There’s nothing quite like a tasty crop of blueberries that you’ve grown in your very own garden. But to get the best out of your blueberry plant, you will need to ensure that it has the right conditions it needs to thrive.
Blueberries notoriously prefer acidic soil. So before you plant your blueberry bush in your garden, you should check the pH of your soil.
You can contact your local County Extension Office about soil testing in your area, or you can buy a digital meter to give you accurate results straight away.
The soil will need to be around 4.5 to 4.8 to keep your blueberry bush happy, but anything below 5.5 should work.
If your soil is too alkaline, you will need to use an acidifier to amend it for your blueberry plant. If the soil is very heavy or doesn’t drain well, we’d suggest you opt for a pot.
Top Tips for Planting
- Remember not to plant your blueberry bush too deep into the soil. The crown of your plant should sit level with the soil, with the roots of the blueberry bush just under the surface.
- Wait until your blueberry plant starts to leaf out before you fertilize it.
- Blueberries make use of a shallow root system. This means you will need to water it thoroughly during the warmer months, as well as use lots of mulch to keep the soil acidic.
Can you grow blueberry bushes in pots?
Blueberry plants lend themselves well to pot growing. They can even make an attractive addition to your porch, patio, or deck area.
If you have alkaline soil or poor quality soil in your garden, growing your blueberry plant in a container will be the better choice. You can also better monitor the acidity of the soil in the pot and adjust it as you need to.
Here’s how to plant your blueberry bush in a pot.
- Choose a container that’s at least 18 inches in diameter
- Fill your chosen container with the potting soil. Remember to ensure that this soil has an acidic pH. You should only fill the container up to around 3 inches below the rim of the pot.
- Take your blueberry plant out of its container. It will be important to loosen the root system of your plant. You won’t want the roots to encircle the soil ball too much, or they won’t spread properly in the container.
- When you’ve got your blueberry plant in place, you can fill the rest of the pot with the remaining potting soil.
- You should then water your blueberry plant lightly until it is well rooted. You shouldn’t worry about overwatering your blueberry plant, as the pot should drain well if it has drainage holes. Your blueberry plant will also need a thorough watering during the summer months. To check whether the soil needs watering, place your finger into it. If the soil is dry to the touch, it needs to be watered.
Once you’ve gotten your blueberry bush planted in your pot, you can choose the best place for it in your garden.
Make sure that you choose a sunny location so that your blueberry plant gets lots of sunlight. You may need to acclimatize it to your garden if you’ve kept the pot inside for a while just to make sure the leaves don’t get burned. When the temperature plummets beneath 50℉ it will be time to bring your pot inside.
How do I prepare my soil for blueberries?
Preparing your soil before you plant your blueberry bush will be essential. The most important factor to remember is that it needs to be acidic. So if the pH of your garden is too alkaline, you will need to adjust this.
One of the most foolproof ways to grow blueberries in your garden is to add peat moss. When you dig the hole for your blueberry bush, you should remove between ⅓ and ½ of the soil.
Next, add the same amount of moistened peat moss and mix well with your earth. You should opt for peat moss that’s either baled sphagnum or granular peat.
You will need to ensure that you dig a deep enough hole for your blueberry plant, too. Their roots will tend to grow much faster if they’re spread out. Dig a hole that’s both deep and wide enough for the root system to spread properly.
Make sure that your soil has been sufficiently loosened, too. This will give your blueberry plant the space it needs to grow its roots properly. It will also allow the excess water to drain away. If your garden soil is clay or silt, this will likely be too compacted.
Do blueberries need a lot of water?
Your blueberry plant will need a decent amount of water to grow properly. Their shallow root systems mean that the roots are fairly close to the surface. If the water is looking too dry, you will need to give it a thorough soaking.
Remember to water at the roots where it’s needed. The best way to do this is to allow your hose to drizzle water over the soil. This slow trickle will allow the water to soak into the soil properly, and means less of it is wasted.
Even though your blueberry plant will need a fair amount of water, it’s important not to overwater it. If you do this, the roots will become waterlogged, which can lead to rot. You shouldn’t need to water your blueberry bush more than once every 10 days or so.
And so our guide to the best soil for blueberry plants comes to an end! Remember that blueberries like acidic soil, so you will need to check the pH of your garden before you plant it.
Alternatively you can try growing your blueberry bush in a pot instead. Patience will be important when it comes to growing blueberries, as it can take up to 3 seasons before it bears fruit.