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How to Grow Blueberries

Delicious and nutritious....  growing blueberry bushes is a real treat. What more could a gardener ask for? Well, for starters, I'd ask for the birds to stay away from them as they ripen. But, how can you blame them for enjoying this great  and healthy summertime snack!?

Many fruit trees are simply too big, and require too much maintenance, for the average homeowner's backyard. 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 large quantities......

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 Blueberries

How to Grow Blueberries:

Select healthy, young blueberry bushes from a reputable nursery or garden supply store.

Plant the bushes in the spring. Blueberry bushes grow best in 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 Online

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 year.

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". Birds absolutely love blueberries. Home gardeners and commercial growers quickly find this out. And, those birds can be 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 of control, short of a shotgun, is bird netting placed over the bushes. It is relatively inexpensive, and will last for a few years.

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, blueberry bushes

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.

More Information:

Buy Blueberry Bushes

More on growing Blueberries

Principles of Pruning Blueberries

More on Bird Control

Soil Testers

Bird Netting - Why let the birds eat all those plump Blueberries?

Buy Raised Garden Bed Frames Attractive, long lasting and affordable.

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Bird Control


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