Blueberries are incredibly useful plants. Not only do they give us these delicious berries but they are pretty spring through fall. Some varieties even have reddish stems in the winter! The key to planting blueberries is soil pH. Blueberries prefer 6.0 or below. Always use organic fertilizer on blueberries. Organic fertilizer makes them disease resistant, heat resistant and just healthier which means a prettier, more productive plant for us!
HERE’S A FEW TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED.
Well-drained soil is a must! Not sure if you have well-drained soil? Try this trick: dig a hole approximately 1’ deep by 1’ wide. Fill it with water and let it drain. Then fill it with water again but this time note the time. It should drain 1” per hour or faster. If it does not, then you have poor-draining soil and need to create raised beds for your blueberries or plant in containers.
Once you have established that you have well-drained soil to plant in, go ahead and dig the hole. The hole should be twice as wide as the container the blueberry is currently in, and 1 1/2 times as deep. In the hole, fill it with Gardner & Bloome Acid Planting Mix, add a handful (check the package for recommended dose) of Soil Sulfur, add an organic acid fertilizer like Gardner & Bloome Rhody, Azalea & Camellia or Espoma Hollytone (check the package for recommended amount), cover all with native soil and mix thoroughly. Next, plant your blueberry so that the root ball is just above the rest of the soil to allow for settling. Now mulch! You need to mulch the soil up to 4” thick with a medium to coarse bark like orchid bark. Mulching with coarse bark filters salts out of the irrigation water, therefore keeping the soil acidic. Make sure to keep the mulch away from the stems of the plant otherwise it may smother and kill the plant! Water thoroughly when finished.
Feed as directed with an organic acid based fertilizer like Gardner & Bloome Rhody, Azalea & Camellia food beginning at bud break (when new growth begins in spring) and ending no later than July 30th. Feeding after July 30th is unnecessary since after the summer solstice, they begin to go dormant. For an extra boost, use Neptune’s Harvest Liquid Seaweed and Fish fertilizer applied as a foliar spray, 3 times per year; at bud break, pre-harvest and post-harvest.
For these and more tips stop by the nursery pick up our FREE Guide to Growing Blueberries!