Planting and growing your own fresh blueberries is easy. The berries grow on bushes that can be grown in-ground or in containers on a small patio. These delicious berries are so easy to grow even a novice gardener can harvest several pints of juicy blueberries their first growing season if you’ll use these tips for planting and growing blueberries.
A location in full sun is best, but bushes will produce well with at least 6 hours of direct sun each day.
Blueberries prefer an acidic soil with a pH level of 4.5-5.5. Incorporating chopped leaves, pine straw, peat and/or compost into the soil will raise the acidity level and create the right soil environment. Use an acidic potting soil mixture when planting blueberries in containers and add compost to the soil mix.
At least two blueberry bushes are needed for ideal pollination and an abundant harvest. Select plants that have different fruiting times so you can maximize the length of the harvest season. Also select plants that are hardy in your particular growing zone so they can survive the winter weather.
How To Plant Bluberries
Position each bush so the top of the root ball will be one-half inch above soil level when planted. A blueberry bush must take in oxygen through its roots to survive, so shallow planting is essential. If planted too deeply the roots will be smothered and the bush will not survive.
Place bushes 5 feet apart in-ground or in a 5-gallon container. Water bushes after planting and place 6 inches of pine straw, pine bark, hay or leaves around the base of each plant to help retain moisture, prevent weed growth and protect exposed roots.
Fertilize once in early spring and again in late spring. Be sure to always water thoroughly after fertilizing. Use acidic fertilizers such as rhododendron or azalea formulations. Blueberry bushes are very sensitive to over-fertilization, so use restraint when applying fertilizer.
Outstanding Color Display
Bushes bear tiny white or pink flowers in early spring, then followed by the emergence of blue-green leaves. Berries follow the leaves and because the berries don’t ripen all at once, the bushes will have berries in various stages of ripeness that range in color from green, pink and blue for most of the summer.
Fall foliage on blueberry bushes is spectacular too, with brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow in late fall that will drop off to reveal red stems all winter.