Make Your Blueberry Burst14 August 2015 Linda Ross
Blueberries are pretty shrubs, with delicate, pink, bell-shaped flowers that give way to delicious purple-blue berries full of goodness and high in antioxidants.
Just two blueberry bushes will give enough fruit for a couple to eat blueberries every day for breakfast through spring and summer.
Mix it Up
We believe blueberry plants are best grown in pots. They prefer an acid soil (pH 5.5), so a half and half mix of azalea potting mix with coarse pine bark is ideal. Add a slow release fertiliser, and remember that in summer such a free-draining mix requires watering almost daily.
Don't forget, free-draining soil mix requires watering almost daily in summer. Photo - Dusan Zidar/Shutterstock.com
Fertilise with an acid loving plant fertiliser like Kahoona. Harvest should start in earnest in the third year.
Blueberries need lots of sunshine and netting. PVC pipe makes a good framework to drape the netting over. you dont want the foliage growing through your netting! Only use the protective net for birds, the plants must be open to the bees so they can pollinate the flowers.
Use a protective net and keep the birds away from your juicy little treasures. Photo - Kazoka/Shutterstock.com
'Blueberry Burst' is a brand new dwarf-growing blueberry with fruit the size of a grape! The luscious fruits are produced in large quantities in late winter and early spring. They reach a metre high and almost as wide and will thrive in areas that don’t have cold winters.
Others include 'Misty', 'Gulf Coast' and 'Sunshine Blue'. Ask your local nursery for the best variety for your climate.
Next time I wont tell the kids where they're planted, and I may just get a few berries for myself. Photo - Melpomene/Shutterstock.com
Tips and Tricks
Though blueberries are self-furtile and will set commercial crops without cross-pollination, some studies show that flowers receiving pollen from another variety will produce larger, earlier ripening fruit. Blueberries require bees for pollination and fruit set.
Frosts will damage plants.
Don’t use herbicides around your blueberries – just hand weed.
Avoid the use of lime.
Mulch with pine needles, pine bark or oak leaves.