Where & How to Plant Blueberry Bushes in North Carolina

Overview

Whether you want to be able to pick a few blueberries to eat fresh, or a large harvest for cobblers and jams, growing blueberry bushes has delicious rewards. In North Carolina, all areas of the state are suitable for growing blueberries, so there's no reason not to try growing such a delectable fruit. The best time for planting is in the late fall so you can see successful growth begin the following spring and be picking berries by the second growing season.

Step 1

Dig a hole at least a foot deep and a foot wide for each bush, larger if your blueberry bush is in a pot bigger than a gallon size. Space your plants 4 to 6 feet apart, in rows 4 to 6 feet apart. If you are growing several dozen plants, place your rows 10 feet apart to allow room for air circulation and harvesting.

Step 2

Add 3 inches of compost or composted manure to the hole followed by 3 inches of composted evergreen needles. These will increase moisture retention and create an acidic soil. Mix the two together well with a hand trowel.

Step 3

Remove the root ball of your blueberry bush from its pot and set the bush into the hole, moving the soil mixture aside as needed to make the plant level with the ground surface. Fill in the spaces around the plant with the soil mix already in the hole or the soil that was removed from digging.

Step 4

Soak the soil thoroughly after planting and continue to soak it weekly for the first month. Keep the plant well watered thereafter when rainfall isn't sufficient and during periods of heat.

Step 5

Spread mulch around the base of the blueberry bushes in a 2-inch layer using pine needles, straw, or bark mulch to retain water in around the roots of the plant and decrease the chance of weeds popping up.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't fertilize blueberry bushes immediately after planting, as this can cause damage. Wait until the plant is well established.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Compost or composted manure
  • Composted evergreen needles
  • Hand trowel
  • Potted blueberry plants
  • Water
  • Mulch (pine needles, straw, bark)

References

  • "Growing Fruit and Vegetables"; Richard Bird; 2003
  • NC State: Growing blueberries in the home garden
Keywords: planting blueberry bushes, growing blueberries, North Carolina blueberries

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for WidescreenWarrior.com as a contributor and podcast co-host.