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How to Plant a Blueberry Tree

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How to Plant a Blueberry Tree

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Overview

Blueberries have been touted as a super food because of their health benefits. The small berries are full of antioxidants to protect against diseases such as cancer, according to the Oregon Blueberry Commission. Blueberries are also rich in vitamin C, iron and potassium. Blueberries can be expensive to purchase, but it's possible to grow them in your own home garden. They require an acidic soil, so it's a good idea to have your soil tested before planting. Call your local university extension office to see if they conduct soil tests. Depending on the results, they can offer advice about amendments to add to the soil to make it suitable for blueberries.

Step 1

Select a site for planting a blueberry bush. When looking for a site, keep in mind that blueberries need full sun and will not grow well in an area populated by trees, according to the Oregon State University Extension Service. Blueberries also have specific soil needs. They grow in acidic soils, with optimal pH ranging from 4.5 to 5.5.

Step 2

Dig a hole 18-inches deep and 18-inches wide using a shovel or small trowel.

Step 3

Incorporate 1-cubic foot of peat moss within the surrounding soil. Once it is well blended, fill the hole with the new soil mixture until the hole is 4-inches deep.

Step 4

Place the blueberry bush in the hole, setting it down gently but firmly. Allow the roots to spread naturally so they are not broken or damaged.

Step 5

Fill in the hole with the remaining soil mixture. Tamp it down firmly with your hands or feet to remove air pockets.

Step 6

Water the bush well immediately after planting. Blueberries need 1 inch to 2 inches of water a week, so they will need regular waterings during dry spells, according to the Ohio State University Extension.

Step 7

Spread a layer of mulch 2-inches deep around the bush. Use either wood chips or sawdust for mulching, according to the Ohio State University Extension.

Step 8

Prune back the bush's branches by 30 percent to 40 percent after planting. Focus on removing older wood and leave the new wood at the bottom of the plant intact.

Step 9

Prune off any flower buds at planting time and continue to remove buds throughout the first growing season. Blueberries should not produce fruit during their first season, so buds should be removed to encourage new growth, according to the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or trowel
  • Peat moss
  • Sawdust or wood chip mulch
  • Pruning tools

References

  • Oregon State University Extension Service: Growing Blueberries in Your Home Garden
  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden
  • Iowa State University Extension: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden
Keywords: planting blueberry bush, growing blueberries, blueberry bush planting

About this Author

Meghan McMahon lives in the Chicago suburbs, where she spent six years as a newspaper journalist before becoming a part-time freelance writer and editor and full-time mother. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University in 2000 and has written for "The Daily Southtown" and "The Naperville Sun" in suburban Chicago.

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