Grow your own Blueberries this summerGreenthumb
Simply put “Blueberries are delicious”, whether you use them in desserts, with baking or best yet eaten fresh off the bush. Nothing can beat the pleasure of growing your own blueberries and being able to transform yourself into a forager in your own garden.
Advantages of growing your own blueberries
- Fresh berries every year
- Amazing taste and texture
- Not being exploited by grocers selling berries at exorbitant prices
- You can control what goes into the plant
- The joy of watching them grow from flower to fruit
- They grow great in pots if you’re short on space
- Blueberries are a super food that is packed full of antioxidants
Growing blueberries is pretty straight forward and they are very rewarding plants, yet there are a few things they need to be at their best.
- Full sun
- Acidic soil (pH of around 5.5)
- Regular mulching
- Frequent feeding with an acid loving feed
How to plant your Blueberry bush
- Dig a square hole a third bigger than the pot/bag size.
- Mix acid compost together with some of the existing soil
- Sprinkle a handful of bone meal/super phosphate in the hole too aid in root development. If you have pets rather use super phosphate.
- Take your blueberry plant out of its container and plant at the same level as it was in its old container.
- If it is very root bound trim some of the bottom roots off.
- Make a little dam/basin around the base to ensure that it gets a deep watering every time.
- Mulch with acid compost on top and give it a thorough soaking.
- If you are planting them in pots or containers mix some potting soil with your acid compost
Have a look at how to plant Blueberries in containers
Please note the soil mixes and brand names used won’t be available in South Africa and four plants are a bit much per pot, I would suggest two plants at most per pot.
There are many varieties of blueberries out there, below are the varieties we usually have in stock.
- Ripens early to middle November
- Plant is vigorous and upright
- Tends to leaf poorly and fruit heavily
- Needs 200 hours of winter chill
- Ripens late October to November
- Large medium, firm blue fruit
- Semi-upright growth habit
- Needs 400-500 hours of winter chill
- Ripens December to early January
- Berries are medium in size with a good flavour and colour
- Plants are vigorous and upright
- Needs 350-400 hours of winter chill
Personally I prefer the Misty variety but I would recommend planting at least 2 different varieties to ensure best pollination. Feed them at least once every second month and ensure they are well watered but not waterlogged. Prune after fruiting by cutting out any tiny branches and stems that are crossing each other. The aim is to allow more light to enter the inside of the bush.
Pop in to the nursery today and start growing your own fresh supply of tasty blueberries.