There is no doubt that it is very useful to go to the forest for lingonberries. And I breathed in fresh air, and gathered healing berries. But it's not always possible to find free time. In order not to be upset in vain when friends drove off into the forest for berries, try planting this unpretentious plant in your garden. Of course, a novice gardener will think about it, is it worth it? But what is there to think about, of course, it's worth it. After all, lingonberry is unpretentious, almost not affected by diseases and pests and has excellent frost resistance.
There are legends about a small evergreen bush, strewn with bright red berries-beads, pleasing to the eye in the dreary autumn season. One of them tells about a swallow, which, having obtained drops of living water, hurried to bring them to people in order to bestow immortality. But her plans were frustrated by an angry wasp that stung a bird. The swallow spilled invaluable moisture on the ground, and it fell on the cedar, pine and lingonberries that grew under them. Since that moment, these plants have become the embodiment of eternal life, because they do not lose their green outfit either in winter or in summer.
Lingonberry, which does not lose its green leaves all year round, has become the personification of eternal life
Lingonberry is a resident of harsh regions. Its habitats extend along the tundra zone, mixed, coniferous and deciduous forests, peat bogs, it is found on the treeless peaks of the Siberian heights and in alpine meadows.
Lingonberry shrub is tiny, its raised branchy shoots grow from 5 to 25 cm. The rhizome is thin, horizontally located, creeping. Leaves are arranged alternately, often. Their length is from 0.5 to 3 cm, width is only 1.5 cm. The surface is leathery, dark green and shiny above, matte and lighter below. The shape of the leaf plate is obovate or elliptical, the edges are solid, curved. A feature of the plant is the club-shaped formations located on the underside of the leaf that can absorb moisture.
Lingonberry - miniature plant
Lingonberry is a vivid example of the symbiosis of a plant and a fungus. Filamentous mycelium entwines the roots of the berry. The fungus draws nutrients from the soil and transfers them to lingonberries. Therefore, white plaque from the roots of the plant does not need to be removed.
Flowering occurs in May - June. During this period, a delicate aroma is felt over the lingonberry meadow. 10 or 20 flowers, the corollas of which are painted in porcelain white or pale pink, sit on short pedicels. The whole bunch is collected in a drooping brush. The bell-like flowers look very beautiful against the background of shiny greenery.
Small, porcelain white lingonberry flowers collected in bunchy brushes
Lingonberry fruits are shaped like a ball up to 8 mm in diameter. Ripe berries are covered with a shiny red skin, and at the beginning of ripening they are greenish-white. The pulp contains a large number of red-brown, very small seeds. Lingonberries taste sweet and sour, with a slight bitterness, juicy.
Having survived the first frosts, lingonberries become soft and watery. They are already unsuitable for transportation in this form. Under the snow, they can sag on the branches until spring, but with the onset of heat they crumble at the slightest touch.
Lingonberry fruits resemble a ball in shape
Lingonberry has been used since ancient times as a medicine. Leaves and berries are used as raw materials. Lingonberry is very popular in the treatment of kidneys as a diuretic, helps in the fight against gout, rheumatism, and lowers blood sugar. Lingonberry is also used in cosmetology. A decoction of the leaves helps get rid of dandruff, helps restore skin tone, strengthens it and restores elasticity.
The cultivation of the plant was first started in the 18th century. But it wasn't until 1960 in the United States and Europe that truly mass cultivation was undertaken on an industrial scale. And in Russia, the first plantations appeared in the 80s. The only pity is that on the garden plots a useful berry is a very rare guest. But the breeders have done painstaking work to create new varieties of lingonberry, which, unlike the wild-growing ancestor, have large berries with high taste and bear fruit more productively.
In the USA and Europe, lingonberries have been grown on an industrial scale since 1960.
Garden lingonberry differs from the wild-growing mass of positive characteristics, one of which is remontability - the ability to bloom and bear fruit repeatedly or repeatedly during one growing season. In addition, the size and, accordingly, the mass of the berry in the cultivated plant is much larger than that of the forest dweller. And if we take the yield indicator, then cultivated plants from 1 hundred square meters give 20, and sometimes 30 times more berries than ordinary ones.
Growing lingonberries at home is not at all difficult. You just need to adhere to certain rules.
If you decide to plant lingonberries on your site, you should consider the following nuances:
First you need to know that lingonberries have a superficial root system, which dries very quickly in loose soil. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain soil moisture at a very high level - at least 70%. This is achieved by watering at least once a week. In a particularly hot period, water should be done more often: up to 2-3 times in 7 days. But at the same time, frequent waterlogging or flooding of lingonberry plantings can stop the access of oxygen to the roots, which will not slow down the effect on the health of the plant.
During the ripening of the harvest of the second wave, flower buds of the future harvest are laid on remontant varieties. And it is during this period that the lingonberry needs watering most of all.
The best method of moistening for lingonberries is sprinkling, but provided that the area is well ventilated. It should be carried out only early in the morning or in the evening, so that wet leaves do not suffer from the sun. In addition to sprinkling, you can use drip irrigation. Water consumption rate per 1 m2 - no more than 10 liters.
If the area where the lingonberry grows is well ventilated, then the plant will like sprinkling.
Planting needs frequent, but careful loosening to get rid of weeds. But the digging can not be carried out. Also, be sure to use mulch to help retain enough moisture. Use coarse sand or fine gravel as mulch on peaty soils. For sandy ones, the best choice is pine sawdust and needles, peat.
Lingonberry bushes must be mulched
As mentioned, lingonberry does not like rich soils. Therefore, when fertilizing the plant, do not get carried away. The rule here is that it is better to underfeed than overfeed. Overloading with nutrients can lead to reduced yield, shedding of leaves and stunted growth.
Everyone's favorite organic matter in the form of manure or bird droppings is not suitable for lingonberries. It contains a large amount of nitrogen, which can burn off sensitive roots. In addition, organic matter leaches the soil, which leads to chlorosis, and then to the death of the plant. Potassium chloride is also contraindicated.
Feeding lingonberries should be done no earlier than 3 years after planting, when the berry begins to bear fruit. When choosing fertilizers, give preference to mineral formulations. Choose urea, ammonium nitrate, or ammonium sulfate for nitrogen replenishment. Also, you can not do without potassium sulfate and superphosphate. Plants growing on peat soils require manganese, boron, zinc and copper.
Mineral fertilizers are applied only in liquid form to pre-moistened plantings.
You can use a complex fertilizer instead of the listed fertilizers, for example, Kemira or Kemira Universal.
Experienced gardeners, instead of fertilizers, regularly apply high-moor peat, distributing it over the soil surface in plantings.
Unfortunately, organic fertilizers are not suitable for lingonberries.
Lingonberry has strong immunity and is resistant to many types of diseases and pests. But with excessive humidity, combined with an elevated air temperature, fungal infections are possible.
Cases of damage by pests are rare, and there is no noticeable damage to plant growth and harvest. Among insects, leaf-gnawing ones are seen - wolf caterpillars, leaf beetles, leafworms. As a rule, at the beginning of the discovery, they are collected by hand. Aphids and scale insects can also attack lingonberries. They are fought with insecticides, in accordance with the instructions and only if absolutely necessary.
This procedure is carried out to rejuvenate the plantings when the lingonberry turns 7-10 years old. By removing most of the old shoots, you maintain the productivity of the bushes. The landings themselves become more durable.
Pruning can be done throughout the growing season. But the best time is still early spring, when the movement of juices has not yet begun. Long shoots are shortened by a third, and the old ones are cut out. In this case, several branches must remain on the bush. And the cuttings obtained after pruning will serve as an excellent planting material and help to expand the plantation.
It is easy to propagate lingonberries. There are as many as 4 available methods - 3 vegetative and 1 seed, each of which will be considered separately.
The procedure is carried out only if the rhizome area has growth buds or shoots. This lingonberry breeding method is suitable for late April or early May.
Rhizome with shoots can be divided into parts
Young plants are formed from the underground rhizome shoots - stolons - formed in lingonberries. They are linked to the parent plant by the rhizome and are called partial shrubs. For the purpose of reproduction, only bushes are used that have their own root system. Reproduction in this way is possible both in spring and autumn. To do this, young and well-formed bushes are dug up and separated from the mother plant.
Partial lingonberry bushes can be planted in separate beds for growing
This type of breeding is more suitable for off-grade lingonberries. The process is time consuming, but expedient due to the cheapness of the material obtained for the expansion of plantings. Only well-ripened berries are suitable for the selection of seeds. They are kneaded and washed in a little water. The pulp and skin are removed, and the seeds are thrown onto a sieve and then dried.
Before sowing, the seeds must be prepared. This procedure is called stratification. It can be natural - seeds are sown in the garden in the fall. Hardened by winter conditions, seeds germinate in spring. Or you can collect the seeds and store them in wet sand for 4 months at an average temperature of 4 ° C, for example, in the lower compartment of the refrigerator.
Before sowing, lingonberry seeds must be stratified
The treated seeds show the best germination.
It is very convenient to germinate seeds in mini greenhouses.
Lingonberries, which are compact in size, can be placed at home if desired - on the windowsill or on the balcony. But at the same time, it is worth considering the difficulties that may arise:
Watering lingonberries is necessary only with rain or water that has settled for several days at room temperature.
For planting you need to prepare:
Step by step process:
Lingonberries in a flowerpot will become a real decoration of a balcony or windowsill. Glossy green foliage that does not fall off even in winter will delight the eye all year round. Blooming lingonberry will allow you to admire the miniature flowers, collected in bouquets-tassels. And the ripe coral-red fruits will not only revive the greens, but also help diversify the taste sensations if you add them to the prepared dishes.
Lingonberries grown in a flowerpot will become a real decoration of a windowsill or balcony
Lingonberry is a fairly plastic plant that tolerates frost and temperature rise well, but only with proper care. The difference between the cultivation of this culture in different regions is that in a hot and medium climate, lingonberry does not require shelter, as it is easily adaptable. In the northern regions for varieties with an early flowering period, spring frosts can become a threat. Therefore, before the onset of stable warm weather, the bushes should be covered with non-woven material.
Lingonberry is not popular in Ukraine. Almost no one grows it. It is possible to meet this plant in nature only in the foothills of the Carpathians, where coniferous forests begin. But varieties adapted to the conditions of the local climate can be cultivated on the plots.
A feature of the cultivation of lingonberries in Ukraine, especially in its southern regions, is frequent watering. If the air humidity is less than 50%, then the plant will have to be watered almost daily. Otherwise, planting and leaving are very similar to the same techniques that are carried out in other regions.
Despite the fact that lingonberries have been grown abroad for a long time on an industrial scale, in Russia they are cultivated only by amateur gardeners, and even then not everywhere.
But in vain. The climate of central Russia and the Moscow region is very suitable for growing this berry. In addition, in the conditions of the Moscow Region, varietal plants have enough warmth and daylight hours in order to bear fruit twice. If you follow all the landing and care rules described above, then there will be no problems. For cultivation, try to purchase only zoned varieties.
Lingonberry feels great in the climatic zone of central Russia and the Moscow region
Lingonberries can also be cultivated in cooler regions. But in order to get a guaranteed harvest, you will have to stop choosing early varieties.
As soon as a lingonberry meadow appears in your garden, rest assured that guests will not be long in coming. After all, this wonderful plant can be admired all year round. And how charmingly ripe berries peep out from under the fluffy snow cover! In addition to aesthetic pleasure, lingonberry will benefit the body.
Good day! My name is Irina. I live in a wonderful place - Crimea. Educator by education. I love nature and animals very much. I have been fond of floriculture for a long time, but I have just begun to master garden wisdom. My motto is live, learn.
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Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) is a berry evergreen shrub. This species is a representative of the genus Vaccinium, in nature it is distributed in the tundra and forest zones. This shrub prefers to grow in mixed, coniferous and deciduous forests, in peat bogs, in mountain and lowland tundra. Lingonberry is found in Western Europe, Northern Mongolia, North Korea, European Russia, East Asia and Manchuria. The name of the species is translated from Latin as "vine from Mount Ida" - this place is located on the island of Crete. The first mention of the name of the genus was found in sources of the 16th century, and lingonberries began to be cultivated more than a century ago in America. Around the same time, the first appearance of varieties of this culture occurred. In Europe, this plant began to be cultivated only in the sixties of the last century. Today in Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Germany, medicinal or common lingonberry is grown on an industrial scale. Not so long ago, lingonberries began to be grown on an industrial scale in the Scandinavian countries.
Mineral fertilizers can be applied when the lingonberry begins to bear fruit.
Lingonberry bushes can thicken, to avoid this, try to thin them.
Lingonberries need good watering. In dry, hot weather, sprinkling will not be superfluous. Mulch and loosen the soil, mulch retains moisture well. The destruction of weeds around for lingonberries is much more important than fertilizing with mineral fertilizers.
Lingonberry has excellent winter hardiness, it winters well under the snow and does not require shelter for the winter. Flower buds can be damaged at temperatures below -4 ° C.
Lingonberry can be affected by a fungus, while there is a change in the color of the flowers and the shape of the shoots.