The varieties mentioned here are old favorites. Good blueberry cover crops for pre-planting include grasses and grains. Mound the plant’s top soil about 1/2 inch higher than the existing ground and firm around root ball. Ammonium sulfate is usually used as a fertilizer for blueberries, as opposed to the aluminum sulfur used to lower the pH. Blueberry bushes have pointed, oblong leaves that are leathery to the touch, turning a brilliant red in the fall. Mix 1/2 cubic foot of peat moss per plant into the soil at planting time. You won’t get many berries, but no pruning is necessary until the fourth year. While you’re waiting for the blueberries to darken, drape netting over bushes. Leave the soil level an inch or so down from the lip of the container. Blueberries are their sweetest if allowed to stay on the plant at least a week after turning blue. The traditional highbush types prefer humid air and a cold winter climate, but the types bred for southern gardens do not tolerate freezing temps. Planting Blueberries Blueberries prefer a sunny location with fertile, well-drained, acid soil (pH 4.5 to 5.5) amended with organic matter. ; Soak bare-rooted plants in a bucket of water for 30 minutes prior to planting. It is USHBC policy that membership on the Council and its committees reflect the diversity of individuals served by its programs. Remove all but the top two or three leaves, and plant the cutting immediately in a moist growing medium. If your garden has heavy clay soil, blueberries will fare better in raised beds. Choose a bright spot with 6-8 hours of sun per day. Be sure to select a variety that is rated for your growing climate. Then mound soil up along sides of exposed root mass and water in well. Blueberry plants need full sun to grow and fruit well, and to avoid common diseases. You can mix some peat moss into your planting hole to keep the soil loose, acidic, and well-draining. Still, some people prefer the blueberries that grow wild in forests and fields. In the first two years, remove any flowers that appear. Mature blueberry bushes produce about eight quarts of berries per bush. For additional guidance on planting blueberries in your home garden, contact your local county Cooperative Extension office. Be sure the plants get a deep watering at least once per week. Unfortunately, scavenging birds may get to the fruit before you do. When the ground is workable, it’s time to get out there and put the bushes into the ground. Blueberries thrive in acidic, well-drained soil. But you can use any fertilizer for acid-loving plants, including blueberry food and azalea food. You can plant blueberry bushes as close as 2 or 2.5 feet apart to form solid hedgerows, or space them up to 6 feet apart so they grow individually. Use a soil test kit to determine the pH of the soil. Plant in Late Autumn or Early Spring. How to Plant Blueberry Bushes Tip: Be careful not to plant them too deeply. Blueberry bushes need to … Cultivated blueberries are continually being bred for higher yields, heat and cold tolerance, and better pest resistance. Older plants suffer more transplant shock and will still take a few years to begin producing large harvests. We … Bark mulch, acid compost, sawdust and grass clippings all work well. You can plant blueberry bushes as close as 2 or 2.5 feet apart to form solid hedgerows, or space them up to 6 feet apart so they grow individually. Most home gardeners will need to prepare special high acid soil in order to provide the proper blueberry plant care. Tips on soil, fertilizing, and pruning. In most areas, it’s ideal to plant blueberries in the fall or spring. Most types prefer a fairly sheltered location, protected from strong winds. Be patient: Three-year-old plants may produce a small harvest, but a meaningful harvest may take as long as six years. Blueberries can be grown in home gardens anywhere in North Carolina if the right species and proper soil modifications are used. Then, add 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 cm) of mulch to the planting side. Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season. Blueberries like very acidic soil, with a soil pH in the rage of 4.0 to 5.2. Blueberries are best planted in early spring. Blueberry bushes are easy to grow, disease resistant, and can live for 30 to 40 years. In most areas, it is ideal to plant in the fall or spring although in many regions you can plant year round. Blueberry plants produce fruit after 3 to 4 years of growth. There are some fungal diseases that can affect blueberries, including powdery mildew and leaf spot diseases. To accomplish this objective, the USHBC will strive to attain representation of growers and other industry participants from diverse backgrounds on the Council and USHBC committees. USHBC programs are open to all individuals without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, genetic information, parental status and marital or family status. The berries are large, light blue and ripen later in the season, usually in mid-June to late July. To this end, the USHBC strongly encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to seek nominations to the USHBC and to participate in Council and USHBC committee activities. It also helps to give your plants plenty of space for good air circulation, plant in full sun, clean up any fallen debris, and replace the mulch annually, so the spores cannot over-winter in the area. The absolute best time to plant blueberries is in late autumn or … Once your blueberry plants are established, they will respond well to acid fertilizers such as rhododendron or azalea formulations. Dig an 18" hole (around and deep) for the small gallon container blueberry plant, adjust accordingly for smaller plants Amend the soil if necessary Remove the blueberry plant from the pot, loosening the root ball and spreading the roots Place the blueberry plant in the hole along with any soil amendments Cover the soil around the shrubs with organic mulch to maintain the soil moisture and control weeds. Blueberries are an ideal year round addition to the landscape. If you should experience problems, you may need to use a fungicide labeled for use on edible plants. Beginning in the fourth year, prune your blueberry bushes in early spring, while they are still dormant. Ideal pH is 4.5 to 5.5, so plants can be successfully planted with acid-loving ornamental landscape plants, such as azaleas, camelias and gardenias. If you purchased containerized blueberry plants, remove from pot and lightly roughen up the outside surface of the root ball. Sandy soil is preferable to dense, clay soil. Northern highbush blueberries are natives of North America. How to Plant Blueberries After you've prepared the correct soil, dig a hole that's twice as wide and twice as deep as the root of the plant. Immediately water the pot thoroughly to settle the soil and eliminate any air gaps around the plant's roots. If you're growing in rows, space each row at least 8 feet apart. Your plants will get bigger and more vigorous because of this. Evergreen wood chips, like pine or cedar, sawdust, and pine needles will help keep the soil acidified. When selecting blueberry bushes, the best choice is bare-root plants that are 2 to 3 years old. 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