When it comes to taste and nutrition, Oregon blueberries are the true blue. Their sweet, fruity flavor has been enjoyed for years and now thanks to research going on in labs across the U.S. and Canada, there’s big news about the blues. These tasty little berries are, in fact, powerful disease fighters.
Where to grow blueberries
When you’re ready to plant your blueberries, select a sunny location with well-drained soil that is weed-free and well-worked. It’s best to grow blueberries in an area where water is readily available so you can keep their roots moist throughout the growing season. Raised beds or patio containers are good options for areas where the soil is not ideal.
Spacing and planting blueberries
In most areas, it’s ideal to plant blueberries in the fall or spring. You can plant blueberry bushes as close as 2 or 2.5 feet apart to form solid hedgerows, or space them up to 6 feet apart so they grow individually. If you plant in rows, allow 8 to 10 feet between the rows.
Pruning blueberry bushes
It’s best to give your blueberry plants time to get established before you let them bear fruit. Remove any plant blossoms the first year of growing blueberries in order to stimulate hardy new growth. In future years, it’s important that you prune your blueberry plants each year to keep them healthy.
Follow these tips for growing blueberries, and soon you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your labor. When the blueberries are ripe, they will roll right into your bowl or hand. Whether you eat your blueberries fresh, freeze them or use them in your favorite recipe, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of having fresh blueberries that you grew with your own two hands.
For additional guidance on planting and caring for blueberry plants in your home garden, contact your local county Extension office.
Planting blueberries can be easy in the right conditions. Before you begin, read up on how to plant blueberries and stop by your local garden center to ask an expert about the best blueberry varieties for your region.
Once you’ve selected your blueberry plants, keep these tips in mind to ensure success in growing blueberries.
Select a sunny location with well-drained soil for your blueberry bed. It’s best to grow blueberries in an area where water is readily available so you can keep their roots moist throughout the growing season. Raised beds or patio containers are good options for planting blueberries in areas where the soil is not ideal.
Soil preparation is crucial to the health of blueberry plants. Blueberries prefer acidic soil. Talk to your local garden center about the best way to make soil adjustments. If changes in the pH are needed, it’s best to make them a year before planting blueberries.
Fertilizing blueberry plants
Once your blueberry plants are established, they will respond well to acid fertilizers such as rhododendron or azalea formulations. Ask your local garden center for fertilizer recommendations and follow the instructions on the label. Blueberries are sensitive to over-fertilization, so be careful!
For best results, fertilize your blueberry plants once in early spring and again in late spring. Be sure to always water thoroughly after fertilizing.
Mulching blueberry plants
Blueberries do best with 2-4 inches of mulch over the roots to conserve moisture, prevent weeds and add organic matter. Bark mulch, acid compost, sawdust and grass clippings all work well.
For additional guidance on planting blueberries in your home garden, contact your local county Extension office.