Useful information

Is it realistic to grow tall blueberries in the Moscow region?

Many gardeners have already tried to do this in the suburbs and have failed. Nevertheless, we argue that high blueberries can and should be grown in the Moscow region and this can be done without much effort. You just need to handle it a little differently than with common berry bushes in central Russia (currants, gooseberries, raspberries, etc.). The fact is that high blueberries grow well only among those gardeners who know its unusual nature and reckon with it. First of all, this was proved by the staff of the Main Botanical Garden, located almost in the center of Moscow. They have been growing over 30 varieties of Covilla blueberries for over 20 years and are harvesting regularly. Therefore, at any cottage, you can decorate a berry garden with the help of this culture. But in order for it to really grow successfully and delight the owners with good harvests, you need to plant the bushes correctly, and then properly care for them.

In the course of our work, we encountered a number of mistakes that are regularly made by sellers of this product and, ultimately, by amateur gardeners, as a result of which the plants die. Let's dwell on them in more detail.

Firstly, all gardeners believe that it is necessary to arrange a swamp on the site, believing that in this type of blueberry grows precisely in the swamp. However, everyone saw perfectly well that it grows mainly on the outskirts of swamps or on hummocks, but never grows in a swamp. Therefore, blueberries need moderate moisture, as with most vegetable crops.

Secondly, everyone thinks that blueberries need to be shaded as they grow in the forest. Do not do this under any circumstances. To get a good harvest, tall blueberries should be planted in a well-lit area.

Thirdly, many try to put more compost, manure and other organic fertilizers under the bush, this is also a big mistake. Blueberries practically do not need organic fertilizers. In addition, manure and compost have a neutral or slightly alkaline reaction and, therefore, shift the soil pH level to an alkaline environment, which in turn leads to chlorosis.

Fourthly, many gardeners of the Moscow region conscientiously follow the recommendations, make "wells" with acidic soil on the site, but do not take into account that there is clay soil on the site and do not lay drainage on it. During rains, water accumulates in such a "well" and does not leave it for a long time. As a result, blueberry roots are in the water for a long time, suffocate from lack of air, die off and rot, and later the whole bush also perishes.

Therefore, in order to avoid misunderstandings with the cultivation of this crop, it is better to consult a specialist. We want to give general recommendations to all gardeners who want to grow blueberries in their garden in order to avoid mistakes.

The first and most important condition for the successful cultivation of this crop is that the soil must be acidic: pH 4.0 - 5.0; but not higher than 5.5, otherwise the blueberry will develop chlorosis and it will die.

The second condition is that the soil must be well water-permeable and air-permeable (i.e. it can be sand, peat, peat-sand mixture, etc.). This is due to the fact that blueberries need not only water, but also air for breathing (the roots in the first place).

How to achieve these conditions? On clay soil, loam and other types of soils that are difficult to penetrate for water and air, blueberries are planted not in a hole, but on a crest. To do this, the soil is taken out to a depth of 5-8 cm. The excavated soil is scattered around the future planting site, and high moor peat or peat with sand, sawdust, perlite is poured into the depression. The soil is poured in the form of a mound, and a blueberry bush is planted in the center of it. The soil surface around the bush is mulched with sawdust (the thickness of the mulch layer is 5-8 cm). In this way, excess water is drained away. This can be achieved by laying good drainage on the site.If the soil or water for irrigation is not acidic enough, you can acidify them by adding colloidal sulfur to the soil or adding sulfuric acid to the water. The easiest way to do this is to use electrolyte for filling acid batteries. 1 ml of electrolyte per 1 liter of water changes the pH from 7 to 5 units. You need to water this water once every 7-10 days.

The third prerequisite is that the place where the blueberry bushes are planted should be sunny (100% - I am illumination), protection from the wind is also desirable, especially from the north side.

In addition, mineral fertilizers are applied under the blueberries in the spring. For the growth of shoots, nitrogen is needed (90-100 g of ammonium sulfate per adult bush). Under the bushes, mulched with fresh sawdust, a double rate of nitrogen is introduced. Potassium is needed for root growth (40 g of potassium sulfate per 1 adult bush). To withstand stressful situations, phosphorus is needed (105-110 g of superphosphate per 1 adult bush). It is advisable to additionally add magnesium sulfate (15-20 g per 1 adult bush) and a mixture of trace elements (1-2 g per adult bush).

Moderate watering, water no more than beets, carrots, potatoes and other crops. Sawdust mulching is obligatory (it is possible once every 2-3 years). The mulch layer retains moisture in the root zone, regulates the temperature of this layer, improves the illumination of the bush, destroys weeds and prevents the development of diseases.

Of the diseases on blueberries, the following are noted:

1. stem cancer or godroniasis;

2. drying of the tops of the shoots or phomopsis;

3. gray rot.

For plant protection, fungicides are used (euparen, benomyl, rovral, topsinM, cuprozan, etc.) at a concentration of 0.2% (2 g per 1 liter of water). Spray several times in the spring before the fruit is formed and in the fall after harvest (interval 7-10 days).

In winter, adult bushes without shelter can withstand temperatures down to -25єС. At a lower temperature (-35 - -40єС), a part of the bush located above the snow level may freeze. But during the growing season, the bush is restored. To protect plants, they can be covered with spandbond (or lutrasil) or any other covering material in late October - early November.