Successfully in your own Backyard
easy when you
know how. Learn how to
grow blueberries with the right soil, growing
conditions and how to prune. Soon you will have a
steady supply to an excellent fruit that has high antioxidant
properties. In fact, blueberries have now been classed as one of the
foods available for maintaining good health.
Growing blueberries is successful
in cold conditions as they
are mountain fruit.
Here you will find information on:
- Growing blueberries successfully
- How to grow blueberries with the right soil conditions
- Know the right growing conditions for blueberries
- Learn how to prune blueberry plants
- Learn how to harvest blueberries
- Learn how to store blueberries after harvest
Growing blueberries successfully
really depends on where you are and what your climate is like.
Blueberries are extremely hardy and
insect-resistant and thrive in cold climates, but growing blueberries
are no good for the
tropics. As long as you have an acidic soil, and it is moist but
well-drained, your fruit will be happy and crop for you.
take a while before they reach maturity - 7 years in fact, and will
only start bearing fruit in the 2nd or 3rd year. So if you
looking for a quick growing fruit to grow, it is not this one.
also need to have a lot of space to grow blueberries.
Growing Blueberries - The Right Soil Conditions for Growing
As already mentioned,
when growing blueberries they like to have an acidic soil to grow in,
and it should have
lots of compost and humus.
A good tip to growing good
is to add lots of peat to the soil where you will plant the blueberry
and then when you mulch your plants during the growing season, mulch
again with peat soil. This will give you the acidity that you need to
grow beautiful blueberries.
of 4.5 is ideal, but a pH
of 4.0-5.5 is an acceptable range. They also like moist
soil but not soggy soil, so it should be well-drained.
To keep your blueberry plants happy
mulch the area around the plants with a 10 cm layer of either peat moss
or composted oak tree leaves. Both of these will leach acidity back
into the soil
when they start breaking down. In addition, the mulch will keep the
moisture in, the weeds down and reduce.
Check the pH of your soil every year
when growing blueberries.
If it gets above 5.5
apply ground sulfur at a rate of 25g (1 oz) per
plant, either raked or watered in. As blueberries are shallow rooted
plants, take care with the raking so that you don't damage the root
If you don't get the acidity levels in
your soil when growing blueberries the plants will be slow to grow and
they won't bear many berries. Try adding spagnum moss to get the soil
down to 4.0 - 5.5.
Adding pine needles, composted oak and sumac leaves, and
cottonseed meal can also raise the acidity levels in your soil.
Growing Blueberries in Containers
If you don't have acidic soil and you
still want to grow blueberries the answer is to grow blueberries in
containers where you can control the acidity levels better. To get the
right soil for blueberry growing mix the following up:
- 3 parts sand
- 3 parts spaghnum moss
- 2 parts acidic leaf mold (pine needles, oak leaves, sumac
Growing Blueberries - Where and When to Plant Blueberries
Your blueberry plants will grow very
tall and very wide. Therefore, when you lay out your beds you will need
to leave a space of 1.5 -1.8 m between each plant in the row and 5 m
between each row. Your plants will grow in a cone-shape being wider at
the bottom than on the top.
Ideally, they will be screened from trees on one side so that they get
the morning sun but the afternoon shade. However, if you try and grow
this fruit in deep-shade the plants will not flower very well,
therefore your crop will be poor.
therefore you will need to plant more than one variety. However, the
advantage of this is that the different varieties will crop at
different times, thereby extending your harvest.
Growing Blueberries - Looking after your Blueberries while
they are growing
Once established your blueberry plants should
receive regular applications of compost and mulch and watering.
Watering is especially important in the summer for good formation of
berries. Their greatest need for water is when the fruit is reaching
As the blueberry plants grow get into
of nipping off the ends of the branches to encourage your plant to bush
out and spread.
spring the plants should be given
an application of manure and compost. During the flowering
application of a seaweed fertilizer should be sprayed on the leaves to
encourage fruit setting.
Growing Blueberries - Pruning your Blueberry Plants
The reason for pruning blueberries is to allow
light and air to circulate through the plant and this is done by
cutting out the slender center stems that do not bear much fruit, as
well as the older stems that have been bearing fruit for several years.
Pruning is done during the spring.
After 2-3 years of growth take out the
4-5 years of
will need to be pruned. The older branches can be cut back
30-40 cm to encourage new growth. Also cut out any deadwood.
Growing Blueberries - When to harvest your
The berries grow in clusters of 5-10
and they ripen in the summer over a period of 3-5 weeks. You should be
getting about 8 kilograms of fruit off each mature tree.
Your fruit will turn blue, however, it
is best to leave it on the trees until it turns black. Picking it later
will allow the fruit to develop more flavor. However, this is also the
time when not just you are wanting the fruit. Birds are your worst pest
when growing blueberries, but especially at this time and you may need
to protect the crop from the birds by
putting up some netting.
by by using your
thumb and forefinger. Roll the berry off the cluster and
without squeezing it. Place it in a container, preferably tied around
your waist so that you have both hands free.
Growing Blueberries -Storing Blueberries
Once your blueberries have been picked
you can eat them with
yogurt for breakfast, make them
into muffins, jam
or turn them into desserts or country
When storing blueberries, place them in
air-tight container and place them in your fridge where they will keep
for a week or more.
We hope that next growing season you will be successful in growing
blueberries on your property now that you know how!
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