Blueberries: The Best Home Fruit To Grow

My blueberry plant in bloom

My blueberry plant in bloom

I cannot think of a better fruit to grow for homeowners who do not have a lot of space than blueberries. I have always said that since blueberries and azaleas are in the same family, most Southern Gardeners should be able to grow them. There are several things to help make your plants successfully produce delicious fruit. First, when selecting plants, you will need to get ones that do well in our area. I checked with the Petals from the Past catalogue, and they recommend the following selections: Premier, Tifblue, Brightwell, Centurion, Climax, and Powder Blue. You will have the best success by purchasing at least three different selections for maximum production.

How To Plant Blueberries

Now the way you plant them is important. Dig a big, generous hole at least twice the size of the container. Lift the plant out of the container, and if the roots are circling the root ball pull them apart, or cut a few slits in the mass of tangled roots. Fill the hole with the native soil, mixed with lots of good organic matter. Make sure the finished plant height is slightly above the original ground line. Water well, and mulch with something like pine straw. They grow well in full sun or light shade. If you keep the plants healthy, well watered, and fertilized with a high-nitrogen fertilizer, you should enjoy a bounty of fruit in a couple of years. BUT you might get a few fruit the first year if the blooms are not hurt by a late frost.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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