In the minds of most people, lingonberry is associated with taiga forests and forest-tundra expanses, which are covered with fields of beautiful and healing berries. But, it turns out, there is a garden lingonberry, which is quite capable of settling on the garden and become its decoration, bringing health benefits at the same time.
Lingonberry was widely used by far ancestors. It is not for nothing that its name comes from the Old Slavic word “balkivyany”, which means red and hints at the bright colors of its berries.
Lingonberry is an evergreen shrub, reaching a height of no more than 30 cm. Evergreen dark shiny leaves of an oval shape up to 2-3 cm long are its main decoration during the cold season. Below on the leaves you can see resinous glands in the form of black dots. In late spring, small bell-shaped flowers of a pale pink shade appear at the ends of last year's stems. They are slightly, but smell good.
Lingonberry roots, rhizomes and underground shoots are located underground, with the help of which plants can conquer additional living spaces. The system of rhizomatous and underground shoots is located the top layer of the earth, not deeper than 15-20 cm.
The seeds are small, reddish-brown in the shape of a crescent.
What type of fruit is cowberry
The fruits of the lingonberry garden are a round shape shiny red berries. That is, from a botanical point of view, these are multi-seeded fruits, which consist of a fleshy pericarp and a thin upper layer (peel). They can reach 8-10 mm in diameter, and about 0.5 g of weight.
The taste of lingonberry tart sweet and sour, with a slight bitterness. In nature, the fruits ripen from mid-August to late September. May overwinter under snow and spring at the slightest touch scatter.
In one berry is from 5 to 30 seeds.
Cranberry yield per season
In the wild, the productivity of lingonberries is insignificant - only about 100 g of berries can be harvested from one square meter.
Even with the transfer of wild bushes to cultural conditions, their productivity can increase several times. The first forms of garden cranberries were already capable of bringing 700-800 g of berries per square meter of land. But over time, it turned out that some varieties of garden lingonberries can bear fruit twice per season, and thus make it possible to increase the overall yield per season up to 2 kg / sq. m
Compliance with the characteristics of planting and caring for lingonberries described in the article will make it possible for plants to receive even more than 2 kg of berries from 1 square meter. m
Is it possible to grow lingonberries in the garden
It was a significant increase in yield when trying to grow lingonberry in culture that made breeders to take up the cultivation of its garden forms.
In the middle of the last century, Swedish, German, Dutch and American breeders took up this process almost simultaneously. At the moment, there are already more than 20 varieties of garden lingonberries, which differ not only in significant yields, but also in the larger size of berries and the height of cultivated bushes.
In this case, the requirements for planting and care for wild and garden cranberries are almost identical.
- Lingonberry is able to grow well and bear fruit only on acidic and well-drained soils with minimal organic content.
- Humidity conditions in the root zone should correspond to the "golden mean". If it is too dry, especially at high temperatures, lingonberry bushes will die. On the other hand, with constant overmoistening of the soil, they also die, primarily because of a lack of oxygen exchange in the soil.
- Garden cranberries quite easily adapts to any air temperature. But in conditions of strong heat, it will need more abundant and regular watering, and the berries can still be shallow.
- Morozov is not afraid of garden or wild lingonberries, he stands up to -40 ° C in winter. The only thing is that its flowers can suffer from frosts in late spring or in early autumn (they do not tolerate temperatures below - 4 ° C).
- Lingonberry likes good lighting, and in the conditions of the penumbra, the yield will decrease, and the berries shrink.
- The lingonberry bushes should not be overfed in any case - under natural conditions they grow on very poor soil.
Varieties of garden cranberries
As already indicated earlier, foreign breeders have been particularly active in the cultivation of forms of garden lingonberries in the last 50-70 years. But in Russia in the State Register of breeding achievements, at the moment there are three varieties of garden lingonberries:
- Kostroma pink;
Although these varieties are inferior to imports in yield, height of bushes and the size of the berries, but they take root and feel themselves in Russian conditions, according to gardeners, sometimes better than their foreign counterparts.
Cowberry Description Belyavskoe Fleece
The garden cranberry variety was bred by Polish breeders in 1996. It forms low, but compact and dense spherical bushes, which is in height, which is 20-25 cm in width. It differs in early terms of ripening: from mid-August to early September. The berries are rather large, oval in shape, ranging in size from 9.5 to 11 mm. Have a sour but mild flavor.
The variety is also distinguished by self-growing and high yield (up to 300-350 g per bush). It tolerates frosts.
Judging by the reviews, the fleece Belyavskoe cowberry variety is in demand among gardeners, primarily due to its cold resistance, high yield and attractive taste.
This variety, originally from the Netherlands, is considered the very first garden form of lingonberry obtained in culture. It was registered in 1969. Despite the fairly advanced age, Coral is still popular due to its high yield and decoration.
Berries are not the largest (up to 0.9 cm in diameter), but they ripen very much. In addition, the bushes are repairable, that is, they can produce 2 crops per year. The first harvest is not big, it ripens in late July or early August. The second harvest gives the greatest number of berries in late September or early October. In total, from one bush you can get up to 400 g and more berries per season.Important! Coral bushes are particularly decorative in August, when flowers and fruits are abundantly observed at the same time.
Bushes differ upright shoots more than 30 cm long. Child rosettes are formed weakly.
Another Dutch variety of lingonberry, registered already in 1981. The berries are large in size, up to 12 mm in length. And the bushes themselves, and the leaves are relatively large in size. He is also able to form two harvests per season, but the yield is slightly lower than that of Coral.
This variety of garden cranberries was bred in Sweden, in the province of Smoland in 1988. Its distinctive feature is the intensive formation of daughter rosettes on underground shoots. Due to this, shortly after planting a single plant, a whole lingonberry rug can form in the garden. The berries are quite large, round shape, reach 0.4 g in weight, ripen in mid-August. From one bush you can get 300-400 g of cranberries. This is the most fruitful variety of Swedish garden forms.
This Russian variety of garden cranberries is characterized by the largest berries. Their diameter reaches 10 mm, and the mass of some reaches 1.2 g.
The bushes are small in height - up to 15 cm. Differs in self-fertility and early ripeness; it ripens in mid-August. Cranberry yield varies depending on growing conditions from 800 g to 2.6 kg per square meter.
Considered the most promising variety of lingonberry garden Russian breeding is able to bear fruit twice a year. However, in the conditions of the Kostroma region, this is not always the case due to early autumn frosts. It was obtained, like all other Russian lingonberry varieties, in 1995. The berries are medium in size, reaching 0.6 g. The yield, thus, is up to 2.9 kg / sq. m. for the season. Low bushes - up to 18-20 cm.
Underground shoots actively form kids, so the variety can be used as a ground cover plant. Ruby belongs to samobesplodnyh varieties, therefore, it requires the mandatory presence of insects (bumblebees) on the site.
The Russian variety of garden lingonberries Kostromichka is notable for its low bushes. Its advantage is early ripening, the berries ripen in the first half of August. They differ in average size (diameter about 8 mm, weight - about 0.3-0.5 g). However, the yield can be up to 2.4 kg / sq. m
Varieties of garden cranberries for the Moscow region
Under the conditions of the Moscow region, almost any sort of lingonberry must have enough heat and light to not only grow and bear fruit well, but also give two harvests per season, if it has potential data for this.
In addition to the above, in the suburbs can be planted the following varieties of garden lingonberry:
- Eritkrone, a variety from Germany that can produce two harvests per season.
- Eritzegen, also a German variety, distinguished by particularly large (more than 1 cm) and sweet-tasting berries.
- Ammerland, another German variety of lingonberry, forming high spherical single bushes with a diameter of 30 cm. It has a rather high yield (up to 300 g per bush) and double fruiting.
Other known varieties do not have such high yields, but can be fully used for decorative purposes.
How to reproduce garden cranberries
Lingonberry can reproduce quite easily generatively (by seeds) and vegetatively (green and lignified cuttings, underground rhizomes and children).
Under natural conditions, young cowberry plants that have spiked from the seeds appear around June-July. At home, sprouts can begin to develop in the spring.
In general, reproduction by seeds makes it possible to obtain, practically free of charge, a considerable number of seedlings ready for planting, especially since the cowberry seedlings are very expensive (about 500 rubles with a closed root system). In addition, the seeds are usually obtained stronger and adapted to the specific growing conditions of the plant.Attention! The percentage of seed germination of lingonberry after stratification is about 70%, without stratification - 40%.
But this breeding method has its drawbacks:
- Fruiting bushes grown from seed, you can wait at least 4-5 years.
- This occupation is quite laborious and for the first two years the seedlings require constant attention and may die due to any oversight.
- Plants obtained from seeds do not retain the characteristics of their variety, so anything can grow from them.
Cowberry breeding cuttings
Both green and lignified cuttings of garden lingonberries are suitable for breeding.
Green cuttings are usually harvested in mid-July, while woody lignes are harvested at the end of March, and in April, during the period of bud swelling.
After cutting and before planting, they can be stored in wet sphagnum at a temperature of from 0 to + 5 ° С.
It is best to root the cuttings under greenhouse conditions in loose and sour peaty-sandy soil. The length of the cuttings should be from 5 to 8 cm.
The lower leaves are torn off, leaving only the upper 2-3 buds, which are located above the ground surface. The rest of the cutting, pre-treated with Kornevin or another stimulator, is placed in the ground.
From above the cuttings should be covered with a film on the arcs and additionally insulated with non-woven material, if the weather is cold.
Roots can appear within 3-4 weeks, but the final rooting occurs within a few months. During the whole time the soil needs to be kept wet and periodically spray the plants. By autumn, the bed with cuttings is covered with a layer of mulch and again warmed with a covering material.
The following year, in spring, rooted cuttings can be transplanted into pots or to a special bed for growing.
Depending on the conditions of care rooting such cuttings can range from 50 to 85%. The first fruits on them may appear in 2-3 years.
Since the cuttings can be cut quite a lot, and the resulting bushes retain all the properties of the mother plants, this breeding method is more popular among gardeners.
In the same way, it is possible to cut cuttings in early spring from underground shoots or rhizomes of garden cranberries. They are cut to a length of 10-15 cm so that each has at least one bud or shoot germ. Plant cuttings to a depth of about 10 cm in loose and acidic soil. The rest of the care of the resulting bushes is the same as described above. The percentage of rooting is usually about 70-80%.
Reproduction by layering
Since some varieties of garden cranberries have an increased ability to form children, this is often used for breeding shrubs. Up to 10 layers can be obtained from a single plant. You can also separate the children in early spring or autumn. In the first case, they are traditionally planted on a seedling bed and by the fall of them form full-fledged plants. When the autumn branch kids sit in pots and leave to spend the winter in a non-freezing room. The survival rate of seedlings with this method of reproduction is usually 85-100%.
Therefore, reproduction by layering is the most reliable way of breeding lingonberries. That's just to get this way a lot of seedlings will not work.
Growing lingonberries from seeds at home
If the decision is made to grow garden lingonberries from seeds, it is easiest and safest to do this at home.
Recommended planting dates
The seeds of the lingonberry garden are able to actively germinate only after stratification. Since the stratification usually takes 4 months, then it should be started in advance, in November-December. At this time, the seeds selected from the fruit are washed and mixed with wet sand. The container with the seeds is placed in a refrigerator or other cold place, where the temperature is constantly maintained at about + 4 ° C.
Sowing begins after four months, that is, around March or April.
Soil and tank preparation
For sowing garden crops, you can use any plastic or ceramic containers. Their volume depends on the number of seeds sown. Usually use a half-liter or larger capacity.
The ideal composition for the germination of lingonberry seeds:
- 3 pieces of sphagnum peat;
- 2 pieces of sand;
- 1 part perlite.
Drainage (clay, small gravel) is usually placed on the bottom of the containers with a layer of about 1 cm, then the prepared soil is poured and shed with snow or rain water for compaction.
How to plant cranberries
The most important feature of seed breeding cowberry is that its seeds germinate only in the light. Therefore, in no case can they be sprinkled on top of the soil.
- Usually, grooves of several millimeters deep are made in the prepared and slightly compacted soil mixture.
- Lingonberry seeds are poured into the grooves.
- The container is covered with polyethylene on top and placed in a well-lit place with a temperature of about + 20 ° C.
- The film is periodically lifted to air and check the soil moisture.
- If necessary, moisten the soil.
- At 12-15 days the first shoots may appear, but the appearance of the rest may well take 4 weeks.
- After a month, the film can be completely removed.
Rules for growing lingonberries at home
When a lingonberry seedling forms 4-5 leaves, it is advisable to pick it out in boxes, keeping a distance of 5 cm relative to each other.
In the first months, young cowberry plants need a lot of light and relatively little heat. They should not be placed in a too warm room. The ideal temperature will be from + 15 ° С to + 20 ° С.
Humidity should also be moderate, but the soil is not desirable to give dry.Attention! No fertilizing seedlings lingonberry before transplanting into the ground is not required.
Already in the first season, they can begin to branch. It is best to keep young cowberry plants the entire first year of life in a drawer at home, without planting in open ground. And only in the second season seedlings can be carefully transplanted into a seedling bed prepared in advance. And you can plant on separate containers that will spend the winter in the greenhouse.
It is recommended to plant lingonberry seedlings only in the third year of life.
Planting and care for lingonberries in open ground
In order for the garden lingonberry to be pleased not only with good growth, but also with abundant crops, it is necessary to pay attention to all its requirements for care. Especially since the plant is no different capricious. There are only the main nuances that must be considered when dealing with this culture.
Recommended landing time
It is possible to plant bushes of a cowberry garden both in the spring, and in the fall. But planting lingonberries in the fall leads to the risk that plants that are not prepared enough for winter can simply die. Поэтому в осенний период сажают обычно лишь полностью окрепшие саженцы, желательно с закрытой корневой системой, без нарушения целостности земляного кома.
Большинство же садоводов рекомендуют производить посадку ягодника весной. Depending on the weather conditions of the region, this can be done from mid to late April, or in May.
Site selection and soil preparation
When choosing a suitable place for laying lingonberry, it is necessary, first of all, to take into account its illumination. After all, when shading the bushes increase the area of growth and leaf mass, but the yield inevitably decreases.
The relief should be as flat and horizontal as possible. So that the lingonberry is not planted in depressions, where water can stagnate. On the other hand, the source for irrigation should also be located nearby in order to smoothly supply the bushes with the necessary moisture.Attention! The groundwater level should not exceed 40-60 cm.
Wind protection is desirable. You can use for these purposes the walls of buildings or rows of trees planted.
Lingonberry garden is not so picky about the choice of soil, able to grow even almost on bare rocks. The most important for it is good drainage, providing a constant supply of oxygen to the roots and an acid reaction of the soil environment. Therefore, it will feel bad on black soil and heavy loam. Sandy soils are best suited for growing lingonberries in a garden.
If the garden cranberries are supposed to be grown in fairly large volumes, then the soil for it must be plowed and completely rid of the rhizomes of perennial weeds. This is best done the year before landing. On heavy soils it will be necessary to add a significant amount of sand. But lingonberries will grow well only if the acidity of the soil does not exceed 4-5.
The easiest way for those who plant lingonberries will take only a few square meters. In this case, the garden lingonberries can be grown on any soil, creating a special soil for it.
- To do this, on the fenced site remove the top layer of soil with a thickness of about 25 cm and remove all rhizomes of weeds mechanically.
- Then, the vacated area is filled with a mixture of high-moor peat, sand, coniferous litter, sawdust and part of the forest floor of coniferous forest.
- Then the surface of the resulting soil sprinkled with sulfur, in an amount of about 50 g per 1 sq. Km. m
- Finally, the soil is compacted and poured on top of a layer of sand about 4-5 cm thick.
- The prepared area is watered with acidified water, based on the calculation - for 1 square meter. m. land use 10 liters of fluid.
If you wish, you can also make a set of mineral fertilizers in the amount of:
- 20 g saltpeter;
- 40 g double superphosphate;
- 20 g of potassium sulfate per 1 square. m
Do not use organic fertilizers (manure, humus, compost) and those that contain chlorine when planting lingonberries.
How to plant lingonberries in the country
The density of placement of lingonberry seedlings on the prepared site is determined primarily by the varietal characteristics of the plants. Varieties prone to the formation of children should be planted a little more spacious.
On average, the distance between the bushes in a row should be left equal to 25-30 cm, and between rows - 30-40 cm.
Plants are planted, slightly buried (1-1.5 cm) in the ground, compared to how they grew in the previous place. The plot is immediately watered and mulched with a layer of sawdust, pine bark, nutshell or sand, 3-5 cm high.
In the first two weeks after planting lingonberries at the dacha, watering should be regular (daily if there is no rain).
Growing cranberries on the plot
Watering is a very important procedure for the care of the growing garden lingonberries. It is advisable to carry out drip irrigation so that in dry and hot weather watering is carried out at least twice a week. On 1 square. m. need to spend about 10 liters of water.
It can be watered with acidified water several times per season to maintain the required level of acidity in the soil. To do this, it is best to use a battery electrolyte solution (50 ml of solution per 10 liters of water).
With regard to fertilizing, the first time to apply fertilizer makes sense only in the second year after planting lingonberries in the ground. And here the main rule should act - it is better to underfeed than to overdo it in this direction.
Of the fertilizers, sulfate forms are most suitable; superphosphate can also be used in an amount of 5 g per 1 sq. M. m
The following fertilizing with complex mineral fertilizer is carried out only when the lingonberry begins to bear abundant fruit.
It is very important when caring for lingonberry weed control. In addition to their mechanical removal and periodic loosening of the soil, it is important to constantly maintain the necessary thickness of the mulch layer around the bushes (from 3-4 cm). It serves both to maintain the required level of humidity, and to protect against frost in the winter, and for weed control and for additional feeding of plants.
On pure peaty soils it is best to mulch the planting with sand. In other cases, help:
- pine litter;
- shredded bark;
- chopped straw.
In the suburbs, planting and caring for lingonberries are completely standard. But special attention should be paid to the danger of frost in late spring and early autumn. Because of them the ovaries and flowers can be damaged and, accordingly, part of the crop is lost.
To protect the bushes can be covered with various insulating materials: spunbond, lapnikom, straw, film. Or use smoke bombs on the eve of frosts.
In order not to reduce the productivity of the bushes of the garden lingonberries, they need pruning and thinning, starting from about 6-8 years of life.
The rejuvenating pruning is carried out by cutting off the tops of bushes in early spring (before the juice begins to move) and leaving about 5-7 leaves at a height of 5-6 cm. After pruning, the lingonberries should be fed with complex fertilizer in small doses. Fruiting after pruning will resume only next year, but after a few years, it may even surpass previous yields.
For gentle pruning, only about 1/3 of the twigs are cut out from the middle of the bushes, or only 1/3 of the bush is cut in height.Attention! All pruned twigs can be used for breeding.
Since many of the varieties of garden lingonberries are self-productive, it is necessary to actively attract and protect pollinating insects: bees and bumblebees.
Diseases of the garden cranberries
Garden cranberries are rarely damaged by pests or diseases. Of insects, it may be plagued by leafworms and heather leaves. As a preventive measure, it is necessary to treat the plants with an insecticide in early spring, for example, fitoderm.
Of the diseases can occur rust and late blight. Prophylactic treatments with phytosporin, alirin and hamair can help.
Lingonberry is a plant known for a long time, but a relatively new plant for cultivation in cultural conditions, which, nevertheless, can successfully fit in and beautify the appearance of any backyard plot.