Growing conditions, soil requirements, planting, mulch, water, fertiliser, pruning and, the best bit, harvesting.
You will find that possums and birds are more than willing to help you harvest your fruit, leaving you with nothing but disappointment. A piece of bird netting draped over the bush and weighed down with bricks or pegged, should be adequate protection.
Blueberries ripen in bunches over a period of 6 to 8 weeks. You pick the biggest berries in each bunch and let the others ripen and size up.
The berries will turn blue before they are completely ripe. Don't be afraid to let the fruit hang on the bush to ripen fully - gaining flavour, sweetness and size.
This depends on variety and age of plant, but once mature (5 or 6 years old) you may get anywhere from 4 to 8 kilos.
Our blueberry plants are propagated from cuttings, so there are able to fruit straight away. BUT, we advise not letting them fruit for at least the first year by pruning off ends of canes or rubbing the flowers off with your fingers when they appear in Spring.
This let's the plant put its energy into getting established rather than producing fruit.
HELPFUL TIP: Sterilise your secateurs before pruning and between plants. Use methylated spirits or boiling water.
Blueberries can be sensitive to excess fertiliser. Compost or animal manure (don’t use chook manure) added to the mulch several times throughout the growing season would be beneficial.
Seaweed and fish emulsion may also be used.
As an alternative, a slow release Azalea or Camellia plant food could also be applied.
Remember when fertilising, a little fertiliser often is better than one or two big doses.
Blueberries are shallow rooted and don't like to dry out. During the growing and fruiting seasons, a good soak a few times a week is necessary.
Mulch is the best management practice you can employ for blueberries because the plants thrive on organic matter and the soil micro-organisms it supports.
Suitable mulch would be:
Mulching helps to control weeds and retain soil moisture.
HELPFUL TIP: Half a bucket of peat moss (available from you local nursery) mixed with the soil in the planting hole will greatly assist plant establishment. For example - https://gardenworld.com.au/shop/potting-mix/growing-media/peat-moss-5l-bag/
Blueberry plants prefer a free draining, acid soil (pH 4.5 to 5.5) with high organic matter content.
Shallow or poor draining soils can be improved by the addition of organic matter and, if planting in the ground, creating a raised bed to assist with drainage.
Yes, some varieties of blueberries grow well in pots. A half wine barrel size at plant maturity is advisable.
An Azalea, or good quality, potting mix without a wetting agent is best if planting in a pot.
Blueberries require protection from very strong winds.
Blueberries are related to Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Camellias so require similar growing conditions. To facilitate fruit ripening they require half a day to full day of sun.
It depends a bit on variety, but anywhere from 1.25m to 1.5m is optimal. If pushed for space, smaller varieties can still do well down to 1.0m.
Most of the plants we sell to home gardeners are two years old. We do also have advanced plants for sale, and if available, will be listed in the shop.