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How To Grow Blueberries in a Home Garden
Blueberries are a great plant to grow in a home garden because they grow easily in small spaces. The can even be planted and grow in containers on patios and small areas.
Blueberries consist of three main types they include highbush, rabbiteye, and southern highbush. Depending on the variety they grow well in different areas and climates and worse in other areas. Blueberries don't like it too warm or too cold therefore the best zones from them are zones 4-9.
First thing you have to do before planting any blueberries in your garden is to choose a plant right for your climate. Learn what zone you live in before choosing a plant. Blueberries like sun so make sure your planting area has enough sunlight during the summer months.
- The Highbush variety of blueberry is hardy for zones 3-7. (Mature size 8-10 high and 6-8' wide)
- Rabbiteye blueberry is for zones 7-9 (approx. 15' high and 10' wide)
- Southern Eye blueberry enjoys zones 7-10 (3-6' high and 4-5' wide)
Remember all blueberries require full sun.
Blueberries like to have an acid soil (pH 4.5 to 5.5) in order to grow well. To make a soil more acidic use peat moss, coffee grounds and pine needles about a year in advance. Once the soil is adjusted you will have to maintain it throughout the life of the plants.
When choosing a plant look for ones that are about 2 to 3 years old. The older plants will suffer more shock when transplanting them.
Blueberries should be planted in early spring. Peat moss can be added into the soil when digging a hole. Keep the soil loose, and well drained. Plants can be spaced about 4-5 feet apart but check the directions on the plant provided by the garden store or ask the nursery about planting.
The plant should be planted well enough for its roots to spread out in the area and the roots should be completely covered. When growing blueberries in a container plant them about an inch deeper than the pot they came in. Mulch can be added after planting but be sure to use organic mulch and fertilizer because you will be eating the berries.
Water the plants well and provide them with a deep watering at least once a week. Since blueberries are roots are shallow they need at least a couple of inches of water each week and more during dry weather.
Blueberries do require some pruning and maintenance. Their first two years be sure to remove all of the flowers on the plant. They look pretty and will be hard to do but it will pay off in later years with an abundance of fruit. Your berries will get larger because of doing this.
Be sure to check for dead or older branches and try to keep the birds and pests away with netting. Insect problems can be researched through garden stores or your local extension.
Two to four years after planting blueberries will begin to product fruit so you will have to be patient. Don't pick the berries as soon as they turn blue. Let them hang on a branch a few more days to develop their aroma and sweetness. If you pick them before they ripe they will not ripen off their plant. If you have to pull a berry off of its branch it is not ready yet. The nice thing is that they will hang on their branch even after they ripe so picking about twice a week will be okay.
Blueberries are natures candy and growing them can give you so much joy once they are ready to be picked and eaten.
Garden Pots and Containers
More Berry Ideas
Berries are one of the best fruits for you and they are great tasting. From blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and more there is nothing like it when it is fresh from the garden.
Berries can be eaten many ways including straight from the garden. Bakers love to use them in muffins, pies and cakes. There are so many different species of berries to choose from many gardeners enjoy growing them.
When choosing a berry plant be sure to select one that is edible. There are trees and plants the produce berries that are only made for birds to eat and decorative use. Be sure to ask plant expert what would work best in your garden. Berry plants can add a colorful touch to a garden or landscape design.
With their rich colors and delicious taste there is no reason not to try planting a colorful berry plant in your yard or garden this spring!
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