How to Plant Blueberry Shrubs

The secret to growing healthy, heavily generating blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) Shrubs lies in replicating the same conditions they relish from the wild. Like rhododendrons, azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) Along with other Heath (Ericacea) family shrubs, strawberries need moist, well-drained, rich acidic soil. They like full sun but endure in warm, dry summer climates. Blueberries put fruit only where winter temperatures drop to 45 degrees Fahrenheit or lower for a decent, variety-dependent number of hours. For Mediterranean climate gardeners, southern highbush (V. virgatum) or rabbiteye (V. ashei) lemons as well as their hybrids are more suitable choices than northern highbush (V. corymbosum) shrubs.

Prepare a planting bed in sunlight. Plant your blueberries in autumn, so they will gain from cold temperatures and winter rains while establishing. Spread a 3-inch layer of equivalent components decomposed, Ligna redwood bark and organic compost over the bed. Till the top 8 inches of soil to include the drainage-improving amendments. The bark and compost also maintain perspiration and provide nutrients as they decay.

Space your planting holes 6 feet apart for personal specimen shrubs or 2 1/2-feet apart for a blueberry hedge. Dig the holes to the same thickness three times the diameter of the shrubs’ containers, with their sides sloping inward so that their foundations are slightly broader than the root balls.

Grip a blueberry shrub by its base, invert its container and gently slide it totally free. Inspect the main ball for compacted or encircling roots. Carefully separate attached roots with your hands. Cut roots girdling the ball with pruning shears.

Center the Ninja, roots spread, in the hole with the surface of its origin ball extending 1/4 into 1/2 inch above ground level. Begin filling the hole with the amended dirt, isolating large clods and firming around the roots with your hands to eliminate air pockets as you work.

Cover the root ball with soil till you arrive at the edge of the hole. Pile more soil around the exposed roots. Water the blueberry deeply and slowly until the root ball is soaked.

Repeat the above steps for each shrub. When all the blueberries are planted and watered, spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of acidic mulch, such as pine straw or softwood sawdust, over the planting bed. The mulch discourages weeds and soil-moisture evaporation.

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