Thursday, May 27, 2010

Planting Blueberry Bushes!

I love blueberries and I have always wanted to grow my own! Last year I ordered some from a plant catalog and the tiny twigs arrived and have done OK (except for the one that got stepped on and broken off). However, there is no sign of a blueberry this year and they are still pretty puny. Where I am trying to grow them is a little unsatisfactory as they have less than desirable sun, but I am going to try. This year my impatience got the best of me and so I went to local nursery and bought full size plants with blossoms on them. I got four different varieties. One an early variety, two mid season and one late. When they get growing we should have them all summer.
The first thing I did was to dig the holes where I wanted to plant them. The day got away from us and we didn't get further than digging the holes and putting the acidic mix in the bottom of the hole. In the meantime, Mr. Boots had read a book about growing blueberries and it said they needed frequent water, but couldn't stand to have ' wet feet'. The book said the holes should be empty of water within 15 minutes after filling. We filled a test hole and the water sat there, for a day and a half. Houston, we have a problem!! What could we do? We pondered it for several weeks, watching our holes as it rained to see how quick they drained. Two were better than the others.

Here's what we decided. We decided to fill in the hole a little after half way and then mound the dirt around the bush. It would be lifted out of the wet area and we are hoping it will be OK. We will mulch around them to minimize erosion and try and retain some moisture without soaking them. The three other bushes we planted last year have survived, so we press on.

One thing that is real important with growing blueberries is to make sure you have acid soil. We use an organic product called 'Hollytone'. It is a solid acidifier. If the soil is not acidic enough the leaves will bronze like the above picture.

This is what the leaves should look like.

I'll let you know how they grow.

The above video shows our secret hole digging weapon. Fortunately for us, he likes to dig for and eat worms. Getting him to dig in the right spot is the challenge.


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