Autumn blueberry care
When autumn comes, gardeners begin to put their land in proper order to meet and survive the winter without loss. Each owner tries to conduct the best preparation so that his plants bloom next spring and give a rich harvest. And the experience of many lovers of summer cottage can not do.
If you are the owner of blueberries and the first time you meet winter with this bush, then without clear recommendations to maintain productivity or plant life in general can be problematic. And if you are an experienced summer resident, then refreshing your memory will not be superfluous. But, on the other hand, blueberries are not very demanding on care, so a lot of effort is not needed.
Typically, the peak of blueberry irrigation occurs in July - August. With the onset of autumn, the amount of water that is spent to moisten the earth under the bush is recommended to be significantly reduced. If, for example, it rains regularly enough, then you can not take up a watering can for watering blueberries.
To water blueberries in the fall, use a divider to avoid blurring the soil.
But still, if the weather is dry and you are worried about the bushes, then 5 liters of water per bush every 3-4 days is enough to make blueberries feel comfortable and not suffer from an overabundance or lack of moisture.
How and what to fertilize
You need to start with the most important thing - in the fall, in no case do not apply organic fertilizer under the bushbe it compost, humus or fallen leaves. Otherwise, instead of blueberries “falling asleep” with the advent of winter, on the contrary, it will again begin to awaken to life, to blossom leaves and flowers.
Also, due to a similar effect, one should refrain from introducing nitrogen into the soil in the fall. Usually, soil fertilization occurs after sanitary pruning, when all dried, diseased and old branches are removed from the bush.
This is done so that the already unnecessary parts of the blueberry do not pick up nutrients for themselves, which in the end may not be enough for a younger shoot.
First, each bush should be well watered using 4-5 buckets of water.
After moistening the soil, 40 g of double superphosphate and 40 g of potassium sulfate should be added under each plant. Usually, for better assimilation of fertilizers, they are applied directly to the ground, but since the root system of blueberries is very close to the surface, doing this is highly discouraged. Better sprinkle superphosphate and potassium at the base of the bush and sprinkle minerals on the ground.
Mulch needs to be changed annually, just in the fall, after you have fertilized the soil and oxidized it. The most important thing is to catch up to the frost. The basis is suitable tree bark, sawdust, needles, straw or dry land.
The layer of mulch itself can vary from 4 to 15 cm. A similar precaution will help reduce the number of weeds in the area and protect the bush from the negative effects of spring frosts.
Did you know? A handful of berries improves the work of memory and attention, so blueberries are called food for the mind.
This factor is very important for growth and good harvest. The acidity level should be at around 3.5–4.5 pH. You can measure these indicators using a specialized device - a pH meter, which can be easily found on the Internet.
On the soil with low acidity, the bush simply will not grow, so that for the next season blueberries retain their vitality, you can choose one of the methods of acidifying the soil.
First, you can use sulfur powder. It must be taken in an amount of 15 g per 1 m². The powder itself must be applied both under the bush itself and in the aisle, fertilizing the soil throughout the site.
Secondly, the use of electrolyte gives a good effect., which can be obtained in an acid battery. With a solution consisting of 30 ml of liquid and 10 l of water, systematically irrigate both the ground under the blueberry and near it. One serving of a mixture of 10 liters is enough for 1 m².
Thirdlyif you need to quickly increase the acidity of the soil, then can use vinegar solution. To prepare it, you need to mix 100 g of vinegar and 10 liters of water. Usually this amount is more than enough for one bush. But too frequent use of the mixture will lead to an excess of the pH level, which will negatively affect the full development of blueberries.
Fourth, sulfuric acid can be used, as one of the most effective means for a long-term increase in soil acidity. The truth and the greatest accuracy must be observed precisely in the case of handling this solution. To prepare it, you need to mix 1 drop of acid with a liter of water. This amount is recommended for processing 1 sq. m surface area.
Important! When preparing the solution and processing the soil, do not forget about safety measures - latex gloves and plastic glasses.
Trimming and processing
Specifically, pruning is not only an autumn, but also a spring event to eliminate excess growth on blueberries. But only if in spring it is necessary to eliminate young shoots that spoiled seasonal frosts, then in the autumn the outdated branches of the bush are removed.
Usually they begin to spend it in the second half of October and it can last until the onset of winter, but should end before the onset of severe and constant frost.
For starters, it’s worth touching on the rules for pruning a year old blueberry. Care for the bush should begin at a young age. After the first summer, a lot of unnecessary overgrowth forms on it, which in the end will not bear fruit, but take the vitality of the plant.
a - before trimming; b - after trimming.
Therefore, in autumn it is recommended to remove all branches of the second order, and leave the blueberry itself 30–40 cm high. Otherwise, the ripening of the crop may be delayed or the berries will be sour and small.
If you are trimming an already adult plant that is already 3 years old, then you need to start with old branches that do not bear fruit. This will give younger growth more minerals and beneficial elements.
If you saw parts of a bush damaged by frost, parasites, illness on a blueberry, then they should be removed immediately, even if now is not the time for pruning. But in the fall it is recommended to carefully examine the bush for lesions. Sick branches are cut and burned.
Also removed, growing deep into the bush and down. They bear little fruit, but they take plant vital juices no less than those that bring a good harvest.
It is also recommended to cut off the entire shoot that grows horizontally, even if it is young, because in the future it will spoil the appearance of the bush and fall to the ground, giving less yield, but taking the juices from other, more fruitful branches.
Video: Autumn pruning of three-year-old blueberry bushes
After finishing the treatment of the bush, all sections, at least those that are larger than 2 cm, are recommended to be lubricated with special protective preparations that prevent the penetration of pests and infections into the wounds. Commonly used are Garden Var and RanNet. And now, after trimming and processing the slices, fertilizers can be applied.
Did you know? In North America, blueberries are one of the most popular berries and are a symbol of the state of New Jersey.
After fertilizing, tillage and pruning blueberries, direct preparation for frost begins. Although it is considered a winter-hardy plant, and is able to withstand temperatures of -25 ...- 27 ° C, safety precautions will not interfere.
First, before the onset of cold weather, the branches of the bush must be bent to the ground, before this straightening. As a means of holding blueberries near the ground, twine or metal rods curved into an arc are usually used. This is done in order to facilitate further warming of the plant.
As a shelter from frost take burlap or agrofiber.
It is not recommended to use a film - inside it, blueberries will begin to rot, which will contribute to the appearance of fungal infections.
With the loss of the first snow, it is recommended to generously and abundantly pour on covered bushes. This will further protect blueberries from frost. With the advent of spring, when the first frosts have passed, you can remove the protective layer, trim the frosted branches. At this wintering is usually considered completed.
Video: preparing blueberries for winter
Despite its ease of care, blueberries still require a careful approach. But in return for not the most difficult actions for the gardener, she will bring a rich harvest and bloom for more than one year.