Growing high blueberries (also called highbush) requires patience and preparation. Prior to transplanting any blueberry bush, properly prepare the site one year or more ahead of transplant date. Start planning for our highbush blueberries now for a planting next season.
Choose healthy 2- or 3-year-old plants to transplant. Pick at least two different cultivars with varying harvest dates to spread out the harvest period and to ensure cross pollination occurs, which produces an abundance of tasty fruits.
Select a site with full sunlight. Plan enough room to allow 5 feet spacing between plants in a row and 8-10 feet between rows.
Modify the pH level and soil conditions, until soil is well draining and sand to sandy loam with an adequate pH level. Keep planting area weed free.
Choose a transplant date in the spring as soon as soil can be prepared. Use a shovel to dig holes twice the width of the container holding the transplant and 2-3 inches deeper. High blueberry bush should be planted 1-2 inches deeper than in container.
Carefully remove highbush blueberry from container and place in hole. Mix compost, wet peat moss, rotted sawdust or other organic material equally with removed soil.
Use a shovel or hand trowel to add soil mixture all around and over plant. Press gently, but firmly to remove air pockets in soil. Repeat for each blueberry bush transplanted.
Water the newly planted blueberry bushes thoroughly. Use pruning shears to remove all broken, dead or scrawny branches from each bush.
Use a shovel to add at least four inches of mulch going 2 feet out from each blueberry bush. Do not add any mulch within 2 inches of plant. This maintains moist soil and prevents weeds.
Supply 1-2 inches of water per week, if rainfall is not adequate. Continue watering through growing and harvesting seasons (spring through summer).
Provide fertilizer to blueberries one month after transplanting. Use the recommendations of the Extension in your area. Add this to the soil within 1 to 1 ½ feet of the plant, but clear of the base of the plant.
Newly transplanted blueberry bushes should not fruit for two seasons following planting. Get rid of any blossoms that appear in the following spring to promote root and plant development.