A couple of years ago, blueberries were considered an exotic plant. Today, this plant in the garden is increasingly common. Blueberry Elizabeth is considered one of the most common varieties. About its useful qualities can talk endlessly. This is an unpretentious and useful berry shrub. But without knowledge of the intricacies of cultivation and care, it is unlikely to enjoy the pleasant taste of berries.
The blueberry Elizabeth is characterized by a sprawling and erect bush. The length of the bush reaches about 1.6-1.8 m. The shoots of the plant are red in color. Blueberries are round and strong and have a pleasant sweet taste. By taste characteristics, the variety of garden blueberries Elizabeth is superior to all others. The first crop can be harvested in early August.
The garden blueberry Elizabeth is characterized by a number of advantages compared to other varieties:
- with proper care, you can achieve a record yield from each bush, about 4-6 kg;
- berries are stored for a long time and do not deteriorate;
- the plant is resistant to fungal diseases, such as root rot, stem cancer and late blight;
- due to the small branching and straight branches of the berry, they receive a sufficient amount of sunlight for ripening;
- upon ripening, the berries do not fall, but remain on the branches, which simplifies harvesting.
The disadvantages of this variety include low frost resistance. Such a variety of blueberries can be grown, unfortunately, not in all regions. And also it does not allow the cultivation of blueberries for industrial purposes.
Despite its resistance to pests and the development of fungal diseases, garden blueberries should be sprayed with Bordeaux mixture annually for preventive purposes. If small pests have appeared on the plant, then it must be treated with Topaz or Fundazol. This treatment should be carried out at intervals of one week.
Blueberries: planting and care
When to plant blueberries
You can plant garden blueberries both in autumn and spring. It is generally accepted that spring planting is more reliable, because over the summer the seedlings have time to grow stronger and thus tolerate frost. Before planting, you should choose a place in the garden. It should be a sunny area, otherwise the berries will be unsweetened and there will be few. Blueberries can not tolerate drafts, so the place should be protected from the wind. When you have decided on the place, you can move on to preparing the soil. Blueberries prefer only acidic soil. The level of acidity of the soil should be in the range of 3.5-4.5 pH.
In spring, plant blueberries before the buds swell. Choose seedlings in pots where the roots are closed. As a rule, the roots of blueberries are long and brittle, so before planting, lower the pot with the plant into the water for 20-30 minutes, then remove the seedling and carefully straighten its roots.
Prepare a planting hole, the depth of which should be approximately 60x60 cm. When planting several bushes of the Elizabeth variety, the distance between them should be at least 120 cm. Lay peat with sawdust and sand on the bottom of the hole. A little sulfur can be added to oxidize the soil. It is not recommended to add organic fertilizers during planting, as they alkalize the soil. The roots of the seedling must be carefully spread out to the sides, after which you can sprinkle with earth and water. The nearby soil must be mulched with sawdust or straw.
The principle of planting garden blueberries in autumn is similar to spring. Only in this case, after planting, seedlings need to remove weak branches, and all the rest to be cut in half. This procedure must be carried out exclusively by annual seedlings.
Propagation of garden blueberries
Blueberries can be propagated in three ways: seeds, cuttings or dividing the bush. In the first case, seeds are collected from healthy bushes and dried a little. With the advent of autumn, seeds can be sown at a training site where soil with acid peat was dug in advance. Seeds can also be sown in the spring, only for this they need to be kept in the refrigerator for 3 months. It is advisable to sow the seeds to a depth of 1 cm. Sprinkle with peat mixed with sand from above. For seed germination, it is necessary to observe the temperature regime, regular watering and loosening of the soil. Fertilize the land best with nitrogen fertilizers. After 2 years, seedlings can be transplanted to a permanent place. The first crop will appear after 7-8 years.
The second method of propagation of blueberries is much more efficient and reliable. For this, it is necessary to use plant cuttings that are formed in autumn or early spring. The length of the handle should be within 8-15 cm. To the root system formed as early as possible and began growth, choose a thicker shoot. In order for the shoot to take root, it should be kept at a temperature of 1-5 ° C for a month. Then, the cuttings can be planted in the soil and covered with a substrate of peat and sand 5-6 cm thick. With proper care of the cuttings after 2 years, they can be planted in a permanent place.
Blueberry: variety selection
When using the third method of propagation of garden blueberries, the bush is divided so that the root system of each bush is at least 5-7 cm long. In this case, the divided parts of the bush should be immediately planted in the ground. If the plant is propagated in this way, the blueberry crop will not be long in coming.
For regular and good fruiting, garden blueberries need to be pruned.
If sick branches appear in the bush, they must be removed and burned. In annual bushes during flowering, it is necessary to remove all the flowers, this will favorably affect the further development of the plant. When cutting 2-4 year old bushes, the main task is to create a strong skeleton that can withstand the weight of the crop. Therefore, weak branches and basal shoots should be removed. In older plants, in addition to dry branches, shoots need to be cut. Do not allow the connection of branches with neighboring plants - this will adversely affect the taste of berries.