Useful information

Heathers and Erica: planting and care

For planting heather it is best to take an open, sunny place, but you can plant in light partial shade. Heather does not tolerate high calcium content in the soil. For this reason, a site is chosen where no lime or dolomite flour was added.

The best soil for growing heathers is sandy forest soil with the addition of semi-rotten needles or a mixture of peat, sand, coniferous litter (3: 1: 2). Since the substrate must be acidic (pH 4.5-5.5), it is necessary to use non-neutralized ginger high peat for the preparation of the mixture. On clayey soils, a drainage device is required to drain excess water.

Landing and care techniques erikami are simple enough. For good growth and abundant flowering, plants must be planted in a sunny place or in light partial shade. Landings must be protected from the wind. Like other representatives myself. heather, e. herbal prefers light, sandy, humus soils. It can also be planted on well-cultivated loams with reliable drainage. The soil should be slightly acidic or neutral. It can be prepared from equal parts of peat, sand and turf.

Taking into account that varietal erica and heathers come to Russia from European nurseries, the best time to plant them is spring... Then, during the season, they can adapt, how to take root, the shoots have time to mature before the onset of cold weather, and the plant tolerates winter better. Autumn planting leads to a sharp change in temperature: eriks from the warm, almost summer European weather fall into our climatic conditions, when frosts are possible in September, and frosts are likely in late October-early November in the absence of snow cover. As a result, the shoots are severely frozen over, and sometimes the entire bush dies.

Before planting the root ball, water or immerse the plant pots in water to completely wet the root ball. Care in the future consists in the obligatory mulching of the soil around the bushes with peat, wood chips or pine bark. This has a positive effect on the development of all representatives of heathers, as it inhibits the growth of weeds, preserves moisture and looseness of the soil.

Many varieties of heather and erica are drought tolerant and can withstand a prolonged lack of soil moisture. However, sandy and especially peaty soils dry out quickly without regular watering, and the latter are then hardly saturated with moisture. Therefore, it is important to monitor the condition of the soil in areas with heathers and Ericks, and in the absence of precipitation for a long time, watering is necessary, which is also mandatory for young plantings.

Heather and Erica can't stand fresh dung. For top dressing it is best to use a complete mineral fertilizer, for example, "Kemira universal" (20-30 g / m2). A good effect is given by a special fertilizer for rhododendrons and azaleas, applied in accordance with the instructions on the package or in a lower dosage, since all representatives of heathers do not tolerate high concentrations of minerals well. To prevent burns, avoid getting the solution on the leaves. They are fed once a year in spring (late April - early May).

In the first two years after planting, the shoots are not pruned. Subsequently, moderate formative pruning is carried out. Heather is pruned in late autumn, after flowering, or in early spring; erika - right after flowering. In this case, the shoot is cut below the inflorescences. When pruning, you should try to capture as little old wood as possible.

Preparing heather and erica for winter is as follows. In late autumn, when the soil freezes, peat or a dry leaf is poured around the bushes. From above the plant can be covered with spruce branches. Such a shelter in a snowless winter will protect plantings from frost damage, and in spring it will save them from burning in the bright spring sun.In mid-April, spruce branches are removed, and peat and leaves are raked away from the root collar.

When planning plantings, it should be borne in mind that the maximum decorative effect is achieved when heather and erica are placed in an array consisting of several groups of varieties that differ in the color of flowers and foliage. 6-8 tall varieties and 12-15 undersized varieties are planted per 1 m2. In this case, with proper care, after 2-3 years, the crowns of the plants will close and you will get an elegant carpet, decorative from spring to autumn. It is appropriate to place such plantings near a rock garden, in a rocky garden, near paths or in the parterre part of the garden. Complemented with accents of coniferous plants, they create contrasting, picturesque and very effective compositions that, over time, become one of the best garden decorations.

S. Krivitsky

(Based on the materials of the "Tsvetovodstvo" magazine, No. 4, 2004)