Published on May 21st, 2020
Growing blueberries can be fulfilling. They are not only delicious fruits but also add beauty to your landscape.
The good thing about growing blueberries is that they are easy to plant, pest-free, and can be planted anywhere, including your backyard.
While there is a wide range of blueberries, their basic requirements are usually similar. Growing blueberries is easier as long as you watch your climate and understand the berry types that can do well in your area.
This article highlights all the essential steps for growing and harvesting blueberries.
1. What Blueberries Need
Growing blueberries require healthy soil. This means that your soil should have enough moisture and be filled with organic material, just like that of a forest floor.
Almost all bush types grow best in well-drained soil. Consequently, blueberries need plenty of sunlight of about six hours daily and should be grown on acidic soil of a PH range of 4 to 5.5; consider doing a soil test before planting.
However, you should avoid planting your blueberries on grounds with standing water or that dries out quickly. Therefore if your backyard is bog, try growing them on raised beds.
2. Find The Best Blueberry Variety For Your Area
Different varieties of blueberries can be grown in different locations. To find the best type for your area, you can check with the farm work in Victoria or conduct an online search to get suggestions.
While blueberries are self-pollinating, growing at least two types in your backyard can facilitate better pollination.
Additionally, planting more than one variety produces larger fruits, and can help you enjoy extended fruit season since various varieties ripe at different times.
3. Plant Spacing
Growing blueberries require a line spacing of about 6 feet to 8 feet across rows. They can also grow best in the space of 4 to 6 feet apart for highbush varieties as well as 24 inches to 4 feet apart for low bush varieties.
For the Saskatoon plant, you may need a space of about 1 foot to 5 feet.
When planting blueberries in your backyard, the container-grown plants should take the same depth as in the pot.
If you want to get the plants out of their container, be gentle when removing them so as not to break the roots.
4. Mulching Blueberries
Mulching facilitates better growth of blueberries. When mulching your blueberry plants, it’s essential to keep in mind that the plants have shallow roots, and the presence of grass can easily destroy them.
That is why mulching can be of a great benefit to blueberries.
Once you grow your plants, apply mulch to a depth of about 2 inches to 3 inches, and you can increase the depth with time.
Remember that proper mulching can help conserve moisture level, correct PH levels, add organic matter as well as keep the soil nutritious.
5. Watering Blueberries
After you mulch your blueberries, it’s also crucial to ensure your plants grow in an environment with adequate water to enhance their health. Generally, blueberries require at least an inch of water weekly.
You need fresh, healthy, and ripe fruits, which you will not achieve without enough water.
Also, the blueberry bushes take a long time to bear fruits, so you want to make sure the bushes are well-maintained to survive the process.
6. Fertilizing Blueberries The Right Way
In addition to watering, blueberries require acid fertilizers along with earthworm castings, which you can apply when the plants start to bud. Fertilizer is crucial to help blueberry bushes to grow healthy and produce larger berries.
The recommended procedure is to remove the mulch surrounding the blueberry bush and spread the worm castings, then place back the mulch at the base of the bush.
7. Harvesting Blueberries
Once you successfully implement the above procedures, the last step is to harvest your blueberries. While you harvest, it’s vital to note the color changes of the fruits.
It’s recommendable to harvest the berries when their color is deep blue. You can also pick the fruits slightly under-ripe and put them in room temperature to ripen slowly.
Consequently, ensure you don’t let the fruits overripe on the plant because they can draw fruit flies such as Drosophila.
Similarly, placing them on room temperature or in the refrigerator can help them to stay for long without getting spoilt.
Eric Reyes is a passionate thought leader having been featured in 50 distinguished online and offline platforms.
His passion and knowledge in Finance and Business made him a sought after contributor providing valuable insights to his readers. You can find him reading a book and discussing current events in his spare time.