Blueberries are full of health benefits and the plants are very attractive as a landscape plant as well. They have pretty white flowers in spring, delicious berries in mid-summer and amazing red fall color. With a few tips and a little extra care, you can enjoy them right in your own backyard.
There are a few special considerations to keep in mind when growing blueberries. First they prefer acidic or low pH soil which most of us in this area do not have. This issue is best addressed before planting with the addition of peat moss to the soil as well as using a pH lowering, sulfur based product. An application of sulfur is usually needed about once a year to help maintain soil pH in a range that blueberries prefer. This in addition to a spring application of fertilizer will help keep your shrubs healthy and productive.
You also need to select two more more different varieties for best fruit production. There are many hardy varieties, many developed by the U of M. My blueberries are in producing like crazy with the exception of the plant I put in last year. I removed most of the flowers to give it another year in the ground to get well established. Blueberries shrubs can live 20 years or more so a good start is essential for this long lived plant.
Watch for our blueberry class coming up in August to learn more about growing these plants.