How to Grow Blueberries
Delicious and nutritious.... growing blueberry bushes is easy. What
more could a gardener ask for? Well, for starters, I'd ask for the birds
to stay away from them. But, how can you blame them for enjoying this great
Many fruit trees are simply too big, and require too much maintenance, for
the average homeowner. Not so with a blueberry bush. Once your blueberry
bush is planted and established, it will grow well for years with a little
sunshine, water and occasional shot of fertilizer.
Did you know? Blueberries can help lower cholesterol and reduce the
risk of cancer. As if the great taste wasn't enough reason to eat them in
The month of July is Blueberries Month. That's because the blueberry harvest
in most areas of the country is in July.
Varieties of Blueberries - There's a wide variety of blueberries.
Some bushes grow over six feet tall, while others can be grown in a container
on your patio or deck. See Varieties of
How to Grow Blueberries:
Select healthy, young blueberry bushes, from a reputable nursery or garden
Plant them in the spring. Blueberry bushes grow best is full sun. They need
acidic soils with a pH of 4.0 to 4.5. They like clay and other poor or rocky
soils. You may need to increase the acidity in your soil, to grow healthy
bushes. Space blueberry bushes about five to six feet apart. We recommend
rows eight to ten feet apart. The bushes tolerate a little crowding. Mix
in healthy amounts of compost and other organic matter. Keep a thick layer
of mulch around your blueberry bushes to eliminate weeds, and help keep the
soil moist. Water well after planting, and in the first few weeks as necessary,
to promote good root growth.
Now the waiting begins. A new blueberry bush produces fruit in the third
year! After that, your bush will thrive for many years to come, with just
a little care and maintenance.
Add fertilizer once in the spring and again in late summer. The latter
application helps to promote buds for next year.
Buy Blueberry Bushes
Pruning Blueberry Bushes
Buds for next year's fruit forms in late summer through early fall. Blueberry
buds for next year will form on second year wood. Keep this in mind when
pruning. Pruning is recommended in the winter. As you prune the newest growth,
you are reducing production for the following year. As you cut well down
an established stalk, you are reducing fruit production for the upcoming
So, what does a home gardener do? First and foremost, remove any dead or
diseased branches and stems. Then, cut away a few stalks from bushy plants.
Good air circulation, is essential to plant health. Next, trim back your
bush to maintain an acceptable height. Be careful not to cut away more than
1/2 of the newest growth.
Keep in mind pruning leads to healthier plants and fewer, but bigger berries.
Birds and Blueberries
Forget the story of the birds and the bees. We're talking the "birds and
the blueberries". Specifically, birds love blueberries. Both home gardeners
and commercial growers quickly find this out. And those birds can be oh so
smart! I realized this one day, as I walked amidst the blueberry field of
a farmer friend of mine. He had bought an expensive sound system, which
alternately played a variety of predator bird sounds and calls. I watched
as a small flock of birds munched on plump blueberries, on bushes right
next to a speaker.
If you are going to grow blueberries, you need a plan of attack to keep the
birds away. One approach is to simply share your fruit with them. As a fellow
bird lover, this may not sound too bad. But, you will need several blueberry
bushes, to keep your family and the birds satisfied.
We recommend you make those birds feel blue. Take the fruit of your labor
away from them. The most effective means , short of a shotgun, is bird netting
placed over the bushes. It is relatively inexpensive, and will last for a
Bird Netting and Frames - Learn
about bird netting and easy to make frames.
Find Bird Netting now - keep the birds out of your bushes.
Recipes: May we suggest:
Blueberry bushes put on a spectacular fall foliage display. The leaves on
a Blueberry bush, turns a colorful rust-red color. (see above)
These hardy bushes need no special protection in the winter.
Buy Blueberry Bushes
on growing Blueberries
of Pruning Blueberries
More on Bird Control
Bird Netting - Why let the birds eat all those plump
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