How To Plant And Grow Blueberries
Planting Depth – Deeply planted at least 6″ deep
Soil – Moist well drained acidic soil. The optimum pH level to grow blueberries in is 4.5
Sunlight – Blueberries thrive best in full sunlight
Plant Spacing – 4 to 5 feet apart
Drainage – Adequate drainage is important
Growing blueberry is very easy. With proper pruning and care, blueberry bush can flourish and provide baskets full of beautiful sweet blueberries. Blueberries do not begin to fruit for at least three years, so it is advisable to buy your plants already started from a nursery or garden center. This will not only save time but also help you to get your fruit sooner.
- Select a location with rich, moist and well drained soil. Blueberries grow well in acidic soil with high moisture retention. The optimum pH level is 4.5. Blueberries can grow in partial shade, however best results can be seen in a sunny location.
- Plant the blueberry plant in spring or fall when the soil is perfect for planting. Plant them at least 4 to 5 feet apart from each other. Blueberries should be deeply planted at least 1 inch deeper in the soil than they were in the nursery.
- A consistent supply of water is best for blueberries, with optimal levels of 2″ per week of water. Choose a well-drained soil to avoid water pooling at the base of the plant.
- It is advisable to have different varieties of blueberries within 100 feet, so that bees can travel and cross pollinate.
- Blueberries like acid fertilizers such as Rhody or Azalea formulations. The best time to fertilize them would be in the late winter or early spring, about 1 month before growth starts to appear. After the first growth appears, the soil needs to be fertilized again. An ammonium sulfate fertilizer may also be used twice a year. Always water well after fertilizing. For organic fertilizers, blood meal and cottonseed meal work well. Avoid using fresh manure.
- Blueberries do best with a 2-4″ mulch over the roots to conserve moisture, prevent weeds and add organic matter. Mulch the blueberry plant in early summer with peat, leaf mold, compost or well-rotted manure. Nets can be used to cover the plant and save them from birds.
- Blueberry bush need not be pruned at all for the first four years of its life. Prune after the first 3 years of growth in the winter. Remove all dead branches or stalks, and trim back any shoots that are very tall on the blueberry plants. When branches are overloaded with fruiting buds, the resulting berries can be small and bitter. To avoid this, prune the shoots so that they don’t have more than five or six buds each. Try cutting one or two of the oldest shoots back to a strong new shoot to promote new growth, which in turn will bear fruit the following year.
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