Growing Your Own Blueberries
Rather than spending money on blueberries week after week at the grocery store, why not grow them for yourself? It can be an easy way to put a few dollars back in your pocket.
Below are a few tips for starting and caring for your very own blueberry plants:
1. Before you purchase your plants, make sure you choose a variety of blueberries that will thrive in your area. Blueberries can be grown virtually anywhere in the continental United States. There are varieties of blueberries that cannot survive cold winters, so pay close attention to the labels and speak with an expert before making a purchase.
2. Try to purchase at least two varieties of blueberry bushes. Most species need cross pollination in order to produce fruit. Also consider how large you want the bushes to be. There are high-bush varieties that can grow more than 6 feet tall, low-bush varieties that are generally shorter than 2 feet, and half-high varieties that will grow to about 3 feet tall.
3. Plant your blueberries in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight throughout the day.
4. Blueberries prefer soil with an acid pH level. Purchase some peat moss and aluminum sulfate when you purchase your blueberry plants. Working the peat moss and aluminum sulfate into the soil will bring the pH level to a blueberry-friendly level. Dig the hole 4 or five inches deeper than the pot and at least 2 times wider than the pot.
5. After planting, 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.
6. Make sure to water your bush thoroughly immediately after planting, and water it regularly (two or three times a week) when it is newly planted. Established blueberry plants will need approximately one inch of water a week during growing season.
Hopefully soon you will be able to walk outside in the morning and pick fresh blueberries to add to your cereal or yogurt! Happy growing!