Who doesn’t love a gorgeous blueberry bush? Adding a bountiful little shrub to your garden lineup this growing season is a brilliant way to ensure a nutrient-dense fruit harvest for years to come. Discover how to choose suitable options for your home garden, and learn when to plant blueberry bushes for maximum productivity with this complete how-to guide.
Blueberries have long been a wild crop found in wild places. Blueberry plants are native to North America, but we’ve only just figured out how to farm them commercially in the last one hundred years.
In 1911, an American botanist named Frederick Coville partnered with agricultural specialist Elizabeth Coleman White. They discovered the key – blueberries are acid-loving plants and crave a soil pH that is intolerable for many plants.
- Don’t Guess When to Plant Blueberries
- When to Plant a Blueberry Bush – Tips and Tricks
Don’t Guess When to Plant Blueberries
Before the discovery about the soil pH, well-meaning gardeners would dig up a wild blueberry bush and replant it near their other fruiting trees with the same sad results. Thankfully, we’ve harnessed the growing power of this fantastic berry, and you can, too. Stick around to find out how.
Grow the biggest blueberry bushes on your block this year. Learn the best time to plant blueberries and how to make them flourish with these essential tips and tricks. Know whether you are dealing with blueberries or huckleberries so you can give them what they need to flourish.
Note that you can grow blueberry bushes from seeds but it will take quite a while for the bushes to yield a harvest of any size – about seven years.
Use Your Location to Decide When to Plant Blueberries
Choosing when to plant a blueberry bush or when to plant blackberries doesn’t have to be confusing. Your location helps determine when to plant blueberry bushes for maximum seasonal enjoyment. To grow the most suitable blueberry varieties and decide the best time to plant blueberries, look at your local climate and native soil.
Blueberries are good growers, and choosing the best kind for your location is essential for hardy fruit production. Use your knowledge of the local climate to help you better understand the growing season.
Perhaps you live in an area with annual snowfall or extreme heat. If this feels a bit overwhelming, the USDA has compiled a helpful climate map for North America so you can quickly locate your hardiness zone. Use the chart to discover the best place to plant blueberry bushes in your state and the ideal place in your yard.
Hardiness Zones and When to Plant Blueberry Bushes
Hardiness zones help farmers and gardeners choose the best plant options for their respective environments, whether you need to know the best time to plant a raspberry bush or start your blueberries.
Hardiness zones advise how cold it gets and roughly when to start the growing season. As you can imagine, they’re a decent indicator of when to plant blueberry bushes.
The USDA Hardiness Zones Map splits North America into 13 zones based on the minimum temperature for any given zone.
It was developed in 1960 with 150 years of weather data and is occasionally updated with more current climate information. Locating your hardiness zone is easy on the USDA website and saves you from planting things that won’t thrive in your home garden.
Hardiness zones are helpful; however, they aren’t the only thing to consider when planning your home garden. The data doesn’t include things like rainfall or humidity, but choosing the correct hardiness zone will at least let you know when to plant a blueberry bush successfully so you can harvest from it for years to come.
Choosing the Correct Blueberry Cultivars
Now that you know the best time to plant blueberries and what to expect from your growing season, you can choose a suitable blueberry cultivar. Cultivars are plants created by selective breeding to maintain a specific consistency or thrive under extreme conditions it usually wouldn’t.
For example, professor Ralph Sharp at the University of Florida created the Southern Highbush blueberries to grow in the mild Florida winters. Blueberries require a set amount of chill hours over the winter; however, the Southern Highbush requires far fewer while successfully initiating its bloom cycle.
There are quite a few blueberry varieties, but don’t let that intimidate you; many nursery workers are happy to share their expertise. Remember, blueberries are pretty unfussy except for their preferred soil pH of 4.0 to 5.5.
In fact, blueberry plants won’t produce if the soil pH is higher than 5.5. For the best growing environment, add a soil pH kit to your purchase to ensure an accurate soil test every time.
Learn When to Plant Blueberries in Garden Soil or Containers
Knowing when to plant blueberry bushes and when to best plant elderberry bushes is just as important as knowing where to plant them. Blueberry plants belong to the genus Vaccinium and are classified as Ericaceous plants with other acid-loving plants like the rhododendron and azalea, which is a great companion plant for blueberries.
Blueberry bushes take about three years to reach harvesting age, so purchasing them from a reputable garden center when the plant is already one to two years old is ideal. Blueberry bushes are usually purchased as bare-root plants, meaning that the blueberries come without the dirt around their roots to allow you to plant them in native soil.
Whether you plant blueberries in your garden or a festive container, applying mulch or wood chips around the base of the plant stops the root system from freezing in the colder months. If freezing weather isn’t a concern, mulch also keeps moisture in for blueberries growing in hot environments.
When to Plant Blueberries According to the Cooperative Extension
In 1914 the Cooperative Extension Service was established in America. Federal, state, and county governments cooperate to extend the reach of agricultural information and innovations to the general farming community.
To connect with a wider blueberry-loving community or sharpen your garden know-how, the USDA has a convenient website to help you locate your extension office. Learn about landscaping, pests, national origin, and more with the help of agricultural experts.
When to Plant a Blueberry Bush – Tips and Tricks
Help your blueberries get settled during the first year. Keep these tips in mind as you progress through the blueberries growing season.
Blueberries are a healthy, long-producing plant that will have you eating helpful micronutrients at every meal. From salads to jams and compotes to cakes, those delicious little blueberries do it all.
Take everything you’ve learned about when to plant blueberry bushes, go boldly into your garden, and make this the year you grow fruit!
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