Highbush Blueberry - A Practical Guide on How to Grow Blueberries
Blueberry is a favourite fruit of many people. Not only it's tasty, but also full of valuable benefits. When the season comes, these fruits appear in stores - but their prices often don't cause much enthusiasm. What's worth noting, growing them at home is not difficult. With a bit of effort, you can enjoy the perfect taste of blueberries, regardless of the prices.
Is it a good idea to plant a highbush blueberry in the garden?
Blueberries are exceptionally easy to grow. Of course, a lot depends on the particular variety. Most of them grow perfectly in any garden, though. So, if you love these fruits, consider planting a blueberry bush in your garden.
But before you do anything, check if you have enough space. Highbush blueberry forms quite large shrubs. They can grow up to 2 meters tall, and are also wide. For this reason, make sure you can provide proper growing conditions to them.
Benefits of blueberries
Highbush blueberry produces exceptionally tasty fruits - they are large, fleshy and juicy. But the taste is just one of their many benefits. Are you wondering why blueberries are so valuable? There are many reasons:
- they are used in cancer prevention,
- they improve sight and protect against cataracts and macular degeneration,
- they aid memory,
- they benefit liver function,
- they regulate digestion,
- they lower blood pressure.
The benefits of blueberries result mostly from the vitamins and flavonoids contained within the fruits. Phytoestrogens, the plant’s hormones, are also an important factor. They are valued the most in cancer prevention.
Blueberries - side effects
Blueberries bear many health benefits. But everything - even the best things - should be consumed in moderation. You can eat blueberries every day, but in small quantities.
Patients suffering from diabetes should be extra careful. Although American blueberries are healthy, they contain a lot of sugar - fructose. Eating too much of it might be detrimental to one’s health or well-being.
Where to plant a highbush blueberry?
Highbush blueberry needs a lot of sun for growth. If you want to grow such a plant in your garden, make sure there are no trees or ornamental shrubs in the vicinity of the blueberry bush. It’s a particularly essential aspect when fruits appear on the bush. The sun causes quicker ripening and makes them juicier and sweeter.
Growing blueberries in the garden
Highbush blueberry grown in the garden has peculiar soil requirements. The soil for blueberries must be acidic - only then you can expect the best results. The plant grows beautifully in such ground and doesn’t need additional feeding. An estimated soil pH for blueberries falls between 3.8 and 4.8.
The moisture of the soil is also important for this plant. In case of a rainless period, make sure to water the blueberry bush more intensely than usual - you might need to do it every day.
How to plant blueberries?
Planting blueberries is nothing complicated, and every gardener should be able to do it - even a beginner. Experts often suggest certain solutions which make the whole process even easier and much quicker. As some claim, blueberry bush spacing is important - planting a few bushes next to each other is the best option. This way, you can prepare a single spot in the form of a long bed.
The depth is also an essential aspect of planting blueberries. Don’t put them too shallow, but not too deep, either. The recommended depth is around 30, maximally 40 centimeters.
When to plant blueberries in the garden?
The time of planting blueberry bushes heavily depends on the variety you pick. Typically, it’s done during one of the two seasons - spring and autumn. That’s when the temperatures aren’t too low nor too high. The soil moisture level and sunlight are also optimal during these two periods.
Growing blueberries - feeding
Many wonder whether blueberry plants such as highbush blueberry need feeding. While it can be avoided - by doing so, you won’t achieve as good results as when using various nutritious products.
As experts suggest, one should support the plant especially during its intense growth period. It begins in March and lasts until the beginning of summer - basically, until the end of June.
Highbush blueberries need fertilizers that are rich is nitrogen. Ammonium nitrate and other products with an addition of phosphorus and potassium are good, too. If you don’t want to risk it, just search for special mixes meant specifically for this plant - you will find them in gardening stores.
American blueberry - easy-to-grow varieties
There are a few varieties of American blueberry. They are classified according to their blooming time. So, you can decide on early, mid-early and late varieties.
Fruits of early blueberry varieties ripen at the beginning of July. They are the following varieties:
- Hannah’s Choice.
Here are the mid-early blueberry varieties:
Late blueberry varieties include the following:
- Pink Lemonade,
The choice is great - everyone can pick the best variety for themselves. If your yard is large enough, planting blueberry plants of different fruiting periods might be a good idea. Thanks to this, you can enjoy the delicious fruits from the beginning of July until the end of September.
American blueberry preserves
Highbush blueberry fruits are perfect for preparing various preserves. Here are the most popular ones:
You can also try this interesting idea - prepare a blueberry liqueur. Because it contains alcohol, it’s an option for adult blueberry enthusiasts only.
Blueberry plants for sale - prices
Prices of blueberry bushes depend mostly on the variety you pick. The cheapest shrubs from nurseries cost around $7-$10. Rarer, hard to come-by varieties are more expensive - they might cost even $20 per seedling.
📍 How quick do blueberries grow?
The growth rate of a blueberry plant depends on the environment, temperature outside, sunlight and feeding. With the best conditions provided, a shrub should bear fruit after approximately 3 years. The bush increases by over a dozen centimeters per year, and after a few years it might get over 2 meters tall.
📍 When do blueberries bloom?
A blueberry plant begins blooming depending on the variety - between the beginning of May and the end of June. This is the best time when bees can pollinate them.
📍 What vitamins do blueberries have?
American blueberry is exceptionally rich in vitamins and other nutrients. The fruits contain vitamins such as A, B, C, E and PP. Furthermore, every blueberry fruit is a source of potassium, zinc, magnesium, selenium, calcium and iron. The fruits also contain antioxidants.
📍 What is the best soil for blueberries?
Soil for blueberries should be fertile, and most importantly - acidic. Only then you can achieve good results when growing blueberries.
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