Cultivation of lingonberries: how to plant and care
Lingonberries are very popular all over the world due to tasty and healthy berries. But, unfortunately, it is rarely found in gardens, as many people consider it a forest plant. This opinion is erroneous. Now there are many garden varieties of lingonberries, which any gardener can plant on their summer cottage. Such a plant has good frost resistance and is unpretentious in care. Lingonberries fit perfectly into the landscape of any site and at the same time will benefit health.
Botanical Description and Characterization
Lingonberry belongs to the Vereskov family. It has the appearance of a small bush 8–25 cm high. Sometimes shrubs reach 1 meter if there is any obstacle in their way. The roots of the plant are creeping, horizontal, with shoots, the height of which reaches up to 20 cm.
Lingonberries are called evergreens, since its leaves do not change color. They are smooth, leathery, bent along the edge down, up to 3 cm long and 1.5 cm wide, winter in the snow. The upper surface is dark green in color, the lower one is lighter and dotted with chiseled glands (hairs) that absorb water.
The plant begins to bloom quite late - at the end of spring. It withstands frosts down to -30 degrees. Lingonberry berries are dark red in color, have the shape of a ball, shiny, with a diameter of up to 8 mm, weight - up to 0.5 g, contain many brown seeds of a lunate shape (from 5 to 30). The taste of berries is sweet and sour.
Ripen in late summer or early fall. Frosts make berries more watery and softer. In the wild, the yield of berries is only 100 g per 1 m². New varieties of garden lingonberries produce about 2 kg of berries per 1 m² for the entire season.
Important! Berries that overwinter immediately fall and become unsuitable for transportation.
Lingonberry grows mainly in pine, pine-spruce, coniferous forests of the northern part of Eurasia. This plant is also widespread throughout Russia, excluding the southern regions, in Ukraine, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, the Caucasus, and North America.
The boundaries of the areas of cultivation:
- northern - coast of Finland;
- eastern - coast of the Pacific Ocean;
- southern - beyond the borders of Russia.
Most of the harvesting occurs in the northern and western regions of Russia, Belarus and Siberia.
Decorative and useful properties
Lingonberry is a rather small and beautiful plant, so it will fit perfectly into any personal plot and will become a good decoration.
Your yard will look especially unusual during its flowering and ripening of berries.
The advantages of this bush are manifested not only in decorative properties, but also in the enormous benefits of the fruits. They are used for making juices, desserts, drinks, jams.
The composition of berries includes organic acids, pectins, biologically active substances, trace elements, vitamins (groups B, C, E, A, K).
Lingonberry has a diuretic and antibacterial effect, normalizes the nervous system, improves blood circulation, strengthens the immune system, muscles and bones, helps to lower the temperature, get rid of inflammation.
Only ripe berries can be used for medicinal purposes. The main contraindication to their use is low pressure.
For the past 60 years, breeders around the world have been developing new varieties of lingonberries.
In Russia, the most popular are the following varieties:
- Coral. The variety was bred in the Netherlands in 1969. Its bushes reach 30 cm in height. It has large berries and high productivity.
- Belyavskoe fleece. The bushes reach a size of 25 cm. The berries are slightly acidic, large, ripen early. High productivity and frost resistance.According to gardeners, this is one of the most popular and unpretentious varieties.
- Sanna. The variety comes from Sweden. It was bred in 1981. It is characterized by intensive shoot formation, average productivity and high resistance to diseases.
- Red pearl. The berries are large, reaching a diameter of up to 12 mm.
- Ruby. High productivity, medium berries, self-fertile.
- Kostroma pink. High productivity, large berries, early ripening.
- Kostromichka. Variety bred in Russia. Early ripe, average size of berries, weight can reach 70 g, high productivity.
Rules for landing in the open ground in the country
Planting lingonberries is not difficult, if before that you choose the right place, prepare the soil and planting material.
Important! Varieties of Coral, Red Pearl, Ruby can produce two crops per year. Usually the first yield is small and begins at the end of July. Second — more at the end of September.
Experienced gardeners say that the optimal time for planting lingonberries in the country is the end of April or the beginning of May. In the fall, you can plant already grown and grown seedlings. This culture is not capricious. The main thing is to follow the basic rules of planting and caring for the plant. Then it will grow well and give a big harvest.
Where to plant, soil and hole preparation
You need to plant the plant in a well-lit open area, but protected from the wind. It is advisable that it be a flat horizontal surface with moderate humidity. The soil for planting lingonberries should be acidic, since under natural conditions it grows in swamps. To acidify the soil on the site, you can use a solution of vinegar or ground sulfur.
Important! Plants categorically are not suitable for planting in which the groundwater level exceeds 40-60 cm. A large amount of water and a lack of oxygen lead to the death of the roots.
Reviews from experienced gardeners prove that it is desirable to plant this plant in peat soil. Such a nutrient medium can be created independently at home. To do this, dig a ditch 120 × 30 cm and cover it with peat and sand.
Then the soil is fed with mineral fertilizers (nitrate, superphosphate, potassium sulfate). Do not use organic fertilizers, as they increase the alkaline level in the soil.
The selected place must first be cleaned of weeds and grass. The planting plan is determined by the gardener at will. Typically, the distance between rows is 30-50 cm, between seedlings - up to 30 cm. The depth of the hole should be from 10 to 30 cm, and the width - up to 1.5 m.
Selection and preparation of planting material
For planting, it is better to choose annual or biennial seedlings with a closed root system. Seedlings can be prepared by yourself in the greenhouse. Lingonberries are also propagated using seeds, so they can be used for planting. Get seeds from ripe berries. Plants grown from them bear fruit only in the third year. If cuttings are used for planting, then the harvest will already be in the second year.
Did you know? Scientists prove that lingonberry bushes can live for about 300 years, like long-lived oaks.
Step-by-step landing technology
During the planting of seedlings should not be difficult. This is a fairly easy process, which is best done in early May.
The main thing is to follow step-by-step actions:
- Before planting, the roots of a plant with an open root system should be wrapped with sphagnum moss so that they do not dry out.
- Dip lingonberries in the already prepared hole to a depth of 1-1.5 cm and straighten the roots.
- Fill the hole with a substrate and pour plenty of water.
- Mulch 3-5 cm with a layer of peat, sawdust, pine bark, husk of nuts, sand to acidify the soil.
- To protect the plant from frost or, conversely, the bright sun, it is covered with a plastic film stretched over metal arcs. To protect the plant from burns, the film is covered with newspapers. Such a structure is removed in two weeks.
- It is fashionable to plant lingonberries on special supports. Then it will grow vertically and can rise to a height of 1 m.
How to grow from seed
Plants grown from seeds bear fruit only in the 3-5th year. But this is a more budgetary way, since the seeds can be obtained from ripe berries in late autumn. Before sowing seeds, they must undergo stratification - this is the process by which the seeds are kept at a low temperature so that they can germinate faster and easier.
Stratification can be done at home. To do this, the seeds need to be immersed in wet sand and refrigerated at 4 degrees for four months. After this, you can start sowing seeds. To do this, prepare shallow containers and fill them with peat mix.
Did you know? Lingonberries are famous not only for berries, but also for leaves, which are used in the manufacture of antiseptic agents.
Make small furrows and sprinkle the seeds without covering them with soil on top. The temperature should be about 20 degrees. The containers are covered with a film and constantly check the soil moisture in them. After 2 weeks, the first shoots may appear. After 1 month, the film must be removed.
Combination with other cultures
Lingonberry goes well with many garden crops. She creates beautiful compositions with juniper, conifers, heather, cinquefoil, and barberry. Especially colorful bushes of lingonberries will look on the alpine slides and along garden paths.
In order for lingonberries to give a good harvest with tasty and healthy berries, you need to take care of it regularly. Caring for this plant does not require special procedures.
The main thing is to follow the basic rules:
- It is necessary to regularly mulch the soil, removing weeds and digging the ground. It is important to ensure that the roots of the plant are not touched.
- Lingonberry loves water, but to a certain extent. Due to excess water, fungal diseases may appear or root rot may occur. On average, you need to water cranberries 2 times a week. On hot days, it is advisable to spray its leaves with water every two days.
- Need constant access to light. If the plant is covered with branches of a tree growing nearby, then they need to be pruned. Bushes that can inhibit lingonberries should be transplanted.
- When lingonberry bushes reach eight years of age, they begin to be pruned. Remove the lower, old, dried branches. It is advisable to carry out this procedure in early March, then the plant will begin to give new shoots.
- You need to fertilize the plant after winter and before flowering. As fertilizer, the same mixtures are used as during planting.
Video: How to grow lingonberries
Harvesting and storage
Harvest begins in late summer - early fall manually or with the help of a combine. During this process, you need to be very careful not to damage the bushes or leaves. Not fully ripened picked berries are left for some time until fully ripened.
Lingonberry is well and long stored due to the content of a large amount of benzoic acid. Berries can be stored in wooden containers with water or weak sugar syrup. So they will remain throughout the winter. To save it for a longer time, freezing, drying or canning is carried out.
Lingonberry is a frost-resistant plant. It withstands frosts up to 30 degrees, so it does not need additional protection. But spring frosts can cause her a lot of harm, so the pieces should be covered with a film.
The process of lingonberry propagation in nature occurs with the help of seeds. But at home, the plant can be propagated by cuttings, segments of the rhizome and division of the bush. Cuttings are cooked in late summer. To do this, cut a piece of green stem up to 10 cm long.
Then the cuttings are planted in a greenhouse or stored in plastic bags at room temperature.They are planted in the soil after two years. Division of the bush should be carried out in the spring, separating shoots with roots from the mother bush. Rhizomes are harvested at the end of April.
Important! For propagation by rhizome, you need to select root sections with shoots.
Diseases and pests: control and prevention
Garden lingonberry is resistant to diseases and pests. But sometimes insects, fungal and less often viral diseases can appear. If parasites are found, the bush must be treated with an insecticide.
Among the diseases there are moniliosis, rust, mycosphereliosis, exobazidiosis, sclerotinia. To prevent their occurrence, the plant should be treated with special preparations.
Agricultural engineering in the middle lane and Moscow region
In the middle lane and Moscow region, ideal conditions for growing lingonberries. In these regions, it receives enough heat and light, therefore, grows well and bears fruit. It is only necessary to carefully monitor her departure and to protect from the cold during spring frosts.
Garden lingonberry is an incredible plant that will not only decorate your garden, but will also bring great health benefits. Its berries are rich in useful substances and help with many diseases, while they have a pleasant taste and aroma.