Blueberry Patriot: variety description, care and planting
You have long dreamed of a dense bush of fragrant blueberries, but you don’t know which variety to choose? What to do when all the descriptions have long been read, and at first glance everything is so tempting? Experienced gardeners almost unanimously agree on one thing: take the Patriot and you will not lose! And we will talk about the features of his landing and care!
Description and characteristics of the variety
Patriot is an American variety bred by breeders in 1976. Initially, it was used for green hedges and in landscape design, but the taste qualities of blueberries were evaluated only in the late nineties. And now it is one of the most popular varieties both in industry and in summer cottages.
The berries of the Patriot variety seem a little strange at first - they are slightly flattened, of a heterogeneous diameter, with a green spot at the stalk. But all doubts fade into the background after the first tasting of juicy, sweet, dense fruits.
The medium-sized bush reaches a height of 1.6 m, but most often grows within 1.2-1.4 m. It is erect, but branches well, therefore it is very decorative and grows into a real ball over time. The oval leaves of the Patriot have an unusual reddish hue, but turn greener as they grow, and then they brighten.
In May, the bush is covered with large tassels of pale pink bell flowers. The densely branched root system goes into the ground only 40 cm, so it requires careful handling. Maximum fruiting occurs around the fifth year.
Bear in mind that the Patriot blooms early, therefore frostbite is possible in regions with too strong spring frosts. The largest berries are the first, which can reach up to 1.9 cm in diameter. For each subsequent collection, they gradually become smaller, but this does not affect the taste.
Blueberry Care Patriot
In terms of leaving, the Patriot is a very problem-free variety, so even beginners do not have problems with it. There are no specific nuances regarding other varieties and blueberries in general.
Blueberry Patriot bears fruit best at a standard summer temperature of about +25 degrees. But it is a winter-hardy variety suitable for regions with a short summer.
Patriot prefers bright sunlight, open areas and hills. In the shade, this variety bears fruit much worse, and berries lose their taste. In addition, you need good ventilation, but without drafts.
Blueberry Patriot loves moisture, but does not tolerate dampness, constantly wet ground and close occurrence of groundwater. Be sure to make good drainage so that the moisture does not stagnate, otherwise it will be difficult to avoid fungus and rot. Water the bushes several times a week during the season so that the soil is constantly moist, but not swampy.
Light and breathable sandy or sandy loamy soils are what Patriot needs. The main thing is that the soil should be acidic, with a pH of at least 4.5 to 6. This is the main requirement for good blueberry growth, and it is not the most familiar, because in the garden you often have to deoxidize the soil than vice versa.
Blueberries are the rare case where acid nitrogen fertilizers can be generously used without ash or dolomite flour. Make half of the complex in early spring, and divide the second into two parts - just before flowering and before the formation of the ovaries. We recommend abandoning organics, because it is not too suitable for blueberries.
Blueberries Patriot propagated by cuttings from young strong shoots. But with layering more difficult - in a favorable scenario, they take root faster, but in general the effectiveness of the method is lower. In any case, always use stimulants, because rooting is the biggest difficulty in caring for blueberries.
Patriot is a self-pollinating variety, so that it can be grown separately. But, as is typical for blueberries in general, the best crops are obtained by cross pollination. To do this, nearby should grow several varieties that bloom at the same time.
The Patriot variety is prone to regular thickening and overloading with crops. Because of this, the bush is constantly lacking nutrients, and the berries are not enough. In order for the crop not to grow smaller and not weaker, we need regular intensive pruning from about the third year, and sanitary-cosmetic - from the first.
The first large berries of the Patriot are quite delicate, so it is better to pick them manually. But all subsequent batches normally tolerate mechanized cleaning. Harvesting occurs in mid-July, and the yield of adult bushes varies from 6 to 9 kg.
According to various sources, the bush does not freeze at temperatures from -30 to -40 degrees. But if the winters in your region are snowless, we recommend that you insulate the shrub with lapnik, corn or agrotextile.
Planting Blueberries Patriot
Patriot blueberries are best planted in early spring, because in the fall it is too cold for her. When planting, straighten the rhizome and spread it a couple of centimeters below the level that was in the container. Be sure to mulch the root zone to protect and nourish the roots.
For a tall shrub, you need a pit of about 80x80x50 cm, or a wide trench for mass planting. Leave at least 1.5 m between the seedlings, and all 3 between the rows. Seedlings can be compacted, but then much more fertilizer will be needed, and in general this is relevant only for industrial plantings.
Pest and Disease Control
Blueberry Patriot practically does not get sick, like the other breeding varieties. It is genetically resistant to late blight, fungus and root rot. To prevent pests and fungi, it is enough to conduct seasonal spraying with pesticides.
The leaves and flowers of blueberries are eaten by May beetles, and the roots are their larvae. Aphids, ticks and a caterpillar do not so often settle on berries, especially on processed ones. If you do not clean the old branches, wood parasites may appear. So the main thing is to carry out sanitization on time, remove the scavenger and mulch the soil.