Blueberries are grown in raised beds on small lots or in large backyards. Healthy blueberry shrubs thrive in raised beds in a location with full sun and adequate drainage. Blueberry bushes are perennial shrubs that will produce fruit for years. It is well worth the investment and work to prepare and maintain the plants in raised beds. The blueberry root system should be above water level, so raised-bed plantings promote healthy plants.
Test the soil in the raised bed. The pH level should be 5.0 or less for high bush blueberry plants. The pH should be no higher than 5.3 to 5.5 for other bushes such as rabbiteye, low bush and halfeye. Follow package instructions to amend the soil with finely ground elemental sulfur to lower the pH levels.
Prepare the raised bed and build the top soil up 8 to 10 inches higher than ground level. A raised bed that is 15 to 18 inches high and 3 feet wide provides aeration and drainage to support healthy blueberry plants.
Purchase at least two types of blueberry cultivar bushes that are appropriate for the zone you live in. Plant more than one plant from each type of cultivar to promote cross-pollination.
Dig holes that are 18 inches in diameter and 24 to several inches deeper than the length of the root system of individual bushes. Fertilize each cultivar according to plant needs and cultivar instructions. Set each bush into a hole and spread the roots out. Fill the hole with soil.
Spread organic mulch 4 to 6 inches deep around the interior of the raised bed. Leave a 3-inch-wide circle mulch-free around each individual plant to prevent damage to the plant.
Maintain the raised blueberry bed by keeping it weed free. Blueberries need 1 to 2 inches of water every 10 days.
- Plant two or three cultivars in the raised beds to lengthen the blueberry harvest season.
- A high pH soil will cause poor plant growth and blueberry bush leaves to turn yellow.
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