The dainty white spring flowers and blazing red fall foliage have made blueberry bushes increasingly popular landscaping plants. The juicy little summer berries that come from your own plants are far superior to their commercial cousins. With just a little TLC every spring, your blueberry bushes will give you lots of little berries for years.
Early spring is the time to amend the soil if needed. Since blueberries require a slightly acidic soil (4.0 – 5.5 pH) it is a good idea to test the soil every few years. If the soil needs balanced, add these organic ingredients according to the soil needs:
- Increase acidity: sphagnum peat, coffee grounds
- Increase phosphorous: bone meal, powdered seaweed
- Increase nitrogen: blood meal, fish meal
Early spring is also the time to give your blueberry bushes a little head start for the months ahead when they will be producing berries. After the leaves appear in spring, mix a foliar spray of fish emulsion and liquid seaweed. Spray the tops and bottom of the leaves, taking care to cover every leaf. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure you have diluted the fertilizer appropriately. Don’t over fertilize.
Brekke’s Town and Country Store in Ames carries many different organic fertilizers and soil amendments, making them a great first stop for your blueberry care.
During the first two seasons, remove the flowers from the blueberry plants so the plants spend their energy developing a good root system rather than producing fruit. It’s hard to bring yourself to pluck these beautiful little flowers, but doing so will produce stronger and more productive plants for the future.
Spending a little time caring for your blueberry bushes in early spring will pay off with plenty of berries the months and years to come.