Blueberry North Blue: characteristics and features of the variety
Blueberry North Blue is in the top 20 varieties. She has many advantages. For successful cultivation, you should study the features of this culture, provide it with regular care.
Description of blueberries North Blue
Before you purchase any sort of blueberry, you must familiarize yourself with its description and characteristics. The Northblue variety was obtained as part of a breeding program implemented by American breeders in 1973. For its breeding, blueberries of tall and undersized varieties US-3, G-65, Asworth were crossed. The aim of the selection was to obtain a hybrid with a high level of frost resistance. And she was successfully achieved.Bushes near North Blue grow to a height of 80–90 cm, sometimes they can reach 1.2 m. Their root system is well-branched, located in the upper soil layer. Shrubs with medium intensity grow. Up to five new shoots can appear per year. Crohn differs sprawling. Leaves (5 cm long) are ovoid in shape. The ends are pointed. The top leaf plate is dark green, matte.
Did you know? During the American Civil War, blueberries were part of the soldiers ’mandatory diet to protect them from the scurvy epidemic and enrich the body with vitamin C. Today, berries are used as an anti-zingotic agent in the far north.
During flowering, which occurs in late May, flowers appear in the form of bells, collected in panicle inflorescences of 6-10 pieces. Petals are cream colored. During fruiting, berries are formed, weighing 2.5-3 g and a width of 15-18 mm. They are assembled in a brush. The skin is blue and coated with bluish tint. The flesh of the berries is dense, sweet with a slight acidity. Tasters rate the taste of the North Blue fruit at 4.8–4.9 points. The average yield of a variety from a bush is 1.5–2.5 kg.
- Gardeners who already had experience in growing blueberries North Blue, she noted such positive characteristics:
- high level of winter hardiness (up to -35 ° С);
- unpretentiousness in leaving;
- the versatility of the fruit;
- good transportability of berries;
- resistance to fungal infections.
- Among the shortcomings are called:
- exactingness to the soil;
- medium drought tolerance.
Blueberry North Blue is recommended for cultivation throughout Russia.
Blueberries have a number of beneficial properties on the human body. This is due to its rich vitamin and mineral composition. Berries contain vitamins of groups A, B (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9), C, E, K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, as well as phenolic compounds, sugar, organic acids, anthocyanins.
A place for growing blueberries needs to be selected well-lit. A rich harvest is possible only with prolonged exposure to sunlight. Culture will not be tolerated with shadow or partial shade. This will negatively affect the yield and quality of the fruit. Since the plant does not tolerate high humidity, it should not be planted in areas where groundwater comes close to the surface. They should be located no closer than 1-1.5 m. Blueberries are demanding on the soil, so it is better to plant it in drained, peaty-sandy or peaty-loamy soils, and necessarily with a high level of acidity.
Important! If the growth of a seedling is above 40 cm, it must be shortened after planting by 10-12 cm.
It is possible to raise the pH level before planting with the help of ammonium sulfate, sulfuric acid, irrigation with solutions of malic, acetic, citric acid. The optimum acidity level for blueberries is 3.8–5. Planting a berry culture can be carried out both in spring and autumn.When spring planting, the preparation of the site should be taken care of in October. It should be cleaned of plant debris, dig on a bayonet shovel and fertilize with organic matter.
It is worth starting to dig out and prepare planting pits 2-3 weeks before planting. Recommended sizes: depth - 70 cm, diameter - 70 cm. A distance of 1.2–1.5 m should be maintained between the holes, 1.5 m between the rows. It is recommended that the soil recovered by digging a hole be replaced with a substrate consisting of leaf and coniferous soil, peat (1: 2: 3). Blueberry seedling must choose healthy. It can be sold with open roots or in a container.Planting material with a closed rhizome should be planted without destroying the earthen coma. So he quickly adapts to new conditions and will grow. A seedling with an open root system needs to evaluate its condition. It should be highly developed, without growths, spots, rot. Planting material should be selected with elastic stems, living buds and intact bark. Before planting, the seedling must be placed in a bucket of water, and also stand in any root-forming plant.
When planting a seedling, proceed as follows:
- At the bottom of the pit make an earthen hill.
- Put a plant on it, evenly distribute the root system and deepen the neck by 5 cm.
- Fill the hole with fertilized soil.
- At a distance of 20 cm from the trunk, make a groove for moistening along the entire diameter.
- Pour a bucket of water into it.
- Lay a layer of mulch from sawdust and peat in the near-trunk zone.
Subtleties of care and ripening
Blueberry care requires standard. She needs watering, top dressing, cultivation, weeding, mulching, pruning, preventive treatments against diseases and harmful insects. Humidify planting should be once a week.
During a drought, you need to increase the amount of watering up to 2-3 times a week. Mandatory watering during the formation of the fruit. With a lack of moisture, the berries form small, ripen for a long time. However, one should not overdo it, because too much humidity leads to cracking of blueberries.
Watering plants need warm, settled for several days, water. It is advisable to organize drip irrigation. Under one bush, pour 10 liters of water. After watering or rains, the soil in the near-stem zone needs to be loosened so that the surface layer does not condense, and air and moisture to the roots are not impeded. Loosening should be done carefully and not too deep so as not to damage the root system in the surface layer. It is important to timely remove weed grass near the bushes. They take away nutrients from fruits, close the sun, infect them.
If it is not possible to often take care of the plantings, then reduce the number of irrigation, cultivation and weeding as follows: sprinkle the near-trunk zone and the aisles with a layer of mulch from sawdust or needles. This will prevent evaporation, maintain normal soil moisture levels and slow down weed growth. In order to achieve regular and abundant fruiting, it is necessary to feed. It is recommended to add only mineral mixtures. Such popular organic fertilizers as manure, compost, green manure are not suitable for feeding blueberries, as they weaken the acidity of the soil.From organics, only horse peat is suitable.
Shrubs can be fed with Florovit, Ogrod 2001. In the early spring, after swelling of the kidneys, it is recommended to add ammonium sulfate. The second top dressing is done after flowering. At this time, plants need potassium. In autumn, planting with superphosphate should be fertilized in combination with potassium sulfate. In order not to burn the roots, top dressing is applied exclusively to moistened soil.
It is also necessary to control the acidity level of the soil, and if necessary, acidify it with solutions of citric acid (100 g / 3 l of water), apple cider vinegar (200 ml / 10 l of water) with a flow rate of 10 l per 1 m². Sulfur (10–15 g / m²) can be added to acidify the soil. Very important for shrubs annual pruning. In the spring, before the start of the growing season, it is done for sanitary purposes: all frozen, sick, curved, dry, damaged, old branches are removed. In the fall, pruning is done to thin out the bushes. Form a bush from the moment of planting.
In the first 2 years they leave straight vertical trunks, cut out all the additional branching to a level of 30–40 cm above the ground, cut the tops of strong shoots. Pruning must be done with a pre-sanitized garden tool. Slicing places must be treated with an antiseptic, such as copper sulphate, and covered with garden varieties or special RanNet paste. The first fruiting of blueberries occurs 2-3 years after the seedlings are placed in the ground. Berry ripening begins in the first half of August.
Video: how to prune blueberries
According to breeders, this variety is self-pollinated. Therefore, to obtain a rich harvest, he does not need additional planting of other varieties for pollination. However, experienced gardeners still recommend planting in the immediate vicinity other varieties of blueberries that bloom from Notre Blue at the same time. These include, in particular, Bluray.
Since North Blue bushes are frost-resistant, adult plants do not need shelter before wintering. Shrubs need to be covered only at a young age or in regions where there are little snowy winters. The branches are insulated with burlap or spanbond, the root system with a high layer of mulch. Bushes shelter after the first frost, and open in the spring, when the weather is warm.
Collection and storage of blueberries
The suitability of blueberries for harvesting can be determined not by the color of the berries, but by its taste: it should have enough sugar. Fully ripened berries become soft. Therefore, it should not be delayed with the collection, as the taste, marketability and transportable qualities of the fruits will deteriorate. It is necessary to start collecting in the morning, after the dew has dried out, or in the evening. The peel of the fruit should be dry, this will provide them with a longer shelf life.
Harvest by hand. Berries are carefully removed and stacked in small containers in which they will be transported and sold in the future. After collecting, do not pour blueberries from one container to another. She will quickly lose her commercial qualities, remember and let the juice go.Blueberries must be stored in the refrigerator. There she can lie for up to 10 days. For longer storage, it must be placed in temperature conditions of 0 ° C. Thus, the shelf life will last up to 3-4 weeks. To eat healthy berries throughout the winter, they can be frozen. The fruits are eaten fresh, they are made from stewed fruit, jams, preserves, stuffed and decorated with pastries, desserts.
Did you know? Blueberries are completely frozen in record time: in just 4 minutes.
Pests and diseases
Blueberry North Blue is distinguished by strong immunity and well resists spotting, anthracnose, moniliosis, and gray rot.
With errors made during the care and planting, garden shrubs can be affected by such diseases:
|Disease name||Symptoms of lesion||Preventive and therapeutic measures|
|Leaf spotting||It does not give in to treatment. Sick plants must be uprooted and burned. To prevent infection, parasites should be destroyed in a timely manner.|
|Stem cancer||the appearance on the cortex of cracks, ulcers, brown spots||Removing diseased branches.|
Processing Bordeaux liquid.
The most dangerous for the growth and development of blueberries are the following insects:
- Kidney tick. Symptoms such as enlarged buds, the appearance of galls on the branches can indicate its presence on the plant. For treatment and prevention, you need to use iron sulfate, Nitrafen.
- Flower beetle. Damages leaves and flowers. For treatment, they resort to treatments with an ash solution, mustard infusion, "Wofatox" during the formation of buds.As a prophylaxis, deep digging is carried out in autumn, frequent loosening.
- Leaflet. The main symptom is leaves twisted into a tube. To prevent the occurrence, early spring treatments are carried out with Biotlin, Bitoxibacillin, Aktara, Fufanon.
- Aphid. It leads to curl of leaves, curvature of shoots. For treatment using a soap solution, the drug "Nitrafen". For the purpose of prevention, ants that carry aphids are destroyed, planting insecticidal plants in the aisles.
A hybrid of blueberries North Blue is easy to grow in the garden, in the suburban and personal plot.
Important! Chemical treatment of berry shrubs must be stopped at least 30 days before harvest.
It is important to choose the right place for him to land and produce quality care.