Successful blueberry production requires full sun and sufficient water. Many home gardeners are reluctant to try growing blueberry plants because they think they're too difficult to manage. Use these tips to ensure that your blueberry crop will thrive.
Tip #1 – Don’t Expect Blueberries Right Away
You won’t be eating blueberries your first few years of growing them. Blueberry production takes about 3 years to begin producing fruit. Plants don’t become fully productive until they’re around 6 years old.
Tip #2 – Choose A Site With Full Sun
For maximum success, your blueberry plants require full sunlight. Without full sun, you won’t get optimum blueberry quality and yield. Choose a site for your blueberry plants that gets as much sunlight as possible during the day.
Tip #3 – Clear Away Overhanging Branches
You may not have a lot of choice where to plant your blueberry bushes in your home garden. If you have an area that has overhanging branches, trim them away to maximize sun exposure on your blueberry plants.
Tip #4 – Buy Blueberries In Containers And Water Immediately
For best results, buy your blueberry specimens in containers from a nursery. When you get them home, water them thoroughly and keep them moist until you plant them.
Tip #5 – Wait Before You Plant
Once you bring home bushes for your blueberry garden, leave them in the containers and place them in the spot where you intend to plant. Check out how many hours of direct sunlight the plants receive. If it’s sufficient, prepare the planting beds and get them in the ground.
Tip #6 – Blueberry Requires Regular Water
During the first 1 to 2 years of growth, blueberry plants require 1 to 2 inches of water per week. In climates with little rain, or during periods of drought, the lack of water can severely stress plants. Irrigation is necessary to maintain the health of the blueberry bushes.
Tip #7 – Use Drip Irrigation
Probably the best method for ensuring sufficient water to your blueberry garden is to use drip or trickle irrigation. These types of systems discharge a calculated amount of water on the soil beneath the plants. Experts recommend 8 to 12 gallons of water per plant per week, which increases as the plants mature. Split the watering into cycles.
Tip #8 – Make Sure Water Gets At The Roots
Blueberry is unusual in that it does not have little hairs on its roots. This means that the blueberry root surface is smaller than other plants. They have a small root system that doesn’t spread far from the plant. The blueberry plant is only able to obtain water from the immediate vicinity. In the garden, make sure your water gets as close to the roots as possible without over-watering.
Tip #9 – Use Timers
If you use a lawn sprinkling system, use cycle timers to ensure that your blueberry section receives enough water. You can time it out during periods of rain, or when the blueberries have already received sufficient water.
Tip #10 – Climate Notes
In colder climates, do not water after early September unless the soil is very dry. In hotter climates, ensure plants do not dry out. Misting in hot and dry conditions can help prevent stress from drought.