Planting Blueberries

Overview

Blueberries are not often grown in the home garden because of the acidic soil they need to flourish. This acidic soil has to be present when the blueberries are planted and maintained for the life of the blueberry plant. Once planted, most varieties of blueberries do not produce fruit for at least three seasons and it may be six growing seasons before the plants reach maturity.

Step 1

Choose a garden area that receives full sun. The soil should be naturally well-draining. The 2- to 3-year-old blueberry transplants are planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring.

Step 2

Gather soil samples from the area you wish to plant your blueberries. Blueberries require a pH balance of 4.5 and you will need to take your soil sample to your local county extension office to have it tested in order to determine how much sulfur you will need to add to make it suitable for blueberry growth. Add the sulfur to the garden according to the extension office recommendations.

Step 3

Till in additional organic matter, such as compost, peat moss or rotted pine sawdust, approximately one week before planting.

Step 4

Dig holes approximately the same size as the nursery container in which the stock was sold. The hole should be no more than 3/4 inch deeper than the original container.

Step 5

Space plants 4 to 5 feet apart and rows between 8 and 10 feet apart.

Step 6

Firm dirt removed from the dug hole around the plant using your hands to pack it in place. Water the plant thoroughly.

Step 7

Prune the stock by cutting away approximately 40 percent of the old wood. Leave any new shoots at the base of the plant intact.

Step 8

Pinch off all blossoms from the plants during the first year. Fruit production in the first year will hinder the growth of the plant.

Step 9

Mulch around the plants with pine sawdust or pine wood shavings as this will help keep the acidic content of the soil in the preferred range.

Step 10

Fertilize in the late spring using a 21-0-0 fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass jars with lids for soil collection
  • Tiller
  • Sulfur
  • Sand or peat moss
  • Organic matter
  • Shovel
  • 2- to 3-year-old Blueberry plant stock
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Oregon State University: Growing Blueberries In Your Home Garden
  • Ohio State University: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden
  • North Carolina State University: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden
Keywords: grow blueberries, plant blueberries, home garden blueberries

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.