Learn how to grow blueberries and you will never have to buy another blueberry again! You'll find lots of important tips for growing blueberries. Planting the best types of blueberries for your area will ensure success.
Planting blueberries in containers is probably one of the easiest ways to grow blueberries. And growing blueberries will be much faster when you start with a plant that is at least a year or older.
The main types of blueberries are lowbush, highbush, and rabbiteye. However, there are many many blueberry varieties that will grow in certain zones of the country. Learning how to grow blueberries can be very rewarding and in some cases a blueberry plant may even out live you.
Blueberry plants are perennials which is a plant that will live for more than two years. This plant's production will peak in 6 to 8 years, but can produce fruit for decades. Fall or early Spring are the best times for planting blueberries, but planting blueberries in winter can also work for some areas.
How to Grow Blueberries in Winter: In general, mulch around the base of your plant and wait for spring to come as your plant should be dormant during the winter.
During the winter, blueberry plants will rest and will require very little care.
However, blueberry plants can stay green year round if temperatures are mild enough in your area.
Your plants may actually flower and fruit, but usually there will not be enough heat to ripen the fruit.
Because these plants can survive for a very long time, growing blueberries in a permanent spot or in a suitable container is recommended.
How to Grow Blueberries Better: First off, start with a plant that is a year or older as blueberry plants usually start producing fruit in their third year of life.
It is a smart idea to remove the flowers during the first year or two of its life to help ensure a higher yielding harvest in the future.
Removing flowers encourages younger blueberry plants to focus its energy into producing a more vigorous plant with many branches and a better root system.
How to Grow Blueberries by Zones: North America has 11 different planting zones. Each of the zones will differ by 10 degrees F. based on the lowest average temperature of an area. Zone 1 will be the coldest zone and Zone 11 will be the hottest. Growing blueberries in zones 3 to 10 is recommended.
If your soil conditions aren't right, planting blueberries in a container or pot can solve that problem. Growing blueberries this way allows you to instantly create the correct pH balance or acidity for your plant.
Also, blueberries are shallow rooted plants and poor competitors against large rooted trees, shrubs, or weeds. Therefore, you are giving them a head start in a way.
Potted blueberry plants can be planted any time of the year - even when the plant is dormant. Just make sure your pot is large enough for the continued growth of your plant. You can also move potted plants around later to maximize sun exposure.
No canes or stems older than 6 yrs old as 3 to 6 year old canes will produce the best quality fruit. Removing old canes or stems actually encourages new canes to grow so that your blueberry bush will continue to flourish.
Also, remove diseased branches and shoots that grow from the canes or stems. Opening up your blueberry bush by removing weak shoot and branches will help to ensure adequate sunlight reaches the leaves of your blueberry bush.
Lowbush, Highbush, Rabbiteye, and Half-high are the main types of blueberries, but there are hundreds of blueberry varieties.
Some types of blueberries will ripen earlier and others will ripen later, but each of the types of blueberries will ripen over a 2 to 5 week period.
Once established a blueberry plant can remain productive for decades. Since these plants are long lived, growing blueberries will provide you and your family with blueberries for years to come.
A blueberry bush will usually start producing a good crop around the third year of its life and a mature blueberry bush can produce up to 20 pounds of fruit each season.
Blueberries usually ripen over several weeks. Your plant will require two to four pickings during harvest time as blueberries grow in clusters and will not ripen all at once.
Hand-picking is the preferred way to harvest blueberries. You can do this by gently but firmly using your thumbs and forefingers to roll the berries off the stems.
Make sure the blueberries are fully ripe before picking as color can be deceiving. Also, hold a bucket or container under the bunch you are picking to prevent losing any of your blueberries.
Three words - Don't Do It!! Planting blueberry seeds is only for the experienced and very very patient. Remember it takes years just to get a decent harvest.
If you decide to plant blueberry seeds, also remember that blueberry seeds need to be stratified in order to germinate.
You can purchase blueberry seeds that have undergone this process or do it yourself. It just seems a much quicker way is to get some blueberry cuttings or purchase a plant that is a year or two old.
You can even buy 3 year old or even older blueberry plants for not that much money. Just find a reputable blueberry farmer in your area or even online.
How to Grow Blueberries for Instant Gratification: I personally would purchase 3 year old plants as well as buy an early, mid-season, and late-season variety to get the most out of growing blueberries.
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