Tall blueberries Patriot: characteristics of the variety and growing rules
Blueberries are rapidly replacing blueberries from the markets. It is sweeter, does not get dirty hands, is widely used for medical purposes. This berry is grown commercially in the United States, Europe and Australia. Tall varieties, giving up to 10 kg from one bush, are especially popular. These include Patriot blueberries.
The homeland of the Patriot, like any blueberry, is North America. Variety bred in the resort town of Beltsville, Maryland. In 1952, as a result of cross-pollination of varieties Dixi, Michigan LB-1 and Earliblue, seedlings of tall blueberries were obtained, which are distinguished by good productivity and high decorative properties. The seedlings went on sale in 1976. In honor of the approaching 200th anniversary of the unification of the states, blueberries were named Patriot.
Description of Blueberry Patriot
The bush of the Patriot is high - up to 1.8 m, consists of erect and not too branched shoots. Young leaves have a red tint, mature ones are dark green. The variety is resistant to late blight, stem cancer and root rot. Patriot, unlike most blueberries, is less demanding on soil composition and climatic conditions, self-fertile. However, it gives a rich harvest on loose and sour soil, in a warm and sunny place in the garden, surrounded by other varieties for better pollination.
Blueberry Patriot gives a rich harvest on loose and sour soil, in a warm and sunny place in the garden
The variety is able to tolerate frosts up to 35–40 ° C; it is suitable for cultivation in harsh climatic conditions with a short daylight hours. The Patriot first blooms the very next year after planting, but at the time of maximum fruiting enters at the age of 5-6 years. The average yield is up to 7 kg per bush, the highest - 9 kg.
The average mass of blueberries Patriot - 4 g
Patriot is suitable for growing in any private garden and on industrial plantations. Large berries are harvested by machine and by hand. The variety is mid-early, flowering occurs in May, and harvesting - in mid-July (lasts until August). Fruits are large - up to 2 cm in diameter, collected in brushes, sitting on branches tightly, have a round flattened shape. The skin is elastic, light blue, the flesh is greenish, sweet and fragrant. The fruiting of the Patriot is regular.
Video: about the features of the Patriot blueberry variety
How to grow blueberries
The requirements for growing conditions and care of blueberries are different from the usual currants, gooseberries and raspberries. In particular, organic is contraindicated in Patriot in the form of humus, chicken droppings and manure; he needs acidic (pH 3.5–4.5), moist and loose soil. Failure to comply with one of these rules will lead to the death of the plant. The Patriot has a huge advantage: resistance to diseases and pests. As gardeners say, he is not ill with anything. Almost all the misfortunes characteristic of other fruit crops bypass the blueberries.
Dates, place and stages of landing
The best periods for planting are spring, before budding, and autumn, after leaf fall. In the northern regions with a short fall, it is better to choose spring. The place under the blueberries should be well lit and warmed up by the sun, while the presence of wind protection on the north side in the form of a wall, a solid fence or a hedge is desirable.
The best predecessors are perennial herbs. You can not plant blueberries after crops under which organic matter, ash, lime, dolomite and bone meal were brought.
The planting pit for blueberries is filled with a special mixture that has nothing to do with ordinary land on the site
- Dig a hole with a depth of 40–50 cm and a diameter of 70–80 cm, or even better - 1 m. The fact is that the roots of the blueberry are superficial and spread in breadth. The wider the landing hole, the longer the blueberry will have enough soil suitable for it. If the pit is small, the roots will quickly reach ordinary land, the plant will become ill with chlorosis, stop growing, and yield will decrease. The excavated soil will not be useful to you, you can immediately evenly distribute it over the site.
- Spread a solid film, tarp, or other material on the ground on which you can mix the substrate with a shovel to fill the pit. Pour on the prepared surface horse (sour) peat, river sand, rotted sawdust of coniferous trees and mix.
You can limit yourself to peat and sawdust or peat and sand in equal proportions.
- Fill the hole with the mixture. It is impossible to tamp hard, blueberries love lush land. Do not be afraid that after planting the soil will sag without compaction, the situation can be easily corrected by adding peat or sawdust. Young blueberries can be dug up to 10 cm, and an adult to pop up to 30 cm in height.
- Before planting, lower the roots of the seedling in the water for an hour.
- If a bush of blueberry was grown in a container before transplantation, then lower the container into water, and after soaking, carefully empty the root system from the container and examine. It often happens that the roots penetrate the entire lump, reach the bottom, bend and grow inward. In this case, untangle and straighten the roots.
- Make a hole in the center of the planting pit the size of the root system of a seedling. In this case, the roots must be placed horizontally, pointing in different directions. The landing depth is 2-3 cm below the previous level.
- Pour acidified water (100 ml of 9% table vinegar into 10 liters of water).
- Mulch with peat, sawdust, needles or a mixture of these materials. The height of the mulch is 7–10 cm.
Video: blueberry planting rules
If the groundwater in your area goes deeper than 40-60 cm from the surface, then blueberries will often need to be watered - twice a week for 2 buckets under a fruiting bush. It is recommended to divide this dose in half: one bucket in the morning, one in the evening. Gardeners who cannot visit their site so often arrange drip irrigation. On especially hot days, blueberries can be watered over the leaves.
The rate of blueberry irrigation depends on weather conditions, the size of the landing pit and the absorption capacity of the earth
However, do not blindly follow the instructions. The rate of irrigation depends on weather conditions, the size of the landing pit and the absorption capacity of the earth around it. Watering should be from a watering can with a strainer so as not to erode light soil. Once a week, acidify the water, as when planting, with table vinegar or citric acid (1.5 tbsp. Per 10 liters of water). Watch the intensity of absorption of water, it should go deep, and not stagnate at the top. After watering, squeeze a lump of blueberry soil in your fist. If drops of water are squeezed, it means that the bush is waterlogged. Add mulch under it, next time reduce the amount of water. Remember that waterlogging the roots is as dangerous as drying out.
Some gardeners limit the planting pit by arranging wells with waterproof walls (for example, planting plants in cut and dug barrels). This is done in order to protect the roots of blueberries from ordinary soil with inappropriate acidity. As a result, during heavy rains and watering, water stagnates, excess moisture has nowhere to go, roots rot, plants die.
Features of soil content under blueberries
The soil under the blueberry is different from the rest on your site, so it requires different care:
- as the bush grows, expand the planting hole by digging a groove adjacent to it around the circumference and adding acidic soil. At the same time, the roots cannot be damaged, which means digging must be done in advance, ahead of the growth of blueberries. The adult Patriot bush occupies a plot of land with a diameter of about 1.5 m, its root system has the same size;
- near the bush it is impossible to chop weeds with a chopper and loosen the soil deeper than 3 cm. The roots of blueberries are superficial and practically do not recover;
- regularly, as the earth sags, pour mulch, you can reel bushes. Use peat, rotted sawdust, coniferous litter. These materials acidify the soil, and their thick layer prevents the rapid evaporation of moisture and inhibits the growth of weeds.
Video: how and with what to mulberry blueberries
Fertilizers for Patriot blueberries should also be acidic. Nitrogen-containing is recommended to be applied three times per season with an interval of 2 weeks, starting in early spring and ending on July 1.
Compositions of top dressing:Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
5 Japanese plants that take root well in Central Russia
How do I protect seedlings from my curious cats
- mulch from decayed bark of coniferous trees;
- infusion of herbs containing acid (rhubarb, sorrel, sour acid, chop, pour water, leave for 1-2 days and pour under the bush);
- ammonium sulfate: 1 tsp on 10 l of water.
The dose of liquid top dressing depends on the moisture capacity of the soil - 5-10 liters per adult plant. In the second half of summer, add 100 g of superphosphate, 15 g of magnesium sulfate, 2 g of potassium sulfate and zinc sulfate per bush (dissolve in 10 liters of water or sprinkle on the ground, pour and mulch).
For feeding, a ready-made mixture for blueberries or heather crops, for example, for azaleas, is also suitable.
The easiest option for feeding is to buy special fertilizer and follow the instructions
Shaping and pruning a bush
The patriot is prone to thickening, because it is characterized by intensive growth of shoots. You need to start pruning for 3-4 years, removing curves, broken, weak, frozen, branches growing inside the bush. The goal is to form a plant from the strongest shoots, equidistant, directed in different directions, not interfering with each other's growth.
When pruning, you need to remove curves, broken, weak, frozen, branches growing inside the bush
After another 2 years, pruning is complicated by the removal of all old 5-6-year-old shoots. After 10-15 years of living in your garden, the productivity of the Patriot will decrease, the berries are chopped. To restore previous productivity, it is recommended to cut the entire bush near the ground, leaving only the roots. Such anti-aging pruning will provoke the active growth of new shoots. After 2-3 years, blueberries will again delight with an abundance of large fruits. As a result of this departure, the Patriot is able to live for more than a century.
All activities for the formation of the bush spend in the early spring, before the sap flow.
Video: pruning blueberries
Shelter for the winter
Despite the stated frost resistance of the variety, in severe and snowy winters, the upper parts of the shoots can freeze to the level of snow. In addition, the Patriot is tall, and the thickness of the snow cover of 1.5–1.8 m is a rarity for many Russian regions. For these reasons, either cover the blueberries for the winter, or be prepared to radically shorten all the frozen shoots in the spring.
Before the onset of cold weather, cover the ground and the lower part of the bush with spruce branches, it will protect the roots from freezing, and shoots - from eating by mice and hares. Wrap young, low bushes whole with breathable covering material. Bend branches higher than 1 m to the ground and also insulate with breathable materials.
Young winter blueberry bushes can be wrapped whole
Harvesting: how to store, what to cook
Patriot begins to collect blueberries in mid-July. Berries ripen unevenly, so pick them in a few tricks. The first fruits are large, and by the end of the harvest they are very small. The dense skin makes storage and transportation possible. In the refrigerator, in an airtight container, blueberries remain fresh for 2 weeks, and in frozen form they retain their taste and aroma for a whole year. The first large and beautiful berries should be eaten fresh, and the small ones should be recycled.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants that slow down cell oxidation and aging. In addition, this berry contains substances that can reduce blood sugar, break down fat, strengthen the walls of blood vessels.
Compotes, preserves, jams, candied fruits are prepared from blueberries, used as a filling and decoration for baking. Very fragrant and beautiful tinctures, liqueurs and liquors obtained from this berry. Winter evenings will warm and remind of summer tea from dried blueberries with honey.
Video: American Blueberry Juice
Reviews on the cultivation of blueberries Patriot
Of the 3 planted varieties, only one was well taken - Patriot. In the second summer there were already brushes with berries. And he has good growth energy. That's what I want to multiply. True, I have heavy clay, planted clay and spruce litter in a mixture, added sulfur and fertilizer for rhododendrons.Olka V.
I bought my Patriot for reasons of self-pollination. Still, I understand now - you need a couple.iriina
I have several bushes of Patriot and Northland growing. Patriot has more berries and tastes better, Northland is finer and more acidic, planted it later, because he read that when cross-pollinated, the crop was higher, but did not notice much difference, and so almost all the fruits were tied.Phellodendron
I planted an American Patriot after I spied on a friend, she grows in a greenhouse in a pot, and the pot in a pan with water, blooms and gives fruit. It’s growing in my greenhouse, I didn’t notice any special difficulties.Svetlana
Patriot is a universal variety that is suitable for both individual and industrial cultivation, adapted to the climate characteristic of most Russian regions. The bush, in addition to high productivity, has good decorative qualities, since in the summer the branches are covered with berries of different shades of green, red and blue. Attention and care of the variety requires no more than any other blueberry.