How to Grow a Blueberry Bush

Overview

Blueberries are easy to grow and not particularly picky about soil conditions--in fact, they prefer acidic, rocky soil to moist, rich. alkaline soil. Blueberry bushes take three years to produce fruit, but once they get started you will have a new crop every year. Depending on the variety, blueberries are hardy everywhere from USDA zone 3 to 9. Ask your local nursery to help you find the best variety for your climate and zone.

Step 1

Dig holes that are half again as big as the pots your young blueberry starts are in. Space holes for multiple plants 5 feet apart with 10 feet between rows.

Step 2

Turn your blueberry plant on its side and grasp the base of the stem. Gently wiggle the plant free of the pot.

Step 3

Place one blueberry plant in each hole with the base of the stem level with the surrounding soil.

Step 4

Fill in the soil around each plant a few handfuls at a time, patting it down as you go.

Step 5

Water the area until the soil is damp to a depth of 5 inches. Water to a depth of 2 inches every three days for the first four weeks after planting to encourage a strong root system. Then water once a week to a depth of 2 inches during dry weather.

Step 6

Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of each blueberry plant. Keep the mulch 1 inch from the stem of the plant.

Step 7

Prune in the winter when the plants are dormant. Take out any dead wood and thin the new growth. Be careful not to take off more than half of the new growth or you will loose your crop for that year.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Pruning shears
  • pH test kit (optional)
  • Bird netting (optional)

References

  • Michigan State University: Hints on Growing Blueberries
  • Purdue University: Fertilizing Blueberries
  • Oregon State University: Growing Blueberries in Your Home Garden

Who Can Help

  • National Arboretum--USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: growing blueberries, soil for blueberries, blueberry farming

About this Author

Olivia Parker has been a freelance writer with Demand Studios for the past year, writing for Garden Guides and eHow. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine and worked as a landscape artist and gardener. Parker is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts from Boston University Online.