The year-round ornamental appeal of blueberry plants was covered in a recent entry, today I’ll look at the specifics of growing blueberries in the home garden. Key considerations when growing blueberries are selecting the right variety for your climate, and ensuring that the acidic PH soil requirements are satisfied.
There are various categories of blueberries including: lowbush, northern highbush, southern highbush, and rabbiteye types. The southern highbush and rabbiteye types are best suited for southern climates. Investigate which varieties are best for your climate before spending money and effort to obtain and plant your berries.
The other critical factor when growing blueberries is your soil. Blueberry plants require an acid soil. In addition the root system isn’t vigorous and will not survive in clay soil, but there’s an easy fix to upgrade your soil to accommodate blueberry plants.
Instead of amending the soil with manures or simply topsoil, use peat moss, which will supply the acid PH that blueberries need in order to thrive.
For each blueberry plant dig a hole that’s two or three feet wide and two or three feet deep. Then fill the hole with a mixture of two-thirds peat moss and one-third of a good quality garden or topsoil. Some growers even use a hundred percent peat moss to grow their blueberries.
I prefer planting blueberries in early spring but they can also be planted during the fall. Adequate water and cooler weather conditions will help the blueberry plants become established before the heat of summer sets in.
It’s not required, but you will get better results from improved pollination and a longer harvest period by planting at least two different varieties of blueberries. You can locate assorted varieties of blueberry plants offering various sizes and flavors of berries on the Internet or through mail order nurseries.
When fertilizing, use an organic fertilizer such as HollyTone that’s designed to maintain or increase the soil’s acidity. Ensure sufficient moisture levels when the berries are maturing and ripening. If you have a problem with birds eating the blueberries, set up a framework covered with a protective netting.
Growing blueberries in your yard with both enhance your home’s landscape and provide you with a source of delicious and healthful organic fruit.
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