How to grow lingonberries in the garden and on the balcony
Without a doubt, going out for lingonberries into the forest is very useful. And breathed fresh air, and picked up the healing berries. But it’s not always possible to carve out free time. In order not to be upset when friends took berries to the forest, try planting this unpretentious plant in your garden. Of course, a novice gardener thinks, is it worth it? But what is there to think, of course, is worth it. After all, lingonberries are unpretentious, almost not affected by diseases and pests and has excellent frost resistance.
Description of lingonberry
There are legends about a small evergreen shrubbery strewn with bright red berries-beads that delight the eye in the dreary autumn season. One of them tells about a swallow, which, having obtained drops of living water, was in a hurry to bring them to people to bestow immortality. But her plans were upset by an evil wasp stinging a bird. The swallow spilled priceless moisture on the ground, and it fell on the cedar, pine and lingonberry growing under them. From that moment, these plants became the embodiment of eternal life, because they do not lose their green outfit neither in winter nor in summer.
Lingonberry, not losing green leaves all year round, became the personification of eternal life
Lingonberry is a resident of harsh lands. Its habitats extend along the tundra zone, mixed, coniferous and deciduous forests, peat bogs, it is found on treeless peaks of Siberian hills and in alpine meadows.
The lingonberry shrub is tiny, its raised branched shoots grow from 5 to 25 cm. The rhizome is thin, horizontally located, creeping. Leaflets are arranged alternately, often. Their length is from 0.5 to 3 cm, the width is only 1.5 cm. The surface is leathery, dark green and shiny above, matte and lighter below. The shape of the leaf plate is obovate or elliptical, the edges are solid, curved. A feature of the plant is maceous formations located on the underside of the leaf, capable of absorbing moisture.
Lingonberry - a miniature plant
Lingonberry is a striking example of the symbiosis of a plant and a mushroom. The filamentous mycelium braids around the roots of the berry. The fungus draws useful substances from the soil and transfers them to lingonberries. Therefore, white plaque from the roots of the plant does not need to be removed.
Flowering occurs in May - June. During this period, a delicate aroma is felt over the cowberry glade. 10 or 20 flowers, the corollas of which are painted in porcelain white or pale pink, sit on short pedicels. The whole bouquet is collected in a drooping brush. Bell-like flowers look very beautiful against a background of shiny greenery.
Small, porcelain-white flowers of lingonberries collected in a bunch of brushes
Lingonberry fruits in shape resemble a ball up to 8 mm in diameter. Ripe berries are covered with shiny red skin, and at the beginning of ripening they are greenish-white. The pulp contains a large number of red-brown, very small seeds. The taste of lingonberry is sweet and sour, with a small bitterness, juicy.
Surviving the first frosts, lingonberry berries become soft and watery. They are no longer suitable for transportation in this form. Under the snow they can sag on the branches until spring, but with the onset of heat they crumble at the slightest touch.
Lingonberry fruit shaped like a ball
From ancient times, lingonberries have been used as a medicine. The raw materials are leaves and berries. Lingonberry is very popular in treating the kidneys as a diuretic, it helps in the fight against gout, rheumatism, and lowers blood sugar. Lingonberry is also used in cosmetology. A decoction of leaves helps get rid of dandruff, helps restore skin tone, strengthens it and restores elasticity.
The cultivation of plants was first started in the XVIII century. But truly mass cultivation on an industrial scale was undertaken only in 1960 in the USA and Europe. And in Russia, the first plantations appeared in the 80s. It is only a pity that in the garden plots useful berry is a very rare guest. But the breeders have worked hard to create new varieties of lingonberries, which, unlike a wild ancestor, have large berries with high taste and more fruitful fruit.
In the USA and Europe, lingonberries have been grown commercially since 1960.
Popular domestic and foreign varieties of lingonberries
Garden lingonberry differs from the wild mass of positive characteristics, one of which is remontance - the ability to bloom and bear fruit repeatedly or repeatedly during one growing season. In addition, the size and, accordingly, the mass of berries in a cultivated plant is much larger than that of a forest inhabitant. And if you take the yield indicator, cultivated plants from 1 hundred parts give 20, and sometimes 30 times more berries than ordinary ones.
Table: domestic varieties of lingonberries
|Kostromichka||Matures early. The plant is vigorous. In the fruit brush you can count from 5 to 8 rounded berries with an average weight of 0.28 g. Dark red berries have no aroma, taste sweet and sour, refreshing. The variety calmly tolerates a winter drop in temperature to −33 ° C under snow cover. In snowless winters withstands −15 ° C. Damage by pests is not marked. Rust damage is very weak. The average yield is 56.4 c / ha.|
|Ruby||Ripens in the late stages. The plant is medium-sized. The shape of the berries is round, the average weight is 0.22 g. The sweet and sour taste of dark red berries is estimated at 4.2 points. It is resistant to low temperatures, tolerates frosts down to −33 ° C, if it is under snow. The variety can withstand spring frosts down to −3 ° C. Rust is rarely affected, no pests are noted. The average yield for 4 years is 97.2 c / ha.|
|Kostroma pink||Matures in the medium term. The plant is slightly spreading and medium-sized. The brush has 4–5 round-shaped berries with an average weight of 0.46 g. The skin is pink. The taste is sweet and sour, refreshing. There is no aroma. It can withstand frosts up to −33 ° C under snow, half as much without snow. Slightly damaged by rust. Productivity 38.4 c / ha.|
Photo Gallery: Domestic Lingonberry Varieties
- Kostromichka - early ripening grade
- Ruby - late variety of lingonberry
- Kostroma pink - medium-ripening variety
Table: foreign varieties of lingonberries
|Sanna||Harvested early. The plant is medium-sized, spreading. The brush consists of 5–6 berries of regular round shape, the average weight of one fruit is 0.4 g. A fleshy, sour-sweet pulp with a light lemon aftertaste is covered by a peeling of a coral red hue. The variety tolerates frosts and has strong immunity. The only negative is insufficient productivity. From one bush it is possible to collect no more than 300 g of fruit.|
|Coral||The plant is tall, characterized by long erect shoots and a dense crown. Fruits with an average weight of 0.3 to 0.5 g are collected in brushes of 4-5 pieces. The shape of the berries is slightly obovate. The color of the fetus is from pink to bright red. The flesh tastes sweet and sour. The variety tolerates frost very well. Coral during the growing season bears fruit twice - at the end of June and at the end of September. Total yield is high. But almost 90% of the total harvest falls on the autumn harvest.|
|Red pearl||Harvest ripens in the early stages. Above average size, the bush has a wide and spreading crown. The fruits are burgundy in color, have a rounded shape and are rather large-sized - from 7 to 12 mm in diameter. The flesh tastes sweet and sour, with a slight bitterness. The variety bears fruit twice a season.|
|Erntzegen||The plant is tall - up to 40 cm in height. Matures in the medium term. The berries of the variety are considered the largest, in diameter reach 1 or 1.5 cm. The peel has a light red hue. The pulp contains a large amount of sugars, so sweetness prevails in the taste. The disadvantage of the variety is its low productivity - only 200 g per bush.|
|Sussi||Pretty undersized variety. Crohn branchy, branched. The fruit brush consists of 5-6 round-shaped coral red berries. The average weight of the fruit is 0.4 g. The taste range contains sweet-sour notes, to which light bitterness is added. Sussi has good frost resistance. Productivity is 300-400 g per bush.|
|An early variety that is small in size. Spherical bushes. The mass of oval or slightly flattened berries is 28–35 g. The fruits are clad in a thin, shiny skin of dark red color. The taste is soft, sweetness prevails. Sourness is subtle. Lingonberry of this variety tolerates snowy winters well, but in a snowless period it requires shelter. From one bush you can collect up to 350 g of berries.|
|Mazovia||The bushes are miniature and decorative. Berries weighing 0.25 g have an average ripening period. Rounded fruits are covered with dark red skin. The flesh tastes sweet and sour. Productivity is low - up to 40 g per bush. But the variety is an excellent material for landscape design.|
Photo Gallery: Foreign Lingonberry Varieties
- Sanna - an early maturing variety of lingonberry
- Lingonberry variety Coral bears fruit twice a year
- Lingonberry variety Red Pearl matures early
- Erntzegen cowberry variety - medium ripening
- Sussi lingonberry bushes are rather undersized
- Lingonberry variety Fleece Belyavskoe - early ripening
- Mazovia is a medium-ripening variety
Agrotechnics Lingonberry Growing
It is not at all difficult to grow lingonberries at home. It is only necessary to adhere to certain rules.
If you decide to plant lingonberries in your area, you should consider the following nuances:
- for planting, use young - one- or two-year-old plants;
- lingonberry does not like very fertilized soils;
- Favorable conditions for the growth and development of plants have only loose and acidic soils with a pH of 3-4.5;
- it is advisable to prepare the soil yourself, be sure to include horse peat, coarse sand, coniferous litter and pine bark;
- the earth in which lingonberry grows needs to be acidified periodically;
- the landing site should be flat, well-lit and slightly blown by the wind, especially after rain or watering, so that excessive evaporation does not provoke fungal diseases. An ideal option would be to place lingonberries next to a hedge of pine or juniper. Such natural protection from strong winds will contribute to the active work of pollinating insects;
- groundwater level should go 60 cm below the surface.
- the distance between the bushes - 25-30 cm;
- row spacing - up to 40 cm;
- planting depth - 10-15 cm.
Video: planting lingonberries and blueberries
Watering, loosening and mulching
First you need to know that lingonberries have a superficial root system, which dries very quickly in loose soil. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain soil moisture at a very high level - at least 70%. This is achieved by the frequency of watering at least 1 time per week. In a particularly hot period, watering should be more often: up to 2-3 times in 7 days. But at the same time, frequent overmoistening or flooding of lingonberry plantings can stop the access of oxygen to the roots, which will not slow down the effect on plant health.
During the ripening of the second wave crop, the flower buds of the future crop are laid on the repairing varieties. And it was during this period that lingonberries most needed watering.
The best moistening method for lingonberries is sprinkling, but provided that the area is well ventilated. It should be carried out only early in the morning or in the evening, so that the wet leaves do not suffer from the sun. In addition to sprinkling, you can use drip irrigation. The rate of water consumption per 1 m2 is not more than 10 liters.
If the area on which the lingonberry grows is well ventilated, then the plant will like to sprinkle
Planting needs frequent, but careful cultivation, eliminating weeds. But digging can not be done. In addition, be sure to use mulch, which will help maintain a sufficient amount of moisture. For mulch on peaty soils, use coarse sand or fine gravel. For sand, the best choice is pine sawdust and needles, peat.
Lingonberry bushes must be mulched
As already mentioned, lingonberries do not like rich soils. Therefore, fertilizing the plant, do not get carried away. Here the rule applies - it is better to underfeed than to overfeed. Busting with nutrients can lead to lower yields, shedding leaves and stunted growth.
Everyone's favorite organic matter in the form of manure or bird droppings for lingonberries is not suitable. It contains a large amount of nitrogen, which can burn sensitive roots. In addition, organic matter alkalizes the soil, which leads to chlorosis, and then to the death of the plant. Potassium chloride is also contraindicated.
Lingonberry need to be fed no earlier than 3 years after planting, when the berry enters the fruiting season. When choosing fertilizers, give preference to mineral compounds. For urea feeds, choose urea, ammonium nitrate, or ammonium sulfate. Also, potassium sulfate and superphosphate cannot be dispensed with. For plants growing on peat soils, manganese, boron, zinc and copper are needed.
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|Period||Type and rate of fertilizer per 1 m2|
|In the middle of April,|
when does it start
|Before flowering||Ammonium sulfate - 5 g.|
Instead of the listed fertilizers, you can use complex, for example, Kemira or Kemira Wagon.
Instead of fertilizers, experienced gardeners regularly apply peat, distributing it on the soil surface in plantings.
Unfortunately, organic fertilizers for lingonberries are not suitable
Processing lingonberries from diseases and pests
Lingonberry has strong immunity and is resistant to many types of diseases and pests. But with excess moisture, combined with increased air temperature, fungal infections are possible.
- Exobazidiosis. The disease affects shoots, leaves and flowers. In addition to the deformation of the leaves, a symptom is a change in their color. The leaf plate turns pink, a whitish coating of mushroom spores appears on it. To stop the spread of the disease, Bordeaux is used. Spraying is carried out 3-4 times with a weekly interval. Affected plants will have to be cut and burned.
- Sclerotonia. First of all, the fruits are affected. They shrink and mummify. The disease is fought with Bordeaux fluid in the spring, before the leaves bloom, and in the fall, after they fall. Conduct 2-3 processing. You can use a 0.2% Zuparen solution - 3 sprays with an interval of a week before flowering and the same after harvest. Fallen sick berries to pick up and destroy.
- Rust. The leaves are covered with dark orange spots. To cope with the disease, spend 2-3 treatments with Bordeaux fluid before the leaves bloom and after they are shed. Collect and burn all the fallen leaves.
Cases of pest damage are rare, and there is no noticeable damage to plant growth and yield. Among the insects, leaf-gnawing - caterpillars-burrows, leaf beetles, leafworms were noticed. As a rule, at the beginning of detection they are collected by hand. Lingonberries and aphids can also attack lingonberries. They are fought with insecticides, in accordance with the instructions and only in case of emergency.
Photo gallery: possible diseases and pests
- Leaves suffer from exobazidiosis, they change color and become covered with fungal plaque
- Sclerotonia affects the fetus
- Rust appears on the leaves in the form of orange pads
- Pit caterpillar is dangerous not only for plants, its hairs can cause severe allergies in humans or animals
- Leaf beetle nibbles foliage
This procedure is performed to rejuvenate the plantings when the lingonberries turn 7-10 years old. By removing most of the old shoots, you maintain the productivity of the bushes. Landings themselves become more durable.
Pruning can be carried out throughout the growing season. But the best time is still early spring, when the movement of juices has not yet begun. Long shoots are shortened by a third, and old ones are cut out. At the same time, several branches must remain on the bush. And the cuttings obtained after pruning will serve as an excellent planting material and will help expand the plantation.
Propagating lingonberries is easy. There are as many as 4 available methods - 3 vegetative and 1 seed, each of which we will consider separately.
Propagation by stem cuttings
- In early spring, before the sap flow begins, or in late autumn, cuttings with a length of at least 5 cm are cut using a secateurs.
- A soil mixture of 2 parts of peat and 1 part of sand is prepared. Mixed soil is poured into containers and moistened.
- Before planting, the cuttings are soaked for several hours in a solution of a growth stimulator (you can do without this).
- The lower cut of the cuttings is immersed in the substrate, leaving at least 2-3 kidneys above the surface.
- To maintain high humidity, containers with cuttings are covered with a package, creating a greenhouse inside the microclimate with an air temperature of + 25 ° C.
- Plantings are periodically ventilated and sprayed with water.
- During the growing season, cuttings acquire a root system. The next year they are safely relocated to a permanent place.
Video: how to cut cranberries
The procedure is carried out only if the rhizome site has growth buds or shoots. This lingonberry breeding method is suitable for late April or early May.
- To root successfully, prepare a bed, which is filled with a substrate of sand and peat in the proportions of 1: 3 or 1: 2.
- Ten-centimeter recesses are made in the substrate and moisturize the surface.
- Pieces of rhizome are planted, covered with soil and watered again.
- Arcs of wire are necessarily installed above the bed and plantings are covered with covering material.
- Watered for a month, not allowing the substrate to dry out. After rooting, shelter can be removed, but watering should be done regularly. Young plants that grow stronger by the end of the growing season are left to winter in the garden.
- Lingonberry grown from root segments will be ready for transplantation to a permanent place in a year or two.
Rhizome with shoots can be divided into parts
Propagation by partial or daughter bushes
From the underground rhizome shoots formed at lingonberry - stolons - young plants are formed. They are connected to the mother plant with the help of rhizomes and are called partial bushes. For the purpose of reproduction, only bushes that have their own root system are used. Reproduction in this way is possible both in spring and in autumn. To do this, young and well-formed bushes are dug up and separated from the mother plant.
- You can plant lingonberry bushes on a prepared separate bed for growing, or in separate containers.
- Plants grown in containers are ready for transplanting into open ground in a year.
- It is best to plant bushes in the spring in the garden for further growing. The plant will have enough time to take root in winter.
- Bushes planted in autumn should be well mulled with peat, spruce branches or a shelter made of non-woven material should be installed above them.
Partial lingonberry bushes can be planted in separate beds for growing
This type of propagation is more suitable for non-varietal lingonberries. The process is time-consuming, but advisable because of the low cost of the material obtained to expand plantings. Only well-ripened berries are suitable for seed selection. They are kneaded and washed in a small amount of water. The pulp and skin are removed, and the seeds are folded onto a sieve, and then dried.
Before sowing, seeds must be prepared. This procedure is called stratification. It can be natural - seeds are sown in the garden before fall. Hardened by winter conditions, seeds germinate in spring. And you can collect the seeds and store for 4 months in wet sand at an average temperature of 4 ° C, for example, in the lower compartment of the refrigerator.
Before sowing, lingonberry seeds must be stratified
Treated seeds show better germination.
- Seeds are sown in containers filled with a mixture of peat and sand. Since the seeds germinate well in the light, they do not need to be buried.
- To maintain high humidity and an average temperature of 20–25 ° C, the container can be covered with a transparent bag or glass and put in a bright and warm place. But not in direct sunlight!
- The mini-greenhouse is aired and moistened with a substrate.
- After the first shoots appear in 2-3 weeks, the shelter can be removed.
- When 4 adult leaflets appear on the seedlings, they can be dived into separate pots or on a greenhouse.
- Seedlings are regularly watered throughout the year, after which they are ready for transplanting to a permanent place.
In mini-greenhouses it is very convenient to sprout seeds
How to grow garden lingonberries in a pot
Lingonberry, which has a compact size, if desired, you can settle at home - on the windowsill or on the balcony. But at the same time, it is worth considering the difficulties that may arise:
- lingonberries have a horizontal and creeping rhizome, which will be crowded in small volumes;
- it is necessary to strictly control watering, since overdrying and waterlogging of the soil can destroy the plant.
Lingonberry needs to be watered only with rain or water that has settled for several days at room temperature.
For landing you need to prepare:
- low but wide flowerpot. Dimensions will depend on the root system of the lingonberry bush. At the bottom there must be holes for draining excess water into the pan;
- drainage is a prerequisite;
- substrate - it is better to prepare it yourself. Ordinary garden or universal soil will not work. The simplest mixture can be obtained by mixing 3 parts of peat and 1 part coarse sand;
- planting material. It can be bought in the garden center or dug in the forest.
- At the bottom of the pot, lay a good layer of drainage.
- Pour prepared soil mixture from above.
- Set the bush in the middle of the tank and add soil residues to the sides.
- Lightly compact the soil around the perimeter of the flowerpot and water it abundantly. Be sure to remove residual water from the sump.
- Keep cranberries in a bright place, but avoiding drafts. The plant feels very good outdoors. Therefore, if there is a balcony or a loggia, you should rearrange the flowerpot there.
Lingonberries in a flowerpot will become a real decoration of a balcony or window sill. Glossy green foliage that does not fall even in winter will be pleasing to the eye throughout the year. Blooming lingonberries will allow you to admire miniature flowers collected in bouquets-tassels. And the ripened coral-red fruits will not only revive the greens, but also help to diversify the taste sensations if you add them to the prepared dishes.
Lingonberries grown in a flowerpot will become a real decoration of a window sill or balcony
Features of growing lingonberries in different regions
Lingonberry is a fairly plastic plant that tolerates frosts and fever, but only with proper care. The difference between growing this crop in different regions is that in a hot and medium climate lingonberry does not require shelter, as it is easily adaptable. In the northern regions, spring frosts can become a threat for varieties with an early flowering period. Therefore, before the onset of stable warm weather, the bushes need to be covered with non-woven material.
Lingonberry cultivation in Ukraine
In Ukraine, lingonberries are not popular. Almost nobody grows it. Meet this plant in nature is possible only in the foothills of the Carpathians, where coniferous forests begin. But varieties adapted to the local climate can be cultivated in the plots.
A feature of growing lingonberries in Ukraine, especially in its southern regions, is frequent watering. If the air humidity is less than 50%, then the plant will have to be watered almost daily. The rest of the landing and care are very similar to the same techniques that are carried out in other regions.
Lingonberry cultivation in the middle zone of Russia and Moscow region
Despite the fact that abroad cranberries have long been grown on an industrial scale, in Russia it is cultivated only by amateur gardeners, and even then not everywhere.
But in vain. The climate of central Russia and the Moscow region is very suitable for growing this berry. In addition, in the conditions of the Moscow Region, varietal plants have enough heat and daylight in order to bear twice. If you follow all the above landing and care rules, then there will be no problems. For cultivation, try to purchase only zoned varieties.
Lingonberry feels great in the climatic zone of central Russia and the Moscow region
Cowberries can be cultivated in cooler regions. But in order to get a guaranteed crop, you have to stop the choice in the early grades.
As soon as a lingonberry glade appears in your garden, rest assured that guests will not keep you waiting. After all, this wonderful plant can be admired all year round. And how charmingly ripe berries peek out from under the fluffy snow cover! In addition to aesthetic pleasure, lingonberries will benefit the body.