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Top 5 Issues in Growing Blueberries
Growing blueberries, like growing any plant, requires planning and care. Knowing the requirements of blueberry plants is essential if you expect to be successful.
Buying an annual plant that you can find at the supermarket or a store like Sam’s Club is usually a bad buy. This is true for several reasons. They often do not survive because the root system is very small and they require extra care to survive. The second reason is that it takes too long to get to the point where you can expect a harvest. Two-year-old, well-developed plants with a good root system are probably the best buys. They grow in the first year and if you pick the flowers as soon as they appear, the plants energy goes into creating a strong plant and root system. Next year, the plant will be three years old and you can expect to start picking some blueberries. Thereafter, production will increase each year until the plant is at or near maturity by year 6. Buy your plants from a reputable online source so you can choose the variety you want.
Planting and caring for blueberry plants is easy if you know what they need. Blueberry plants need acidic soil to survive and thrive. Planting blueberry plants in non-acidic soil is one of the biggest reasons for failure. Soil pH should be between 4.5 and 5.0. You will need to do a soil test to ensure the pH is correct. One of the easiest ways to get a good planting medium is to use peat moss, which is both acidic and high in organic matter. The use of peat moss is common. We use peat moss and finely ground pine bark to grow blueberry plants and it works well.
Water is another important issue when growing blueberries. Blueberries require a good water supply. The area should also have good drainage, because if there is standing water in the soil, the roots will rot and the plants will die. The solution to the problem is the use of raised beds to ensure drainage. When using a raised bed, the roots of the plant do not end up in standing water.
Weeds are one of the problems that need to be addressed. Weeds must be kept under control. The blueberry plant cannot compete with weeds for water, sunlight and food, especially during its early ripening stage. Weeds can kill or stunt plant growth. The roots of blueberry plants tend to grow near the surface. This means that you cannot cultivate deeply without damaging the blueberry roots. One solution to this problem is to control weeds in the first place before planting blueberries. Then when you plant, use about 10 layers of newspaper or cardboard to prevent weeds from growing and cover with a thick mulch. Typically 4 to 6 inches thick is used.
Blueberry plants are sensitive to fertilizer and it is easy to apply too much for the plant. A good way to care for your plants is to use aerated compost tea. Aerated compost tea is full of microorganisms necessary for the soil. Using aerated compost tea is one of the best things you can do to improve your soil and grow healthy plants. A slow-release fertilizer for rhododendrons is a good choice. A fertilizer such as a slow release 14-12-14 is acceptable. There are also many commercial ones water-soluble for example, popular fertilizers; Miracle-Gro® is the world’s best-selling plant food. The composition of Miracle-Gro (15-30-15). It is a universal plant food. According to the label, it contains 15 percent nitrogen, 30 percent phosphate and 15 percent water-soluble potash.
The elements discussed in this article are the main factors in the successful cultivation of blueberries. You can do the job. If the soil analysis shows that the pH of the soil cannot be adjusted to an appropriate level, you can always grow blueberries in containers.
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