Blueberries: Bushel and Berry® plants do best when you fertilize them each spring. Blueberry plants like acid fertilizers such as rhododendron or azalea formulations, and either granular or liquid fertilizers. They also prefer high-nitrogen organic fertilizers such as blood meal and acidic cottonseed meal. Fertilizing should be done in early spring and in late spring. Avoid fertilizing with any kind of manure as it can damage the plants.
Tip: Coffee grounds are an inexpensive homemade blueberry fertilizer to help acidify soil! Occasionally scatter your spent coffee grounds on the top of the dirt to wake up your blueberry plants.
Raspberries & Blackberries (Cane Berries): Fertilizing your Bushel and Berry® plants is not necessary for them to grow and produce tasty berries, but it will help your plant thrive. For raspberries and blackberries, a balanced liquid fertilizer in early and late spring is ideal. Pick a fertilizer that contains Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium with the same numbers.
Tip: If your plants starts to yellow in the summer, a bit of balanced liquid fertilizer will help perk it up in addition to lots of water.
Blueberries: The amount of water your blueberry plant needs will depend on your climate but generally, you want to make sure the plant has consistent moisture but isn’t overwatered. This usually means watering two to three times a week for blueberries planted in the landscape or raised beds and daily if it’s in a container.
Tip: If you live in an area that has water that contains higher levels of calcium, add some vinegar to the plants’ water twice a week—about 6 ounces per 4 gallons of water.
Tip: Remember, plants and their roots in patio pots dry out faster, especially on warm summer days. It’s important to water deeply every day and ensure the pot has good drainage. A good way to gauge is to water until you see run off coming out of the drain holes.
Raspberries & Blackberries (Cane Berries): The amount of water your plants need will depend on your climate but generally, you want to make sure the plant has consistent moisture but isn’t overwatered. This usually means watering two to three times a week for plants in the landscape and daily if it’s in a container.
Tip: Remember, plants and their roots in patio pots dry out faster, especially on warm summer days. It's important to water daily and ensure the pot has good drainage
Blueberries: Pruning your Bushel and Berry® plants annually will ensure they add to your landscape, in addition to providing delicious berries from your own backyard. In spring, prune out any dead branches. Young plants will need minimum pruning. As the plant ages, prune out 1/3 of the older canes each year while the plant is dormant leaving new branches to fruit the following season.
Tip: Pruning off dead wood or non-fruiting wood will allow the plant to put its energy into the good canes for maximizing fruit production.
Raspberries & Blackberries (Cane Berries): Allow plants to go dormant in the winter without pruning. In early spring, green sprouts will come up from the soil and also appear on some of the pre-existing canes. The sprouts from the ground will eventually become canes which will fruit the following season. Old canes with new growth should fruit this year. Cut back the dead canes without new growth to ground level.
Bushel and Berry® varieties require little winter maintenance and can usually be left outside during cold months, however, plants in decorative containers and planters are more at risk than plants in the ground. If your plants are in the ground, it’s a good idea to mulch heavily around the base and give them extra water.
If your plants are in decorative containers and you have harsh winter weather, insulating the plant or moving the container to an unheated garage or basement is a good idea. If you store your containers in the garage, remember to protect them from the winter temperatures that can come in as you open and close the door. Keep your containers inside until the threat of the last frost has passed (typically in early spring). While storing the berry plants inside, make sure to keep the soil moist but not soaked.