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U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

Planting Blueberries

iStock_000001869634_SmallPlanting blueberries can be easy in the right conditions. Before you begin, read up on how to plant blueberries and stop by your local garden center to ask an expert about the best blueberry varieties for your region.

Once you’ve selected your blueberry plants, keep these tips in mind to ensure success in growing blueberries.

Soil preparation

Select a sunny location with well-drained soil for your blueberry bed. It’s best to grow blueberries in an area where water is readily available so you can keep their roots moist throughout the growing season. Raised beds or patio containers are good options for planting blueberries in areas where the soil is not ideal.

Soil preparation is crucial to the health of blueberry plants. Blueberries prefer acidic soil. Talk to your local garden center about the best way to make soil adjustments. If changes in the pH are needed, it’s best to make them a year before planting blueberries.

Spacing and planting blueberries

In most areas, it’s ideal to plant blueberries in the fall or spring. You can plant blueberry bushes as close as 2 or 2.5 feet apart to form solid hedgerows, or space them up to 6 feet apart so they grow individually. If you plant in rows, allow 8 to 10 feet between the rows.

Fertilizing blueberry plants

Once your blueberry plants are established, they will respond well to acid fertilizers such as rhododendron or azalea formulations. Ask your local garden center for fertilizer recommendations and follow the instructions on the label. Blueberries are sensitive to over-fertilization, so be careful!

For best results, fertilize your blueberry plants once in early spring and again in late spring. Be sure to always water thoroughly after fertilizing.

Mulching blueberry plants

Blueberries do best with 2-4 inches of mulch over the roots to conserve moisture, prevent weeds and add organic matter. Bark mulch, acid compost, sawdust and grass clippings all work well.

For additional guidance on planting blueberries in your home garden, contact your local county Cooperative Extension office.

Oh, and don’t worry, all the hard work will pay off when you serve homemade and homegrown blueberry muffins for breakfast!