Blueberry plants can be difficult to grow because they require highly acidic soil and plenty of drainage. The roots of blueberry plants tend to become damaged if water stands on their surface for more than two days. Prepare your soil a growing season in advance to start your blueberry plants properly. After you get the correct soil pH level and the proper drainage, you can start your plants and enjoy blueberry pies and desserts from your fresh berries for years to come.
Preparing the Soil
Select an area to grow your blueberry plants. Dig about 1 foot deep into the soil to loosen sod. Rake the loosened soil to thin it out.
Use a pH tester kit to test the pH level of your soil. The pH should be between 4.5 and 5.0. Add a well-drained high-acid soil to your garden area to improve the acidity. Rake the soil evenly into your garden space.
Mulch your garden area with pine needle to increase the pH level. You can also use straw or bark as a mulch for your plants.
Plant your Blueberries
Wait till the following spring to plant your blueberries. Test the soil with a pH test kit again. Add more high-acid soil, if needed. Add granular sulfur if the pH level is higher than 4.5.
Dig a hole 18 inches deep and wide. Blend equal parts peat moss and top soil. Fill the hole with the peat moss mixture until only 4 inches is left at the top.
Put the blueberry roots into the hole and cover them with the peat soil. Space each blueberry plant 5 feet apart in rows 10 feet apart. Mulch the top of your plants with wood chips.
Fertilize your blueberries with a general purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer. Make sure the fertilizer remains a half-foot from each plant. Give your blueberry plants 2 inches of water a week.
About this Author
Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.