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How to Plant Blueberry Bushes in Chesapeake, Virginia

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How to Plant Blueberry Bushes in Chesapeake, Virginia

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Overview

Blueberries bushes are perennial, woody shrubs that have a long life span when properly maintained. Growing blueberry plants in Chesapeake, Virginia, requires amending the soil or creating a raised planting bed if the planting location is wet as the soil quality in the area ranges from farmland to swamp. Blueberries also require soil preparation and yearly maintenance to keep the soil acidic for best growth and fruit production. Planting two to three blueberry bushes in a home garden will produce berries for a family of four once the plants establish with fruit production.

Step 1

Choose a planting location with a soil that is nutrient-rich and well-draining. Some areas of Chesapeake, Virginia, are swampy and require blueberries to be grown in raised beds filled with a mixture of a high-quality top soil and peat moss. Make sure the location receives full sunlight for at least six hours each day.

Step 2

Test the soil pH to verify it is 4.8 to 5.2 for blueberry bushes. Work ground rock sulfur into the soil to lower the pH. Water the area well after making amendments and let it rest for two weeks.

Step 3

Dig a planting hole for the blueberries that is twice as wide and the same depth as the container the plant came in. Mix equal quantities of organic compost into the removed soil to increase the nutrient value and water draining properties.

Step 4

Set the bush into the hole, making sure the top of the root ball is at ground level. Fill the hole with amended soil and gently tamp to eliminate air pockets. Water the soil well after planting to compact the soil and stimulate root growth.

Step 5

Apply 2 to 3 inches of bark mulch around the bushes to increase moisture holding in the soil and limit weed growth around the blueberries. Refresh the mulch each year to maintain a 2- to 3-inch layer.

Step 6

Water the blueberry bushes with 1 to 2 inches of water each week during the growing period when the rainfall amounts are low. Keep the soil moist but not over saturated around the stem and roots as this will promote root rot.

Step 7

Fertilize the bushes each spring after the first growing season. Apply a 5-10-10 fertilizer and water well to promote absorption. Apply ammonium sulfate in May to lower the pH if it is above 5.2.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil pH test
  • Ground rock sulfur
  • Organic compost
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • 5-10-10 fertilizer
  • Ammonium sulfate
  • Bark mulch
  • Cage
  • Bird netting

References

  • Virginia Cooperative Extension: Blueberries
  • Michigan State University: Hints on Growing Blueberries
  • National Sustainable Agriculture: Blueberries
Keywords: blueberries Chesapeake Virginia, plant blueberries Chesapeake, grow blueberries Virginia

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.