Planting blueberry bushes in your garden adds a nutritious fruit to your bounty. A 1/2-cup serving of blueberries contain only 40 calories and 0 grams of fat. Add fresh blueberries to muffins, cakes, cookies and pancakes. Pack them for a healthy snack in school lunches. Freeze fresh blueberries for a healthy snack during winter.
Test the soil's pH balance and drainage qualities prior to planting blueberry bushes. Blueberries require well-drained soil with pH balance of 4.5 to 5.5. Standing water damages the roots of blueberry bushes. If water remains on the soil longer than two hours after watering, the soil does not have good drainage. Home garden centers offer soil testing kits as well as ingredients to improve the pH level and drainage ability of soil.
Blueberry bushes require 1 inch of water per week, either through rainfall or supplemental watering. Use hoses, watering cans or drip irrigation systems to keep your blueberry bushes well-watered.
Do not plant blueberry bushes under or near trees, as they will compete with the tree for soil nutrients.
Dig holes for blueberry bushes 18 inches deep and 18 inches wide. Space bushes 4 to 5 feet apart. Place bushes no more than 3/4 inch deeper into the soil than their original container depth. Add a layer of mulch 2 to 3 inches deep around the root of the bushes to protect the plant soil and roots. Re-apply mulch as needed.
Established blueberry bushes produce delicious fruit, but it takes time and proper pruning. Do not prune during the first two to three years, but do remove flower buds throughout the first two years. Prune established bushes every winter after they become dormant.
Add 0.2 ounces of nitrogen to the soil in late April, June and July to help blueberry bushes produce fruit and healthy foliage. Spread the fertilizer into the soil, and not directly on the bush. If fertilizer does spill on the bush, wash it off immediately. Avoid fertilizers that contain potassium chloride, as blueberry bushes don't tolerate it well.