Follow these simple guidelines to plant and care for your blueberry plants.
Planting Site & Soil
Blueberries do best in an acidic soil with a pH balance of 4.5–5.5. You can either purchase acidic soil or test soil that you already have. If you have a pH balance higher than 5.5, you can incorporate peat moss into the soil which is acidic and can lower the pH balance.
All of the varieties in the Bushel and Berry® collection will thrive in patio pots, raised beds or in the ground for years to come. If you decide to plant your Bushel and Berry® plant in a pot, we would recommend the blueberries be planted in a pot that is 16-inches in diameter or larger to allow the plant room to grow.
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.
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.
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.
Jelly Bean® can take the most amount of cold but extremely cold weather may require you to protect your plants, especially in the spring when they’re sprouting tender new growth. And remember, plants in patio pots are more at risk than plants in the ground.
You can protect your Bushel and Berry™ plants from frost damage by placing a plant cover on them the afternoon before a freeze. Be sure to remove the plant cover once the freeze is over.
In regions of extreme cold, it’s a good idea to mulch your plants heavily around the base in the winter and give them extra water to help them produce more heat. You can also move them against a building and put a blanket or layer of insulation on them or move them into an unheated garage during the coldest conditions.