Blueberries will live and produce for 40 to 50 years. Attending to their ideal location and conditions at planting will guarantee you delicious fruit for many years.
Blueberries will only grow well in soils that meet their needs:
• Soil must drain well. If water stands in the location you are planting for 2 days, don’t
plant a blueberry.
• Blueberries grow best in acidic soils with a pH of 5.0
• Incorporating rich organic matter into the soil or as a top dress is ideal.
• If planting a row of blueberries (space plants 4-8 feet apart), consider "hilling" the
plants; raise them above the natural soil level by 12-18" high and 3' wide. This improves
drainage, and provides a row for constantly adding organic matter.
Blueberry plants need full sun:
Once you have your location selected, make sure that the location will get full sun, at
least ¾ of the day. Blueberries will tolerate partial shade, especially late in the day.
Blueberries will grow in higher pH, but to achieve highest production, you will need to amend
the soil around the plants. This can be done easily over time. Don’t try and reduce the pH all
at once; a .5 per year reduction is ideal. Lower your pH by using the following:
• Sawdust from any conifer (pine, spruce, fir). If you use sawdust, pay attention to Nitrogen;
if leaves are yellowing, that indicates a Nitrogen deficiency.
• Ammonium Sulfate fertilizer
• Ground Sulfur fertilizer
Plant blueberries at exactly the same depth as grown at the nursery. Dig the hole twice the
size of the roots, and back-fill with a rich compost mixture. If compost is not available, use
the finest bark mulch you can find, and add 10% peat moss. Once planted, continue to add fresh
compost as a top-dressing to build up your organic matter. Once planted, remove 25% of the
branches; this will promote new, vigorous branching, and the 25% you removed will be replaced
During the first year, the plants are getting established, and you will not need to prune until
year 3, after they have finished fruiting. Pruning is done well when you open up the inside of
the plant and remove the oldest, darkest branches.
Blueberries, because they are shallow-rooted, do require more water than most fruits so the
surface roots do not dry out. Blueberries respond best to quality (deep) watering rather than
keeping the surface moist. Water will move to the surface.
Fertilize in early spring, as leaves are breaking from dormancy. A soil test is best, but a
10-5-5 is a good, well-balanced fertilizer. A second fertilizer application after pruning will
provide the nutrition needed for the new growth to break from the pruned branches.
Enjoy the four-season taste and beauty of a blueberry plant: Spring’s flowers; Summer’s fruit;
Fall’s foliage; and Winter’s colorful branching. A plant for every season!