Blueberries can be planted as seed, but they do better when started from small plants a foot or so tall. This is the best way to go. They are best grown in raised beds in a sunny location in your garden. Blueberries can also be grown in pots. Blueberries can produce a smaller crop in three years after the plants have been started and produce a full crop by the sixth year. Some prefer to harvest wild blueberries from the forest because they are sweeter.
There are varieties of blueberries suited to most climates.
1. Highbush grows better in cooler climates. This variety are self-pollinating but the size and output are increased when pollinated by another plant.
2. Southern Highbush is a cross between Rabbiteye and Highbush. They self-pollinate but have an increased output when cross-pollinated.
3. Rabbiteye are found in the southern regions of the United States. They need to be cross-pollinated by another plant.
4. Dwarf varieties grow well in pots. These grow to a height of 18 to 24 inches.
Blueberries prefer soil that is highly acidic, in the pH range of 4.0 to 6.0. Peat moss may be added to the soil to make it more acidic. Your local agricultural extension will have other recommendations for adjusting the pH of your soil. Well drained soil rich in organic matter is best for growing. Although some varieties are self-pollinating, it is better to plant different varieties in your garden plot so that they can be cross-pollinated by the wind and bees.
Blueberries are usually shipped as small plants 2″-3″ tall. Put the small plant into a pot with a mixture of half peat and half organic fertilizer. Transplant to your prepared garden location when they are about a foot tall. Place blueberries in a sunny location. You should allow six feet of space between plants. Dig a hole big enough and deep enough to accommodate the root ball. Set plant in place until it rests two inches above the surrounding soil. Mound the dirt around the base of the stem. Water well.
Mulch with a 2″-4″ layer of yard clippings, leaves or dry manure. This will help in drainage and also adds nutrients to the soil. Keep plant trimmed of dead stems and leaves. Your plants will start to yield fruit in the third year. When the berries are dark blue and full, it is time to harvest.
Blueberries are low in calories and high in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, manganese, magnesium and fiber. They can be frozen, canned or made into jams and jellies. Use them in ice cream, breads, muffins and smoothies.
Blueberries are a delicious and require little care. The plant is both an ornamental and a fruit producer. Their sweet, delicious flavor makes them perfect for eating as-is or added to your recipes.