Blueberry basics – Grow your own

Grow your own Blueberries

Strangely enough, one of my favourite flowers belongs to a plant better known for its delicious fruit.  Blueberries have the most elegant white bell shaped flowers. The best part is that as soon the flowers fade those tasty berries start growing.  Blueberries are packed full of antioxidants, making them a true super food.  Read on to find out everything you need to know about caring for your own blueberry bush.

Blueberry Flowers

First there is stunning white bell shaped flowers

Why you should grow your own blueberries

  • You will be graced with an abundance of fresh berries every year.
  • No carbon footprint when you grow your own.
  • Short on space? No problem –  as they work great in pots and containers.
  • No more being exploited by grocers that sell blueberries at exorbitant prices.
Blueberry Berries

Followed by tasty berries

How to plant your blueberry

  • Blueberries require an area with loads of sun, a soil with an acidic pH along with regular watering and feeding.
  • As alluded to earlier, blueberries can be grown in pots or in the ground. When planting in pots or containers substitute the compost for potting soil.
  • After selecting a nice sunny spot, dig a square hole slightly deeper and wider than the pot size of your blueberry plant.
  • Mix compost and acid compost in equal parts with a handful of bonemeal (superphosphate if you have dogs) and use this as your planting mix.
  • Ensure that you plant your blueberry at the same level that it is in its pot, keep on filling the hole with your planting mix till you reach this level.
  • Build a little basin around your blueberry to ensure that water gets to the roots.
  • Water thoroughly and your blueberry is all set to grow.
Blueberry Pruning

Use this illustration as an guide when pruning

Caring for your blueberry

  • To maintain the acidity of the soil, mulch regularly with acid compost.
  • Ensure that your blueberry gets as much sunlight as possible.
  • Feed with a fertiliser for flowering plants such as 3:1:5 or use an acid loving feed that will also keep the pH in check.
  • Prune out any dead, diseased or dying growth as well as pruning to allow more light to enter the centre of the bush.

(Please note that certain products shown in the video won’t be available in South Africa.)

What type of blueberry should you plant?

  • One of the questions that we get asked regularly here at the nursery is “My blueberry flowers but never makes any berries – why?”
  • The reason for this is that it needs a pollinator. Some varieties are self pollinating, yet still fruit better when another blueberry is nearby.
  • For this reason we recommend planting two Blueberries even if it is the same cultivar.
  • Protect early flowering varieties flowers from frost in July and August.
Delicious Blueberry

The reward is well worth all the effort

Blueberries are hardy and can be planted any time of the year.  Feel free to enquire about our range of blueberries.  Now that you have the “know how” there is no reason not to have an abundance of fresh homegrown berries…