Blueberry Patriot: cultivation, beneficial properties and contraindications
Today, many gardeners want to plant blueberries in their home - for personal or commercial purposes. More than 50 species of this plant are known, and often the patriot variety is preferred. It is chosen due to its good features and many positive reviews.
Description of Blueberry Patriot
The homeland of the variety is USA. It was first developed as decorative, so it has a very aesthetic appearance and can become not only a source of delicious berries, but also an excellent decoration of your site.
The plant has erect tall bushes with well-branched shoots reaching a height of 1.2 –1.6 m. The fruits are large, up to 19 mm in diameter, have an elastic peel of light blue color (only ripe berries, always ripening with a reddish tinge), dense flesh of a greenish tint, clusters are placed on the shoots. The leaves are oval, the color is from reddish in young leaves to light green in old ones.
Productivity is high, in adult plants reaches 9 kg.
The first crop is best harvested by hand, in the future you can use the machine assembly. The variety can bear fruit the very next year after planting, but experts advise cutting off the first flowers - then in the second year from planting the bush will grow green mass, and the yield will be much higher. The maximum yield from the bush can be obtained for 5-6 years of cultivation.
Did you know? Pectin substances contained in blueberries remove strontium and cobalt from the body — hazardous radioactive elements.
Blueberries have a lot of useful substances in their composition, which gives it an advantage among other berry crops. In addition, it is quite low in calories. The berry contains a variety of organic acids (malic, citric, benzoic), a lot of fiber, as well as pectin. In addition, the berry in question is rich in carotene, ascorbic acid, all B vitamins, vitamins K, P and PP, calcium and iron. Essential acids in blueberries total 6.
Useful properties and contraindications
- The described berries have unique beneficial properties - in addition to protection from radioactive substances, they:
- strengthen the walls of blood vessels;
- slow down the aging of nerve cells;
- improve the functioning of the heart muscle;
- positively affect the work of all departments of the gastrointestinal tract.
It is noteworthy that blueberries also have a hypotensive effect and are useful for people with high blood sugar: it speeds up the metabolism, enhances the effect of medications, and promotes tissue regeneration. Regularly consuming these berries can help restore vision. TSome sources also claim that blueberries prevent the formation and development of cancer cells in the body due to the antioxidants it contains.
- Despite the unique useful composition of blueberries, it still has some contraindications for use:
- Antioxidants in blueberries, consumed in large quantities, disrupt the flow of oxygen into muscle tissue, which affects their functioning poorly.
- Pregnant and lactating before use, it is better to consult a doctor, because in large quantities, the berry can provoke allergic reactions and even intoxication in the child.
- Suffering from biliary dyskinesia, this berry is contraindicated, as it can cause an exacerbation of this disease.
- Another important contraindication to the use of blueberries is the use of blood thinners, as it, on the contrary, increases blood coagulation.
In general, the Patriot is positioned as an unpretentious variety: if several conditions are met during planting, you will be able to plant this delicious berry yourself. Perennial herbs will be the best predecessors of blueberries. It is better to choose a place that is well lit by the sun, but preferably with protection from the wind, located on the north side relative to the beds. For these purposes, a fence is suitable, it is possible from living bushes, a fence without gaps or a wall of a building.
Planted in early spring, in warm regions - in the fall. Pits for planting, if the area allows, are prepared with a size of 1 × 1 m. When planting in trenches, make ditches 50–70 cm deep and up to 90 cm wide. Between the rows, leave 2.5–3 m free space. From the bush to bush keep a distance of 1.5 m. In industrial areas, planting density can be increased, but it is important to calculate the amount of plant nutrition.
Did you know? With a cold, blueberries can be used as a means to relieve sore throats.
- Before planting, place seedlings in water for 1 hour.
- Prepare a large piece of dense polyethylene or tarpaulin spread on the ground to prepare the substrate.
- Pour sour peat, sand (preferably taken from the river), fine sawdust of coniferous plants onto the prepared litter, mix.
- Pour the prepared mixture into the prepared pits. It’s not worth tamping - blueberries love soft, loose soil.
- In the middle of the pit, make a depression according to the size of the part of the seedling that will be underground.
- Before planting, carefully consider the root system - the roots should not be linked into a lump, otherwise they need to be untangled and straightened.
- When placing a seedling in a hole, place the roots so that they look in opposite directions, arrange them horizontally.
- Plant the plants 2-3 cm lower in the pit than they were planted in containers.
- After planting, pour a solution of ordinary vinegar (10 ml of water 100 ml of 9% vinegar).
- Mulch the earth (peat, needles or ordinary sawdust can act as mulch).
After some time, the earth in the landing pit settles, then it will be possible to fill the pits with the same mixture as during planting.
Subtleties of care and ripening
The ripening dates of the crop range from the first numbers to the second decade of July. The berries ripen in stages, because they break them in several passes. The first fruits are especially large, by the end of the season they are a little smaller. For the annual collection of high-quality harvest of blueberries, you need to carefully and timely care for the plants and the land around them.
How much to water
Watering is one of the most important procedures for caring for every domestic plant, but Patriot does not like excessive moisture. Its roots are located close to the surface, so provide the plant with a good outflow of water. It is enough to water with such frequency that the soil under the bushes is moist. To preserve this moisture, mulching of needles is carried out. It also prevents weed growth in the area.
How to feed
Patriot loves acidic fertilizers. Feeding with nitrogen is best done three times a season, observing an interval between them of 2 weeks. The first feeding should be carried out in early spring, and the last - no later than the first days of July. Feeding can be purchased in specialized stores, or done on your own.
Approximate composition of fertilizer for blueberries:
- decayed bark of coniferous plants - bushes mulch it;
- crushed herbs, infused for 2 days on the water, containing acid (sorrel, acid);
- ammonium sulfate solution (per 10 l of water 1 tsp).
The amount of fluid for one adult bush depends on the moisture content of the soil - up to 10 liters.
Important! The plant does not tolerate a large concentration of fertilizers, so be careful when feeding.
In the last month of summer, add one more dressing. Under one bush you will need:
- 100 g of superphosphate;
- 2 g of zinc sulfate;
- 2 g of potassium sulfate;
- 15 g of magnesium sulfate.
You can scatter the mixture on the ground under the bushes or dissolve in water (10 l) and pour. After top dressing, mulch the soil.
Variety Patriot is considered to be self-pollinated. However, experienced gardeners are advised to use cross-pollination to increase the volume and quality of the crop. For this reason, it will be nice to plant bushes of other varieties of blueberries next to the Patriot, blooming simultaneously with it.
Patriot is a frost-resistant variety, however, with a small amount of snow or with severe frosts, the upper part of the bushes may die. All shoots that are not covered by snow are at risk of freezing. Therefore, in order not to cut the frozen parts of the bushes in spring, cover the ground near the bush and the lower part of the shoots before winter. Young, not yet grown bushes, cover with covering material that lets air through, do the same with shoots, the height of which is more than 1 m, before bending them to the ground.
Collection and storage of blueberries
A sufficiently dense skin allows the berries to be well preserved during transportation, and also not to spoil for a long time during storage. Freshly picked blueberries at a temperature of +2 ... + 4 ° С in a closed airtight container remain fresh for 2 weeks. Berries are also often frozen: in this form, they retain taste, aroma and beneficial properties for almost a year.
At the end of the season, medium-sized but equally tasty berries ripen - you can cook compotes, preserves, jams and even make candied fruits from them. Many housewives prepare tinctures and liquors from these berries, and besides, they can be dried.
Pests and diseases
Sometimes, despite proper care and fertilizer, blueberries are still affected by diseases or pests. Almost always, with excess soil moisture in the bushes, fungal diseases develop. Prevention of this is mulching the soil. Bordeaux mixture is also often used - twice a season: in the early spring before bud swelling and just before winter, after all leaves have fallen.
Important! Be sure to carefully monitor the manifestations of viral diseases and remove infected plants, otherwise you risk losing all planted blueberry bushes.
Blueberries are often affected by viral and mycoplasma diseases:
- necrotic spotting;
- filamentous branches.
Today, these diseases cannot be cured, so in order not to lose all the plants, the affected bushes should be removed from the site and burned.
Bushes are constantly exposed to the spread of pests - the main ones:
- aphid (loves blueberry juice);
- leaflet (wraps herself around the tops of the shoots);
- May beetles (eat flowers and leaves, lay larvae that destroy the roots);
- pine silkworm (destroys the leaves).
To control pests, bushes should be regularly treated with insecticides and fungicides that increase plant resistance.
In addition, shoots of blueberries in the winter like to nibble hares and mice. To combat them, you need to cover plants for the winter. Another enemy of blueberries is birds: to get rid of them, you need to install a scarecrow on the site.
Variety Patriot has a great taste of fruits and many useful substances in their composition. Such a plant will be the perfect decoration for your garden plot, and with proper care, you will get a great option for winter preparations so that you can enjoy the summer aroma of berries even on frosty evenings.