Secrets of a successful blueberry planting: planting principles, caring for planted bushes

Secrets of a successful blueberry planting: planting principles, caring for planted bushes

Blueberries are a very useful berry, they are unpretentious to care for, they are slightly affected by diseases and pests, but they are demanding on the soil. It is difficult to find a garden plot with a sufficiently acidic soil where it will feel comfortable, grow and bear fruit without proper attention. Therefore, in order to feast on delicious berries, you need to make an effort and not make irreparable mistakes.

Nuances of spring and autumn planting

When is it better to plant: in spring or autumn? This question is of interest to many gardeners who have decided to breed blueberries in their area. The landing time directly depends on the climatic conditions of the region. Experienced gardeners recommend planting plants in early spring before sap flow begins. But with a rapid spring, there is a high probability of not being in time with the landing, then it is better to postpone the planting work until autumn.

The main condition for spring planting is that the plant must be planted before the buds swell. If you do this later, blueberries will not take root well, grow poorly and may die. It is better to choose plants in containers or pots with a capacity of at least 1 liter so that the roots are not squeezed. Before planting, the container must be immersed in a bucket of water for 20-30 minutes. For 10 liters of water, add 100 g of 9% vinegar or 1 tbsp. l. citric acid.

The root system of a good strong seedling should completely braid with an earthen ball, but in this form it cannot be immediately planted in the hole. The roots need to be straightened or made in an earthen coma with a finger 4 longitudinal grooves no more than 1 cm deep. This will help the soil in the hole mix well with the soil from the pot, and the roots will quickly move into growth.

Before planting blueberries from a container in the ground, you need to make furrows in an earthen coma so that the roots start growing faster

In principle, planting in the fall does not differ from the spring. The main thing is that the seedlings have time to root well before the onset of frost. For annual seedlings, it is recommended to cut out all weak and thin branches, and shorten developed ones by ½. Two-year-old blueberry seedlings are not pruned.

Planting principles

Blueberry bushes are long-lived. They have been growing in one place for more than 30 years. Therefore, the choice of a site for planting must be approached responsibly: this will help to avoid time-consuming transplants, when the bushes will not grow and begin to die.

Choosing a place for a bush

In warm sunny areas, blueberries grow large, juicy and sweet. In the shade or partial shade, the bushes stretch out, grow, but there will be very few berries, they will be small and dry. The site must be protected from strong winds.

Despite the fact that blueberries love watering, their roots do not tolerate stagnant water, therefore, the depth of groundwater should exceed half a meter. The beds fertilized with manure should be located as far as possible from the plantings of blueberries - such a neighborhood is destructive for it.

Landing scheme

The distance between blueberry bushes in a row is determined by the rule: how high the bushes can reach - this is the distance between them. Depending on the variety, blueberries can be short (80–100 cm), medium (1.5–1.8 m), tall (up to 2 m). The distance between rows of blueberries is 1.5–2 meters.

Blueberries and neighboring plants

Blueberries feel good surrounded by junipers, hydrangeas, azaleas, rhododendrons, heather - plants that prefer slightly acidic or acidic soils. You can plant cranberry bushes under the blueberries - they will complement each other well.

Juniper is one of the plants you can plant next to blueberries

Blueberry planting procedure

  1. Blueberry roots are located shallow from the soil surface - no more than 20-30 cm. Therefore, it is enough to make a planting hole up to 50 cm deep. The diameter of the hole should be 80-90 cm.

    The blueberry planting hole must reach a depth of 50 cm

  2. At the bottom of the pit, it is necessary to fill the drainage with a layer about 10-15 cm thick. It is good to use coarsely crushed bark of conifers, as well as expanded clay, broken brick, crushed stone.

    Drainage from coarsely crushed pine bark is poured into the bottom of the planting pit

  3. Then the planting pit is covered with sour peat. A pit of this size will require about 300 liters of fertilizer. You can mix sour peat and rotted coniferous litter in a 1: 1 ratio (150 liters of peat and 150 liters of litter). To loosen the prepared soil, sand and small coniferous sawdust are added to it. Blueberries like very loose, breathable soils.

    The planting hole is filled with sour peat

  4. If the soil on the site is very alkaline, then you need to prevent it from mixing with the prepared soil, otherwise its acidity will decrease. For this, the landing hole is lined with non-woven material or a dense film with drainage holes.
  5. In a hole filled with soil, you need to make a small hole, under the size of the roots of the seedling and place the plant there, deepening it a few centimeters. The land around the bush should be compacted, watered and mulched with stale coniferous sawdust or litter.

    After planting a blueberry seedling in a prepared soil mixture, the earth is compacted, watered and mulched

  6. Mulch helps maintain soil moisture and inhibits weed growth. For convenience, a 15–20 cm wide curb tape can be installed around the holes.

    Mulching a planted blueberry bush helps maintain moisture

A simple method of planting blueberries on a ridge, suitable for beginner gardeners, for areas with heavy clay soil or close groundwater. On the selected site, 10 cm of the upper layer of soil is removed, instead of it, in the form of a high bed or hill, pre-prepared acidic soil is filled up. The bush is planted at the very top, watered and mulched. To prevent the crest from spreading, it can be fenced off with wooden boards.

Video: planting and caring for blueberries

Caring for planted bushes

To get good growth, seedlings need to be watered regularly and abundantly 1-2 times a week, pouring two buckets of water under the bush, preventing the slightest drying out of the soil. In dry weather, the bushes should be sprayed daily in the morning and evening.

Abundant watering reduces soil acidity... To maintain the optimal acidity level in spring and autumn, about 0.5 kg of colloidal sulfur is added under the mulch under each bush.

Video: acidifying the soil for blueberries

Planting blueberry seeds

Growing blueberries from seeds is a difficult and lengthy process, but interesting and also budgetary. Indeed, in this way you can get strong seedlings of various varieties.

  1. You can buy blueberry seeds, or you can collect them yourself. Well-ripe berries are suitable for this. Their pulp is placed in a glass of water. Seeds that have settled to the bottom will be suitable for planting. They are collected and dried.

    Well-ripened blueberries produce seeds for planting.

  2. Before spring planting, purchased or stored seeds are subjected to a stratification procedure: they are placed in wet sand or moss for 80–90 days. All this time, the container with seeds should be in a cool place, where the air temperature is not higher than 5 ° C. If the seeds are planned to be planted immediately after harvesting at the end of summer, then they do not need to be stratified..
  3. Stratified seeds can be sown. For this purpose, various containers are used: flower pots, boxes, seedling containers. The main condition is to plant in sour peat... The seeds are scattered over the soil surface and covered with wet sawdust on top, with a layer of up to 5 mm.
  4. The container is covered with glass or foil and placed in a warm, sunny place.

    A glass-covered box of sown blueberry seeds should be kept in a warm place.

  5. It is necessary to regularly water and periodically air the mini-greenhouse.
  6. The first shoots appear 3-4 weeks after sowing. It is important to remove the coating in time so that the tender sprouts do not die. Watering during this time should be sufficient and regular.
  7. When the first true leaves appear, the plants are transplanted into separate 1.5–2 liter containers. In them, seedlings can grow up to two years of age, and then they can be moved to a permanent place.

    You can also grow bushes in a greenhouse or greenhouse.

    Grown blueberry bushes in separate containers can grow up to 2 years

Young plants need abundant watering. During this time, they build up the root system. It is necessary to feed the bushes with complex mineral fertilizers when they reach the age of one year. Organics are not used for blueberries.

Features of planting blueberries in the regions

With the right agricultural technology in the selection of suitable varieties, blueberries can be successfully grown throughout our continent. The planting and grooming principle is the same for many regions. However, there are some peculiarities that you should be aware of in order to succeed in growing this berry.

Ural

Blueberries feel very comfortable in the cold-temperate Ural climate. Blueberries can be planted both in autumn and spring. The bushes planted in the spring have time to take root and acclimatize before leaving for the winter; when planted in the fall, blueberries grow more viable and hardened.

In the Urals, blueberries are sheltered for the winter only in the first year after planting.

Planted bushes take refuge for the winter only in the first winter. The abundant snowfalls characteristic of this region protect the roots well from freezing. To prevent the branches from freezing, they are first tilted to the ground and fixed. In especially frosty winters, it is worth throwing more snow on blueberries. You can install a wooden or wire frame over the bushes, cover with burlap, and cover with snow on top.

Siberia

In the Siberian climate, it is better to plant undersized or medium-sized blueberry species, which have a shorter growing season (70 - 130 days), and manage to set flower buds and yield a harvest during the short summer.

A place for planting blueberries should be chosen as illuminated as possible, protected from the wind. If the site is located in a lowland, where there is a high probability of soil frost, then it is better to plant the plant on the ridges or on high beds.

It is better to plant blueberries in Siberia in the fall. Such plants, having had time to take root, will be more hardened and resistant to frost, which is possible even in summer. Planting in spring is unpredictable and there is a high probability that the plant will not take root.

In autumn, with the onset of stable cold weather, blueberry bushes are tied up, bent down in the ground, covered with lutrasil or burlap. A frame is installed on top of the bushes and spruce branches or dense covering material are laid on it. With timely and proper shelter, the bushes overwinter well.

Moscow suburbs

Many gardeners of the Moscow region have a successful experience in growing garden blueberries. Planting plants is best done in the fall, given that the bushes must root properly in order to successfully overwinter. It is not recommended to plant young plants in spring, since frosts are possible in early June and young shoots will freeze.

In snowy winters, freezing of blueberries is not observed. The branches should be bent to the ground, secured and covered with spruce branches or sawdust. The bush may die if the temperature is kept below -30 ° C for a long time in the winter with little snow.

Belarus

Tall blueberries began to be grown in Belarus relatively recently, but successfully. The widespread swamp blueberry is giving way to the cultivated garden blueberry. The most favorable in their composition are soils in the south of the country. You can prepare the soil for planting blueberries with the addition of garden soil. However, you will need to check the acidity of the resulting soil.

Recently, tall blueberry varieties have also been grown in Belarus.

In other parts of the country, blueberries can be grown in properly prepared soil as productively as in the south. Both spring and autumn seasons are suitable for planting. Only proper care is required. With recurrent spring frosts, the planted bushes are sprayed with water. Evaporating, moisture will protect young leaves from frost. The time of the autumn planting is chosen taking into account the fact that the bushes must take root firmly before the onset of frost. Young plants must be covered for the winter.

Krasnodar region

Blueberries love the sun and are recommended to be planted in open areas. But in the south, temperatures on particularly hot days can reach 50 ° C. Therefore, in these areas, it is recommended to allocate a place for the bushes in partial shade or shade them from the scorching rays. A prerequisite is abundant regular watering and a good layer of mulch so that the soil does not dry out.

Blueberries begin to bloom in the Krasnodar Territory very early, as soon as the snow melts, in May the fruits are already tied. Therefore, you can be late with the spring planting - the seedlings will begin to bloom. It is better to plant the plants in the fall. For the winter, lutrasil or other covering material will be enough for blueberry bushes.

The advantage of the southern berry compared to the one grown in the north is a sweet taste and a stronger aroma. In addition, the southern berries are larger.

Crimea

Skeptics argue that it is impossible to grow this northern berry in Crimea. Of course, the cultivation of blueberries is not yet very common, but many Crimean gardeners successfully grow them on their backyards.

The planting principle does not differ from other regions. It is better to plant plants in autumn, in the second half of September. By the first frost in late October - early November, the bushes will already root well. You can postpone the planting to spring, but with early warming, there is a chance that you will not be in time before the buds swell.

Proper watering of blueberries is especially important in hot regions.

On especially hot days, the bushes are shaded. It is imperative to monitor the moisture content of the soil. Ideal - to equip drip irrigation.

It is not necessary to cover the bushes for the winter, they tolerate mild winters safely. But if in the region there is a possibility of frosts down to -20 ° C in the absence of snow cover, then it is better to play it safe and protect the plant with a covering material.

Ukraine

Blueberries can be called a relatively new berry crop in the country. Nevertheless, it becomes more and more popular every year. And not without reason, because the climatic conditions throughout Ukraine are very well suited for growing blueberries.

Subject to all the intricacies of agricultural technology, growing blueberries is no more difficult than black currants, and it will not be difficult to get a harvest of tall blueberries.

It is recommended to plant blueberries in the fall, in mid-September. Before persistent frosts, the plants will have time to take root well. Since there are periods in the snowless winter when the temperature drops below -25 ° C, it is better to cover the plants.

The main mistakes when cultivating blueberries

Some gardeners, inspired by the idea of ​​growing blueberries, often have negative experiences and come to the conclusion that growing this berry is fraught with many difficulties. In fact, without familiarizing yourself with the features of agricultural technology, you can not only not achieve the growth and fruiting of blueberries, but also ruin the bushes.

Table: the most common misconceptions when planting and caring for blueberries

Gardeners reviews

The process of growing blueberries is time consuming, but interesting, and with due observance of all the rules, it will be crowned with success. Strong and beautiful bushes with large, fragrant and surprisingly healthy berries will be a reward for persistent gardeners.

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A distinctive feature of plants from the heather family, which includes blueberries, is recognized as problematic rooting in a new territory. However, subject to the appropriate planting rules and creating favorable growth conditions for this culture, the first berries can be tasted three years after the plant was planted on the site. Planting material is two to three year old seedlings.

For planting in the open field, seedlings aged 2-3 years are suitable

A greater percentage of survival is noted in seedlings with a closed root, which are purchased in pots. The presence of several varieties of garden blueberries on the site at once will have a beneficial effect on pollination and subsequent fruiting.

A place for blueberries: in the shade or in the sun?

Although the berry grows even in the tundra, it prefers places on the site that are open and well heated by the sun. Areas under the crown of trees or near tall bushes are not the best option for culture. With this arrangement, the berries on the plant will be small, sour taste, and the yield will decrease by three times. In addition, the location of the blueberry in the shade will cause the bark on the branches of the current year to not mature in time.

Since blueberries prefer moist soil (but not waterlogged), the site should be chosen with a not too deep passage of groundwater - about half a meter. In this case, the soil will be moderately moist. A good place for cultivation is considered to be soddy soil, on which no fruit and berry bushes have grown for a long time.

It is important to choose an area for planting blueberries that would have protection from the winds. For example, the one near which there is a fence or a decorative hedge made of plants.

Preparing the soil for planting

The full development of garden blueberries can be provided by slightly acidic or acidic soil (pH 3.5–5) with sufficient moisture permeability and the presence of drainage (up to 15 cm). Without fail, drainage is prepared on a site with clay soil. Or plants are planted on a hill in order to exclude root decay. For the same reason, sites for planting in low-lying areas where water accumulates are not chosen for blueberries.

In the wild, blueberries select areas for themselves where there is an abundance of high-moor peat. In this connection, the planting hole is usually laid with peat alone. However, experienced gardeners recommend preparing a nutritious soil mixture. The substrate for planting blueberries is prepared from:

  • high-moor peat
  • forest soil
  • rotted spruce branches.

In this case, the concentration of peat in this composition should be half (50%) of the rest of the soil components. Coniferous components are needed to enrich the soil mixture with potassium and phosphorus - nutrients that contribute to better engraftment of seedlings.

If the pit is filled with peat alone, then the planted blueberry bush is recommended to be watered with a rooting-stimulating agent (for example, take the ready-made Radifarm product). This stimulant contains algal cells that form a symbiotic relationship with the roots and improve the quality of plant nutrition.

Pit preparation for planting

It is recommended to prepare a planting pit for blueberries one and a half weeks before the day of planting, so that the soil mixture can settle during this time. The diameter of the round pit should be 60–90 cm.

A round pit for blueberries should be at least 60 cm in diameter

When digging, take into account the type of soil on the site. So, on a peat bog or on a sandy soil, pits are made up to one meter wide, and they are deepened by 60 cm. If solid rock is found at the bottom of such a pit, they equip a channel for liquid withdrawal or drainage.

On light loam with a depth of groundwater at a level of more than two meters, the pits for planting are torn off to a height of 40 cm.On heavy loam, the pit is prepared with a shallower depth (up to 15 cm), but it is expanded more, thus minimizing stagnation of water, which is detrimental to the roots garden blueberry.

The root system of blueberries is located underground at a level of 30 cm from the surface of the soil. This should be taken into account when preparing the planting pit. High-moor peat and sand, mixed at the rate of 3: 1, are introduced into the soil with a predominance of loam. Peat soil is diluted with sand, taking 3 buckets per square meter. The prepared hole is laid with an acidic soil mixture. Mix it well and tamp it.

After filling with the substrate, the pit is spilled with warm water so that the soil mixture is heated to +18 0 C. For irrigation, either plain water or a solution with a preparation for stimulating the growth of the root part is used for better growth of the seedling.

The bushes are planted in a hole, spreading the roots in advance. The root collar is placed in the soil mixture by 5-10 cm. In conclusion, the soil near the bush is compacted and watered. A layer of mulch is placed around the trunk, which is coniferous sawdust. They are applied until the layer height reaches 10 cm. The spaces between the rows are also covered with mulch. Blueberry mulching is due to the need to prevent overheating and drying out of the plants. In order to avoid the development of bacterial and fungal diseases, blueberry stems are treated with fungicidal compounds.

Garden blueberries are removed from the pot and placed in a hole with a lump of earth, trying to freely arrange the roots

Planting scheme for garden blueberries

They arrange blueberry bushes in straight rows, turning them from north to south in order to get the maximum amount of sunlight. To provide plants with optimal nutritional conditions, be sure to maintain the required distance between individual bushes.

Moreover, it will not be the same for low and high types of blueberries:

  • for low growing blueberries: the space between the bushes should be 60 cm
  • for tall varieties: the intervals between plants are kept within a meter - one and a half.

A space of two meters is left between the rows of blueberries. However, the row spacing is calculated in accordance with how the berries are planned to be grown - privately or on an industrial scale. If we mean the second option, it means that the aisles are made of such a width that the technique can freely pass along them.

Optimal planting times

The planting time for garden blueberries is different and depends on what planting material is used - seedlings, seeds, cuttings, etc. In seedlings, the type of root part affects the planting time:

  • with free roots - before bud break in spring or at the end of the growing season in autumn
  • with closed roots (with a cut out block of soil or in a container) - planting is possible throughout the entire growing season.

Sowing of freshly harvested blueberry seeds is carried out in August. But the dried seeds, which are subjected to stratification in advance (aging in wet sand and moss for 90 days), are sown with the arrival of spring. In containers (cups, pots, boxes) with moistened peat, seeds are laid out on the surface without embedding, sprinkled with a small layer of sand (3 mm) and irrigated with a sprayer. The planting of seeds is covered with glass, a transparent film, put in a warm place for germination.

Transplanting garden blueberries is also subject to certain deadlines. For these purposes, the time is chosen in late autumn or early spring. Transplanting a blueberry bush in summer is considered a risky endeavor. Especially if it is not possible to provide the plant with proper care (watering and feeding) after transplanting.

Fertilizers

If the planting soil has a low concentration of organic components, its nutritional capacity is artificially increased by introducing complex mineral preparations. Moreover, such a composition should have the same amount of components such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.

Organic fertilizers (manure, chicken droppings, humus and compost) cannot be added during planting, since this culture does not need them. In the process of planting and during subsequent care, exclusively mineral fertilizers are introduced into the soil mixture.

If the planting soil contains a sufficient amount of humus, mineral components for the full growth of blueberries are also added, however, already in a ratio of 1: 3: 2.


Where is it better to plant blueberries in the suburbs

In nature, blueberries prefer swampy peat soils or soil from coniferous forests. Such conditions are found mainly in Siberia, the Urals and the Far East. In the climatic conditions of the Moscow region, mainly special garden varieties are grown, which are specially adapted to the climatic and soil conditions of the region.

The main requirement for planting blueberries is the correct selection of the site (Figure 1). First of all, you need to pay attention to the type of soil. It should be acidic enough, about 3.5-4 pH. In other conditions, even the strongest and healthiest seedlings may not take root well or even die after planting.

You can check the acidity of the soil using a special tester. But there is also a popular way: just look in which part of your site sorrel grows well or horsetail thickets are constantly formed. It is these areas that have the highest acidity and are excellent for culture.

Figure 1. Features of soil preparation and planting of shrubs

In addition to the acidity of the soil, it is necessary to take into account the degree of illumination of the site. Despite the fact that blueberries prefer coolness and moderate humidity, it is better to plant them in a well-lit garden. If the shrub is constantly in partial shade, the berries will be small, and their taste will turn from sweet to sour.


Features of growing garden blueberries

Blueberries do not tolerate close groundwater. For full development, it requires a well-drained moisture-permeable acidic or slightly acidic soil (pH 3.5-5) - at a different level of acidity, the growth and development of plants will be noticeably reduced.


When planted in a suitable soil, garden blueberries react with good growth. Photo by the author

If the soil is clay, then the plant must be provided with drainage (at least 15 cm) or planted on a hill, since the roots can rot from an excess of moisture. For the same reason, garden blueberries should not be planted in low-lying areas where water is stagnant.


Stagnant water will kill the blueberries. Photo by the author

For planting blueberries, they choose a site protected from northern winds, located in a well-lit place, without shading from the side of trees or buildings growing nearby (in the shade, the bark on the shoots of the current year does not always have time to ripen).


Unripe shoots freeze in winter. Photo by the author

Ideal would be a place where no other shrubs or trees have grown for a long time.


Planting blueberries in the place of one of the fruit bushes is not the best option. Photo by the author

For planting, it is advisable to purchase 2-3-year-old seedlings with ZKS, and planting several varieties on the site contributes to better pollination and fruiting, improves the quality of berries.


It is advisable to plant several varieties of blueberries in one area.

In advance (2 months in advance), planting pits are prepared approximately 40-50 cm in depth and 50-60 cm in diameter. The distance between the bushes is maintained on average from 1 to 1.5 m or more.


Watch the video: A Complete Guide to Planting Blueberry Bushes: Acidity u0026 Two Varieties are Key!