How to Grow Blueberry Bushes
Highbush Blueberry Bushes
Highbush blueberries (Vaccinium Corymbosum) are deciduous shrubs that grow up to 4 meters high. They produce medium to large size blueberries. There are many varieties all with their own characteristics, but to ensure a high-yield of blueberries and large size it is best to cross pollinate different blueberry varieties together.
Blueberry bushes also have a great ornamental value. With a little pruning the bushes are easy to manage. White blueberry flowers will bloom in the spring and last for about two weeks. They produce shiny, deep green leaves in the summer. In the fall, the leaves of the blueberry bushes will turn a brilliant red. Planting blueberry bushes on your property can provide a lot of benefits and uses; you can create a hedge with them, and a great source of fresh berries each year.
Even just to see all the blueberries growing and ripening is quite attractive and provides a lot of ornamental value to your garden. And the bushes will also attract various wildlife.
How to Grow Blueberries from Seed
Blueberry seeds can be started indoors or outdoors. An easy easier way to germinate the seeds is to just sow the seeds onto pre-moistened sphagnum peat moss. You will want to use 2-3 inches of peat. The temperature needs to be around 20 C, or 70-80 F. The seeds don't need to be covered, but if you start them outdoors you can lightly cover them with some peat. Make sure you keep the seeds moist and don't let them dry out. You also don't want to keep them soggy as they will disintegrate. The soil should just feel moist.
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Once the seeds have germinated and they have at least two sets of leaves the plants are much more hardy. At that point you can let the soil dry out a little between waterings. Germination of the seeds can take somewhere around two to four weeks. The plants will produce berries within three years.
Three years may seem like a long time, but the plants will be very hardy by that time and will produce good crops.
To produce a full crop of berries, your bushes will need a lot of energy, so you will need to plant them in a location with full sun. It's very important you plant the bushes in acidic soil as they need it to thrive. An optimal soil pH for them is around 4-4.5.
Dig a large size hole for your blueberry shrub and fill in around your plant a 50/50 mixture of soil and sphagnum peat moss. The peat will help retain moisture in the soil. After your plant is in place and the soil is added, you will want to add 3-4 inches of mulch. The mulch will also help retain the moisture in the ground.
Once your blueberries are established they will be able to tolerate dry conditions, but it is best to water them weekly, or enough to prevent prolonged dry periods. It really depends on the weather, how much moisture your soil retains, and how much rain has fallen.
Once your blueberries are established they require very little maintenance. Each year you will be rewarded with great tasting, fresh blueberries. The berries are super healthy for us and you will save a lot money not having to buy them.