How to Grow Blueberries
Blueberries - An Easy to Grow Treat
This page is all about how to grow blueberries in your own garden. You don't have to rely on buying then any more.
Blueberries are one of the favourite berries but are usually quite expensive in the stores. Even at farmer's matkets or at roadside stands they are not cheap. They are, however, really easy to grow.
Blueberries are also quite high in anitoxidents which are very good for your nealth and as a cancer preventative. They also improve your memory.
Blueberry - the Superfood
You have probably heard the latest on the health benefits of blueberries. They are great for your heart, to prevent cancer and have other newly discovered benefits for your memory and motor abilities. They seem to just keep your whole body running smoothly. Learn about this and how to store and use them.
How to Choose the Right Plants for Your Yard
When you go to the garden centre to buy your plants, look for healthy plants with goo branching from the bottom. They should have healthy leaves and the soil should be damp, not soaking and not dry as a bone.
To choose the variety right for you, the garden centre should be able to tell you which are good for your growing climate. To get more blueberries per plant, get more than one variety. The cross pollination increases the number of berries you will get.
Our garden centre is in Powell River, BC which is zone 8. I have also grown blueberreis when we lived in Quebec which was a zone 4. In either place Blue Crop is an excellent hardy blueberry plant and one of the most popular in North America. Tophat and Lemonade are new varieties that I have also had success with. They are specifically menat for the small garden or a planter as the plants are quite small and compact. Production is excellent for their size.
Varieties That Grow Well in Zone 4 to 8
How to Plant Blueberries
Blueberries really need acidic soil for best production. You can use litmus paper or a soil PH tester to find out if your soil is acidic or not. Blueberries enjoy soil with a PH between 4.5 and 5, which is even lower that other berries which are fine around 5.5 to 6.
To lower your PH you can add some natural amendments to your soil - elemental sulfer, and coffee grounds are both slow release and work well. Adding peat moss, shredded oak leaves and green sand also work well. Elemental sulfer and green sand are both natural products you can get at your garden centre.
When you are ready with your plants, water them well before you prepare the hole.
Dig down twice as wide as the pot your plant is in and a little deeper. You want to plant your blueberry bush slightly lower than it is in the pot. Put a mix of compost and your other amendments in the bottom of the hole. Place your plant in the middle and fill in around it with a mix of the old soil from the hole and compost with amendments. Don't go too heavy on the amendments - you can add more later. It is hard to add too much compost though and it really is a great natural food for your plants.
If your soil is very heavy (clay) then dig around deeper working in peat and compost. This will loosen it up and the plant will grow better.
Water well and water every other day for a couple of weeks unless the soil is wet.
How To Plant a Blueberry Video
This is a video of the correct way to plant a blueberry. The sound is not the best, but the method is excellent. He also gives an excellent reason not to use Roundup - it often kills more than you want. And then, of course, there are the health concerns.
Here are a couple of books that have great information on how to grow them - and other berries. Blueberries caan really be a decorative part of your yard.
There is also a wonderful cookbook. There is nothing like a blueberry treat. This one has recipes like Goat Cheese Tart with Caramelized Onions and Blueberries; Arugula, Prosciutto, and Blueberry Salad with Honey-Citrus Vinaigrette; Pork Tenderloin with Peach-Blueberry Chutney; and Blueberry Salsa. YUM
Blueberries, once established do well on their own. If your soil is not naturally acidic, adding some coffee ground now and again will be quite sufficient. You can tell if it not acidic enough as the leaves will be a bit on the yellow side.
Top dress with only a litte compost each fall or early spring and you are set to enjoy wonderful fresh blueberries from your own yard. Blueberries actually do not like very fertile soil - of maybe they like it too much and are content. Whichever theory you like - too fertile soil means no berries.
Starting the fourth year you have your plants, prune them in March. You want to take out any really old (very thick) stems and any that look damaged or week. Aim for about 16 stems per plant.
Blueberry Treats - for the Off Season
Wonderful Blueberry Recipes - Our Family Favorites
Once you have grown your blueberries of course you want to enjoy them. At our place I approimate that over half never make itinto the kitchen But for those that do - here are our favorite uses.
- Blueberry Freezer Jam
Easy easy jam making. Saves for a long time and tastes great - like fresh blueberries.
- To Die For Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry muffins, warm in the morning out of the oven. What could be better? If you get the batter ready the night before and put it in the fridge it is really easy to get going in the morning. One tip ro remember though - only put the blueberries
- Blueberry Zucchini Bread
We love zucchini bread as it is but when you add blueberries it is even better. I have never made this bread and had it last for more than an hour after it gets out of the oven.
- The Best Blueberry Desert - Blueberry Cheesecake
Blueberry cheesecake is one of our favorites - but then we pretty much like most types of berries on cheesecake. Try this with your blueberries or a mix as you see in the recipe, and you will not be disappointed.
- Best Cheesecake if its Too Hot to Cook - NO Bake Cheese Cake
Try this for an oh so easy dessert that disappears in no time. For a chocolately fruity cheesecake treat, sometimes I get chocolate wafers and use them instead of graham crackers. You just put them in a bread bag and roll them with your rolling pin