Thursday, June 14, 2012

Planting Blueberries

We decided to plant some blueberry bushes so we can grow our own fresh blueberries for pies, jams, desserts and smoothies. 

We read that the soil should be more acidic than most soil.  There were several ways to do that.  One was to incorporate pine needles or pine bark in the ground and as a mulch.  We didn't have any pine needles but had a fair bit of pine bark from firewood my son cut from deadfall at the ranch/orchard he was working at.  We used some of the bark as a groundcover under one of the grape arbors.  We had more stockpiled to use under another arbor when we got enough to cover it.

This is the bark we used.  When I gathered it up, Lulu helped to disperse the beetles, centipedes and other bugs.  She had a great time waiting for me to lift the bark so she could go "hunting".

I used our chipper to shred the bark into smaller pieces.  The chipper has a detachable bag that I used so the shredded bark wouldn't spread all over the garden.

We spread the bark on the row where we were going to plant the blueberries and tilled it into the soil.

Once this was done, we were ready to start planting.

I read that you can use peat moss to help with the acidity of the soil.  We mixed more pine bark, and some peat moss with the original soil from the hole.  We dug it deeper than needed so we could put several inches of the bark/peat mix at the bottom.

We set the plant in the hole and added more of the amended soil.

We tamped down the soil around the plant.  We then removed all flowers from the bushes so the plant's energy would go to rerooting and growing instead of producing fruit.  There were many flowers so we have high hopes for a good crop next year.

We mulched the plant with more shredded pine bark.

We then added landscape fabric and mulched with even more bark.

We laid the soaker hose with the additional mister nozzles as in our other bushes.

We finished in between the rows with the shavings we hauled in.  They are finer than the bark I shredded but I think all the contrasts in the groundcovers looks neat.

Now to watch and wait until next year to eat our own blueberries.  ;)

1 comment:

  1. You will LOVE your berry bushes. I planted two blueberry bushes early last year. I have a tiny garden and in my hot climate, they want more shade so I only had one little spot for them. But they are doing well and today, I had my first bowl of the season with yogurt. Yummy!