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How to Plant Blueberries in Montana

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017

Blueberries grow quite easily in Montana. The "huckleberry" bushes seen growing wild throughout the state are really blueberries. A blueberry bush's primary concern is acidic, loamy soil which Montana has an abundance of. Montana's cold climate is best suited for half-high and low-bush blueberry bushes that winter well under snow cover. Good varieties for Montana include Friendship, Northcountry, Northblue, Northsky, Northland and Patriot. The last two varieties are the most cold hardy and can survive temperatures as low as -45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fill the hole with water and allow it to drain.

Mix half of the excavated soil with an equal amount of soil mixture that is 1/2 compost and 1/2 sand.

Carefully remove the blueberry plant from its plastic container. Check the roots. If you notice any damaged, prune those roots with disinfected pruning shears.

Place the blueberry plant in the hole so that the top of its root crown is slightly above the soil. You will have to back-fill a portion of your soil mixture into the hole to do this.

Fill the hole with the remainder of your soil mixture. Then tamp the soil down with your hands to remove any air pockets.

Water the soil deeply enough so that the soil at the bottom of the root ball is moist. The best way to do this is to place a slow-running hose near the roots.

Fertilize the blueberry plant with 40 ounces of a 10-10-10 fertilizer once it has established itself and produced at least 6 inches of new growth.

Apply a 4 inch layer of organic mulch (sawdust and bark work particularly well) around, but not within 1 foot of the base of the blueberry plant.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Organic mulch

Tips

  • Plant blueberries in early spring.
  • While the blueberry bush is waiting to be planted, make sure that its roots do not dry out.
  • Many factors influence soil pH. While Montana soil is acidic in most areas, you should have your soil tested to be sure the pH is correct. Blueberries need acidic soil that falls between 4.5 and 5.2.

Warning

  • Blueberry bushes must receive as much full sunlight as possible in order to develop their blueberries.

References

About the Author

 

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.