How to Care for Blueberry Plants:
Easy to care, blueberry plants, once established very little care to provide you with pounds of sweet berries and fabulous fall color. Here are a few tips to caring for your blueberry plants:
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- Blueberries require adequate water, especially the first year that they are planted, to properly establish a good root system. During the growing season, blueberry plants typically require 1” of water per week. If you are unsure about how much water to give your blueberry plants, dig down approximately 6" deep 12" away from the crown of the plant. The soil should be moist but not soggy. Watering several times per week for a longer period of time is more effective than lightly watering everyday.
- To protect the roots, discourage weed growth and help retain moisture, mulch around the base of the blueberry plants with organic mulch or with any of the following; pine bark, pine chips and needles or pine sawdust.
- Fertilize blueberry plants with an acid fertilizer such as Down to Earth Organic Acid Fertilizer when the buds first swell in the spring, then once again during the growing season and once prior to fall. In the first year after planting, blueberries need special care to help them become well established. In addition to watering, be sure to remove the flowers during the first year of growth. Although hard to do, you will be rewarded next year with a higher yielding harvest and healthier plant. Removing the flowers encourages the plant to focus all of its energy into producing a vigorous plant with many branches and a better root system, rather than producing fruit.
- Prune young blueberry plants by removing dead, diseased or damaged canes and twiggy growth each spring. As plants mature, open the center to allow sunlight and good air flow, keeping 8-10 canes arising from the crown by removing the oldest dark cane and remaining low growing, dead and diseased branches and small twigs.
- Blueberry plants are extremely winter hardy, so very little winter preparation is required. Prior to winter trim back any long canes that may break due to snow weight. Lightly mulch with organic mulch, pine needles or wood shavings around the base of the plant and wait for spring to come!