Thursday, July 15, 2010

Growing Blueberries

I’ve made several comments lately about growing blueberries and thought it might be good to pull them together into one post. A nice thing about them is that they are an attractive shrub and pretty easy to grow if given the right conditions – the right soil, the right variety, some water, fertilizer, and sun and you’re good to go.

First of all, different types of berries grow in different climates, so you must plant the correct one for where you live. In general Highbush varieties grow in zone 7 and north into southern Canada, Rabbiteyes grow in zone 7 and south to all but southern Florida, and Southern Highbush grow in zones 7 and south into the Keys – mine are all rabbiteye’s that cross pollunate well (a must) and bear at different times. Since zone 7 is the transition zone, I first tried 2 Highbush and 2 Rabbiteye, but the Highbush did not do well, so I now have 6 Rabbiteye and they are all doing very well.

Blueberries must have an acidic soil or no matter what else you do good for them, they will not do well. Since I planted mine in a part of my yard where other parts of the lawn drain, I first raised the area for them so when I lime the yard, the runoff will go around the bed. I raised the area 4-6" by tilling in some garden soil & Black Cow composted manure with clay around the edges to repel water. I then tested the soil in the berry bed and lowered the pH by applying the appropriate amount of wettable sulfur, purchased from a garden supply store. After planting, I mulched with pine straw or bark, which unlike hardwood mulch, produces acid when it breaks down. They also like full sun.

So far, we’ve had no disease or pest issues, even the birds, and we’re getting a bounty of delicious berries. The one thing I need to do now is give mine the appropriate pruning next spring, for which I must do a little studying. The following are good sites for info.

If you like blueberries and you like to garden and you like pretty shrubs, this may be the thing for you. Here’s a shot from my Jul 6 post.

Bev went for a three mile walk yesterday morning, but it was in the mid 80's by the time she finished. She definately looked hot and announced she was heading for the lake. I don't feel comfortable having her swimming alone so, even though the dogs were with her, I went alone as her bodyguard/lifeguard. We are looking after her sister's dog for a few days and he and Sweetie both like the water, especially riding around on the float. They all looked alot cooler when they got out.

Is that the life or what? Have a good day and thanks for stopping by.



  1. Yes, that is the life! We've had two days of 98-ish. Oh, I know what you're thinking..."But It's A Dry Heat". So is my oven and that's what it feels like. I'd love to have a lake to jump in.

    Blueberries. We have such clay-like soil. I'd love to try to grow them. Thanks for this information. I'm suprised the birds aren't all over those bushes. Especially the Cedar Waxwings.

  2. This is a great informative post - thanks for sharing your knowledge. I think huckleberries that grow wild in the mountains here are a wild blueberry. We sure love them.

    I LOVE the dogs floating. My dog does this, too, and it's a crackup. When I lived in California, I used to come home from work and he'd be in the pool sitting on the top stair, just cooling off.

  3. I wish I had blueberries growing in my backyard. There is something really special about being able to go out to the backyard and pick a handful of something we've grown. I have to settle for farmstand berries.

  4. I'm proud of your wife walking for 3 miles... That's a pretty long walk... I can understand why she wanted to jump in the lake.... WoW!!!!

    Your blueberries look great. We've been picking some of the wild blackberries around here --which are delicious...


  5. In the second picture of the dogs, the little black dog looks like he's wearing sunglasses. I notice they get the stupid human to tow them around. "Working like a dog," indeed!

    I've had no success with blueberry bushes, but I might try again soon.

  6. The dogs days of summer indeed! Those dogs have it made. :)

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge on blueberries. I really want to grow some.

  7. Dude, you know so much about gardening! I'd surely kill blueberries, they require too much effort on my part;)

    Nice lifeguards!


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