blueberries often grow in coniferous forests, but using ordinary soil with the addition of pine sawdust will not be enough. If the soil on the site is not acidic, then you can make it so yourself. To do this, you can use peat with the addition of pine sawdust and sulfur. To oxidize the soil, malic or citric acids, diluted in the correct proportion, are usually used. It is best to purchase special additives for blueberries, where the necessary components are already mixed in the required quantities. A more economical option is to take land from a spruce forest. However, for group planting you will need a considerable amount of land.

Planting sites for blueberries should not contain admixtures of roots or seeds of other plants. It would be better if no crops were planted in this area for several years. The area has been dug up and treated with steam since the fall.

After the soil has acquired the necessary acidity, the plant can be planted. The soil pH should be between 3.5 and 5.0. Any fertilizers that alkalize the soil are detrimental to blueberries. If the acidity of the soil is disturbed, the plant will not be able to grow and develop. The best soil for blueberries is peat-sandy or peat-loamy with good drainage properties.

Blueberries, top dressing and fertilizers

Feeding and fertilizing blueberries should be done at the very beginning of spring. This should be done during the period of sap flow and swelling of the kidneys. The most effective fertilizers for blueberries:

  • Ammonium sulfate. Popular fertilizer for blueberries. It is better to give in liquid form.
  • Potassium sulfate. Use once per season.
  • Magnesium sulfate. Feeding is carried out once.
  • Superphosphate. Apply in summer and autumn.
  • Zinc sulfate. Use once per season.
You can also use special complex mineral fertilizers.

Important: The main rule when growing blueberries is not to feed them with organic matter.

Spring feeding is very important; it sets the plant up for development and growth, which occurs at a faster pace. In the summer, blueberries need to be fed no more than twice. In autumn, it is advisable to fertilize with superphosphate and potassium sulfate. Fertilizers are applied to the soil, but this must be done carefully so as not to damage the roots. The maximum depth at which fertilizers are placed is about 10 cm.

The lack of any element will definitely affect the appearance of the plant. This may be indicated by the color of the leaves, the lethargic appearance of the plant, or poor shoot growth. But the best indicator of good soil, of course, will be a soil analysis, which must be carried out every three years.

Blueberries - propagation by cuttings

Blueberry propagation by cuttings is carried out in autumn, when the plant sheds its leaves. But you can do this in early spring. For propagation, root cuttings no more than 15 cm in length are suitable. It is necessary to select only strong, healthy cuttings that are not damaged by disease or cold. The cuttings must have at least 3 buds. The lower cut is made just below the bud at a slight angle. The upper cut is made horizontally and 2 cm above the bud.

Important: A more powerful and thick cutting will produce roots much faster.

The cuttings are placed in a cool place around +5°C so that their internal processes stop slightly. This will help the cuttings to take root better in the prepared soil.
Cuttings must be planted in soil made of peat and sand, maintaining a slight slope. The cutting should be immersed no more than 2/3 of its length into the soil. At least one bud should remain above the soil surface.

It is best to plant cuttings in a greenhouse or greenhouse. After planting, it is necessary to water the plant. Blueberries do not take root so easily, so it makes sense to treat the cuttings with a special product before planting.

Immediately after planting the cuttings, they are sensitive to moisture and temperature changes. The optimum soil temperature should be around 20°C. Watering is carried out twice a week until new leaves appear. Then you need to water the plant every day - this will speed up the appearance of roots.

Wild blueberries - growing in the garden

Growing wild blueberries in the garden is possible if you create comfortable conditions for it, to which the plant is accustomed in nature. In Russia, wild blueberries are found in the northern regions. It thrives in swampy areas and tundra. The plant is unpretentious to soil and resistant to severe frosts.

In general, the wild blueberry bush is a low, medium-spreading plant with green oval leaves. Wild blueberry fruits are small and appear only in the 15th year. The yield is small but long lasting. Blueberries can bear fruit for over 50 years. Despite the small size of the berries, their usefulness is several times higher than that of garden blueberries. A significant disadvantage of wild blueberries is their poor resistance to diseases and pests.

Wild blueberries were often used as a material in breeding work to create new varieties. Scientists have tried to preserve all the usefulness of the plant and improve it by adding new qualities. Having the material for planting, it is important to have the necessary knowledge how to plant blueberries correctly in the soil on your plot.

Wild blueberries can grow in the garden if you choose the right soil for them. The soil for planting should be acidic - this is the soil in which blueberries grow in nature. The site is chosen to be well-lit and windless. The soil can be peaty or loamy. Soil acidity should be in the region of 3.5-5.0. It is very important that the soil is light and does not retain moisture. The plant should be watered frequently, constantly keeping the soil moist. Blueberries also need hilling, weeding and pruning.
If you regularly thin out the crown, you can achieve higher yields.

To prevent diseases, blueberries are treated with special means and protective measures are taken. In particular, it is important to monitor the degree of soil moisture and remove damaged areas of the plant.

Blueberries are a fairly unpretentious plant, highly valued locally for their beneficial properties and taste characteristics. Growing this shrub will bring many pleasant moments, and the berries will bring great benefits.