These easy-going shrubs are beautiful and they bare blueberries within 2-3 years. I just bought mine at a nursery because early spring is the best time of year to plant them. I talked to the people at the nursery, did some online research, and consulted with my mom to find out as much as possible about the best way to plant blueberries. Here I will share the what I learned along with my experience on how to plant blueberry bushes and benefits of growing blueberry bushes.
Blueberries are native to North America and have had an impact upon the culture, cuisine, and even survival of Americans for centuries. Blueberries are high in nutritional value, have medicinal uses, and can even be used for making natural dyes.
Benefits of Growing Blueberry Bushes
- Attractive Shrubs which are great in the home and garden landscape, with pretty little white bonnet flowers.
- Insect resistant.
- Bear highly nutritious, delicious blueberries.
- Perennial plant, which will continue to grow 6-10 feet high depending on the variety.
- Once established they do not require a lot of maintenance.
- Very productive: 10 year old blueberry plants can yield 14 quarts of blueberries.
When To Plant Blueberry Bushes
If you are wondering when to plant blueberry bushes, the best time of year is early spring. You will want to wait until the last frost date has passed for your time zone and then feel free to get them in. If you wait till the summer, it is harder on the plant since the roots dry out so much more quickly and frequently. You want the blueberry bushes to have a chance to grow and flourish before they die lose their leaves for the fall and winter. So the best time to plant blueberry bushes is early spring.
How To Plant Blueberry Bushes:
1. You will need at least two blueberry plants of different cultivars so they can cross-pollinate. You can ask for two or more cultivars at your local plant nursery. They should have these available since it is common knowledge amongst gardeners that these plants have to be cross pollinated in order to bear blueberries. This is the most important tip for how to plant blueberry bushes.
2. Choose a sunny location. Blueberries like the sun and they produce more fruit in the sun.
3. You will need ACIDIC SOIL IN A PREPARED BED, WITH A PEAT MULCH. Some people shy away from growing blueberries because they need acidic soil, which is a rarity in most gardens and homesteads. But this is easily remedied. You can buy a soil ammendment especially for this purpose. But, I prefer the natural solutions: if you have Cedar trees near you, or a Juniper or other established tree with acidic properties, such as pine, you may have the perfect mulch and soil ammendment right under these tress, lying on the forest floor- pine needles, cedar needles, cedar shavings, and the soil under one of these acidy plants. Use these to prepare your blueberry “bed” or blueberry “holes.” Soil should be 5 to 5.6 in pH. A liberal amount of peaty material is needed; a mulch of peat is fine.
4. Dig your holes wide with a depth equal to the pot height. You want it to have plenty of room to spread its roots, into lose acidic soil, with peat for good drainage. Plant blueberry bushes about 3 feet apart.
Once you pick out your plants, different cultivars for cross-pollination (blue berries are not self-pollinating), and you prepare the soil and the location by making happy holes for transplanting your new plant directly from its package into the ground, you will want make a good effort in the planting process. These blueberry growing tips are an excellent investment for your future plant and its and productivity. I got these blueberry growing tips from an old gardening book I trust, (affiliate link) Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, 1973.
” Upon arrival of the plants (rooted shrubs) for setting out, it is urgent that the roots be protected from drying. Cover them at once with soil – if unpacked. Do not expose the roots to the drying effects of sun or wind.”
“Dig the hole large enough to receive the roots without bending or cramping.”
“When the hole is half filled, tamp the soil firmly. Fill the hole and tamp the soil harder. Leave loose soil on top or cover with mulch. Leave a saucer like depression at the top to catch water.”
5. Water your new plants thoroughly to dampen the roots and them settle in to the soil. And that is it for how to plant blueberry bushes! You have done it!
TIP: When at the nursery, ask for a plant that is 2 years old, and has a jump-start on the 1 year old plants. At the nursery where I got mine, the smaller plant was $10, while they older and larger plant was $20.
I hope you found these benefits of growing blueberry bushes to be as exciting as I do. Why not have edible landscaping around your house? I also hope you found these tips on how to plant blueberry bushes useful. Do you think you will plant blueberry bushes this year?