The Blueberry Care Guide
Light & Watering Requirements
Blueberries like a sunny to part sun area. They prefer more sun than shade. However, in hotter areas, they will need more shade. Here in American Canyon, we can grow blueberries in full sun. In hotter areas, like Vacaville, they will be happier if they are in some shade or filtered sun during the hottest part of the afternoon. Good drainage is important for blueberries and they will grow best with consistent regular watering. Blueberries can be grown in the ground or in containers.
Planting in the Ground or in a Raised Bed.
1. Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the root system or container of the blueberry plant.
2. Backfill the hole halfway with 2 parts EB Stone Azalea, Camellia, and Gardenia Planting Mix, 1 part Micro Bark, and 1 part native soil. Throw in a handful of E.B. Stone Soil Sulfur to increase acidity. Mix the blended soil and soil sulfur together before placing the blueberry plant in the hole. Continue to fill in the hole with the same ratio of Azalea mix, bark, and native soil until the root system is completely covered. Lightly tamp down the soil around the newly planted blueberry to make sure there are no air pockets.
3. Water the blueberry plant well and inspect to see if any more soil needs to be added around the plant.
Planting in Containers
1. Select a pot that will allow the blueberry plant to thrive. A 16 to 18 inch pot would do well for a 2gal size blueberry plant. Also, if you wish to plant two or three blueberries together, you can use a half wine barrel.
2. Fill the pot with 3 parts EB Stone Azalea, Camellia, and Gardenia Planting Mix and 1 part Micro Bark. To increase acidity, you may add 1 part Peat Moss as well if so desired. Mix one handful of E.B.Stone Soil Sulfur.
3. Place the blueberry in the pot so that the top of the root ball is about 1 to 2 inches below the top of the planter to allow for watering and mulching.
4. Add Micro Bark on top of the soil after planting to create a 1/2 inch to 1 inch layer of mulch. This will help the soil stay moist and reduce the amount of water needed to keep your blueberries happy.
Caring for your Blueberries
Beginning in the Spring, we recommend fertilizing your blueberries with an acidic fertilizer such as EB Stone Organics Azalea, Camelia & Gardenia Food or EB Stone Cottonseed Meal. This should be done at least once in early Spring (March), once early Summer (June), and once in early Fall (September). Blueberries grown in containers may benefit from an additional application of fertilizer during the Spring and Summer months.
In the Winter months, while the blueberries are dormant, we recommend fertilizing two or three times with EB Stone Ultra Bloom or Master Bloom 0-10-10 & GreenAll F.S.T. (iron, sulfur, manganese, and zinc supplement). This will help increase flowering and fruit production in the Spring.
In addition, to help keep your blueberries happy, we recommend applying one application of Soil Sulfur during the Spring and again in the Winter. This will help keep the soil acidic, which will help your blueberry plants thrive.
To help keep the roots of your blueberries happy, and to help them stay moist, it is recommended to apply a light layer of the EB Stone Azalea, Camellia, and Gardenia Soil or a layer of Micro Bark around your blueberries at least once a year. Usually this is done in the Fall or Spring season.
Keeping Birds Out of your Blueberries
If you have problems with birds harvesting (eating) your blueberries before you do, then you may consider covering your plants with bird netting in order to prevent them from getting to your blueberries.
When the blueberry plants are young, they will not require much pruning. You will only need to prune for shape. As the blueberry plants become more mature, you will want to remove some of the older canes and any dead branches. Also, any canes that look weak, should be removed as well to allow the stronger canes to grow. Some varieties of blueberries send up a lot of new shoots each year. You may need to remove some of these new shoots to avoid overcrowding. The majority of the pruning can be done in the late Fall or early Winter when the plant is dormant.