Living in the city sometimes makes you want to see more green and take care of something that can be both pretty and fives back to you. Blueberries are a perfect fruit to grow at home. Wether it’s in your garden (if you lucky to have one) or pots or containers for a pretty balcony or big window.
There are some things you will need to ensure though. This will be a quick guide for container home grown blueberries.
To start off make sure you choose the sunniest place in your house. Blueberries thrive in sunny places and they should be sheltered from frost and shade. Let’s just say: they are happy in the sun!
Make sure you get a container that it is 60cm. This will be required because you will need at least 2 varieties of blueberries and they will grow quite a lot in the first two years. This is to ensure crosspollination occurs and more chances of a healthy and fertile plant. There are a lot of types blueberries that you can get. The more common are: Bluecrop, Chandler, Duke and Nelson.
You will need some ericaceous compost. Blueberries are very picky with the soil they are in and will require something acidic. The required PH is 5. Always try to get something around this level which is the ones the plant prefers. If you have any questions about this, please see the packaging of the soil, they always have neat recommendations and tips.
Once you have your blueberry plant you have to prepare it before planting. Please let it soak for about 20 minutes before transferring it to the soil.You will need to put some crocks at the end of the pot to ensure good drainage.
Once you have plant it, make sure you keep the soil moist but not soggy – this would just kill it.
The best time to plant it it’s from November to February and harvest time would be July and August. During the first two years pruning won’t be something that you’ll need to do, but you can always trim it, but be careful not to cut the healthy branches – always try to just cut the dead part. Pruning is always better when the plant is more dormant – around December or January. It’s highly recommended that you should concentrate on getting the plant growing in the first year in order to maximise the wood on the plant to bear fruit the year after. Obviously always cut off any dead or broken branches and also any that look like they are going to touch the ground and also any very spindly growth should be removed at ground level.
When watering the plants always try to use the rain water as the tap one is too agressive for it. But in time of need, don’t be scared. Make sure during growing season you keep the roots moist. Then, in late spring when the leaves bloom and open, you will need to feed it a bit of fertilizer. Do not use the same you would buy for tomatoes as they do not have the required nutrients.
If you have to re-pot because of growth, try to do it in Autumn and this should be needed every two years or so.
Be careful of birds, they love blueberries as much as the next person so make sure you have some sort of protection – otherwise all of the crops will be theirs, ah!
Good luck with your berries and happy gardening!