Blueberry cultural recommendation to help you grow!
The landscape value of highbush, lowbush and rabbiteye blueberries is excellent. Attractive while in flower and fruit. They have brilliant autumn foliage. The fruit is high in fiber and many essential vitamins also beneficial to urinary tract ailments.
These attractive shrubs have a high landscape value because of their rugged twiggy form and foliage that become orange, scarlet and red in autumn. They need acid soil (pH 4.5 - 5.5) with a high content of organic material to maintain moisture. The home gardener can best supply this necessary humus by adding quantities of peat moss (at least one 10 quart pail or more per plant mixed thoroughly with the soil when planting). Leaf mold, sawdust (well rotted) or compost are good mulching materials. Set the shrubs from 3 to 6 feet apart, either as a hedge or as a landscape group.
Sand, organic or peat soils loose in texture, are preferred, although the blueberry plants can be grown in acid clay soils. This may be accomplished by mixing quantities of peat with clay in a hole the size of a bushel and planting the plant into this mixture.
Constant but moderate moisture supplied throughout the growing season is necessary. Over watering for long periods is not good. If the first inch of soil has water then do not water.
To acidify sandy soils, apply one pound of sulphur per 100 square feet for each full point the soil registers above 5.5. To acidify medium loamy soil, apply 1.5 to 2.5 lbs. of sulphur per 100 square feet for every point above 5.5.
The blueberry is shallow rooted. Cultivation should be shallow. The soil should be cultivated with a hoe to keep down weeds.
Never use fertilizers in the planting hole. A complete balanced fertilizer such as liquid azalea and rhododendron plant food can usually be purchased through your plant dealer and used per instructions on the label several times during the growing season starting in May just before bloom and again once after bloom.
Blueberries are very hardy. For best quality bushes, care must be given. You have purchased a live and healthy plant. With common sense, along with a little extra effort the first year, you will see the results pay off the next year with beautiful spring flowering shrubs covered with a delicious fruit during the summer and a fall and winter color that stands out. This is a beautiful ornamental accent plant.
Pruning is not necessary the first year after planting. Pruning after the first year is chiefly for the purpose of:
- Removing dead or broken branches.
- Removing thin, bushy wood that grows horizontally and accumulates near the base of the plants.
- Removing old stems or parts of stems which have lost their vigor and no longer produce vigorous new shoots. Usually all growth fiver years old or older is removed to rejuvenate new growth.
- To thin and shape the bush by removal of a few of the older canes.
- Pruning should be done in the fall after leaves have fallen.
Rabbiteye blueberry plants are the only plants which need cross pollination. To accomplish this, the planting of two different varieties is necessary. The highbush type are self pollinating but by using two different cultivars fruits will be larger.
Insect control should not be too necessary for home garden planting. Some home gardeners spray with Malathion after blossoms fall and continue this about every few weeks until harvest. Fungus does attack blueberries but if plants have a healthy environment and are pruned properly fungal diseases will not be a problem.
Most home gardeners enjoy the small challenge of trying a few plants. It is recommended that these blueberry plants be treated under the same conditions as you would grow a rhododendron, azalea or any acid loving plants. The only difference is that blueberry plants do not require shade.
Our plants are top quality. They have been grown to give you a beautiful landscape plant and to have fruit for your enjoyment.
We thank you for your purchase.
1.What you should do with the plants upon arrival:
- Remove them from the carton.
- Water them lightly immediately. Do not soak.
- Stand the plants upright so so they can have air circulate around the branches.
- If the plants appear to have active growth when you receive them place them in partial shade for 3 days before planting.
- If the plants are dormant they may be planted immediately.
2.What to do if plants cannot be planted immediately:
- Total bare root plants (example - raspberry), should be stored in a cool area, preferably 32º - 40º Fahrenheit or 0º - 4º Celsius until they can be planted. Plastic should be wrapped on the roots to keep roots from drying. Any bare root plants may be healed into the soil, organic matter or bark to keep roots of the plants moist.
- Container plats should be stored outdoors in partial shade.
- Do not store plants in darkness unless the plants are dormant. If the dormant plants are stored in darkness, temperatures must be kept at 32º - 40º Fahrenheit or a 0º - 4º Celsius.
- Protect plants from frost if the plants are in a growing stage.
- Keep plants moist. Do not soak or let stand in water.
3. How to plant bare root and a container grown plant.
- Bare root plants should be planted soon upon arrival.
- Planting depth is critical for optimum growth. Soil should be 1/4" to 1/2" above the root system.
- Before planting any size of container plants in the soil the roots can form around the plant more easily. This is very important with plants having fine feeder roots such as the blueberry.
- Differences between container plants verses bare root plants is a person's preference. With container plants all roots are contained and shipped with the plant. Bare root are dug from the soil and they will have a more spreading root system than the container grown plant.