Blueberry Planting and Care Guide
Quick Facts About Blueberries
One of the favorite summer fruit crops is Blueberries. They are great for growing in the backyard, and produce a tasty berry that has the highest antioxidant capacity of all the popular fruits and vegetables. Blueberry plants can be expensive to purchase from nurseries, but with a little patience, plants can be grown from seed with little cost and effort.
Blueberry seeds can be started anytime of the year if they receive enought light and heat. The seed should be stratified for the best results.
Blueberry plants thrive in full sun. The soil needs to be in the acidic range and drain well.
How to Plant Blueberries
- Use trays filled with sphagnum peat moss
- The trays should be 2 - 3 inches deep
- Sprinkle the Blueberry seeds evenly over the surface
- Cover with no more than 1/8 - 1/4 inch of peat moss
- Keep the peat moss constantly moist
- Place the flat in a warm location - temperatures of 70 - 80F are good
- Trays should be in bright light for best growing
- Blueberries are slow to germinate - the first sprouts will show in about 4 weeks
- Allow another 2 - 3 weeks for all the seeds to germinate
- Leave the plants in the tray until they are 2 - 3 inches in height
- Carefully remove the plants and separate them from each other being careful not to damage the roots
- Fill pots that are 3 - 4 inches in diameter with peat moss and pot each individual plant in a pot
- Keep the pots continually moist
- After 3 - 4 weeks of growth in the new pot, begin fertilizing, using a gentle, organic fertilizer at half strengh
- For the entire first year, keep the Blueberry plants well watered and fertilized.
- Re-pot the plants into larger pots once the plants reach about 8 inches in height
- Continue growing in pots until the plants are 12 - 18 inches, and at that point, the plants are large enough to transplant into the garden
- Tranplant in the fall after the plant has gone dormant
- Many Blueberry plants will have blooms and berries within 2 years
- A plant should reach maturity and full production around 7 years
Care And Maintenance
- Mulch Blueberry plants with peat moss, aged wood chips, or pine needles to help maintain proper pH, suppress weeds and help retain moisture
- Prune as needed
- Fertilize in spring/early summer
- Keep soil moist - 1 inch of water per week is suggested
- Inspect plants for pests or disease