Blueberries might just be my all-time favorite berry. I like the way they taste, there aren’t any seeds to fight with, and they are easy to pick and eat. Taking care of blueberry bushes is also very easy. Here are 5 tips on growing blueberries bushes that might help you get the best crop of berries ever.
Fertilize your blueberry bushes in the spring before leaves appear. Use an acid-rich fertilizer, such as ones that contain ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, or one with sulfur-coated urea. Each of these has a higher pH, which is what blueberry bushes like best.
Water is important for all plants. Blueberries have a high water content, which means a lack of water will produce smaller berries. If you want to help your plants conserve water, and then add some mulch around the bushes. Putting a thick layer of mulch will not only help retain a lot of the water, but it will also keep weeds from growing.
It’s important to prune during the winter and to make sure to remove any parts of the bushes that show signs of disease or being dead. Cutting back the newest growth on the berry bush will reduce the amount of berries that are produced the following year. Don’t be afraid to prune your plants, since this is what will ensure you a great crop of larger berries next year.
The soil should be slightly acidic, with a pH of around 4 to 4.5. Blueberry plants also seem to prefer rocky soils or those with higher clay content. The acid level in the soil can be raised by adding sphagnum peat moss to the soil when planting blueberry bushes. If the levels need to be raised after the plants have already established themselves, then special fertilizers for making the soil more acidic can be applied.
Shade is not something that blueberry bushes thrive in. They need lots of warm sunshine to become as tasty as possible. Of course, being out in the sunshine also allows the berries to be visible to just about every bird passing by. If you have trouble with birds, simply cover the plants with a bird-proof net.
There are so many benefits from blueberries as well; they lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancer, and contain a ton of nutrients. Are there some other tips that you think would be helpful to gardeners just beginning to grow blueberries? What do you enjoy most about raising blueberries?
Top Photo Credit: Pat's_photos
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