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How to Grow Blueberries at Home in Just a Few Easy Steps

27 marzo, 2024

Blueberries are popular in home gardens because they can grow in a small space, even in containers. In fact, they are one of the easiest berries to grow. Look here how to grow blueberries at home in just a few easy steps.

There are three main types of blueberries: highbush, rabbiteye and southern highbush, as described below. Everyone has their own growing preferences, so be sure to choose the right blueberry for your garden conditions.

Blueberries are a large species of flowering and fruiting shrubs that are native to North America. Relatives within the genus Vaccinium include huckleberry, huckleberry, huckleberry, and cranberry.

Los blueberries Cultivated crops are continuously grown for higher yields, heat and cold tolerance, and better pest resistance. Still, some people prefer blueberries that grow wild in forests and fields. Wild berries are smaller and it will take you a while to pick enough for a pie, but many people find them the sweetest to eat. Maybe it’s a result of plants growing where they are happy.

Flores: small white, bell-shaped flowers hang in clusters in late spring.

Berries: Berries ripen over time, from green to deep purple-blue.

Leaves: The leaves are oval, oblong and pointed in shape; substantial and almost leathery to the touch. They turn bright red in the fall.

Botanical name/common name

Vaccinium corymbosum – Lingonberry

Vaccinium ashei –Rabbiteye Blueberry

Beautiful blueberry – Arándano del sur de Highbush

resistance zones

Highbush – USDA Hardiness Zones 3-7

Rabbiteye – USDA Hardiness Zones 7-9

Southern Highbush – USDA Hardiness Zones 7-10

Sun exposure

Blueberry plants need full sun to grow and fruit well, and to avoid common diseases.

Mature plant size

Highbush: 8-10 pies (h) x 6-8 pies (w)

Rabbit’s eye: 15ft (h) x 10ft (w)

Southern Highbush: 3-6 pies (h) x 4-5 pies (w)

Days to harvest: how to grow blueberries

Most blueberry plants will begin to produce a small crop in their third year, but will not begin to produce fully until about their sixth year. Mature blueberry bushes produce about eight quarts of berries per bush.

It is possible to extend your blueberry harvest by planting early-, mid-, and late-season varieties, rather than all varieties.

The only reliable way to know if blueberries are ready to pick is to try one or two. Blueberries are the sweetest if they are allowed to remain on the plant for at least a week after turning blue.

Growing tips: how to grow blueberries

Floor:

Blueberries like very acidic soil, with a soil pH between 4.0 and 4.5. They also like soil rich in organic matter. If your garden has heavy clay soil, blueberries will do better in raised beds. To obtain the correct soil pH for growing blueberries, it is best to amend the soil the season before you intend to plant. Garden sulfur or aluminum sulfur can be mixed into the top 6 inches of soil to lower the pH as needed. If you have your soil tested at a garden center or your local extension office, they will be able to tell you how much sulfur you will need. It is advisable to retest your soil before actually planting, to ensure that you have achieved the results you were looking for. Continue to modify and adjust the floor as necessary. Unfortunately, this will be an ongoing task, as the soil tends to return to its original pH.

Plantation: how to grow blueberries

Look for bare root plants that are 2-3 years old. Older plants suffer more transplant shock and will still take a few years to start producing large harvests. Plant your blueberries in early spring. You can mix some peat moss into your planting hole, to keep the soil loose, acidic and well-draining. If you only have two or three plants, space them about 4-5 feet apart. To plant rows of blueberries, space the plants about 4-5 feet apart in rows that are 9-10 feet apart. Plant blueberries so that the roots extend into the hole and are completely covered with soil. If they were container-grown plants, plant them about 1 inch deeper than they were in the pot. Mulch after planting. Evergreen wood chips, such as pine or cedar, sawdust, and pine needles will help keep the soil acidified. Make sure plants are deeply watered at least once a week. Blueberries tend to have shallow roots and need at least a couple of inches of water each week, more during dry periods.

Fertilizers: how to grow blueberries

Do not fertilize your blueberries in their first year. Roots are sensitive to salt until plants are established. Ammonium sulfate is generally used as a fertilizer for blueberries, as opposed to aluminum sulfur which is used to lower the pH. But you can use any fertilizer for acid-loving plants, including blueberry meal and azalea meal.

Caring for your plants

Pruning:

As with all berries and fruits, blueberries will continue to produce their best if pruned for maintenance.

In the first two years, all you need to do is remove any flowers that appear. That’s hard to do, but it will pay big dividends in the long run. Your plants will become larger and more vigorous because of this. Berries are produced on the branches in their second year of growth, so it is important to constantly renew the blueberry bush.

You can leave the flowers for the third year. You won’t get many berries, but pruning is not necessary until the fourth year.

Starting in the fourth year, you will prune blueberry bushes in early spring while they are still dormant. Prune any:

  • Dead or injured branches
  • crossing branches
  • Weak and thin branches

What you want to achieve by pruning is to open up the bush so that light can reach the berries in the middle of the bush. You don’t need to be too drastic.

Maintenance pruning in subsequent years will amount to thinning older branches to encourage new growth. Trim older, thicker branches back to almost ground level and prune branches that have become too long or are becoming too thin. Older branches will appear gray. Newer branches will have a more reddish tint.

Berries form on fruiting spurs on side branches. The flower buds will be larger, fatter, and rounder than the pointed leaf buds.