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How to Grow Blueberries
Blueberries are good for you! They are low in calories,
low in sodium and contain no cholesterol. They are a
good source of fiber and they contain pectin which is
known to lower blood cholesterol levels. They are said
to help prevent bladder infections and are said to have
some ability in preventing some kinds of cancers.
Blueberries are easy to grow, but it takes them three
years before they produce much fruit and almost six
years to get fully up to speed.
If you are in a northern state like Ohio you want
Highbush Blueberry plants. If you are in a southern
state, you want Rabbiteye or Southern Highbush
Blueberry plants will produce fruit if you only plant
one kind of Blueberry, but if you plant more than one
cultivar in your berry patch your plants will produce
more fruit and the fruit will be larger. So if possible
plant two different varieties so they can cross pollinate.
Like most plants Blueberries really like good rich soil
that drains well. They need water on a regular basis
when first planted, but don’t keep the soil soggy all
the time. Allow it to dry between waterings.
Plants should be at least 4′ apart, 5′ would be better.
For the first 3 years little pruning is required. By
the 4th year you can remove all dead wood from inside
the plant, and remove any branches that are criss
crossing inside the plant. All remaining branches
need plenty of sunlight and air flow.
It’s a good idea to put a layer of mulch over the root
zone of Blueberry plants to maintain moisture, uniform
soil temperatures and control weeds.
By years 5 and 6 you will be in Blueberry heaven and
your Blueberry plants will just keep right on producing
an ample crop of Blueberries for many years to come.
Just keep them pruned. In the colder states normal
pruning is done in mid March. Warmer states prune
Have a Blueberry good time!
Do me a favor and send this newsletter
to at least three of your gardening friends and tell them
why you like or why you don’t like me. Okey dokey?
Take care, have a great day and by all means stay inspired!
Joel LaRocco says
I have blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I need advice on pruning my berry bushes can you help. My wife is the gardener. This year she canned 75 quarts of tomatoes and 50 quarts of green beans. I also managed to get 3 gallons of honey out of my two hives.
I’m a disabled vet living on a fixed income and doing what I can to live off the land.
Thank you for your service to our country! I’m not really an expert on these plants but I just planted some berries and I will trim them back to a manageable size next spring or later this year. I might stretch a wire and tie up the raspberries to keep them manageable. Just don’t let them run amuck. If you prune them they’ll do fine, make flowers then berries.
Hi Mike, I wrote 2 years ago to ask for your advice about our blueberries. Is using pine needles for mulch under blueberry bushes a good idea or is there a better mulch to keep down weeds, etc?.
I’m still waiting for your reply.
PS Also any advice about getting rid of fire ants and keeping deer out would be terrific.
I’m sure the pine mulch is fine around the blueberries. Deer, there are deer repellents that work to a degree, but only a tall fence works 100% of the time. I’ve watched deer clear my 48″ fence like it were a jump rope. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2012/11/homemade-deer-repellent/
Bob Bales says
I am from Billings, Montana and we have soils here that have high pH. They say blueberries need acidic soil with pH no higher than around 5. I am really sad that I can’t grow blueberries but not much I can do to lower the pH.
Great info on blueberries. I’m in Ohio zone 6A and need to dig out 2 blueberry bushes. Am I too late to do that – will they survive? And they were producing really well, will it slow down production for this year?
As long as they haven’t yet leafed out you can move them. If they have leafed out you really need to wait until late fall/early winter.
Hi Mike, Thanks for all your great articles and information. Would it be okay/good to mulch our blueberry plants with pine straw/needles? We have older blueberry bushes and some are starting to die out; any suggestions to help save them? We live in northeast Mississippi, What can we do to discourage chiggars from getting under them? Also, fire ants keep invading and making hills in the roots of everything; is there a way to get rid of them without hurting the plants? Many thanks and best wishes~!
Mike Hughes says
How about propagation ideas? This is good but see this everywhere.
Where would you suggest get blueberry plants. I live in Idaho so I was thinking I’d build a hoop house over them for the winters. Will that work?
Superfood Sisters says
Lot of good information about blueberry growing!! I want to get some bushes but we have a lot of deer. Do they tend to eat them and if so any suggestions on keeping them away??