Blueberries are full of vitamins and antioxidants that help keep bodies healthy. Antioxidants help to protect the body from harmful free-radicals in the blood and organs. Without the help of antioxidants, free radicals cause damage and deterioration to the organs and body. The Spartan is one variety of blueberry plant that is well-suited to home growing.
Spartan blueberry plants grow 5 to 6 feet tall, and 4 to 6 feet wide. The plants bloom in the spring, producing small white flowers. They are deciduous, and their foliage changes color during the fall before the leaves drop off.
Spartan blueberries are very sweet, with an intense flavor. They are lighter in color than other blueberries. Their skin has the look of light blue over darker blue. Spartan blueberries are larger than other blueberries, and grow to the diameter of a U.S. quarter.
The Spartan blueberry plant requires well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. The ideal soil is sandy loam, with compost worked into the soil. Spartan blueberry plants that are placed in soil that is too thick and clay-like bear little or no fruit. Poor soil should be worked with gardening sand and rich compost for several weeks or months before introducing the Spartan plant to the garden.
The Spartan blueberry plant requires full sun exposure for at least eight hours a day. Filtered light is tolerated, but it results in smaller yields. For best results, plant the Spartan on the eastern or southern side of your home so it receives sunlight for most of the day.
The Spartan blueberry plant needs very little pruning during its first three years. During these years, only deadwood and spindly, sickly-looking branches need to be removed. From the fourth year on, the plant's oldest canes and low-producing branches should be removed, in addition to deadwood and sickly branches. Pruning in early spring encourages new growth.
Regular waterings are necessary for the health and strength of Spartan blueberry plants. The plant prefers moist soil, and should be watered at least once a week. In areas where the climate is hot enough to dry the soil out completely, more frequent waterings are necessary.
Spartan blueberry plants are harvested by hand. The plant has a long fruit-bearing season, which starts earlier and ends later than most blueberry varieties. The Spartan blueberry bush grown at home offers a continuous supply of fresh blueberries from late spring to early fall.