Planting Blueberries: Planting Tips

A Quick Guide to Planting Blueberries

A Quick Guide to Planting Blueberries
planting blueberries

There is nothing better than fresh picked berries; a fact that anyone who has undertaken the task of planting blueberries in their own yard can attest.  While it does take a little bit of know how, once you have some information about planting blueberries, you can also soon be picking your own sweet, juicy berries.

There are just a few requirements to be met for successfully planting blueberries.  First, the bushes should ideally be in a location that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine for the biggest and tastiest crops of berries.  Second, blueberry bushes enjoy an acidic soil with good drainage.  A good mix of peat moss and sand is generally called for, but check the acidity of your soil to make sure.  A home kit for soil acidity can be obtained at most nurseries.  The rule of thumb is that soil is acidic if the pH is 7.0 or less, and alkaline if it is over 7.0.  A higher concentration of hydrogen in the soil results in a lower pH, or an acidic soil. 

Springtime is a great time for planting blueberries, after the danger of frost has passed.  Now comes the decision time:  what type of blueberries should you plant?  A variety of different types will be available at nurseries in either high bush or low bush types.  These are descriptive to their names; high bush usually mound and certain varieties can reach heights of up to 15 feet.  Mid-height bushes range around 4 feet, and may be better used in compact garden spaces.  Low bush varieties can be groundcover height, around 2 feet.  One consideration in choosing the best types for planting blueberries is where you live; high bush may not be winter hardy in Northern states, while low bush are very winter hardy.

At least two plants of the same or different varieties will be needed to cross pollinate.  Purchase plants that are 2 or 3 year old to give you a jump start on the growth.  Plant as directed on the information sheet provided along with the purchased plant.  Planting blueberries will require some patience; your plant should begin, within a few weeks, to leaf out and grow.  It will most likely not produce fruit for another year.  When the berries do appear and show signs of becoming blue, netting will be needed over the top and sides of the bushes to prevent the birds from stealing your crop.  Allow the berries to fully develop on the stems; leaving them intact for a few days after turning blue will deepen their flavor. 

Enjoying fresh picked berries is a treat and a reward for anyone who has taken the challenge of planting blueberries.  Once you have done so, you may never go back to supermarket berries again.

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