Today, many amateur gardeners are interested in planting blueberries and growing tall blueberries. Its delicious berries are rich in vitamins and nutrients. They are especially useful for people with poor eyesight.
Growing garden blueberries is not difficult at all, but there are a number of features that you will not get a high yield without knowing.
Today, the topic of our article will be garden blueberries, planting blueberries with seedlings in spring and caring for them. We will also tell you how to properly prepare the soil for planting blueberries, which require very acidic soil.
BLUEBERRY PLANTING AND CARE IN THE OPEN FIELD
Let’s talk about growing and caring for blueberries in a summer cottage. This culture has its own peculiarities of planting and care, so a simple planting in the ground without care will not have a good result.
PLANTING BLUEBERRIES IN SPRING
Dates for planting blueberries in spring in open ground
The best time to plant garden blueberries in the central regions of the country in spring is late April – early May. In the northern regions – early May.
It is better to plant blueberries in the afternoon.
Choosing a blueberry seedling and preparing it
For planting, it is better to choose seedlings with a closed root system (CRS). We have prepared just such seedlings for you.
Our seedlings are completely ready for planting. They do not need to be pruned or treated beforehand. Just take them out of the pot and plant them in the place provided for them.
Blueberry seedlings with an open root system (OKS), which are usually sold at roadside markets, take root much worse. And they need to be planted before the buds burst and the movement of sap in the plant tissues begins.
Choosing a planting site for blueberries
Although blueberries are very fond of moisture, we do not recommend planting them in a lowland either. There, the bark on the root collar can rot, which will lead to the death of the plant.
Soil for blueberries
Preparing the soil before planting blueberry seedlings is the most important point in the agricultural technology of this crop!
The most important thing is to maintain the correct concentration of soil acidity. The soil under the blueberries should be very acidic, with a pH of 3.0 to 3.5.
We recommend that you acidify the soil at the blueberry planting site with a solution of citric acid (4 tbsp per 10 liters of water per 1 square meter). Never use vinegar or battery fluid, otherwise you risk burning the delicate roots of young plants!
Before starting acidification, prepare the seedling planting site for digging (per 1 square meter of area): 2 buckets of peat, 2 buckets of compost, 1.5 buckets of sand. After you have dug up the entire area allocated for planting blueberries, you can start acidifying the soil.
2 hours after treatment, you can start planting.
PLANTING BLUEBERRIES IN THE GARDEN IN THE SPRING: RULES AND PLANTING SCHEME
Planting scheme for blueberry seedlings
Blueberries are a cross-pollinated crop, so you need to plant at least two (and preferably three) plants of different varieties nearby. This will ensure high yields of berries for many years.
Planting blueberries in a summer cottage should be carried out according to the scheme: the distance between plants is 3.0 – 3.5 m, the distance from buildings and other areas of the site is 4.0 – 4.5 m.
Planting blueberry seedlings
It is better to plant blueberries in the morning or in the afternoon, especially if the spring was hot.
Dig planting holes with a depth and diameter of 45 – 50 cm. At the bottom of each pit, lay drainage made of broken brick or fine gravel with a layer of 7-8 cm. The planting hole should have vertical walls.
Prepare the planting soil from: topsoil, peat, humus (or rotted manure) and sand in a ratio of 1:2:2:1.
Fill all planting holes 1/3 full with this soil, adding 2 tablespoons of superphosphate and 1.5 tablespoons of potassium sulfate, and mix the soil well.
Place the blueberry seedling on top. Carefully fill the holes with the soil mixture you prepared, constantly compacting it with your hands so that no voids form around the roots. After planting, the root neck of the bush should be at ground level.
Put spruce or pine cones in a single layer in the trunk circle, and pour sawdust on top with a layer of 5-6 cm.
After planting, water the seedlings well with clean water to soak all the soil in the rooting layer. After 30 minutes, water all the young seedlings with a weak solution of citric acid (1 tbsp. spoon per 10 liters of water under the bush).
CARING FOR GARDEN BLUEBERRIES AFTER PLANTING
Watering blueberry seedlings
Blueberries are a water-loving plant, so they need a lot of water. It should be watered at least twice a week. And young plantings – per day.
You will not get a good berry harvest without abundant watering!
To prevent the water from deoxidizing the soil, water all the bushes once a month with a weak solution of citric acid (1 tbsp per 10 liters of water for one bush).
Water with a citric acid solution only after abundant watering with plain water, when all the soil around the roots is well moistened.
In the heat, water blueberries every other day. And it is very good to carry out fine sprinkling of the entire crown of the bush.
After each watering, add sawdust under the bushes with a layer of 5-6 cm. This mulching layer will help retain moisture in the soil.
Fertilizing blueberry seedlings
In the first year after planting, in the summer, blueberries do not need to be fertilized: they received enough nutrition during planting.
However, in the fall, we recommend that you apply some kind of ready-made mineral complex for autumn fertilization of fruit trees and shrubs, following the dosages indicated on the package.
Next spring, right after the snow melts, feed the blueberry bushes with a urea solution (2 tbsp per 10 liters of water for one bush) to give the plants a powerful boost for growth!
In mid-June and mid-July, give the blueberries a top dressing with a manure solution at a concentration of 1:10 (one watering can for each bush). Do this fertilization only after abundant watering with clean water.
In the fall, repeat fertilizing with a ready-made mineral complex, as in the first year after planting.
Also remember to regularly acidify the soil under blueberries. It should always have an acid reaction to a depth of 50 cm. Therefore, in spring and autumn, water the blueberry bushes with a solution of citric acid (2 tbsp. spoons per plant).
Do not forget to spill the ground under the blueberry bushes well with clean water beforehand.
Preparing blueberry seedlings for winter
Blueberries are a frost-resistant crop that can withstand winter frosts down to -42 degrees. However, in the first two years after planting, we recommend that you cover the trunks.
For this purpose, we recommend using dry leaves of deciduous trees (not fruit trees from the garden). Fill the trunk circles with them with a layer of 50 cm, and put spruce spruce branches on top in one layer.
THE BEST BLUEBERRY VARIETIES
Before you start growing blueberries, it is important to choose the right variety. The varieties are grouped according to the ripening time of the berries: there are varieties of early, medium and late ripening.
The coefficient of resistance to frost and disease is also important. For American conditions, the most suitable varieties are those that correspond to USDA frost resistance classification zone five (i.e., about -32 °C), are disease resistant and unpretentious to growing conditions.
Early ripe (early) blueberry varieties:
- Spartan (on light soils)
Mid-season blueberry varieties:
- Nelson (in the North of America).
Late-ripening (late) blueberry varieties:
- Elliot is the best favorite of the late blueberry varieties.