Choose a place before planting blueberries
1. Blueberries prefer a sunny place with the duration of sun exposure at7-8 hours per day. The crop capacity of blueberries lowers with insufficient light.
Before planting blueberries, prepare the soil
2. Soil acidity for growing blueberry bushes should not be less than рН 5. Before planting blueberry bushes, test the soil for acidity. If the soil has a high рН result, add sulfur 90% - 2.5 glasses for 100 square feet. This will lower the acidity characteristic for 1. For argillaceous soil, the supply of sulfur needs to be doubled. Sulfur needs to be added 3-4 months before planting.
Drainage before planting blueberries
3. Plant blueberry bushes into drained soil. With a high level of soil waters, the roots rot quickly and the blueberry bushes may die.
4. 2 and 3-year-old saplings of blueberries are planted. It’s preferable to use saplings with closed roots.
When is planting blueberries better
5. The best time for planting blueberry bushes with open roots is February March. In well drained soils, they may be planted in November December. The saplings with closed roots may be planted in the late fall.
6. The depth for planting blueberriesmust correspond to the depth that was present in the greenhouse.
7. Keep the distance between the planted blueberry bushes less than 5 ft. If you plant it in rows, the distance between the rows should be 8 ft.
8. Blueberries are moderately demanding when it comes to a soil fertilizer. A fertilizer for blueberry bushes is added to the soil once a year in the spring, before they start to grow. Excess fertilizer harms blueberry bushes. A fertilizer with high acidity, like the one used for azaleas, is used. Apply the appropriate blends for a blueberries fertilizer, which have ammonium sulfate and sulfur in their composition. A nitrous fertilizer also lowers pH but it’s better not to use ones which contain chloride or calcium nitrate. A high content of nitrates negatively affects the growth of blueberry bushes. Use fish flour or coffee grounds as a fertilizer.
Pruning after planting blueberries
9. Pruning of the planted blueberry bushes is done right after the planting. Prune 2/3 height of the vertical sprouts on the saplings with open roots. The saplings with the closed root system are shortened for 1/2. Don’t let blueberry bushes bloom in the first year. Some gardeners recommend tearing fruit buds off in the 1st and 2nd year after planting blueberries. The plant needs to get stronger and root before it starts bearing fruits.
Water regularly after planting blueberries
10. Blueberry bushes are watered once every 2 days to prevent root mould.
11. Mulching of the soil after planting blueberries is required to keep permanent moisture and prevent the roots from overheating. Mulch controls for weed growth. The roots of blueberries are at the surface. Organic material of pine trees (large sawdust, bark, straw, needles of 4 in (10 cm) layer) is used for mulching.
12. Fruit buds of blueberries begin to develop before the beginning of autumn. Later pruning of blueberry bushes is done at the end of the winter when the fruit bearing buds may be seen. Annual pruning is performed so that all the weak horizontal sprouts are removed. If the bush is thickened, prune the branches that are directed towards the inside of the bush. Ventilation and light for every branch play an important role for blueberry bushes. Next, shorten the main sprouts up to the appropriate height to allow the plant to branch out at a comfortable level. However, don’t cut more than half of the new growth from the previous year. You need to leave as many fruit branches as necessary to provide good harvest and preserve the health of blueberry bushes. The pruning done in the following years stimulatesthe growth of the new branches by cutting the old ones. You may easily recognize them by their grey color. Young branches have a reddish hue.
Diseases of blueberry bushes
13. Blueberry bushes sometimes get affected by a powdery mildew and leaf spottiness. The best remedy for prevention of these diseases is through the choice of blueberries, specifically growing those resistant towards powdery mildew and leaf spottiness of the blueberries.
There are other fungal diseases of blueberry bushes. For example, Anthracnose. With this disease, pink accumulations of fungus spores appear on the berries in wet weather.
Botrytis is grey mould on the berries.
Fusicoccom (Godronia) appears on the lower parts of the branches.
Mummy Berry affects flowers, and quickly spreads to other flowers. The berries resemble the look of a mummy. As a result, the harvest is destroyed.
Phomopsis: branches look like they would after a burn. As the disease progresses, the remaining part of the bush is affected.
Measures of fighting diseases on blueberries
14. To prevent these diseases, use methods of agrotechnology. The distances between blueberry bushes must provide for good air circulation. The light from the sun for the plant plays an important role. Blueberry bushes, growing in the shadow, are less resistant towards diseases. If you use mulch, change it every year. Sometimes chemical measures of fighting are applied. In this case, opt for fungicides which are used for fruit and berry plants.
We have introduced you to planting blueberries. Now you know how to care for blueberry bushes. We hope you get a plentiful harvest every year.