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.
We all love our annual flowers, reliably producing a glorious display all season long. They are perfect for containers or filling in areas of the garden beds. While annuals truly are amazing, don’t discount the predictable perennial plant. You can easily create a dynamic display of color and texture by positioning your plants according to bloom time.
The majority of perennials will bloom during a specific amount of time during a specific part of the season. Knowing which plants bloom when will assist you in creating your plan. In addition, choose perennials that will stay in place and don’t “walk” around (via seeds or runners). Using ever-blooming shrubs like a selection from the new Easy Elegance® Collection of roses as a backdrop for your perennial display for added wow factor. Filling in and blending your “masterpiece” with foliage plants such as Heuchera will guarantee visual interest all season long.
Suburban Lawn & Garden grows the majority of our own Perennials for you. These plants have been started right here, in our zone, ready to enter your garden without a fuss. There is a general rule, however, which applies to nearly all perennials. When first introduced into your garden, they like to “check things out”, dip their “toes” in and get comfy. In doing so, you may not see an exciting amount of activity from them. We like to refer to this as “sleeping”. The following year, they tend to “venture out a bit”, peeking around the corners, becoming introduced to their neighbors…basically getting better acquainted with their environment. We refer to this as their second year “creeping” stage. The following year, stand back! If you have found an acceptable spot for your perennials, they will explode with growth and color! They “leap” to their full potential. Time to sit back and enjoy your handiwork…
Our stores are FULL of perennials for every spot in your garden. Don’t be afraid to add them to your containers as fillers, too. You can enjoy them all season, then install them in your garden beds in the Fall. Enjoy your new-found passion for Perennials!
We ALL have birds that occasionally visit our yards. Songbirds, Woodpeckers, Birds of Prey…they all pass through from time to time. Some will stick around longer than others depending on what your yard has to offer.
When we receive mounds of snow (like we have recently), all of these birds (with the exception of maybe the woodpeckers and the birds of prey) will have a VERY tough time finding food. It is very helpful to supply them with supplement through these harsh times. Suburban Lawn & Garden carries a variety of foods, each designated for a specific type of bird. For example, Cardinals will LOVE you for setting out a mix that contains Black Oil Sunflower Seeds. If you don’t know which types of birds you have, you can use a general mix which should contain a bit of something for all of them. We do think highly of Wild Delight around here…their food is a very nice quality and they present a wide assortment of mixes.
Some of you may be thinking, how are these “seed-eating” birds going to help my garden? The majority of birds (even those that eat seeds) will feed insects to their young. They are softer, pack more of a protein punch AND in the Spring and Summer, they are much more plentiful than seeds are. So, if you attract all types of birds, they will reward you greatly! Even hummingbirds eat their fair share of flying insects…capturing those which are difficult for other birds to snag.
When selecting a bird feeder, try to find one that is suitable for the types of birds you will be catering to, as well. If in doubt, just go with a general type, but make sure it has a roof to protect the seed from getting wet. We, of course have a large variety of bird feeders and houses to choose from. Setting out some houses, will also guarantee that a few families will “move in” and become your “outdoor pets”. Be sure to clean them out after the fledglings have taken flight.
A small amount of effort this winter assisting our feathered friends will bring you much joy and a healthier garden, to boot! Enjoy!!