Grow The Best Blueberries
Blueberries are one of the easiest fruiting crops to grow, but a little local knowledge can allow you to grow the best blueberries ever. Follow these recommendation to allow your blueberry plants to flourish.
1. Blueberries like a low ph, 4.2-4.6 is the best ph level for the plants. If your soil has not been farmed or maintained chances are your ph is around 5.5. We have to make it more acidic, the easiest ways are the following. Add peat moss or potting soil in the hole at planting, both of those mediums run a ph in the 4.5 range, secondly you can add about 4 ounces of sulfur in a 15 inch circle around the plants, apply 4 ounces 3 times the first year once in February, July, and October. You may also mulch with pine straw.
2 Blueberries are sensitive to fertilizer. If you over fertilize or if the fertilizer releases too quickly it will cause a condition called Chlorosis. Chlorosis is a yellowing in the leaves caused by a salt build up, the only way to overcome Chlorosis is over time when salt levels are reduced in the plant. We recommend to use either our Isons Blueberry Fertilizer, 10-10-10, or an Osmocote Slow Release 14-14-14. If you use our fertilizer or the 10-10-10 apply only 4 ounces per application made on April 1st, July 1st, and August 15th. Keep the fertilizer away from the plant at least 15 inches. If you use the Osmocote Slow Release fertilizer apply 6 ounces on each of the following dates mentioned above.
3. Do not allow plants to fruit the first year, either remove the blooms or the fruit once it appears. By not allowing plants to fruit the first year, all the plants energy will go to the growth of the plant and will allow for greater harvest the 2nd year.
4. Blueberries love mulch, we recommend adding 1-2 inches of mulch per year around the plants. Make sure you use aged pine bark mulch or a potting soil, if you use mulch that is too fresh and you can smell the greenness in the wood you will harm your plants.
5. Make sure to plant at least 2 different varieties, most blueberries will produce on their own but yields are greater when 2 different varieties are used in the planting.
6. Plant spacing should be 5-6 feet apart, I like 6 feet the best and if you have multiple rows I like 12 foot row spacing. Remember you do not have to have the plants in a straight line, you can create an island just as you would for roses or azaleas. You can plant them in pyramid shapes or zig- zag, keep the spacing 6 feet apart, and use pine straw to mulch the entire island.
Let’s Grow Together
Greg Ison isons.com