How to Grow Blueberries from Bare-roots

Soil pH:

For best results amend pH levels before planting. Soil pH should be between 4.5 and 4.8. A pH of 5.0 is too high! Garden sulfur is the best material to add to reduce pH. Regularly measure and maintain pH levels for optimum success.

Planting:

Dig a 1’ × 1’ × 1’ hole and loosen the sides and bottom. Mix aged wood chips or peat moss into your soil at a ratio of 30% additive to 70% soil. If the pH needs lowering, mix in the appropriate amount of garden sulfur. If you use peat moss, make sure that it is thoroughly saturated with water before mixing. Place this mixture around each plant, and cover mix with ½”-1” of plain soil to prevent moisture.

Irrigation:

Blueberries have a shallow, fibrous root system and require watering 1-3 times per week.

Fertilization:

Do not fertilize new plantings until established, usually 4 - 6 weeks after planting, to avoid burning the roots. In subsequent, fertilize at bloom time, and again a month later. Do not fertilize after July, this puts the plant at risk of winter injury and diseases. Avoid fertilizers containing potassium chloride.

Weed Control/Mulching:

A thick layer of mulch (3” - 4”) retains moisture and improves plant health. Avoid colored mulch, cedar or black walnut chips, leaves, or sawdust. Regular weeding will be necessary.

Pruning:

Remove all flowers during the first year, to keep berries from developing. For the first 3 years, no pruning is needed. After three years, prune annually during the dormant period. Older, heavy branches in the center, lower, weak and damaged branches, and branches less than 6 inches long should be removed. New wood produces the largest fruit. Canes should be a mix of different ages and any canes over 2” in diameter should be removed.

 
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