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Planting blueberries in the spring is relevant in most regions of our country, including the Moscow region. Only properly carried out planting of the bush in the open ground and transplanting plants to a new place are a guarantee of a healthy and productive berry culture.
Site selection and preparation
Garden and Canadian blueberries are cultivated in our country especially actively in recent years. As a rule, a popular berry culture is planted by seedlings in the spring, which increases the percentage of survival of seedlings. Before planting blueberries in a permanent place, you should correctly select a site:
- correctly selected soil composition has a positive effect on the frost resistance of the plant, as well as the quality of the resulting crop;
- the soil on the landing site must be acidic and as light as possible;
- optimal indicators of soil acidity for blueberries are 3.2-4.5 pH;
- in order to increase acidity, it is allowed to add ammonium sulfate, sulfuric acid or water the soil with a solution of malic, acetic or citric acid.
An ideal option for growing garden blueberries would be a sunny and well-sheltered area represented by drained peaty-sandy or peaty-loamy soil with optimal breathability.
How to plant blueberries with seedlings
In order for the seedlings to take root after planting as quickly as possible and to develop well in the future, it is necessary to create optimal conditions for the plant. For this purpose, a nutrient substrate based on forest soil with the addition of coniferous sawdust or needles should be poured into planting pits with a depth of 50-60 cm. If the soil on the site is represented by heavy clay soil, then it is necessary to equip the drainage layer of fine sand or gravel. It is recommended to land on raised soil ridges above the ground.
How to plant blueberries
- planting on the site several varieties of garden blueberries at once allows to improve the pollination rates of inflorescences;
- plots should be allocated for landing, rows in which can be arranged in a direction from north to south;
- to get the best illumination of the crown and the best ripening of the berries, a distance of at least a meter should be left between the plants;
- seedlings with a closed root system should be placed in a bucket of water for about an hour, which will allow the root system to be nourished with moisture and rid of an earthen coma;
- Roots released from the soil should be carefully spread and gently distributed over the planting pit, which will increase the survival rate of the plant.
Immediately after planting, garden blueberry seedlings should be very abundantly watered, spending at least a bucket of warm water on each plant. If the weather is sunny, then in the first ten days the plants are shaded from the scorching rays of the sun with the help of coniferous spruce branches or non-woven material stretched at a small distance from the bushes. Particular attention should be paid to the conservation of moisture in the root system of blueberries. Mulching the soil with a layer of wood sawdust gives a good result. Gradually decomposing, sawdust will not only be used by the plant as a good organic fertilizer, but will also help maintain soil acidity.
Blueberries do not tolerate increased concentrations of fertilizers in the soil. When organizing the feeding of berry shrubs, it is required to take into account:
- plant age;
- soil acidity indicators;
- nitrogen content
- irrigation regime;
- the presence of coniferous or sawdust mulch.
Mineral fertilizers should be applied in the spring, at the stage of active growth of the vegetative mass, as well as immediately after harvest. Excessive use of fertilizers often provokes damage to plants by brown necrosis and pale yellow leaf chlorosis. There may also be a weakening growth of berry culture.
Blueberries need annual fertilizing with nitrogen-containing fertilizers. When calculating the application rate, the age of the bushes and the distance between the plants should be taken into account. With the proper organization of nitrogen fertilizing, the productivity indicators of garden plantings increase as well as the most effective is the laying of flower buds. An excess of nitrogen in the autumn period negatively affects the quality of berries, increases the risk of disease damage, and provokes increased growth and freezing of shoots in winter. It is best to use ammonia form of nitrogen for gardening blueberries.
In the first year after planting was made in a permanent place, the plants do not need additional fertilizing, for the nutrition of the berry culture the fertilizers introduced into the planting pit are enough. Phosphate fertilizers in the form of superphosphate are applied in the summer and in the autumn at the rate of 0.1 kg per berry bush. It is advisable to add magnesium sulfate once during the growing season at the rate of 12-15 g per plant. Potassium sulfate and zinc sulfate are applied under blueberries once a season at the rate of 2 g per bush.
Change to a new place
As a rule, planting blueberries is carried out immediately to a permanent place. However, sometimes it becomes necessary to transplant an already quite adult, productive berry plant. In this case, it is imperative to carry out a preplanting deep digging of the soil, as well as checking the acidity of the soil in the area reserved for transplanting the berry culture.
Planting pit for transplanted blueberries should have a size of at least 60 x 50 cm, its bottom and walls must be well loosened. It is recommended to add about 50 g of sulfur to the soil mixture under blueberries. Immediately after transplanting, it is necessary to protect plants from the sun, as well as to carry out the most plentiful watering. Subject to planting technology, even adult plants show a high percentage of survival.
Young berry bushes of garden blueberries are not recommended to be pruned, due to the rapid growth of lateral branches after this procedure, which strongly thicken the crown. Cut off during this period should only be broken off or affected by diseases, as well as withering branches. In berry bushes at the age of two to three years, it is necessary by means of competent pruning to form the most durable skeleton, which allows garden blueberries to easily withstand the severity of crops. Straight-growing varieties need regular thinning of the central part, and for sprawling bushes, it is necessary to cut lower, too wilted and close to the ground branches.
Blueberry: variety selection (selection)
Starting from the age of six, it is necessary to perform mandatory anti-aging pruning. All old branches are removed, and three or four of the most developed young shoots should be preserved, which will be the basis for a new berry bush and guarantee high productivity of garden crops.