It may seem a little crazy to be planting blueberry bushes in our home garden when we live in the middle of one of the largest commercial blueberry farm growing areas in Canada, but; our home bushes will be grown organically with berries in season from mid Summer until Fall and we hope to pick delicious organically grown berries daily for breakfast topping on cereal or for dessert with yoghurt! The bushes are easy to grow and not susceptible to many disease and insects. Read on if you need to be encouraged to plant your own.
Blueberry Varieties Chosen
- Duke which requires “chill hours” to set fruit so not sure how that will produce. Grows about 6 feet high
- Patriot which grows medium height to 5 ft.
- Blue Crop is the most well known variety and is very productive.
- Bushes should be winter hardy for our climate.
- Grow in sun and partial shade.
- Three different varieties were selected as the nursery where they were purchased said that yields are often higher when more than one variety is grown (due to cross pollination).
- The bushes should provide fruit the first year after planting
- The ripening times of the fruit are different allowing for fresh, organic berries throughout the summer from mid July to October.
- Another reason for choosing blueberries is the size of the bush and ease of growing. I really wanted to plant a walnut and a chestnut tree but there is just not enough room to plant these potentially massive trees in a small residential lot but more than enough room for three medium sized blueberry bushes
How to grow blueberries in home garden
- Pick well drained sunny site
- Dig hole – size should be approximately two feet square and the depth of the container
- Remove bush from container and place in centre of hole and fill with peat, compost and soil mix
- Cover with 4 – 6 “ of mulch such as leaves (commercial growers near here mulch in the fall with sawdust)
- The three bushes were planted approximately 4 feet apart
- For organic gardeners always use blood meal as a fertilizer and not fresh manure
- Blueberries evidently don’t like to be over fertilized so there is no need to fertilize when transplanting from nursery pot to home garden
Other Blueberry Information
- Recommended to plant in the spring but 2 year container blueberry bushes were planted in Fall in the garden
- The blueberry bushes should fully mature in eight years
- They should produce 10 to 15 lbs of firm fruit per bush
- Blueberry bushes live for many years
It is well known that blueberries are a “super food” because of their anti-aging, anti-cancer fighting oxidants. Our optometrist has been recommending eating 17 fresh blueberries a day if you want great eyesight! Nutrition wise, blueberries look like this:
- Low in calories
- High in fiber
- Loaded with vitamins K C E and minerals, especially manganese
Two of the varieties purchased have dark red leaves in the Fall so they will look most decorative in a sunny corner of the garden. A highly recommended fruit to grow if you are unable to plant full or dwarf sized fruit trees.
Links & References
- Information on the blueberry, such as it is related to the rhododendron
- Blueberry nutrition
- And still more growing information