Top 5 Tips for Growing Blueberries Successfully
Who doesn’t love freshly-picked blueberries in the summertime? Now that the beautiful weather is here, the time has come to get your blueberry bushes in the ground. Follow our top 5 care tips to get the best fruiting year out of your blueberries:
- Plant in a sunny location; better fruiting occurs in the sunshine, even though the bushes grow in semi-shady spots in nature.
- Blueberries require acidic, well-drained soil that also holds moisture well. They grow best in a pH range of 4.6 to 4.8, but should do well in a range of 4.0 to 5.2. If your soil needs its pH adjusted, it is best to do so two weeks prior to planting. Products like ammonium sulfate or soil acidifier work best to adjust the acidity level.
- When planting, plant the bushes one to two inches deeper than it was in the nursery pot and fill the hole about halfway. Then, flood the hole and let the water drain. Flooding the hole in the midst of planting ensures that the roots get proper moisture – like any new tree or shrub, water is essential to getting them established faster.
- Wood chips can be used around the base of the plant to keep weeds and stray grass at bay. When weeds grow too close to blueberry bushes, the bushes can suffer from starvation. Mulching is the best solution for weed control.
- Finally, pruning is the most important aspect of growing blueberry bushes; it is key to invigorating growth, encourage fruit production, and prevent the bushes from overbearing. For immature bushes (less than 8 years old), only dead, broken, short, or weak branches should be removed. Be mindful not to keep all of the flower buds (plump and rounded) on the plant, as this affects overbearing of fruit. When too many fruits grow on the bush, too much energy is expelled into often small and worthless fruits.