Growing Blueberries

Like strawberries, the blueberries are very popular in home gardens because they can be grown in small spaces, even in containers.

In the next lines I will give you some useful tips on how to grow this amazing fruit.

In the first place you should learn about the type of soil that the blueberries like. The soil should be very acidic with a soil pH in the range of 4.0- 4.5. Also blueberries like a soil rich in organic matter. In order to get the rich soil pH for blueberries, it’s best to amend the soil the season before you would like to plant. You have to mix into the top 6 inches of soil garden sulfur or aluminum sulfur to lower the pH as much as you need. Also it is recommended that before planting you should test the soil in a lab or at your local extension office for a good productivity.

In the second place you must know how to plant blueberries. You must look for young bare root plants which are 2- 3 years old. Older plants are not so good because they suffer more transplant shock. The best time to plant the blueberries is in the early spring. A good advice is to mix some peat moss into your planting hole, keep the soil loose, well- drained and acidic. You must plant in a way that the roots are spread out in the hole and completely covered in soil. You should water in well and be certain that they get a deep watering at least once a week.

In the third place you must know which fertilizers are good for blueberries. It is very important that you don’t fertilize your blueberries in the first year. The blueberry roots are very sensitive to salt until they grow in the soil and are well established. A good fertilizer for blueberries is the ammonium sulfate. If you don’t have this fertilizer you can use any type of fertilizer for acid loving plants, like blueberry food or azalea food.

In the fourth place you should know what to do against birds and insects.

The biggest problem encounter when growing blueberries is to keep away the birds. If you have only a few bushes, you can use bird netting when the berries start to ripen. But if you have a large blueberry garden you must use a bird deterrent which sends out a bird in distress call.

About the insects, you should look out for cherry fruit worm, cranberry fruit worm and plum curculio. If you know that these insects are in your area you should check your local extension for the prescribed treatment.

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