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How to grow and care for blueberry plants

How to grow and care for blueberry plants



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How to grow and care for blueberry plants

While most fruits and vegetables are cultivated using crop rotation, this practice is not recommended with blueberry plants. Instead, devote one planting area exclusively to blueberries. Be sure to grow your blueberry bushes in a spot that receives full sun, which will encourage flower bud formation. The plants may need to be staked for support.

Propagation

In spring, remove the frost-sensitive shoots from the roots and replace them with fresh ones. Take care not to disturb the center of the root mass or prune back the lower shoots to encourage the formation of more new shoots.

Transplant the plants to a 4-foot (1.2-meter) wide bed when the first shoots begin to appear in the early spring. Choose the location carefully: blueberries must be grown where the roots are able to spread out in all directions, but most people prefer them near a wall or fence where they can also be surrounded by some sort of hedge. The temperature of the soil should be around 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius), and the pH should be between 6.2 and 7.4.

Reproduction

Some varieties will not produce well until the second or third year. A minimum of 10 bushes is needed to produce berries for home use, and 10 to 12 is recommended for commercial use. Some varieties can produce berries on the first or second year of growth.

Cultivation

Blueberries require a long growing season, and they take up a lot of space and require lots of water. They also need to be pruned and looked after carefully because blueberries are susceptible to diseases and insects. They are also hard to propagate and mature for picking.

Fertilize your blueberries once a month with a compost tea or manure tea.Before applying any fertilizer, though, make sure your plants don't have a problem with crown rot, a fungal disease that causes the crown, or the part of the root that grows above the soil, to become diseased and rot. If your blueberry crop has a problem with crown rot, you can treat it by first digging around the base of the plant. If there are healthy plants with leaves and roots, you can take the whole plant and bury it in rich, dark soil. Make sure to water the plants daily during the first two months after transplanting.

Blueberry bushes are also susceptible to Japanese beetles, Colorado potato beetles, nematodes, slug mollusks and red spider mites. Mow the leaves with a gas or electric trimmer to keep the pests at bay. When possible, avoid leaving any trash lying around, since the waste can attract slugs, which can make your blueberries susceptible to disease.

One of the most important steps in maintaining a healthy blueberry plant is picking the berries and inspecting them for mold. Mold is a sign that a blueberry is no longer edible, and it's best to prevent it from forming. If you see mold, don't hesitate to throw the whole plant away. You can dispose of your blueberries in the compost or kill them by placing them in the freezer