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Planting Blueberry Plants

Few things are as delicious as homegrown blueberries, and the success of your harvest begins right with the planting site and method. For maximum growth and yields later on, give your plants the best foundation possible.

NOTE: This is part 4 in a series of 11 articles. For a complete background on how to grow blueberry plants, we recommend starting from the beginning.

Before Planting

Before you plant, check your soil pH. This can be done by contacting your local County Extension Office for information about soil testing in your area, or purchase one of our digital meters for quick and accurate results. Ideally, your blueberries need a soil pH between 4.5-5.5, but below 6.5 will work. To amend your soil, use a soil acidifier. Steer clear of soils that are extremely heavy or very poorly drained.

Spacing

  • Depending on the variety what spacing you will need, high bush 4-6’ and low bush 2-4’ apart with 6-8’ between rows.

Planting Tips

  • Don’t plant too deep. The crown should be right at the soil level, with the roots just under the surface.
  • Blueberries should not be fertilized until the plants leaf out. Then use a solution of our Stark® Blueberry Special Fertilizer, formulated just for blueberries.
  • If your berries are potted, plant them at the same depth as they were in the pot.
  • Blueberries put down a shallow root system, so it is important to water thoroughly during summer, mulch heavily and keep soil acidic.

Container-Growing

Growing blueberries in a container is ideal for patios, decks or porches.

Planting Steps

  • Fill the container with potting soil loosely (do not tamp) to 3” below the rim.
  • Remove plants from growing/shipping containers.
  • Gently loosen root system from the soil ball, so roots do not encircle the soil ball.
  • Place plant so the root ball is even with the soil surface.
  • Fill the container with the remaining soil.
  • Water lightly until plant is well rooted. (After the initial watering, water the container as needed. The best way to determine if your container needs water is to check the soil by inserting your finger into it. If it feels dry, water your container. Because of soil porosity and drainage holes in your container, it would virtually be impossible to overwater your container.)

Container Placement

  • Until the threat of frost has passed, keep your planter indoors in bright sunlight. When temperatures rise to 50 degrees or above, you can move your container plant outdoors to a sunny location. Plants should not be placed immediately in the full sun. An acclimation period of 2-3 days may be needed so as not to burn plants that were under-exposed to light during shipping. Acclimate to cooler air temperatures.
  • The container may be brought back indoor to a sunny location before the temperatures fall below 50 degrees.

Additional Information

  • Blueberries begin to produce fruit in the third season, so pruning is not required until then.
  • Blueberries ripen over several weeks, so plan to pick more than once.
  • Protect your crop from birds with a Garden Net.
  • The average life of blueberry plants is 20 years with proper maintenance.
  • Suggested number of plants for a family of 5: 8-10 (2 plants per person).
NEXT: Soil Preparation for Blueberry Plants
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