Blueberry Bonus: how to grow on your site
In Russia, it is not yet customary to grow blueberries on an industrial scale, although people who have a site tend to plant a couple of bushes of this useful crop on it for their own needs. Novice gardeners often choose Bonus blueberries as an ornamental shrub. This variety has other advantages.
Blueberry Bonus: Growing History
The Bonus variety is considered to be young, but at the same time very promising - mainly due to large berries. He was bred by University of Michigan breeders from the Tall - Wild Deciduous Shrub vaccine that is found in some states of North America and eastern Canada. The exact date of occurrence of the variety is not mentioned in the sources.
The Bonus variety belongs to the northern tall and is characterized by high frost resistance
The bonus refers to the northern tall varieties of American (according to some sources - Canadian) blueberries. These varieties are characterized by relatively late flowering and good frost resistance. Blueberry generative buds need cold for normal fruiting: 800–1100 hours of temperatures below 7 ° C — optimal conditions. Lowering the temperature in winter to -28–32 ° С does not pose a threat of plant death. However, most gardeners cover bushes like blackberries or grapes with at least agrofibre. Northern tall varieties grow best on well-drained light soils that are rich in organic matter.
Video: tall varieties of blueberries
In appearance, the Blueberry Bonus is not much different from other tall varieties. The height of the bush is on average 1.2–1.5 m, sometimes reaching 1.6 m. The habitat of the bush is elevated and spreading - up to 1.25 m in width. The shoots of an adult plant are lignified, powerful, 2-3 cm in girth, brown. Old branches gradually die off, giving way to new ones, young shoots increase the height of the stem.
Blueberry bush Bonus high and sprawling, powerful shoots, brown
Leaves are smooth, ellipsoid in shape, with short petioles. By the autumn they blush - therefore, it is believed that the plant during this period decorates the garden very much. The sprout buds are elongated, formed along the entire length of the branch, in the axils of the leaves, the floral ones are larger and rounded in shape and are located only at the ends of the shoots. Each of the flower buds can give from 5 to 10 flowers in a brush - white or pale pink in color, resembling bells.
Bonus flowers are white or pale pink; they look like a bell
The berries are very large - their diameter can exceed 30 mm, which is comparable only with the large-sized variety Chandler. In wild and cultivated plants, fruits of this size are extremely rare. The berries are gathered in tight brushes, have a light blue color, covered with a dense wax coating. The skin is dense, with a small scar, the flesh is greenish, with a pleasant sweet taste. Interestingly, the berries do not leave characteristic hard-to-leave marks on the skin and clothing.
Blueberry Bonus: Characteristics
The Bonus variety is best suited for cultivation in regions with cold and temperate climates. Most often, this blueberry can be found on the territory of Ukraine and in the middle zone of Russia, although amateur gardeners try to grow it almost everywhere. When planting a plant in the northern regions, it is necessary to provide it with good winter shelter.
In the USA, most countries of Europe and Australia, the benefits of blueberries have long been appreciated, so they are engaged in its cultivation on an industrial scale. But in the post-Soviet space, these plants are usually planted privately for their own use or for sale on the local market. Berries of impressive size and a pleasant taste for these purposes are perfectly suited.
Berries of the Bonus variety are quite impressive in size - can reach 30 mm
The bonus refers to medium-late varieties - the berries begin to ripen in late July. In the suburbs, fruit ripening begins in the last ten days of August and lasts until the end of September. Fruits are suitable for fresh consumption, for processing or freezing. Berries tolerate transportation well - even over long distances. The plant is resistant to most dangerous diseases.
Foreign sources position the Bonus as a self-pollinating variety, but in practice, for good fruiting of the bush, the presence of other pollinators is necessary next to it. The flowering period of pollinators must necessarily coincide with the flowering of the plant. Productivity at the level of ordinary medium-sized varieties is from 5 to 8 kilograms per bush. The bush comes into full force of fruiting from 3-4 years of life.
Blueberry seedlings can be purchased in any garden center - their cost is quite high, so before planting it is important to carefully study the rules for planting and caring for the plant.
Blueberry seedlings are sold in garden centers
Blueberries of any kind love sunny, well-ventilated areas. The shrub prefers acidic and light, but at the same time water-absorbing soils containing more than 8% humus and from 3.5% nutrients. The best soil types for blueberries are sandy and peaty. Blueberries cannot be grown on heavy and dense loams.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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Blueberries of the Bonus variety develop well and bear fruit abundantly with soil acidity ph = 3.5–4.8, and the lower boundary ph = 5.5. To measure the acidity of the soil, special instruments are usually used - indicators or acid meters. At home, determining acidity is easiest with strips of litmus paper, which are sold in chemical stores. Complete with strips is a color indicator with a standard pH scale.
To measure the acidity of the soil with litmus test, you need to carry out the following manipulations:
- Dig a hole about 35 cm deep in the area prepared for landing.
- Type 20 grams of soil from the vertical walls of the recess. Earth must be gathered in at least four different places in the pit.
- Mix the soil well, moisten with distilled water and firmly squeeze the moist earth together with the litmus test.
If all the steps are performed correctly, the paper will change color in accordance with the acidity of the soil. You just have to quickly attach a strip to the color indicator and check the pH value. Strongly acidic soil will be red, medium-acid soil will be pink, and slightly acidic soil will be yellow. Soil with a neutral acidity of a greenish-blue hue, and with an alkaline reaction - from light green to dark blue. The exact pH values you will see on the indicator.
To find out the exact pH, attach a litmus test to the reference scale.
Acidity can be checked without special devices, focusing on some visual characteristics of the soil. For example, if the water in the recesses on the undeveloped area has a rusty tint, a rainbow-like oil film is visible on its surface, and after absorption, a yellow-brown sediment remains, the soil is very acidic. Also pay attention to which plants grow best on the plot. On acidic soil, plantain, buttercup, daisy, horsetail, horse sorrel and mint usually settle. On slightly acidic soils, clover, wild rose, wheatgrass, burdock and chamomile live well. Poppy and field bindweed grow on alkaline soil, and on neutral soil quinoa, nettle and red clover grow. There are other popular methods for determining acidity, but the results are very abstract, so it is still easier and more reliable to use litmus paper.
Suppose the acidity indicator in your area does not correspond to the values necessary for the normal growth of blueberries.
- If the acidity of the soil is too low (pH = 6.5–7.5), it should be increased by adding acid peat (1.5 kg per 1 sq. M of land), sulfur (70 g per sq. M), ammonium sulphate or phosphoric acids. In the future, to maintain the required level of acidity, regularly water the area with plants planted with acidified water (10 liters per 1 sq. M). To get such a liquid, dissolve 1.5–2 tablespoons of oxalic or citric acid in 10 l of water. For the same purpose, you can use 9% vinegar (100 g per 10 liters of water). It will be very useful to check the acidity of the water itself - if the pH of the liquid you water the plants is above 5.5, then over time the soil on the site will acquire the same indicator. If the water has a high pH, water the blueberries with an acidified solution once a week throughout the growing season. If the pH is within normal limits, watering with acidified water is carried out 1-2 times a month.
- Too high acidity (pH = 4 or less) is reduced with lime (50–70 kg per hundred square meters), wood ash (7 kg per 10 square meters) or dolomite flour. To maintain acidity at the right level, 45 kg of lime is added to each hundredth of the site at least once every 10 years. It is considered optimal to liming once every 3-4 years. Do not add lime to the soil at the same time as manure - calcareous compounds react with nitrogen fertilizers, helping to remove nitrogen from them, so the effectiveness of fertilizing is reduced to zero.
All of the above funds are used about six months before planting, in extreme cases, 2-3 months before it. It is best to bring them into the soil in the fall, during digging. If autumn planting is planned, adjust the pH in the spring.
Reduced acidity leads to the defeat of blueberry bushes with a variety of diseases, but excessively acidic soil is much more dangerous. Soil microorganisms lose their activity in acidic soil, contributing to the development of plants and their fruiting. The amount of voids in the soil is minimized, underground life almost completely freezes. The roots of plants cease to normally absorb moisture and receive the amount of air they need, as a result of which the bushes stop growing, chlorosis develops on the leaves, and the crop becomes meager (provided that it will be present at all). Therefore, be sure to ensure that the acidity level remains within the required limits.
Increased soil acidity in the area where blueberries grow leads to the development of leaf chlorosis
It is best to start planting blueberries in the spring, after the late frosts pass. Some sources claim that it is better to plant plants in the fall so that they manage to form a good root system, but this principle greatly increases the likelihood of freezing of young bushes. For planting, use seedlings that have reached two or three years of age.
- First of all, in the area where it is planned to land, you need to measure the pH. If you are going to plant blueberries in the spring, you need to do this in the fall, and vice versa. If necessary, take measures to regulate the acidity of the soil.
- Immediately before planting blueberries, a 1x1 meter pit is excavated on the plot (since the variety is tall) for each bush, observing a gap of 1.5-1.8 meters between them. If it is planned to land in trenches, their depth should be at least 50-60 cm. The row spacing is 3 meters. Landing should be carried out in a direction from north to south.
- If you know that the groundwater in the area is located close to the soil surface, be sure to provide the plants with good drainage by pouring expanded clay, broken bricks, etc. with a layer of 5-10 cm to the bottom of the pit. If not, the drainage layer will not be superfluous and blueberries will not hurt.
- A pot with a seedling is placed in a container with water until the earthen coma is soaked. Gardeners with experience recommend, after softening the substrate, to make a shallow X-shaped incision on the rhizome of the plant.
- Wells are poured with water and wait for it to be completely absorbed.
- Young bushes are planted in prepared pits, spreading the roots horizontally, and sprinkled with acidic soil. The most productive mixture is horse peat mixed with pine needles, bark and cones in a 1: 1 ratio or peat with the addition of 10% sand.
- The trunk circle of each plant is mulched with needles or rotted sawdust mixed with peat by 8–10 cm. Fresh sawdust cannot be used for mulching - in this case, there is a high risk of nitrogen starvation, which will negatively affect the development of the bush and subsequent fruiting.
Video: Secrets to Successfully Planting Blueberries
The principle of growing blueberries Bonus is largely similar to the agricultural technology of other varieties of this plant. Particular attention is paid to proper and timely top dressing, as well as watering shrubs.
- Watering blueberries should be of high quality and sufficient, because the light soil in which it grows is quickly dehydrated, and drying the soil entails a slowdown in the development of the bush and shredding of berries. Therefore, regularly water the plants, applying a bucket of water to each adult bush, and try to maintain moderate soil moisture. In areas with low acidity, carry out periodic irrigation with acidified water. If the street has a high temperature, it is very useful to cool the bushes by spraying, but this must be done no earlier than 16 hours.
- You need to feed the bushes three times a year: at the very beginning of the growing season, during budding and after harvesting. In early spring, they focus on nitrogen fertilizers (50%). During budding, 1/4 of nitrogen in ammonia form, ammonium sulfate (35–40 g per bush) or ammonium nitrate (25–30 g per bush) and superphosphate (50–60 g per bush), as well as complex drugs that include these substances. After the appearance of the fruits, nitrogen fertilizing is completely canceled, replacing nitrogen with calcium, which makes the berries harder and larger. After fruiting, the plants are fertilized with potassium sulfate (30–40 g per bush) and phosphorus. Never feed blueberries with organics (manure, compost, chicken droppings) - these substances are detrimental to the delicate root system of plants.
- Be sure to weed out so that they do not deprive the blueberries of sunlight and nutrients. The roots of this plant are located close to the surface of the soil, so all manipulations must be carried out extremely carefully. Loosening the soil in the row-spacings should be carried out to a depth of not more than 3 cm.
- Pruning begins to be carried out at 3-4 years of life of the plant, in late autumn, after all leaves have fallen, or in early spring - before the buds swell. Remove branches directed into the bush, which are drooping and located at an angle of 50 ° in the direction of row spacings. The growth is shortened to 40–45 cm. Of the shoots, only the most powerful ones, reaching a height of 0.5 m and more, leave the shoots, the rest are cut out at the beginning of the next season, that is, in the spring.
- Starting from 5–6 years of age, anti-aging pruning of bushes is practiced, which involves the removal of old, highly branched branches and thin shoots of formation. On older plants leave 5-7 shoots with an age of not more than 5 years.
- The Bonus variety is characterized by increased resistance to most dangerous diseases, however, several treatments with fungicidal preparations will not hinder for prevention: three sprayings before flowering with an interval of a week and three - after harvesting. In early spring and late autumn, treat with Rovral (0.1–0.2%) or Bordeaux fluid. If you find signs of disease or damage by pests on the plant, treat it with the appropriate drugs, following the manufacturer's instructions.
- In winter, the bushes are covered in the same way as blackberries, bending the branches to the ground and covering with lapnik, burlap, spanbond or any other covering material that is easiest for you to find (with the exception of plastic wrap - it is not recommended to use it for blueberries).
Video: tall blueberry farming
Tasty ... like marmalade. I did not have time to rip and take a picture ... the grandchildren came to visit.koloso4ek
The bonus is the largest. Berries up to 3 cm in diameter! I do not know more large-fruited ones. The taste is very good.Sensible dolphin
I took the Bonus in 1 cassette for growing, that is, 64 pcs., 4 years ago, there were no lunges due to freezing, unlike Blycrop and Toro (but they had it because of the thickened landing and strong shading of the weaker ones), I discarded the sheet before Blycrop, it is necessary to prepare for winter with the current climate (potassium for root and leaf from the end of August + watering).Vladimir-N
The process of growing blueberries cannot be called easy. But if you listen to the recommendations of experienced gardeners and experiment yourself, you can pick up tasty and healthy berries on your own site. The plant will benefit health, joy for children and decorate the compound.