Blueberry fruit plants make for a very productive fruit. The fruits are temptingly tasteful and are high in antioxidants. The blueberry plant can make a very nice ornamental feature in Autumn because of their remarkable colours.
Planting Blueberry Fruit Plants
Blueberries are easy to look after. Try to keep the compost moist but not soaking wet and don’t allow it to dry out, water with rain water when possible, not tap water. Tap water raises the ph level of the soil, as blueberries prefer an acid soil of ph 5.5 or lower.
Check the soil in the spring if the ph level is too high then add some sulphur chips to the soil/compost. If your soil ph level is 8 and over you will be better off planting in a container or pot. The ph level in containers need not be checked if you are using ericaceous fertilizer and watering with rain water. Use a liquid fertilizer for ericaceous plants. Blueberries fruit plants like a sunny but sheltered spot.
In the first 2 years blueberries will hardly need pruning; you can remove any odd or crossing branches.
- Prune the plant is dormant in November to March.
- In late February to March the fruit can be seen. You can recognise the difference between the fruit buds and leaf bud.
- Flat buds produce the shoots and leaves and the fatter buds produce fruits and flowers.
- Prune out any dead, diseased, damaged, weak and dying stems, removing any stems that touch the ground, cut back any twiggy growth from the ends of the branches that produced fruit from the previous year, cut back to an upward strong low bud.
Blueberries are usually disease and pest free.
Powdery mildew-- A fungal disease more common in dry conditions. White powdery patches appear on the leaves, stems and fruits.
Remedy- Water and mulching can help reduce with water stress.
Remove any infected shoots this will help prevent subsequent infections. There are no chemicals to treat this problem but using fish and plant oils as a preventative measure.
Noticed mainly in early summer in colonies of green or blank Aphids on the tips of the plants. Remedy-- Squash colonies between the finger and thumb. You can use PYRETHRUM but in most cases you will not have to spray.
During mid summer on-wards the fruit start to ripen, they change colour from green to blue this is when they can be harvested. Blueberries can be used in cooking, eaten fresh or frozen for a later date or even dried. They are rich in vitamin C and high in antioxidants so have lots of health benefits.
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