Planting Blueberries and site Selection
Site Selection...Where to Put them
All types of blueberries grow best in full sun. Plants tolerate partial
shade, but production declines as shade increases. Blueberries are shallow
rooted and poor competitors against large rooted trees, shrubs, and weeds that
compete for water, nutrients, and crowd airways necessary to good blueberry
The most important element is growing blueberries is soil composition.
To make the most of your blueberry planting, begin necessary soil amendments
the year before planting. Blueberries grow best in loose, sandy loam. Although
you may run across wild blueberries growing in a bog, on closer inspection
you’ll see that plants grow on small, natural hills.
Blueberries need moisture retentive, well-drained, humus-rich soil with good aeration.
Soil acidity is also very important in growing blueberries. Plants need a pH of 4.0 to no more than 5.0 to thrive. Initially, bring the pH down to acceptable levels with sulphur or 4 to 6 inches of acid peat mixed into the first 6 to 8 inches of topsoil. Also, enrich soil with good organic compost.
Although most blueberries self-pollinate, plant two or more varieties
within a type for a larger harvest of more voluptuous fruits. Five plants
provide enough blueberries for fresh eating, drying, and preserving for a
family of four.
Plant blueberries in spring after all danger of frost passes.
several plants, you may find it easier to prepare a bed rather than digging
holes for individual plants. Add a generous portion of peat moss to your
trench or hole both to increase the organic content and to ensure continued
Standard spacing for highbush, half-high, and rabbiteye bushes is five to six feet apart in rows eight to ten feet distant. Dig holes or make your row three to four inches deeper than the size of the root balls. Pack soil firmly around the roots of each plant.
Plant lowbush varieties one to three feet apart in rows three to four feet distant. Cover about a third of the top stems with soil to encourage runners to develop.
Once established, a blueberry bush may remain productive for decades with just a minimum of care. But a minimum of care means something else than no care at all.
In the next article we will cover what we mean by minimum blueberry care.