Gardening

Complete Guide to Plant Blueberries: [12 Steps + Images]

What do we teach you in this article?

This article is a complete guide on everything you need to know about blueberry planting. We show you the dates, the temperature, what you should consider when watering and the pests and diseases that usually attack blueberries.

Do you want to enjoy this wonderful fruit in the orchard or garden? You may have come to the right place.

Important Points for Growing Blueberries

  • When? In autumn-winter.
  • Where? In temperatures between 16 and 25°C. It requires as much light as possible.
  • Harvest time? Between 3-5 years.
  • How do we prepare the land? The optimal pH is around 4.5 and 5.5. Blueberries grow best in acidic, sandy, sandy loam, or clay soils.
  • How do we water? Drip irrigation is recommended.
  • How often do we water? Try to keep the soil moist, but without producing puddles.
  • How do we sow? Burying the seedlings or cuttings at a depth between 5 and 10 cm.
  • When do we harvest? When the berries are light or dark red and, inside, the seeds are brown.
  • Good associations? The apple tree and the cherry tree.
  • Diseases and pests? Predators, blueberry maggot, septoria and anthracnose.

The blueberry is a berry with low caloric value, but with a high nutritional density, rich in fiber and vitamin C.

Its regular consumption helps prevent aging, cancer and diseases of the cardiovascular system. They also help control diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol.

What do we need to grow blueberries?

When should it be sown?

Blueberries are best grown in cool climates, so they are best planted duringthe autumn- winter period, because the flowering season must be free of the frost period.

If planted by cuttings, these can be planted in the fall, from October to November, or in the spring, from mid- April to the end of May.

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Where? the luminosity

they need to receiveas much direct sunlight as possible.

Its optimum temperature is between 16 and 25°C.

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How often should it be watered?

It requires efficient and timely irrigation, since its root system is superficial and lacks root hairs, which considerably limits water absorption and causes a tendency to dehydration.

Water stress is particularly fatal during the period of berry growth and flowering.

The soil should always remain moist to the touch, but without waterlogging.

It is recommended the drip irrigation system.

How do we prepare the land?

Blueberries grow best in acidic, sandy, sandy loam, or clay soils. Preferably not very deep, with good drainage and low fertility.

The optimal pH is around 4.5 and 5.5..

How to plant blueberries step by step

1. Clear the ground

It removes weeds and remains of previous crops and all kinds of residues to ensure that your blueberry plants receive the correct amount of nutrients.

In this, peat is very useful, as it inhibits the growth of weeds. You can put leaves or straw on top of the soil.

2. Prepare the ground

Moisten the soil before planting. Spread peat moss and worm castings on the ground.

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3. Insert the seedlings or cuttings into the soil

Blueberry plants are not grown from seed, but from one-year- old cuttings or three-year-old seedlings.

You can plant them in the garden directly or in a pot, if you prefer. Keep in mind that blueberry plants grown in containers will need to be replaced every couple of years.

When planting seedlings or cuttings, leave approximately one meter distance between each plant. Bury them to a depth of between 5 and 10 cm, according to the size of the cutting.

Blueberry plants grow best when they have plenty of room to spread their runners.

4. Water frequently

Make sure that the soil is always moist, but without producing puddles.

5. Fertilize the soil

Fertilize frequently to stimulate stolon growth.

For the first year after planting, fertilize your blueberry bed with a fertilizer containinghigh nitrogen content.

Fertilize the soil three times: at the start of growth, during flowering, and when berries start to form.

After the first year, it will be necessary to reduce the nitrogen supply so that they stop expanding and take root and form upright plants.

Every two years, starting from the second year of age, it is recommended to cover the soil with a thin layer of sand, about 1 cm. This will help root the runners and prevent weeds.

6. Prune runners

Beginning in the third year of growth, blueberry plants will need to be pruned in the spring to control runners and encourage the development of upright plants.

How to harvest blueberries

The first harvest occurs between 3 and 5 years of age of the plant. Once it produces fruit, you can harvest the berries during the fall.

a3sWhen ripe, the berries will be light or dark red, and inside, the seeds will be brown.

Blueberries can be easily picked by hand. Once you have harvested them, they will stay fresh for 28 days if you store them in an airtight container inside the refrigerator, at a temperature between -0.6 and 0 ºC and relative humidity of 95%.

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Pests and diseases of blueberries

Some of the most common pests and diseases that affect blueberries are:

predators

Birds, lagomorphs and rodents. To prevent blueberry crops from being eaten, it is best to protect the plant with protective netting.

blueberry worm

To prevent its appearance, the elimination of weeds is recommended.

Another good solution is to plow the land superficially during winter to expose the bugs to the frost, thus reducing their population.

It is important to monitor the early stages of crop development since attacks on them are very serious and can be irreversible as they affect shoots and stems.

The application of Bacillius thuringiensis is effective in combating this pest.

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septoria

Fungi that dry out the plant and cause its leaves to spoil. Horsetail extract can be applied as an ecological fungicide.

anthracnose

It occurs when the fruit reaches maturity.

To prevent it, we will try not to harvest if the weather is very wet. Drip or sprinkler irrigation and horsetail application are also recommended. Neem oil is also usually a good solution.

It is also essential to promote good ventilation of the crop.

How long does a blueberry live?

The lifespan of a blueberry plant is around 40 years.

How long does it take to grow a blueberry?

It grows quickly and in 3-4 years it will be a suitable bush size.

How long does it take to produce fruit?

Its first production will occur when 2 years have passed since its sowing.

Can it be grown in a pot?

It is a species that develops very well in a pot and it is possible to obtain valuable crops from it.

How many times does a blueberry produce fruit?

It has a high level of annual production, reaching up to 8 harvests in ideal conditions.

In addition, this rhythm is maintained for approximately 20 continuous years.

Should a blueberry be pollinated to obtain fruit?

The pollination of the blueberries is carried out thanks to the intervention of the bees that are in charge of the transfer of the pollen.

How cold can a blueberry tolerate?

Blueberries are fruit bushes characteristic of cold areas, so they do not have problems with this condition.

In winter they are capable of withstanding up to -30° C, as long as they are in a vegetative state.

How many blueberries can be planted per hectare?

Being a shrub, they allow planting with a high density per hectare, so that up to 4,000 specimens can be established.

This amount offers an estimated production of 10 to 15 tons of fruit.

What kind of fertilizer does a blueberry need?

Correct fertilization is key to excellent production, so NPK fertilizers must be used.

At the beginning of the plantation, the highest concentration should be in nitrogen to stimulate vegetative growth.

Then, emphasis must be placed on potassium and phosphorus to improve the number and quality of the fruits.

How much heat and/or drought can a blueberry tolerate?

It also has no problems with times of intense heat, being able to work up to 40° C.

Bibliography and references

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