Enjoy fresh blueberries from your garden.
image by Lisa Norwood/sxc.hu
Blueberry highbushes are a great addition to the home garden. Planted in early spring, blueberry highbushes can yield berries the first or second year, especially if you purchase ones that are already two or three years old. There are many varieties of blueberry plants, but blueberry highbushes can tolerate cold environments with winters above -25 degrees F.
Select a location to plant your blueberry highbush. Planting in full sunlight will yield a better crop, as will planting in an area that is protected from strong winds.
Prepare your soil. Blueberry highbushes prefer well draining, rich soil. Add several inches of organic matter, such as peat moss or compost to make your soil more conducive to growing blueberries.
Check your soil's acidity levels. Purchase test strips, available at your local nursery, and test the soil in several areas. Blueberry highbushes do best in soil with pH levels between 4.5 to 5.2. If needed, add sulfur to lower pH or lime to raise pH. Follow the manufacturer instructions as dosing amounts will be different depending on your soil's current condition and desired outcome.
Plant your blueberry highbushes seven feet apart. If you have more than one row, plant the rows eight to ten feet apart. Dig holes that are twice as wide and slightly deeper than the plants' current containers. Take them out of the container and set them in the hole. Backfill the soil and tamp it down to remove any air pockets.
Water well and lay four to six inches of mulch around the base of your bushes. Mulch, such as woodchips and pine needles, work well for blueberry highbushes.
Continue to water your bushes a couple inches each week. In addition, fertilize your blueberry highbushes three to four weeks after planting. Use a balanced fertilizer labeled 10-10-10 and follow manufacturer directions as each fertilizer is different. However, in general, two ounces per plant is sufficient.