Blueberries are one of my favorite summer fruits. I love picking them fresh and making blueberry pancakes for the family. There are many varieties of these luscious berries. Most take a year or two to start producing fruit. When choosing a berry plant for yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind. So you can have a successful crop of berries, here are 5 tips on growing blueberries.
5. Choose a Plant Appropriate for Your Growing Zone
Some blueberry types are hardier than others. You want to make sure you are purchasing a plant or plants that can withstand the harsh winters or hot summers in your area. Each plant should come with an instruction tag that states what the appropriate zone is for that particular plant.
4. Prepare the Soil before Planting
Blueberry plants do best in soil with a pH of around 4.7, but they will still grow properly in soil that strays from this pH by .7 in either direction. The soil should also be well-draining and not too sandy. Add some peat moss, compost, or manure to the soil if need be.
3. Fertilization Varies Each Year
You’ll want to add some sulfur or ammonia to the soil to adjust the pH if needed and some manure too. After the blueberry plant has been in the ground for a month, add an ounce of 10-10-10 formula fertilizer around the bottom of the plant. The amount of fertilizer should be raised by 1 or 2 ounces each year, but just until the plants mature and start to produce fruit. Once the plant is mature, fertilizing with a 10-10-10 formula in the early spring is all that is needed. Most large plants require around a half pound of fertilizer each spring.
2. Mulch with Straw
Gardeners often mulch around plants with many different materials. However, blueberries do best when clean straw, wood chips or sawdust is used. Pile on the mulch so it is around 4 inches deep around each plant.
1. Water Them Regularly
Being a fruit, blueberries require lots of water in order to produce plump berries. Since they are sun-loving plants, you’ll need to check them often so they don’t dry out and die. Mature plants need at least a couple inches of water every week.
I hope these growing tips help you produce lots of yummy blueberries in the future. Is this the first year you’ve had blueberries? What made you decide to grow some?
Top Photo Credit: TheKarenD