In honor of July being deemed National Blueberry Month, Dr. Willard’s® wants to share our tips on growing blueberries in your own backyard or garden. This will not only save you money at the grocery store (as blueberries can sell between $2 and $6 around the country), but will give you access to the freshest blueberries picked right before you eat them!
Fun Fact: Did you know that blueberries could only be found in the wild in yesteryear? They were only grown to be cultivated in the 20th century.
Why are Blueberries so Good For You?
They’re not only juicy and sweet, blueberries are also incredibly good for you! Blueberries contain a host of vitamins, such as magnesium, manganese, zinc, calcium, iron, vitamin K, phosphorus and iron.
Some of their benefits include:
- Preventing heart disease
- Maintaining strong bones
- Controlling diabetes
- Preventing cancer
- Lowering blood pressure
How to Grow Blueberries
Whether you want to improve your health, or simply want to experience the joy of picking blueberries from your own backyard, follow these tips on growing this berry.
Blueberries are an investment – one bush can live up to 50 years! However, they are not the easiest plants to grow, as they need an ideal environment to thrive. They can grow in USDA Hardiness zones 3-7, and require well-draining, acidic soil with a pH between 4.0 and 5.0. They also need to be exposed to full sun for at least 16 hours per day, although they may tolerate some shade in the late afternoons.
You can purchase a blueberry bush at a local nursery; just pick a plant that is one to three years old from one of three varieties: lowbush, highbush and hybrid half-high, and plant it 4 to 8 feet apart from other plants.
In the early spring, make a hole that is double the size of the roots of the plant, and add compost. As it grows, keep adding compost on top of the soil to add organic matter to your growing plant. The more organic matter you add, the more soil the grown will become.
Make sure to deep water the plants so that the roots are kept hydrated at all times. It’s advisable to net blueberries bushes so that birds and squirrels don’t eat the fruit.
Blueberries need fertilizer every March and after you prune the bush (on year 3 and on). If you want to give your fertilizer a boost to help your blueberries grow better and faster, add PlantCatalyst® to your gardening routine.
Our patented formula contains a special micelle that makes regular water more effective. When combined with fertilizer, it helps plants and their roots absorb more nutrients and eliminate waste. When you add a small amount of PlantCatalyst® and only half the recommended amount of fertilizer to your blueberries, the combination will stimulate plant health, growth and yield with spectacular results. The result is bigger, sweeter and more aromatic fruit that grows faster and better!