Unlike some plants that need intensive pruning, staking and spraying before they bear fruit, Blueberries are a dream to grow. After you plant them and they become established in their new home, they’re drought-tolerant and typically resistant to most pests and diseases. In the spring they produce pretty flowers and in the summer they bear a bountiful harvest of healthy blueberries! Fresh fruit smoothies, anyone? Or do you prefer fresh blueberries in your breakfast cereal or oatmeal? Maybe you’d like to bake homemade blueberry pies or make blueberry jam? Pick any of the above — or all of the above — and head to your back yard to pick the fruits of your labor!
Plant Them for your Health
- Are a solid source of vitamins A and C, iron and potassium
- Add fiber to your diet
- Have no cholesterol
- Are sodium-free
- Contain natural antioxidants (research shows antioxidants minimize some health problems)
3 Must-Have Blueberry Plants
Plant each of these for a variety of flavors and colors:
- Rabbiteye Blueberries (Vaccinium ashei)
Rabbiteye blueberries are named for their resemblance to “real” rabbit eyes — before the berries turn blue, they’re pinkish…resembling an albino bunny’s eyes! Their flowers need to be pollinated by another plant, so be sure to plant more than one shrub. A mature rabbiteye blueberry bush produces 12 to 25 pounds of berries each year!
- Sweetheart Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Sweetheart’)
Sweetheart blueberries reward you with two harvests each year. While most blueberries bear fruit in mid-summer, Sweetheart is an early-bearing cultivar that produces berries in early summer and, typically, a lighter crop in early autumn. Mature shrubs produce up to 20 pints of berries each year.
- Pink Lemonade Blueberries (Vaccinium ‘Pink Lemonade’)
Yes, you read it right! Putting a spin on the traditional “blue” of “blueberry,” Pink Lemonade will make you do a double-take when it produces pink berries. Because these shrubs are shorter than other blueberries — they grow to 5 feet tall — they’re a good fit for smaller gardens or even containers.
- Blueberry shrubs are healthier, grow faster and produce more berries in full sun.
- Have your soil tested to determine the specific nutrient needs of your garden soil, and follow the soil-test recommendations. Blueberries prosper in acidic soil, so you may need to adjust for this. (Tip: For a nominal fee, your local County Extension Service will evaluate your soil based on a sample you take to them.)
- The more the merrier. Although some blueberry cultivars bear fruit without having to be cross-pollinated by another plant, they’ll produce more berries if you plant more than one shrub. (The exception is the rabbiteye blueberry, which does require another plant nearby for cross-pollination.)
- Space plants according to the type you’re growing. Plant Rabbiteye and Sweetheart blueberries at least 6 feet apart and Pink Lemonade blueberries 4 feet apart.
- Keep your blueberries watered, but don’t let the soil become soggy.
Combine Ornamental with Edible
You can use blueberries as landscape shrubs to mark a property boundary or grow as a hedge. But blueberry shrubs are deciduous, which means they’ll lose their leaves in the fall, so don’t plant them as a privacy screen if you want to block the view from something year-round!
The post These secrets lead to tons of blueberries appeared first on Brighter Blooms Nursery Blog.
This post first appeared on Reblooming Azaleas Have Multiple Blooming Performa, please read the originial post: here