Blueberry garden Elizabeth: features of planting, care and reproduction

Blueberries recently said goodbye to the status of an exotic plant. The plant gained popularity among gardeners in regions with short cool summers and harsh winters due to its exceptional frost resistance. The list of popular varieties includes the late-ripening variety Elizabeth.

Selection history

Varietal blueberries come from North America, where berries were harvested in wild form until the 19th century. Only in 1906 began work on the cultivation of plants. The founder was the botanist Frederick Vernon Covill. The variety Elizabeth is a hybrid origin, obtained by crossing varieties Katarin and Jersey.

Grade description

The upright bush of blueberries Elizabeth reaches a height of 1.6 to 1.8 m and is characterized by spreading branches that intertwine with each other, forming a thickened crown. The shoots have a pronounced reddish tint, indicating a high frost resistance of the plant. The leaves of the variety are small, green, with a bluish coating. The flowers are white with a pinkish tinge.

The berries of the variety Elizabeth are large, collected in a small loose brush

The first berries ripen in early August; fruiting lasts for several weeks. From one bush, on average, you can get up to 5 kg of crop. The berries are rounded (slightly flattened at the poles), large, with a diameter of about 22 mm, dense, collected in a loose brush. The skin of the fruit is a beautiful blue with a bluish tinge, on the surface there is a small scar. When harvesting, they are easily separated from the stalks. Gardeners in taste stand out as one of the best varieties.

Characteristics of Blueberries Garden Elizabeth

With an impressive number of advantages, blueberries Elizabeth has several disadvantages that can affect the choice of this variety for cultivation on the site.

Pros:

  • relatively quick fruiting - the claimed volume of berries (5–7 kg) is most often achieved on the 5–6th year, possible on the 4th year with competent agricultural techniques. In the first 2–3 years, the plant is not allowed to bear fruit, trying to direct all forces to the formation of a strong bush and wood growth;
  • dessert taste, in which there are clear blueberry-grape notes;
  • ripening and coloring friendly and uniform, without intermediate shades;
  • resistance to transportation;
  • frost resistance varieties (up to -32 ° C);
  • resistance to sharp significant temperature changes;
  • flower buds do not freeze in winter, but slightly suffer from return frosts;
  • the variety is resistant to fungal diseases (late blight, root rot and stem cancer);
  • berries do not fall when ripe.

The Elizabeth variety is popular with gardeners for its exceptional frost resistance and excellent taste.

Minuses:

  • the volume of the crop received from the bush directly depends on the effect of spring return frosts on the plants;
  • short shelf life;
  • with cold early autumn, the fruits do not always have time to ripen.

Landing Features

The key to a strong plant and a plentiful harvest, in addition to weather conditions, is the correct choice of planting material, a place for a future seedling, as well as the timing of its planting. Equally important is the observance of landing technologies.

Selection of planting material

Most often, planting material is purchased in specialized nurseries or garden centers. Usually they sell blueberry seedlings with a closed root system. It is important that the soil in which the roots are not dried out.

Usually blueberry seedlings are sold in containers with a closed root system.

When buying, you need to pay attention to the aerial part of the plant: the condition of the leaves, shoots, bark. If the shoots or leaves dry out, have some kind of blotchiness or just sluggish, then you should refrain from buying. Most likely, such a plant will be sick for a long time and eventually die.

If on a site or someone you know already has a bush of blueberries Elizabeth, planting material can be obtained on your own.

Seed propagation method

Seeds in this case are extracted from well-ripened berries. For this, the fruits are picked and kneaded, the resulting slurry must be washed well: it is placed in a container with water and thoroughly mixed. Only seeds sown to the bottom are suitable for planting, they are removed and dried. After that, they can be folded into fabric or paper bags and left to be stored until spring in a cool, dry place. 3 months before the intended landing, the bags are transferred to the refrigerator for stratification.

Blueberry seeds are extracted from well-ripened berries.

Also, seeds immediately after receipt can be planted in boxes. August is considered the most favorable time for sowing. Blueberry soil is acidified in advance, mixed with peat. Seeds are planted to a depth of about 1 cm, sprinkled on top with a mixture of sand and peat, and the box is covered with a film. Watering is carried out using a spray gun.

It is recommended to transplant the emerged sprouts into separate containers after the appearance of 2-3 true leaves, and planting in the open ground is carried out for the 2nd year after planting.

The main negative feature of this method of reproduction is the fruiting rate. The first crop from plants grown from seeds can only be obtained after 7–8 years.

Vegetative propagation methods

Blueberries obtained by the vegetative method usually begin to bear fruit in the 4th year.

  1. Propagation by cuttings: this method is considered the most promising. In autumn or early spring, the middle or apical parts of the strongest last year's ripened shoots with a diameter of 0.5–1.2 cm are selected for cuttings. The length of the cuttings is from 8 to 15 cm. Shoots on which a large number of flower buds are located are not suitable for propagation. When keeping the cuttings for a month at a temperature of 1–5 ° C, the chances of rooting are significantly increased. Planting is carried out in a light substrate mixed with peat. Seedlings are transplanted to a permanent place in the open ground in the second year.

    The apical parts of the ripened blueberry shoots become propagation cuttings

  2. Obtaining layering is one of the most common ways to propagate blueberries. To do this, several shoots are bent to the ground, they are fixed with special studs and sprinkled with soil. After a few years, the shoots have their own root system, after which the layering is separated from the mother plant and transplanted.
  3. By dividing the plant - a bush of blueberries is dug up, after which the root system is divided so that each part has a rhizome of at least 7 cm. Cut sites are treated with powdered charcoal, new bushes are planted.

Blueberry Planting Technique

Planting garden blueberries can be carried out in spring or autumn. In addition, you can focus on the state of the seedling:

  • thin and weak plants are planted in the spring;
  • stronger copies will withstand landing in the autumn.

It is preferable to plant bushes in the spring before the buds swell. Over the summer, young plants manage to get stronger and take root well.

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For planting garden blueberries choose sunny places with protection from the wind. It should be remembered that the plant does not like heavy and swampy soils, therefore it is planted on elevations so that the shadow from trees and larger bushes does not cover the blueberries. Soils for blueberries should be acidic, moisture- and breathable. To do this, planting pits are filled with a substrate in which peat, land from under coniferous plants or river sand in a ratio of 1: 3 is added. The optimum acidity is pH 3.5–4.5. It is also necessary to introduce complex mineral fertilizers into the soil. Organic fertilizers are not added, as alkalization of the soil occurs.

Standard pits for landing are prepared in advance:

  • depth - 0.6 m;
  • diameter - 0.1 m;
  • landing step - at least 2 m.

Landing process:

  1. At the bottom of the pit, a drainage layer of pebbles, rubble, chipped brick or gravel is laid.
  2. Before planting, containers with seedlings are placed in water or spilled well so that an earthen lump can be removed without damaging the delicate root system.
  3. Then the lump is gently lowered into the pit, after which it is covered with a prepared substrate, compacting it.
  4. The trunk circle is mulched with sawdust, wood bark, wood chips, straw. A layer of mulch is made at least 5 cm in order to prevent weathering of the soil, overgrowth of the stem around the weeds, as well as moisture loss.

After planting, the trunk circle must be covered with mulching material to avoid moisture loss.

Video: soil preparation and planting garden blueberries

Care Features

The health depends on the care of blueberries, the quantity and quality of ripening berries. It is necessary to timely feed and water the bushes in order to ensure the normal life of the plant.

Watering

Blueberries Elizabeth needs plenty of watering to ripen. Humidification is especially important in hot and dry weather. Irrigation is carried out at least 2 times a week, preventing stagnation of moisture, as well as cracking of the soil. Two buckets of water rely on one bush: the first pours out in the early morning, the second - in the evening, after 19 hours.

In the southern regions, blueberries need daily spraying of the crown.

In the southern regions, plants may need spraying. It is produced in the afternoon, after sunset, so that the crown does not receive burns.

Top dressing

The introduction of nutrients is carried out in accordance with the age of the bush, as well as with the depletion of the soil.

Table: timing and amount of fertilizer, depending on the age of blueberries

Plant ageThe timingFertilizer quantity Substances
Planting year10-14 days after planting.10 l of finished solution
  • 1 tsp superphosphate;
  • 1 tsp urea
  • 1 tsp potassium sulfate;
5 kg of peat or compost.
Next year after landingNo deposit required
2 year old bush April June.1 tbsp. l Complex mineral fertilizers.
3-4 year old bush2–4 tbsp. l10 kg peat or compost
5 year old bush7–8 Art. l
6 year old bush16 tbsp. l

Pruning

It is necessary to carry out sanitary trimming of the crown annually - to remove broken, diseased, non-bearing branches. Removing old shoots that do not form fruits, but only thicken the crown, allows you to redistribute the flow of nutrients in the bush of blueberries. The procedure is carried out in early spring or winter, when the plant is at rest. The first pruning will be needed 5-6 years after planting.

Before the procedure, it is recommended to carefully handle the inventory: sharpen and disinfect it to avoid infection of the bush.

Reviews

The berries in this variety are very large, sweet and fragrant. In my not very big experience - this is one of the best varieties.

vasso007

The berries are large, up to 2 cm in diameter. For my taste - this is the most delicious variety. Very harmonious ratio of sugar and acid.

Sensible dolphin

Late-ripening varieties such as Elizabeth, Darrow and the like are more large-fruited and with good taste.

Karl sson

According to the results of an independent examination of my daughter and four work colleagues, Elizabeth took the second place (her taste also seemed simpler compared to the River, the grape shade is very pronounced, although they say about this variety that it has an outstanding dessert flavor). I’ll try to hold Elizabeth longer on the bush, maybe then her taste will be more fully revealed, otherwise I plucked her a week and a half after turning blue. Flattened berries turn blue almost immediately without intermediate shades and gradual staining of the berries (just once - and turned blue), only a small speck near the twig indicates that the berry is still not quite ripe.

blue titmouse

... there were people from the Moscow Region who understood in the blueberries, they said that Elizabeth didn’t have time to ripen in them.

Leo Brest

Blueberries of the Elizabeth variety are known in the USA, Germany, Poland. In the northern regions of Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia during late vegetation, it does not fully ripen, which overshadows the joy of gardeners from harvesting. When planting in the Urals, some berries will inevitably disappear. Despite this, the variety Elizabeth remains one of the most popular and in demand.

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