Blueberries - growing and beneficial properties
July 22 according to the national calendar is the day of Pankratia and Cyril. Start picking blueberries, blueberry day. "Blueberries will take famously away from the stomach." In the old days they said: blueberries restore health and increase world perception. The original name is Teremnika. This wonderful berry has come. She contributed to the suffering time. Every day it was supposed to eat blueberries both old and small (especially in the hot summer). This berry protected them from all diseases, healed stomach ulcers, cleaned the blood, and the liver healed.
In the forest regions, the collection of blueberries is a mandatory annual ritual of berry harvesting. Some for the speed of collection adapted to comb blueberry bushes with special ridges. Of course, it’s faster, but a lot of litter.
Our ancestors used blueberry stalks and leaves in various branches of everyday life, in artisanal leather production: with their help, the skin was painted in brown and yellow. From these berries, artists made purple and violet paints (in the first case they took boron blueberries, in the second they took ramen (ramen - spruce forest), and when mixing the fruit juice with other components, they got dye for wool and fabric.
Blueberries grow even in the Caucasus, although it differs from ours in the north. The tree there reaches 3 meters, the leaves are much larger, and the fruits are black in color, pleasant to the taste, although without coloring juice.
There is a legend about blueberries. “Once upon a time it was. In the dense, impenetrable forests, next to the people lived the dwarves. Learning about their infinite wealth, people began digging, digging the earth everywhere, looking for treasures. Gnomes have left their native places. The poor people wandered day and night through a dark, inhospitable forest in search of at least some protection. No one came to their aid. And only the blueberry bush sheltered them, hid them under its branches. In gratitude, the dwarves spread blueberries all over the world.».
Blueberries, or Blueberry, or Blueberry myrtle (Vaccínium myrtíllus) Is a species of perennial stunted shrubs from the genus Vaccinium of the Heather family.
Blueberries are shrubs 15-30 cm high. Branches extend from the main stem at sharp angles. The leaves are alternate, small-town-serrate, ovate, leathery, falling in winter. Rain water along the grooved leaves and petioles is diverted to the branches with deep grooves, along which it rolls to the root. The plant has a creeping rhizome, giving a large number of shoots.
Blueberries bloom in May. The flowers are greenish-white, regular, sitting one at a time. Corolla has 5 cloves. The limb is inseparable. Stamens 10. Pestle - one. Lower ovary. The flower is tilted down, and this protects the pollen from dampness. The main pollinators of flowers are domestic bees and bumblebees.
The fruits of blueberries are bluish-black, purple inside, stand out very well on yellowing leaves. Fruits are eaten by forest birds, which far away carry their indigestible seeds. The fruits are edible.
Berries and leaves are used for medicinal purposes. Sometimes blueberries are also grown for decorative purposes on alpine slides.
In nature, common blueberries grow mainly in the northern regions - in forests, mainly pine and swamps.
Choosing a place for blueberries
The temperature requirements of cultivated blueberries are comparable to those of currants. Low winter temperatures are unlikely to harm her. However, if less than 40-50 days remain between harvesting and the onset of cold weather, early frosts of up to about -10 ° C can cause damage to the bushes. But damage from late spring frosts can not be afraid, since the time of flowering of blueberries falls in the second half of May.
Cultivated blueberries are very sensitive to lack of moisture, and therefore it is always necessary to take care of uniform moderate soil moisture. On light soils, a close groundwater level (30-90 cm) is very useful, but constant stagnation of water is unfavorable for cultivated blueberries. Unlike forest, cultivated blueberries grow better not in the shade, but yield the greatest yields only in sunny locations.
The requirements of cultivated blueberries to the soil are very specific, since they grow well only on acidic soils. The soil reaction, measured in pH units, should be within the range of pH 3.8, and only in exceptional cases can blueberries be grown on soils with higher pH values with appropriate soil care.
Humus-rich soils, including sandy ones, are best suited for cultivating blueberries, but the soil needs to be properly prepared before planting bushes.
Preparing the soil for planting blueberries
Soil preparation depends on its reaction. On light soils with a pH of less than 5.0, it is sufficient to improve the soil to a depth of about 20 cm by adding peat chips enriched with nutrients; peat crumb mixed with sawdust, chopped bark or decayed oak leaves, chopped kitchen cleanings should be added to the planting pit.
Most garden soils are not acidic enough to grow cultivated blueberries. The planted bushes will soon begin to appear yellowish leaves, the bushes almost stop growing and eventually die. Successful cultivation is possible only with appropriate soil preparation. To do this, you need to prepare a pit for each bush of blueberries with a size of 150x150 cm and a depth of 60 cm, or dig a ditch of the same width and depth. The soil from the pits is mixed in a 2: 1 ratio with peat chips, decayed oak leaves, etc., and in heavy soils, river sand is also added.
Adding on 1 m3 150-250 g of powdered sulfur (sulfur color) acidifies the soil even more. All these works must be carried out in a timely manner so that the soil in the pits has time to settle. When planting blueberry bushes in October, all these works should be completed no later than the beginning of September.
As a rule, it is preferable to plant blueberries in October and before the beginning of November, however, you can plant bushes in the spring from March to April. The best planting material is two to three year old bushes, but older plants still take root and begin to bear fruit very soon. Rooting blueberries occurs faster if plants are planted with a lump of earth on the roots, and therefore it is more advisable to take material from the nursery also with a lump or with a vessel, if it is grown in it. If the soil for planting is well prepared, it is enough to open a recess at the site of planting, corresponding to the volume of roots with a lump.
When planting a lump around the roots, the fibrous roots are loosened and carefully straightened. The soil from the planting pit is mixed with peat and river sand, and a hole is poured with this mixture, after which the feet are compacted around the bushes and watered abundantly. It is very good to mulch the place of planting of blueberries with sawdust, fallen leaves or peat, because it helps to maintain moisture and provides protection against frost during autumn planting. The bushes are planted to the same depth as they grew in the nursery.
If blueberry bushes cannot be planted immediately after purchase, they must be placed in the shade and take care of hydration. A dry lump or vessel can easily lead to the loss of a plant.
Old blueberry bushes can be replanted, but only with a suitable lump of land. After planting, all branches are cut to a height of 10-30 cm.
The best soil care in cultivated blueberries is to apply a layer of sawdust 10 cm thick, which is mixed with the top soil layer and is always maintained in a well-moistened state. Ground kitchen cleanings also have a positive effect. All other types of coating (straw, fallen leaves, etc.) have a less good effect, but they are better than the absence of any coating.
If there is no mulching material, then the soil throughout the year must be repeatedly loosened to a very shallow depth (not more than 3 cm). The closer to the bush, the more shallow the loosening should be, since the roots of blueberries are also located at the very surface of the soil.
Organic fertilizer, especially on light, sandy soils, as well as on soils poor in humus, is an important measure to increase the yield of cultivated blueberries. Well-decayed manure, nutrient-rich compost or peat chips, enriched with nutrients such as bird droppings and mineral fertilizers - all this is suitable for providing bushes with organic fertilizers. Depending on the material and conditions, every 2–3 years it is advisable to plant 2–4 kg / m in the topsoil around the bushes2 organic fertilizers.
Mineral fertilizers along with providing bushes with nutrients should also help regulate the reaction of the soil. On soils with pH from 4.0 to 5.0, only ammonium sulfate, kalimagnesia (potassium and magnesium sulfate) and superphosphate should be used.
Of the complex fertilizers for blueberries, only chlorine-free piafoxan blue or “Aciplex”, a fertilizer salt for marsh plants and conifers, are suitable.
The following recommendations can be made for fertilizing cultivated blueberries (g / m2).
|Piafoskan blue (10-6-25)||Young bushes||Fruiting bushes|
|The first dose (March-April)||30||60|
|The second dose (early June)||20||3|
When applying fertilizers for the first time, “aciplex” should be preferred, and when using the second, piafoskan is blue. Fertilizers are evenly distributed around the bushes and are very shallowly embedded in the soil with a hoe. If it is decided to fertilize with dissolved salts, then only 10-20 g are dissolved in 10 l of water, and then the total dose should be applied in several stages at intervals of 10 days. The second dose (in June) can be increased for older bushes and with very large yields by 10-20 g / m2.
Every 2-3 years, it is necessary to check the reaction of the soil. At pH values above 5.0, 50-60 g of powdered sulfur should be scattered around each bush annually until the desired pH value is reached. However, in most cases, the use of sawdust for mulching around the bushes will already be enough to regulate the reaction of the soil.
The main types of blueberries
Blueberry - Vaccinium myrtillus
Common blueberries grow in the European part of Russia, Eastern and Western Siberia, the Far East, and the northern part of North America. It grows in deciduous and coniferous forests, in the tundra, forest-tundra, in sphagnum bogs, in the mountains up to 2000 m above sea level. Often dominates the vegetation, forming extensive thickets. It is protected in reserves.
Blueberries have a wide ecological range. Humidity is not very demanding, it is found both on the outskirts of marshes and in moist forests, and in dry clarified areas. It prefers brightened areas, but can grow in shaded areas, however, in completely open areas it often dies completely or partially. It is more sensitive to temperature fluctuations than lingonberries. Prefers richer soils than lingonberries. It grows on the plain and in the mountains, rising to a height of 2800 m above sea level. m., but at the upper border of the forest usually does not bear fruit.
Blueberry Caucasian - Vaccinium arctostaphylos
Caucasian Blueberry, or Caucasian Blueberry - The only tertiary relic of the species that grows on the territory of the former USSR, rising in the mountains to the upper forest belt. Distributed in the Caucasus and North Asia Minor (as well as in Southeast Bulgaria and Northern Iran). It grows in the mountains mainly at an altitude of 1000-2000 m above sea level. sea, in beech, fir and spruce-beech, less often in chestnut and oak forests. In the belt of subalpine crooked forests forms thickets. It is protected in reserves.
It is a large deciduous shrub or small tree, up to 2-3 m high, with edible fruits, growing in Colchis forests and glades. Leaves (6-8 cm long) and fruits are larger than those of common blueberries. It blooms in May and July; the fruits ripen in July-August. The berries of the Caucasian blueberry are used along with the berries of the common blueberry.
Blueberry ovalifolia - Vaccinium ovalifolium
Blueberry ovalifolia - a species of plants from North America Primorye, Sakhalin, Commander, Kuril, Aleutian, Japan, North America. It grows in coniferous and mixed forests along mountain slopes and in marshy lowlands, in thickets of cedar dwarf trees, and often forms large thickets.
Useful properties of blueberries and methods of application
It has long been known that blueberries improve vision and reduce eye fatigue. It has been proven that blueberries accelerate the renewal of the retina. Blueberries are on the astronaut menu.
Another amazing feature of blueberries was discovered by an American scientist from Boston, J. Joseph, a leading specialist in aging, who reported that laboratory tests he had conducted proved that a blueberry-rich diet is effective against aging symptoms like memory loss, muscle strength, vision and impaired coordination of movements.
For therapeutic purposes, leaves and ripe blueberries without stalks are harvested. A decoction is prepared from the berries (50 g of dried berries per 500 ml of water) and drunk during the day for chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea, mild forms of diabetes, kidney stones, bleeding, anemia, tonsillitis, inflammation of the bladder and its weakening contractility, bedwetting, gout, rheumatism, metabolic disorders.
A decoction of berries is also used for enemas and compresses for hemorrhoids, scaly lichen, eczema, burns. Decoction or infusion of leaves (1:20) of blueberries treat diabetes, inflammation of the gums, throat, kidneys and renal pelvis, liver disease and pancreas. Drink it 1/2 cup 3-5 times a day.
In fresh, dried and boiled form, blueberries (broth, infusion, juice and jelly) are used as antiseptic, astringent, antiseptic, antibacterial; with diarrhea, acute enterocolitis, hypoacid gastritis, dysentery, heartburn, cystitis, urethritis, rheumatism (as a painkiller).
Blueberries mixed with strawberries are widely used for anemia, urolithiasis; as anti-zingotic, vitamin; with ascites, diabetes; in the form of lotions, ointments, a thick decoction and extract - with eczema, dermatomycosis, burns. Infusion and a decoction of fresh blueberries are used to rinse with stomatitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis. A decoction of blueberries is used in the form of enemas and compresses for hemorrhoids, like drinking with enuresis.
A broth of blueberry fruits is dense: 100 g of dried raw material is poured into 500 ml of boiling water, boiled until the amount of liquid decreases to 250-300 ml. Applied externally in the form of compresses, changing the dressing after 4-5 hours.
Blueberry fruit ointment: fresh or cooked fruits are ground in such a way that they acquire the consistency of the ointment. Apply externally, applying a thick layer to the affected area (eczema, scaly lichen, burns or as a painkiller for rheumatism, gout, neuritis). The gauze dressing is changed daily, the residues are washed off with pure serum.