Plant, care for and harvest blueberries

Grow blueberries in the garden

Plant, care for and harvest blueberries: garden

Blueberries - often called blueberries - are among the most popular types of berries. Whether as an ingredient for muffins, desserts or fruit shakes: They are versatile, extremely tasty and very healthy to all.

Because the vitamin-rich and low-calorie wild fruits, which you can either pick in the woods or grow in your garden, contain many important ingredients and were already used in the Middle Ages as medicinal plants.

But blueberry is not the same as blueberry! Therefore, the differences between the naturally growing fruit and its bred counterpart are shown first. Subsequently, the health aspects of blueberries are discussed. Following are tips on how to grow, cultivate and harvest the blueberries in the garden.

Differences between forest blueberries and blueberries

The forest blueberry

The forest blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) belongs to the heather family and is an approximately 20 to 50 centimeters high dwarf shrub. Other names for this species include: bilberry, blueberry, blackberry, mulberry, cranberry, wild berry and wild berry. Which name is used is often regionally dependent.

The short-stalked leaves of blueberries are almost two to three inches long and ovate or elliptic. In addition, they are green on both sides, leathery and sawed on the edge. The bald, highly branched and very long-lived shrub occurs in the cool temperate latitudes of Europe and Asia. It is found in sparse coniferous forests, heathland or moorland, as it requires slightly acidic, moist-fresh or sandy soils. In addition, the wild fruit is extremely sensitive to frost, so it can even grow at an altitude of over 2000 meters.

Grow blueberries in the garden

Blueberries - often called blueberries - are among the most popular types of berries. Whether as an ingredient for muffins, desserts or fruit shakes: They are versatile, extremely tasty and very healthy to all.

Because the vitamin-rich and low-calorie wild fruits, which you can either pick in the woods or grow in your garden, contain many important ingredients and were already used in the Middle Ages as medicinal plants.

But blueberry is not the same as blueberry! Therefore, the differences between the naturally growing fruit and its bred counterpart are shown first. Subsequently, the health aspects of blueberries are discussed. Following are tips on how to grow, cultivate and harvest the blueberries in the garden.

The fruit season is between July and September. During this time, the plant carries individual, up to one centimeter large fruits. These globose and now frosted berries assume a blue-gray to blue-black color, while they include a deep red juice. They have a very aromatic taste and can temporarily turn the teeth blue due to the high content of dyes.

The culture blueberry

Plant, care for and harvest blueberries: harvest

In addition to a sunny spot, the blueberry bush needs a low-lime, humus-rich and acidic soil so that it bears fruit.

Cultivated blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) are often referred to as "garden blueberries" or "American blueberries". However, unlike many people, blueberry cultures do not stem from blueberries (Vaccinium myrtillus), which are mainly native to Europe. They have their origins in North America and are of great importance especially for market-related cultivation.

Only cultivated blueberries can meet the growing demand for blueberries.

In contrast to the shrubs of the forest blueberry, the shrubs of the cultivated fruit can reach a height of several meters. They are very robust, much branched and grow either upright or only a few centimeters high as ground cover. Since it is a breeding product with more than 100 cultivated varieties, it is not surprising that bushes, leaves and berries visually differ from each other significantly. For example, leaves vary from variety to variety - they can be up to ten inches long, sawn or smooth on the edge or have an ovate or oblong-oval shape.

Also, the harvest time of the different crops of blueberries is very different, as the breeding was often adapted to the regional and climatic conditions. But it is the berries in particular, which have strong differences to their "wild" relatives: The almost spherical rounds of blueberries Reach a size of up to three centimeters. In addition, they mature faster, are more durable, more robust and resistant to diseases or pests.

The pulp also differs visually: Although the outer layer has a blue color, but it is white inside, so it can not discolor due to the low dye content. However, a disadvantage of American blueberries is the fruit quality. Because they often taste watery, because their flavor is less intense. In addition, they have far fewer vitamins than forest blueberries.

Health aspects of blueberries

Not only in taste, but also in health terms, the blue berries convince. Already in the 12th century, the scholar Hildegard von Bingen is said to have used blueberries against diarrheal diseases. To this day, the fruit is used as a remedy. But which ingredients are in the berries? What effect and with what complaints do they help? In the following section, the medicinal plant and its effects are examined in more detail.

Ingredients and healing properties of blueberries

Plant, care for and harvest blueberries: blueberries

Blueberries are rich in vitamins and have a positive effect on health and well-being.

The fruits are rich in vitamins. They include, for example, provitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and some B vitamins. Among other things, these contribute to the protection of cells and mucous membranes, strengthen the visual process, help build connective tissue and support various metabolic processes. In addition, they should counteract the formation of cancer and deposition in the blood.

Furthermore, the berries contain the anthocyanins cyanidin and delphinidin, which give the blueberries their blue color. The plant dyes not only provide the blue, but are also supposed to have a health-promoting effect: they are said to prevent damage to the DNA, have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, have a vascular and anti-inflammatory effect and In addition, both the blueberries and their leaves contain organic acids, flavonoids, which are used in the health medicine as venous and cardiovascular means and in gastrointestinal complaints, and tannins. The tanning agents have long been known for their positive influence against diarrhea. They exert their effect on the intestinal mucosa by reducing the attack surface for bacteria and thereby lost neither important nutrients nor water. Although in such a case dried blueberries or leaves as a gargle tea help, but it is advisable to take before taking any advice from the doctor or in the pharmacy.

Grow blueberries yourself

With a little effort - but with regular care - can be grown blueberries in the garden itself. However, as local greenery rarely provides optimal soil conditions for the cultivation of wild blueberries, mainly blueberry crops come into question for the planting. In addition, the choice of a suitable environment as well as the cultivation of other, different types of berries play an important role for a proper fruit yield in addition to the suitable soil properties. A good time for planting is the spring, because at this time the last frost has been overcome and the plant can thus drive out the roots in peace.

Plant blueberries

Plant, care for and harvest blueberries: care

In addition to a sunny spot, the blueberry bush needs a low-lime, humus-rich and acidic soil so that it bears fruit.

First, the right location is determined. Although this should be sunny and protected from extreme weather, but an excess of sun would not be good, so that a place in the partial shade is ideal. In addition, a uniform and regular year-round humidity must be ensured so that the plants neither dry out nor drown.

In addition to a sunny spot, the blueberry bush needs a low-lime, humus-rich and acidic soil so that it bears fruit.

Next up is the earth: it should be acidic, loose - and therefore permeable - as well as moist, with sufficient humus content and low in lime content. Too much calcium prevents the absorption of important nutrients, so that the plant could not thrive. The result would be yellow or red leaves and a hardly growing shrub. To obtain a low-lime, humus-rich and acidic soil, the mixture of moist soil, bark mulch, leaves, sand and compost is suitable. The pH should be between 4 and 5 in this case.

Now the blueberries are planted. Attention should be paid to this, as the plants are very sensitive as soon as they are too deep in the soil and do not receive oxygen. Then either little or no flowers and fruits form or the plant dies in the worst case. Therefore, you should make sure that the shrub is superficially - not deeper than half a meter - used and easily fixed with soil, while the upper part of the rootstock just under an inch or two looks out. Then this area is only covered loosely with earth. In addition, the distance between the plants must be at least one to two and a half meters, as they are Flachwurzler and spread ground covering. The required distance varies because the expulsion varies from species to variety. Now it is recommended to plant the blueberries several different varieties in the immediate vicinity. Although they are self-fertile, the planting of two or three berry bushes in the immediate vicinity has a positive effect on the fruit yield.

Maintain blueberries

Plant, care for and harvest blueberries: plant

If blueberries do not get proper care, they will get sick quickly and get in and out.

Since blueberries can turn 30 years old, they need to be nursed and cared for on a regular basis. It is important to make sure that the nutrient content is right. For this reason, this should be checked at regular intervals by measuring the pH. For a lasting and better yield, the blueberries have to be fertilized additionally. Although natural fertilizers can be used, there is a risk that it will contain too much lime or that insufficient nutrients, such as nitrogen, will be available. More comfortable is the choice for a special blueberry fertilizer that optimally cares for the plant. As a rule fertilization takes place once or twice a year, at best in spring and summer.

Furthermore, the berry bushes must be watered regularly and evenly. The plant should not even begin to dry out, as it reacts very quickly to berry and leaf failure, so that a constant moisture must be guaranteed. On the other hand, care must be taken to ensure that no waterlogging occurs, because rot or disease can also spread very quickly. Both rainwater and filtered water are suitable for irrigation, as it is soft - and therefore low in lime.

Bilberry shrubs only need to be cut every four to five years after planting, as only a very few shoots are formed after this time. Thus, a regular, annual rejuvenation cut is not required. The cutting promotes the formation of new shoots and should definitely be done in the fall: Then the plants have both dropped the leaves and not expelled again. This deeply growing shoots that are old, sick and possibly very low in flowers, cut short.

Harvest and multiply blueberries

Plant, care for and harvest blueberries: garden

Blueberries are maturing gradually.

The harvest season usually begins in July during warm summers and goes on until the end of August. However, all berries do not ripen at the same time, but gradually reach their full climax - so you can enjoy the fruit over a longer period of time. A typical feature of a seasoned blueberry is its dark blue color. You should also know that Bl

Plant, care for and harvest blueberries: garden

So you can enjoy them well over a longer period.

On the one hand they do not ripen and on the other hand they taste sweeter the longer they stay on the bush.

If you want to propagate blueberry bushes, this can be done by seed or cuttings. The latter method, however, is the most common variant. First, a ten to 15 centimeters long shoot tip is separated from a healthy plant. This cuttings are now placed in soil, which has the same nutrient content and properties as the soil substrate in the previously planted shrub. The cuttings must be in a warm and well-lit place and be watered regularly to ensure even moisture. After just 8 to 15 weeks, the first roots should form.

Ideas for the enjoyment of blueberries

Plant, care for and harvest blueberries: garden

Blueberries are a popular ingredient for desserts.

Whether raw or processed - the vitamin-rich and low-calorie fruits taste great and can be enjoyed in many ways.

They have a particularly aromatic as well as strong taste and are therefore happily processed in muffins, fruit shakes, yoghurt creams and various cake and cake varieties. But also as jam, jelly or jam they enjoy great popularity. Bilberries can be easily frozen, so you can enjoy them to the fullest later on.

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