We know that they grow around here…there are blueberry patches where you can pick your own. Soooo…what’s the secret?? Two of the most important considerations are actually: Soil acidity and excellent drainage. Oh, and make sure you have two plants for pollination or you won’t get any fruit.
• It is a very good idea to test your soil’s pH levels prior to planting your Blueberry Bushes. They will demand acidic soils and simply will not thrive unless you provide this. Home test kits work well for determining pH levels and should be performed every year or two.
• When preparing the holes for installation, replace 1/2 of the soil that you removed with peat moss and pine bark soil conditioner. This will help maintain proper soil moisture at all times.
• It is best to build a berm to insure proper drainage…if in doubt about your soil, this will benefit your Blueberry Bushes greatly. This will help keep sogginess away from the shallow and fibrous root systems.
• After you install the plants, gently pat the soil mixture in place, to not tamp too firmly or with your foot. Apply your desired product to raise the soil acidity (the same product you might use for Rhododendrons and Azaleas) and then water thoroughly…allowing the hose to run slowly at the point where the root ball and soil meet.
• Water about an inch two times per week for the first two weeks, then cut back to 1 inch per week. Next season, when the plants are setting fruit, increase watering to 4 inches per week (between flower drop and fruit appearing). Level back when fruit appears. Too much water when fruit is nearing ripeness will reduce flavor immensely.
• Do no allow the Blueberries to set fruit the first year…it is also not necessary to apply supplemental fertilizer, but you can provide a mild amount of 10-20-10 (or lower amount, but an equivalent ratio). Remove the flowers to prevent the plant from spending excess energy that it will need to become properly established.
• Blueberry plants are fertilizer hogs, but you will not want to provide excess the first year. The following year feed them a little when the flower buds appear and then again one month later. Each year (up to about 8 years), increase the dosage…the amount will coincide with the plant growth and fruit production. Steer clear of any ammonium nitrate or calcium nitrate based fertilizers. Stick with a product that is for acid loving plants or is ammonium sulfate based. Be careful not to over-fertilize, cut recommended dosage in half if in doubt.
• After planting, apply 2-3 inches of pine bark soil conditioner as a mulch…applying it from about 3-4 inches away from the base of the plant to approximately 1 foot beyond the area where the root ball and soil meet. Do not allow the mulch to build up near the base (main stem).
Now for the Goji Berries! Can you believe that we can grow them in our own back yard?!? They are not very picky plants, although they do get tall, so provide ample space and possibly some stakes.
The GOJI BERRY plants have made their debut in our stores! Sweet Lifeberry™ and Big Lifeberry® from Proven Winners® are available to plant in your own garden! They are self-pollinating (only need 1), fully hardy and very easy to grow in full sun and average soil.
The berries of this plant have remarkable health benefits and are the most nutritionally dense fruit on earth! Goji Berries contain ALL essential amino acids, high protein content, chuck full of vitamin C, carotenoids, are high in fiber, more iron than spinach! I could go on and on!! They are truly a miracle fruit…and one that YOU can grow!
Hope that helps you to grow amazing Blueberry and Goji plants!! If you have any questions, let us know! Happy Harvesting.