Blueberries are divided into high shrub blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) and low shrub blueberries (V. angustifolium), which can be used as both ornamental plants and edibles. Blueberries are one of the healthiest berries. Studies have shown that eating more blueberries can improve your memory and vision, reduce the risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease. The blueberries purchased in the store are expensive. If you own a garden, you will enjoy the fun and generous rewards of growing blueberries. As a beginner, how to plant and prune blueberry bushes?
When to plant blueberry bushes
Blueberry bushes should be planted in early spring. It is best to plant bushes from the nursery that are 1-2 years old.
Where to plant blueberry bushes
Blueberries need to be planted away from trees. Blueberries like to grow in sufficient sunlight. Tall trees will not only block the sunlight, but also grab the soil moisture.
Not all soils are suitable for growing blueberries
The most critical factor for successfully growing blueberries is the soil. Blueberries need acidic soils rich in organic matter and good drainage to thrive. Before planting blueberry bushes, the pH of the soil needs to be checked. The pH value is best between 4.0-5.0.
If the soil is not acidic, you need to purchase aluminum sulfate to improve the soil. Or add natural acidic organic matter to the soil, such as coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels to improve the soil.
Don’t just plant a bush
If you only plant a blueberry bush, individual varieties cannot pollinate each other, and you will only get beautiful flowers and harvest fewer berries.
You need to plant at least two varieties of blueberry bushes, it is best to plant them in one piece. This will make it easier to cross-pollinate, improve the quality and yield of the berries, and obtain a generous return.
Apply organic mulch
The root system of blueberry bushes is shallow, which means that the root system stays near the surface of the soil, so an organic mulch needs to be applied to maintain moisture. Remember, every spring, you need to cover the soil with organic materials such as loose pine needles, rotten sawdust, coffee grounds or leaves to maintain soil moisture and soil acidity.
Applying organic mulch can also suppress weeds in blueberry bushes, reduce water competition, and increase soil nutrition.
How to prune blueberry bushes
When blueberries change from green or purple to completely dark blue, it means the berries are ripe. After the picking is complete, you can prune. The best time to prune blueberries is before late winter or early spring.
It should be noted that blueberries do not require a lot of pruning. You can prune the blueberries after they have grown for 2-3 years to allow time for root development and plant growth. You can remove one third of the twigs and encourage more branches and buds to grow.
The removal of flower buds in the first year after planting will promote the growth of the stem and create a strong shrub. The blueberry bush will bear more fruits in the second year.
Any broken, dead, or crossed branches can be removed at any time of the year.
Do blueberries need to prevent pests and diseases
In most cases, blueberries will not be plagued by pests and diseases. The greatest threat to the blueberry bushes planted in the garden may come from birds. The best solution is to use a net cover, which can fix the wood pile around the blueberry bush, make sure the height of the wood pile is higher than the bush, and finally fix the net cover on the wood pile, and make sure that the net cover does not touch the top of the clump.
Hope this guide is helpful for beginners how to plant and prune blueberry bushes.