How To Grow Blueberries



Luscious blueberries are easy to grow. They just need a little extra special care.

Blueberries prefer a sunny site with sandy peat soil. Blueberries will also grow in heavy soils where lots of organic matter has been added to aerate the soil and improve drainage.

Blueberries require an acidic soil with a pH below 4.5. Granular sulfur can lower the pH of alkaline soils. Used coffee grounds are also a good addition.

Plant two different varieties of blueberries. Blueberries are self-pollinating but two varieties for cross pollination increases the size of fruit.

Buy plants that are three years old to begin with since it takes up to six years for full production.

Prune the plants to one-third of their size.

Set the plants five feet apart. Apply 4 inches of mulch circling the plant to about two feet away from the plant.

Do not fertilize blueberries the first year of planting. In the spring of the second year apply four ounces of ammonium sulfate to the plant. Increase fertilizer by one ounce a year until the plant is six years old. Then use eight ounces every year.

Blueberries need regular watering with two inches of water a week. Make sure water drains well and doesn't pool around the base of the plants.

Use mulch to conserve moisture and control weeds. Keep mulch depth at two to four inches deep.

Remove the blossoms on the plants for the first year. The plant needs to put all it's energy into growing strong canes and not into fruit production.

Prune the blueberry plants in the spring leaving 14 to 16 canes for a mature plant.

Diseases include blights, mildews and leaf spots.

Insect problems include fruit worms and plum curculio.

Birds are a major problem which can be solved by covering the bushes with bird netting.

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Author: Marilyn Pokorney
Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment.
Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.
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