Saturday, June 8, 2013

Blueberries Galore!

I have gotten many, many compliments on my blueberries.  I have 6 plants and have been tending them for 5 years.  I have 2 early season, 2 mid-season and 2 late season plants.  I wanted to ensure a good crop from June well into August and even September so I chose a nice variety of ripening times.

Here are my favorite varieties of blueberries to grow because they do well at the garden, they are easy to care for and most of all produce delicious and nutritious fruit.

Tips for planting are:  Dig a giant planting hole, fill half of the hole with peat moss (acidic and boggy), add 1 full cup of organic acid loving plant fertilizer, water well, add blueberry plant, back fill the hole with soil, top dress with compost, water and then mulch with 3-4 inches of pine needles.)  For the first year, keep your berries watered, after the first year, I only water about once every 7-10 days in moderate temps. In warm weather, 1 water once a week.

Tips for growing:    In spring, prune away all dead and broken branches from winter.  Mulch, mulch well with pine needles!  Pine needles are acidic and blueberries have shallow root systems so they do not like to dry out.  Plant an herb (chives, clover, oregano, sage, thyme) that attracts lots of bees near your blueberries to help with pollination, you can even do this in a pot then move the pot when all your berries have set.  After fruits have formed and begin to ripen, watch out for birds.  If they come after your berries you will have to put a net over them to protect your crop or use flash tape to scare them away. Once your berries start to ripen, withhold water until you have picked all your berries.  Next, spring, add 1 cup of organic acid loving fertilizer per plant (gently scratch it into the top inch of the soil around your plants), top dress with compost, mulch with new pine needles then sit back and relax as you harvest a bumper crop of berries.