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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

How to Grow Blueberries


Blueberries, Vaccinium corybosum, are delicious regardless of whether eaten fresh or cooked. Although they are grown for their fruit, they are also highly ornamental, especially in autumn when they have red and gold leaves. Blueberries are best suited to more acidic soils, they can be grown in the garden or in containers. The most suitable for cultivation in the UK is Northern Highbush blueberries. Before planting you should improve the soil by removing all weeds and incorporating well composted bark, bracken, leaf mould, pine needles or sawdust to a fork’s depth. You should check on the pH of the soil every few years, as it may be necessary to add acidity. Alternatively grow them in a pot.

Plant at least two plants to ensure cross-pollination. A single blueberry plant will produce fruit, but the yields will be higher and the fruits bigger if more than one plant is grown. They like being in part shade to full sun.

When the leaves have fully opened in late spring, the bushes will need their first feed of the season.

It is worth using nets to keep the birds away from your harvest.

Blueberries are not always fully hardy so provide some protection and move pots into a shed or cool garage in poor conditions.

The fruits ripen over a period of time so you will need to stagger the harvest from each plant.

Blueberries produce fruit on last years growth so be careful not to remove this when pruning, keeping an open shaped bush.

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