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In nature, there are two types of this shrub: short and tall. Blueberry "Bonus" - a variety bred by University of Michigan breeders from a vaccine of tall - deciduous shrubs that grow in the wild in eastern Canada and in some eastern states of North America.
Characteristics of blueberries of the Bonus variety
Why were scientists interested in this berry shrub, which, due to its distribution in nature, is also called Canadian blueberry? After all, its berries do not have such a special taste. It's all about the chemical composition: in these not very large fruits (up to 25 mm in diameter in wild shrubs) there are strong antioxidants. therefore Since ancient times, blueberries have been used as a means of beneficial effects on digestion, and for other medicinal purposes.
Today it is known that blueberries help strengthen blood vessels, improve the work of not only the digestive tract, but also the heart, and lower blood sugar. Therefore, blueberry preparations are widely used in medicine.
If in our country blueberries, often acquiring small bushes called "blueberries", are grown only in home gardens, then in many countries of Europe, Australia and the United States, shrubs are currently grown for the production of berries on an industrial scale. After all, they are very useful both in fresh and in dried, chilled, frozen or processed form.
The description of the Bonus variety is not too different from the descriptions of other tall vaccinium varieties. The bush has a height of 1.2-1.5 meters. The branches of an adult plant are strong, 2-3 cm thick, the top of the stem increases its length due to the annual growth of apical shoots. New root shoots replace the gradually dying old ones.
Leaves are ellipsoidal, smooth, on short petioles. Young foliage has a bright green color. In the fall, they become very decorative, acquiring a bright scarlet color. It is due to the beautiful color and shape of the bush that the Bonus variety, not knowing its advantages, is being cultivated by amateur gardeners in private plots.
Blueberry: variety selection
Sprout buds are elongated. They are formed in the axils of the leaves along the entire length of the shoot. Flower buds are much larger, have a rounded shape and are formed at the ends of the shoots. Of these, 5 to 10 flowers are formed. 1 to 3 lateral flower buds can also form.
Blueberry flowers are bell-shaped and pale pink or white. Blueberries blooms and bears fruit with brushes, each of which contains from 5 to 10 flowers, and subsequently berries.
The Blueberry variety "Bonus" bears fruits much larger than that of wild-growing shrubs and even many varietal plants. The berry has a bluish-blue color. The peel of the fruit is dense, and the flesh has a slightly greenish color. Characteristically, the fruits leave absolutely no hard-to-leave marks on hands and clothes.
Features agrotechnics growing blueberries
Blueberry variety "Bonus" in its agricultural technology is similar to the cultivation of other cultivars of this tall shrub. This variety is resistant to cold winters. It can tolerate sub-zero temperatures up to -28◦ and even -32◦ C. But it’s better to cover the bushes with agrofiber for the winter, bending the shoots to the ground.
This variety is mid-late. Thus, his harvest can be a real bonus for the gardener. In the Moscow region, the berries begin to ripen in mid-August and ripen until the end of September. They are inferior in size except to the fruits of the Chandler (Chandler) variety of blueberries, but are much larger than the berries of wild-growing short and tall vacciniums.
To grow a shrub that gives a good annual harvest of blueberries, you must adhere to certain agrotechnical rules. Shrubs of any of the cultivars of vaccinium prefer light acidic soils. Sandy loam soil, peat bogs, soil with a large leafy litter are quite suitable for blueberries. However, it does not tolerate heavy loamy soil. The dense loam is not suitable for this shrub, especially if the bush is planted in a lowland.
Despite the fact that in nature blueberries most often grow in thickets, cultivars for high-quality fruiting with good sugar content of berries require open sunny areas.
Before planting, a pot with a bush should be placed in a container with water until the substrate in which the bush grows is soaked. Experienced gardeners advise to make a shallow cross-shaped incision on the rhizome after soaking a coma. Then the plant is planted in prepared wells, spreading the roots horizontally. From above, the roots of blueberries are covered with acidic soil (peat substrate). Then the surface is mulched with a thick layer of sawdust. This shrub is not demanding on soil fertility and is resistant to a large number of diseases. Therefore, care for it consists mainly in watering during the period when the fruits are developing and flower buds are laid at the same time for next year.
How to plant blueberries
Most often, varietal blueberries (including the "Bonus") can be purchased in garden centers in the form of a small potted plant, but at the same time with 2-3 fruits. Such a plant is quite expensive. And if you do not land correctly, then the money will be thrown to the wind.