A blueberry orchard of you very own is a blueberry lovers dream. A blueberry orchard of your own gives you the freedom to pick the fruit whenever you need want or need them. Fresh blueberries are great in a pie, in blueberry muffins, making jam, or any type of dessert.
In order to grow blueberries successfully you will need acidic soil that is able to retain moisture with a pH level between 5 and 6. They can grow in an area of partial shade but will do much better in a sunny open area of the garden. You need to protect the wild blueberry bushes from cold winds especially in the northern regions of the U.S. If your soil happens to be high in alkaline you can add lime to it or grow your blueberries in containers that you fill with an acid based compost or peat.
You will probably need 4 to 6 blueberry bushes for the average family to have a good supply. Each blueberry bush you have planted will produce fruit for several weeks and are usually ready for picking mid to late summer. Usually the first three years after planting blueberries the plants will not produce any fruit. Blueberries are not considered a complete self-fertile plant and for this reason you will need to plant at least 2 different blueberry varieties in order to get a good crop.
Blueberries can be planted in the fall or as soon as your soil is pliable in the spring. They can be planted 3 to 4 feet apart and at least an inch deeper than the nursery container. Fertilize the wild blueberries about a month before growth starts. During the beginning of summer you want to mulch the orchard with peat, leaf mold, or garden compost. To keep the birds away from your precious fruit place some netting on top of the bushes. The birds like the blueberries just as much as you do. These are just some of the blueberry plant tips that will be helpful for succeeding with a blueberry orchard.
If there is too much lime in your soil, your blueberry bushes will end up with yellow patches on the leaves, very poor growth, and the production of fruit will be very low. To decrease the pH levels of your soil dig in some peat moss which is an acidic material and also add some sulfur.
You do not need any pruning done to you blueberry bushes during the first three years. After that period of time pruning should be done every winter. The fruit will always appear on the previous seasons wood but you need to cut at least four older branches from each bush so it has the opportunity to produce new shoots.
Blueberries are low in calories but high in antioxidants which destroy free radicals and help enrich your immune system. These antioxidants help to lower precancerous colon lesions and the risks of ovarian cancer. Eating blueberries also slows down the process of osteoporosis in women after menopause. Diets that are rich in blueberries may even protect our brains from Alzheimer’s disease and may reverse memory loss.