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How to Grow Your Own Blueberries

Blueberries are delicious. They are also one of the most attractive ornaments that you can choose to beautify your garden. In this article we will show you how to grow blueberries in your own garden. Just by following this basic steps you can star growing your own blueberry plants, which will provide you with fruit every year.

Here are some basic steps that will guarantee your success:

Select a proper place and prepare the soil for planting

First of all if you want to start growing blueberry plants, you need to look for a well-drained and sunny place. It is also very important that you plant the blueberry plants in a well-worked soil that is free of weeds. While the plants are growing, it is essential to keep the roots of the plants constantly moist. Therefore you need to find a place where irrigation is readily available.If the soil is not ideally drained or only marginally drained,you can build raised beds.

The blueberries can also be grown in patio containers. Thus, those of you who live in an apartment, don’t have a spacious yard, or have no yard at all, can also enjoy these berries.

However you need to know that blueberries prefer acidic soil. Therefore, a fail-secure way to grow blueberries in any soil is to include sphagnum, or commonly known as peat moss, into the growing medium.

If you are planting your blueberries directly in the ground, you should mark off an area of about 2 ½ feet in diameter and 1 foot deep for each plant. Next, you should till these areas, remove 1/3 to ½ of the soil, and add an equal amount of pre-moistened peat moss and mix well (one 4 cubic foot compressed bale will usually be sufficient for 4-5 plants).

If you are planting the blueberry plants in raised beds, then you should use a mixture of equal amounts of peat moss and bark (not redwood or cedar), compost or planting mix. However if you having second thoughts you can always consult your local garden center and ask for help and recommendations.

Spacing your blueberry plants for optimum growth

If you want the blueberry plants to form solid hedgerows, you need to know that the space between each blueberry plant should be from 2 to 2 ½ feet.If you plan to grow individual plants the space between the plants should be up to 6 feet.If you plant them in rows, the space between each row should be from 8 to 10 feet.

Planting your blueberries

Usually the blueberries are planted in spring or fall. However there are many areas where these plants can be planted throughout the whole year.

Furthermore, if you’ve bought containerized plants, you should take them out of the container and roughen up the external surface of their roots. Then, you should elevate the plant’s topsoil for about ½ inch, firm it around the root ball and then mound soil up along sides of exposed root mass and water in well.

Mulching

Best blueberry mulches are sawdust, bark mulch, grass clippings, and acid compost. The roots of the blueberry plants are shallow and they benefit from the thick layer of mulch. They do best with 2-4 inches of mulch over the roots to conserve moisture, prevent weeds and add organic matter. Be sure to repeat every other year and do not use bark or sawdust from cedar or redwood trees.

Pruning blueberries

In order to avoid the over-fruiting, which may result in poor growth or small fruits, you need to heavy prune the plants annually.  Therefore, when they start to grow it is recommendable to let them get established well and then allow them to bear fruit. You can do this by simply removing most of the flower blooms as soon as they appear. It is very important to prune your blueberry plants regularly. It that way you will have stronger, healthier and more prolific plants.

Tips on pruning:

  • Clear away any low growth around the base;
  • Remove the dead wood;
  • Remove any short or discolored branches;
  • Keep pruning until you have removed 1/3- ½ of the wood out your plants each year.

Fertilize the soil

In order to fertilize the soil you can useacid fertilizers such as azalea or rhododendron formulations. You may want to consult your local garden center for any other recommendations. You need to know that blueberries are very sensitive to over-fertilization. Therefore when you fertilize the soil you need to be careful not to add to many fertilizers. Be sure to follow the label instructions.You should fertilize the soil twice a year, once in early spring and again in late spring. After you’ve fertilized the soil, you should always water it thoroughly.

If you decide to use organic fertilizers, we recommend blood meal and cottonseed as they are proven to work well. Manures should be avoided because they can damage the plants.

Source: FashionMG- Style