If you are a resident of Siberia, the Far East, the Caucasus or the tundra, then you know exactly where the lingonberry grows. This beautiful red berry loves mixed coniferous dry forests, peat bogs and shrubs, less often it can be found in the swampy forests of northern Russia.
- Healing berries in the garden
- Soil preparation
- Pruning, wind protection and garden compositions
Lingonberry is an evergreen half-shrub of the lingonberry family, it reaches a height of 20-25 cm, has regular, leathery, thick, wintering leaves. Lingonberry flowers are very small, bell-shaped, white-pink in color with a pleasant faint smell. The fruits have a regular spherical shape, reaching 8 mm in diameter. The berries are bright red with a shiny glossy surface.
Lingonberries ripen around the beginning of September, but even unripe fruits can be made to turn red, for this the berries are placed with red aromatic fruits and red tomatoes, they release ethylene, this gas stimulates the reddening of lingonberries.
Semi-shrubs are long-livers, forming a clan underground from the roots of several lingonberry plants; they can live for more than two centuries. The population is regularly updated, new bushes appear, and old ones die off. Where the lingonberry grows separately, without a clan, its bush will not live very long - no more than 10 years.
In ancient times, in Russia, lingonberries were used for food purposes, as well as for medicinal purposes, especially in the North. Lingonberry juice was used for scurvy, rheumatism, and the leaves of the plant were used to prepare decoctions for the treatment of diseases of the bladder and kidneys. In addition to fresh berries and leaves, the fruits were dried and harvested for the winter to make medicinal decoctions.
Healing berries in the garden
Nowadays, you will not surprise anyone with lingonberry berries for meat dishes, they are often on sale in large supermarkets. But did you notice that the berries are exported from Germany and the Baltic states? For these countries, industrial cultivation of lingonberry is by no means exotic.
You can grow lingonberries in personal plots in the same way as garden blueberries. For this, an acidic soil environment is prepared, and several bushes are planted in the planting pit. The land for each plot must be prepared as follows:
- Removable on a shovel bayonet 1 square meter of the top layer;
- On an oilcloth or in a stretcher, this layer is mixed with ginger sour peat and sand;
- The prepared mixture is poured into the hole, then trampled down and well moistened.
Plants can be driven from store-bought berry seeds. Of course, then you won't recognize the name of the variety. But such seeds are already easy to germinate (have been stratified by freezing). Several varieties of lingonberry have already appeared in seed shops and stalls: Red Pearl, Rubin, Ida and Coral. Over time, the assortment will increase, as demand is steadily going up.
Already existing plantings of lingonberries can be easily increased with the help of root layers and cuttings.
Vegetative reproduction begins in the spring. Lingonberry, like cranberry, is a creeping plant, the rooting of shoots is easy. Cuttings are cut into 5-6 knots. The lower 2-3 nodes are freed from the leaves, and added dropwise in the shade under a jar or plastic bottle. Providing constant humidity, by the fall they get new lingonberry bushes, which will begin to bear fruit in a year.
It is preferable to provide regular irrigation, and even better with rainwater to reduce carbonate content. It is necessary to add acid to the irrigation water on a weekly basis, add sour peat, sawdust and pine litter in the form of a mulch layer in spring and autumn.
It has been noticed that sprinkling irrigation is less favorable than drip irrigation. Apparently, for their survival, heathers and lingonberries actively grow useful fungi in the root zone, and sprinkling from above causes damage to the upper part of the plants by parasitic fungi.
Pruning, wind protection and garden compositions
For a stable harvest, it is recommended to carry out anti-aging pruning of branches over 8 years old. Some gardeners support branches with low supports, form rows like small vineyards. For the winter, the support is removed, the lingonberry branches are pinned to the ground.
For better pollination of lingonberries and creating a microclimate, plantings are protected by plantations of conifers. Thuja, junipers, pines, spruces are suitable here. Such plantings will provide light ventilation after rain, and will protect lingonberries and heathers from strong gusts of wind.
Lingonberry is decorative in any season, as it does not shed its leaves for the winter. Rhododendrons look great between a group of conifers and a berry meadow. Heathers and ericas are planted in the foreground. And to fight weeds, the soil around the plantings is densely mulched with coniferous bark.
As you can see, lingonberries grow in acidic soils and require moist, loose soil. Its bushes resemble boxwood bushes, which are decorated with beautiful large berries by September. An amazing plant for year-round decorativeness and a set of useful properties.