Blueberries really do grow best in pairs, even if they are self-fertile, and you need to give them a little time to get well established. It is well worth the wait though, and if you can grow them in large pots with ericaceous compost, you’ll be off to a very good start.
Site & Planting
- These bushes do best in moist, well-drained, acidic soil (a pH of 4.0-5.5 is ideal). If growing in pots, use an ericaceous potting compost.
- Site blueberries in the sun or partial shade.
- Plant 1m apart in beds or in separate large pots, as soon as possible after receiving them.
- Even if you have chosen a self-fertile variety, blueberry bushes are best planted in pairs to improve cross-pollination. If you only have one plant, and it is self-fertile, then you should still get a good crop, but it will be a bigger better crop if there is another plant!
Growing Tips & Pruning Advice
- Keep the soil moist throughout the first growing season. In later years, water thoroughly on a weekly basis during prolonged dry spells.
- Keep them weed-free and apply an annual mulch of ericaceous compost.
- Prune from year two onwards each winter by removing a fifth of your blueberry bush, cutting back to strong new growth, and taking off any new branches that are likely to touch the ground under the weight of the crop.
- You should be able to harvest from July through to August by picking off the berries.
- Your crop in year 1 may be quite sparse, but once the plant is a little more mature you should get a better yield.
- Poor pollination can be a problem, even with the self-fertile varieties as they flower in early spring when there aren’t many bees around. If this is the case, you may find it beneficial to grow another 1 or 2 blueberry plants alongside what you already have.