Tall Blueberries: Description of Popular Varieties and Features of Cultivation
Tall blueberries (the second name is cinquefoil) are quite popular among professional fruit growers. It is appreciated for its decorative effect and the harvest of fruits rich in useful substances. Currently, from a large number of varieties, gardeners can choose the most suitable for their desires and opportunities. The agricultural technique of growing this crop has its own characteristics, but it is not difficult to cope with them.
From the history of variety formation of tall blueberries
The homeland of wild blueberries is North America. Varietal culture appeared at the beginning of the last century in the United States. In 1906, a team of scientists led by the biologist Coville developed the first varieties of Brooks and Russell from varieties of wild blueberries. And by 1937, biologists had already created 15 varieties.
A wave of interest in blueberries gradually spread to other countries. In 1926, Canada took over. The history of the experimental introduction of tall blueberries in our country began in 1964.
Tall blueberries are a powerful and highly branched shrub reaching 2.5 m. Its leaves are large (8x4 cm), oblong, pointed at the end. In the climate of central Russia, tall blueberries bloom in mid-late May. At this time, the plant is particularly attractive. The flowers are white or pale pink in color and pitcher-shaped, collected in racemose inflorescences.
Blueberry flowers have a pitcher shape
Blueberries include a whole vitamin complex, they have organic acids, carotene, pectins, amino acids, tannins and astringents. The best option for using fruits is fresh. However, their poor stubbornness is the reason that a greater number of berries goes to processing - they make jam, jelly, syrup, juice.
The fruits of blueberries are used in folk medicine. They have a diuretic, vasodilating, anti-inflammatory effect.
Blueberries are rich in vitamins.
Breeders bred varieties of tall blueberries, able to survive even in frosts down to -30 ° C. However, spring frosts pose a great danger to the bush. For blueberry flowers, the temperature is -2 ° C. For planting in central Russia, varieties with maximum endurance are recommended.
The best varieties of tall blueberries
For Russian growing conditions, our scientists have created special varieties of tall blueberries. They are frost-resistant, undemanding to care. The taste of berries is sweet and sour.
For best fruiting, it is recommended to place at least 2-3 cross-pollinated varieties on the site.
The best varieties of tall blueberries developed by Russian breeders for cultivation in the northern regions and in the Urals are:
- Wondrous. One bush is capable of producing a crop of 1.6 kg. The shrubs of the variety are distinguished by excellent winter hardiness. In height they reach 1.8 m. They have a spreading crown, requiring trimming. Divnaya’s berries are not very large - up to 0.6 g, have a thin skin. Due to the tendency to crack, they are not subject to transportation and long storage;
Variety Divnaya is considered one of the best for central Russia
- Blue placer. Mid-season grade. Frost-resistant, resistant to diseases and pests. Bushes up to 1 m high, branches wood up almost to the top. Fruit brushes are short, with 3-4 berries. Berries with an average weight of 0.6 g, round-oval, with a delicate taste;
- Taiga beauty. Bushes withstand frosts down to -43 ° C. One of the best varieties for industrial and amateur cultivation;
- Iksinskaya. Medium ripening. Winter hardiness is high. Not affected by disease. Shoots are formed a little. The berries are large, with the aroma of wild grapes. Rip together, do not crumble, are resistant to cracking;
- Nectar. Shrub up to 2 m high. The berries are fragrant, large, juicy. Productivity - up to 6 kg. The variety is resistant to frost and various diseases;
- Graceful. The bush is medium-sized, slightly spreading. Berries are large, weighing 0.7–1.3 g, sweet and sour, without flavor;
- Shegarskaya. Self-infertile grade. The bush is slightly spreading. The berries are large, dark blue with a bluish coating, with a delicate sweet-sour taste;
In the climate of the middle strip, berries in early varieties of blueberries begin to ripen from mid-summer. The best are:
- Duke - especially loved in America. A plus of the variety for our climate can be called late flowering, which always positively affects the amount of yield (flowers cannot be damaged by spring frosts). However, this does not affect the ripening period of the fruits - the crop can be harvested in mid-July;
- Patriot - flexible to soil structure, resistant to late blight;
- The river is notable for its high productivity (from 8 to 18 kg) and the extraordinary taste of berries.
Variety Duke one of the first presents the owners with its fruits
Tall blueberries have many popular varieties, of which one can distinguish those that differ in the excellent taste of the fruits:
- Toro is a mid-season variety, bearing fruit in the first ten days of August. The height of the bushes is from 1.8 m to 2 m. The arrangement of berries on a branch resembles the structure of a grape cluster. Ripe fruits do not crumble and do not crack. However, the variety also has disadvantages. For example, poor resistance to fungal diseases. Bushes are sensitive to temperature fluctuations and lack of moisture in the soil. This variety is often grown for commercial purposes;
- Bonus - a variety of medium-late fruiting periods. Mass ripening of berries occurs in late July - early August. In height, the bushes are no higher than 1.6 m. The main trump card of the Bonus is the size of berries (up to 30 mm). The fruits taste sweet, have a compacted skin with a wax coating, are well transported;
- Elizabeth. Plants can reach a height of 1.5–2 m. Light blue berries are large in size (up to 22 mm). The variety is very sensitive to cold.
Elizabeth is a large-fruited variety of blueberries
Blueberry varieties for Moscow region
The climate of the Moscow region is characterized as temperate continental. The average winter temperature is -11 ° C, but with an anticyclone it can reach -30 ° C. The soil layer freezes to a level of up to 70 cm. Snow cover can be about 45 cm high. For the cultivation of blueberries, the combination of these conditions is suitable. However, when choosing a variety for the Moscow region, one should take into account the possibility of spring frosts.
The best varieties for the Moscow region are:
- Blue Ray;
Bluurei is a variety with an average fruiting period. Tall bushes can reach 180 cm. The main peak of ripening is in mid-August - mid-September. Winter hardiness is not very high, so for the winter the bushes must be covered.
Patriot is a common variety in the gardens of the Moscow Region. Yield stability (5-7 kg per bush) is an indisputable plus. In addition, the Patriot is able to actively resist fungal infections of the stems and roots. These shrubs are quite decorative, they are used to create hedges on the site.
Variety of blueberries Patriot distributed in the Moscow region
Rankocas is a variety for those who want to have an early harvest. Berries can be tasted in the first half of July. Shrubs are able to withstand frosts down to -34 ° C.
At Spartan, berries are suitable for those who grow crops exclusively for eating fresh fruits. Berries have a mild acidity, do not spoil for a long time.
Airliblus has good winter hardiness, is immune to temperature surges and return frosts.
For the conditions of the Moscow region, it is still better to pick blueberry varieties from Russian breeders. Their productivity is slightly lower, but they are adapted to the conditions of our climate and soil.
Tall Blueberry Growing Technology
For the cultivation of blueberries, they choose a place sheltered from the northern winds with sufficient access to sunlight, not obscured by buildings or other cultures. For planting seedlings suitable 2-3 years of age. For better pollination and fruiting, several varieties of blueberries are planted simultaneously.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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Pits for planting bushes are dug up in advance (in about 2 months). Their sizes are 50x50 cm. The interval between plants is over 1 m. Foliage, peat, ground bark, sawdust are laid in the recesses. The mixture is acidified with sulfur or any of the acids (acetic, citric, malic). Before planting, the roots of the seedlings are soaked for 20 minutes. The roots, dropping into the pit, straighten. The root neck should be deepened by 5 cm. After sprinkling with earth, the root zone is watered and sprinkled with a layer (5-10 cm) of mulch - needles, sawdust, foliage.
In the area for planting blueberries, they choose a well-lit, but closed from the winds place
Blueberries are contraindicated in the proximity of groundwater. The plant must be planted in acidic or slightly acidic (pH 3.5 to 5) moisture-permeable and well-drained soil. A different indicator of acidity will adversely affect the development of young shoots.
On clay soil, plants need to create a drainage of 15 cm or plant them in elevated areas. Otherwise, the roots may begin to rot due to excess moisture. In lowland areas with a large accumulation of water, tall blueberries should not be planted.
When breeding blueberries, the introduction of organic fertilizers (compost, manure) should be excluded. Mineral fertilizing is used in the second year of the bush's life - before budding and during flowering. For the first time, fertilizer is applied in the amount of 1 tbsp. l In subsequent years, the volume is increased by 2 times, from 6 years old they remain unchanged.
Compound supplementation (zinc, ammonium, potassium sulfates; superphosphate; magnesium sulfate) contributes to the deficiency of a specific substance. Feeding specially created for blueberries is also suitable.
Pruning is carried out on young bushes in early spring, starting from the second year of life. Blueberries eliminate painful and age-related processes, blind growth. The latter includes branches that do not form flower buds. They are the result of a lack of lighting and thickening of the bush. With free access of light to a bush of blueberry on two-year-old shoots of growth, about 8 berries are formed from a flower bud. All shoots that contribute to bush thickening (low-prone to soil, branches with a large number of lateral processes) are removed. Initially, pruning of bushes is carried out in order to give them shape: an adult plant needs 5-8 large shoots.
During the main pruning, damaged shoots and blind growth are removed from the bush
Blueberry berries are not formed on the central, but on the lateral branches. The laying of flower buds occurs on the shoots of the second year of growth.
Anti-aging pruning is performed in the 6th year of plant life. At the same time, age-related branches (from 5 years old), diseased and dried shoots are removed. This helps to maintain fruiting at the proper level.
Video: Regulating and anti-aging pruning of tall blueberries
To a lack of moisture, as well as to its surplus, blueberries have a negative attitude. Optimal are twice watering a week with a volume of 10 liters under the bush. They are always carried out in the evening. When irrigated, water can be acidified by dissolving 1 tsp in a 10-liter bucket. citric acid.
The moisture of an earthen coma is easily checked: a handful of earth from under a plant is clamped in a fist. By the rapid scattering of soil, you can understand that the earth needs moisture.
In dry weather, irrigation is performed by sprinkling, spraying the foliage. During the ripening period, abundant watering is especially necessary. It is also necessary to moisten the soil under the bushes when the crop is removed: new shoots growing at this time affect the crop next year. In the fall, watering is carried out less often or completely stopped.
Diseases and pests
Of the pests for blueberries are dangerous:
- kidney mite;
- flower beetle;
- grape pipelining;
- stalk blueberry;
- May Khrushchev;
- fruit moth;
- winter moth.
Pests are caught using special traps with a light effect, using chemical agents (Metaphos, Aktara, Decis, Atom, Confidorm, iron sulfate). Plants rid of damaged parts, loosen the ground under them.
Blueberries are characterized by diseases such as:
- burn of shoots. It is observed on the last processes in the winter. Control measures: treatment with Topsin and Eurapen. In addition, planting crops on lands with excess moisture should be avoided;
- gray rot. Shoots, flowers, berries are affected. Rainy weather contributes to the development of the disease. The use of Eurapen for spraying before flowering is shown;
- moniliosis. With a disease, the plant looks frozen, dries. Control measures include the collection and elimination of mummified fruits, branches, spraying bushes during the appearance of buds;
- physalosporosis. It is evidenced by the presence of reddish swollen spots on young shoots from mid-summer. Control measures: pruning and burning infected shoots.
Photo gallery: pests and diseases of blueberries
- For the future harvest, the weevil weevil is a considerable danger
- Coiled leaves on the bush - traces of the pest
- Kidney tick is not visible to the naked eye
- With moniliosis, mummified fruits should be cut off
- Gray rot on the fruit spreads quickly in rainy weather.
Methods of propagation of tall blueberries
There are three known methods for propagating tall blueberries. This is a method of sowing seeds, breeding with cuttings and rooted layers. The most difficult option is collecting and germinating seeds. The harvest will have to wait a long time (up to 10 years), investing a lot of work in the process. For beginners in fruit growing, it is best to consider cuttings or propagation by layering.
The harvesting of cuttings is planned for late autumn. The greatest root-forming ability is possessed by cuttings harvested from shoots of shoots. However, their receipt from lignified processes is not excluded.
Planting material from the green parts of the plant takes root better and develops faster. In a lignified shoot, metabolic processes and water-holding capacity of tissues are reduced.
Blueberries in summer or spring are propagated by layering. To do this, the branch on the bush is tilted to the ground and sprinkled soil on it in order to have its own roots on the shoot. Next year, the shoot is planted in a new place.
Varieties that I have: Bonus - the largest. Berries up to 3 cm in diameter! I do not know more large-fruited ones. The taste is very good. Elizabeth. 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. Patriot is the most frost-resistant or one of the most frost-resistant blueberries. -37 suffered without freezing, all the others had freezing of the ends sticking out above the snow. Stable crop variety. The first berries in the brush are especially large, up to 2 cm in diameter. Spartan and Northland - the varieties are not bad, the taste is also not bad, but I can not say anything special about them.Intelligent dolphin
Today my blueberry has poorly wintered; one bush has perished. And after all she sheltered, and the winter was warm. I don’t even know what they lacked. And summer this season looks more like autumn in the fall, it’s especially cold at night, it’s not easy for everyone heat-loving, only cabbage, onions and carrots get high.Sweet tooth
In the suburbs, winter was relatively warm, but not very snowy. The ground was very cold. Then the early spring heat, then the cold ... Blueberries rushed to bloom, and its root was still in the ice lump. Until I realized this, individual bushes lost more than half of the flowering branches. Biological drought. The soil under the blueberries is light, moisture-absorbing and an excellent heat insulator. Now in the spring I will specially observe. You may have to melt the ice with warm water (although I know that this requires a frantic amount of energy).MikhSanych
I have one bush growing 10-11 years already. Grade Bluecrop. Swinging slowly. Planted a second variety for pollination. It was clearly better, but dried. The birch is not far growing. It responds well to the earth from the forest, took from under the pines. This year was very large and tasty.Alexander-Shuvalovo
A large selection of blueberry varieties, bred by domestic and foreign breeders, contributes to the increasing spread of culture. Despite some finicky plants, even novice gardeners can grow a bush and harvest.