Blueberries seem to be one of the most popular fruits in the berry family. Kids can eat them by the dozen, and adults seem to go crazy for them too! Usable in smoothies, desserts, salads and baked goods, a bushel of blueberries can always come in handy. If you are considering growing blueberries this season, take a look below at some helpful tips for growing blueberries.
Tips for Growing Blueberries
How to plant blueberries
Before you begin, you will want to pick an area of the yard with full sun and well drained, acidic soil. A high bush variety is the most common and easy to grow of all the blueberry varieties. You will find is easiest to plant bushes as blueberries are already a slow growing plant.
When planting your blueberry bushes, dig holes that are about 18 inches deep and 18 inches in width. You want to be sure that each bush you plant is at least 6 feet apart. This gives each plant plenty of room to stretch their legs. As you can see, blueberry bushes do require a decent amount of space and should never be squished into small plots.
How to grow blueberries in containers
If you are limited on space, growing blueberries in containers is possible. You want to find a large planter however, because you will need to plant at least 18 inches deep and 18 inches wide. If you can’t fit your plant in a pot with these measurements (plus space to grow), you won’t want to use a container method.
How to care for blueberries
Care for your blueberry plants by watering at least 1 inch per week. You will also want to apply a thick and generous layer of mulch after planting in order to keep moisture locked in. You may fertilize, but wait to do so until 2-3 weeks after the initial planting.
General tips for producing a good crop
Birds will love dining on your blueberry bushes. To prevent this, place a light netting over the bush. You can also try placing shiny objects in the bush that may frighten such pests. Other than that, simply follow the care tips above.
As far as pruning, you don’t need to worry about pruning until the bush is about 4 years old. At this time, prune before the winter months strike. Pinching early blooms will also help the plant produce more fruit in years to come.
When and how to harvest blueberries
A great rule of thumb is that blueberries are ready to be picked when they fall into your hand when touched. They will be dark blue, and extremely sweet. Be sure to refrigerate or freeze any blueberries you pick immediately.
How to divide blueberries
There is no need to divide blueberry bushes once you have planted them. Just be sure to prune as needed once a bush reaches its maturity.
Blueberries make for a tasty snack and can be enjoyed in so many ways. Give these tips for growing blueberries a try and have them at your fingertips when you need them.