11 Tips for Planting Blueberry Bushes

June 1st, 2010

1. Make sure you purchase at least two varieties of blueberry bushes. Most species need cross pollination in order to produce fruit. I’ve met people who say they don’t get berries on their blueberry bushes. After asking them some questions, it turns out that they are growing just one variety. There are highbush varieties that can grow more than 6 feet tall, lowbush varieties that are generally shorter than 2 feet, and half high varieties about 3 feet tall.

2. Be sure that you are purchasing a variety that will live in your growing zone. Blueberries can be grown virtually anywhere in the continental United States and into Canada. I’ve noticed that some local nurseries will sell varieties that could not survive the cold winters of Zone 4 where I live. Pay attention to the zones indicated on the label.

3. When burying your new blueberry starts in the ground, make sure to dig a big enough hole so that the roots can spread out to their natural length – never cramp the roots in a small hole. A good measure of how much room to give the roots is to place the plants at the same levels as they were when you purchased them at your local nursery.

4. Once the plants are in the ground, use a surface mulch to keep soil moisture even. The new plants will require more water than usual, so be sure to water your new blueberry plants more frequently

5. Choose an area with at least 6 hours of sun to plant your blueberries. In hot summer climates, place the container in a partially shaded area. Allow about 4′ to 5′ between plants for development.

6. Blueberries prefer soil with an acid pH level so if you are planning on growing blueberries, you will need to prepare the soil for planting. Purchase some peat moss and aluminum sulphate when you purchase your blueberry plants. Work the peat and aluminum sulfate into the soil. The hole you dig should be 4 or five inches deeper than the pot and at least 2 times wider than the pot.

7. Plant the bush so that the soil surrounding the plant is even with the soil in the pot. You will want to mulch around the bush. Pine needles create an acid pH level so mulching with pine needles or pine bark is ideal. However, other mulching material will work too.

8. Water your bush thoroughly and make sure to water it regularly (maybe two or three times a week) when it is newly planted. If you are growing blueberries that are established, they need approximately one inch of water a week during growing season.

9. The most painful part of the process of planting blueberries is to take off all or most of any existing blossoms so that the plant can put its energy into the root system. I clipp all the blossoms when I plant my plants the first season. The next year I add one more variety to my blueberry garden and I only clipped about 2/3 of the blossoms.

10. Rabbits have been known to completely devour bushes and plants, so you can add a small fence to protect the blueberry plants. If you see birds eating the berries, you can drape netting over the top of this fence.

11. The second season after you plant the blueberry bushes, you will want to fertilize with a fertilizer meant for plants that like acid conditions, such as Miracid.

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    Customers Say…

    I received my plants is very good condition. I was very impressed with the size and root mass of the plants, particularly for the VERY reasonable price. The other 4 people who shared the order were quite happy with the plants. I will surely recommend you to anyone considering blueberries. Now if I can cope with my alkaline soil and hard water. Thank you and the best of luck with your business.
    -Bruce Evans

    The plants arrived safely on Wednesday. They are all potted up and waiting to get outside in a couple weeks. I am extremely pleased with their nice size and root development. Wish I bought more! Hopefully with a successful summer, I will be in touch to order more next spring.

    Thanks again.

    Joe from NH