Have I mentioned that we have blueberry bushes? Well, we have three. I bought them last year (as in 2010) on clearance at Walmart. They didn’t really do much last year, in fact, I wasn’t sure if one was going to make it. But it did. This year they had beautiful white blooms on them. And we harvested the berries in July right after Christian and Josiah went to Philmont.
What? You don’t remember the great blueberry harvest post?
That would be because only one plant actually produced blueberries this year and it only produced four. But I have it on good authority that those four berries were deeeelicious.
So far my two favorite books on growing fruit are Grow Fruit and Eat Your Yard: Edible Trees, Shrubs, Vines, Herbs, and Flowers For Your Landscape.
I knew I wanted plant them in containers since they need really acidic soil and we because we are renting right now. After looking at all the different containers, we decided on a “homemade” one. Carl took two 55 gallon plastic drums and cut them in half. We (as in my boys) drilled holes in in the bottom of each one for drainage. We (as in I) spray painted them and then filled them with peat not soil.
Here’s what I’ve learned about growing blueberries so far:
- Blueberries like acidic soil. So if your soil is not acidic it might be easier to grow them in pots with peat instead of trying to adjust your soil.
- Blueberries are partially self fertile, meaning that they can set fruit with their own pollen and you only need one plant.
- BUT, they will do better if you have 2 or 3 varieties (not plants but varieties) so that they can cross pollinate.
- Blueberries like to be watered often – I’ve struggled with this the last few weeks and some of our leaves have burned up.
- You can fertilize blueberries with an azalea fertilizer
- After the fruit begins to ripen you might need to cover the bush with a net to keep the birds away.
- Harvest when the berries have turned blue and also have a milky color on them.
- Yields: About 3-5.5 pound of fruit per bush by the time it is 4 years old and up to 11 pounds for a mature bush.
Right now, we only have one variety. I have a friend who has a different variety and there’s a bush at our church’s office. I’m planning on taking cuttings during the next few weeks and starting some of these other varieties. Hopefully, they will take and we’ll have a few more than four deeeelicious blueberries next year.
If you have any other tips for growing blueberries, please leave them in the comments.