Blueberry Plants – The High And The Low
There is such a wide selection of blueberry plants available to choose from. How are you going to choose which kind is best for you? What kinds of plants may survive and perhaps flourish in your climate? What are the best blueberry varieties to grow for your garden?
Blueberries are a kind of berry that is indigenous to North America and can be grown in almost any location with the correct amount of sunlight and soil.
Didn’t Know There Were High and Low Blueberries?
Lowbush blueberries only reach a height of 12 to 24 inches when fully mature, making them suitable for use as an ornamental plant or a low shrub. They may also be grown in containers, which makes maintenance and harvesting much simpler. They propagate by sending out subterranean stems known as runners or rhizomes. It is important to provide at least 12 inches of space between bushes when planting them so that there is enough sunlight and air circulation. This helps prevent the growth of molds and mildew.
Saskatoons, on the other hand, may grow to be almost 30 feet tall in rare instances and often reach a height of 20 feet. Most highbush types mature to a height of approximately 6 feet. The majority of blueberry breeding efforts have been concentrated on highbush types, which has resulted in more options. Plant highbush variety at a distance of at least four feet, and Saskatoons at a distance of at least twelve feet.
Blueberries can only be grown on soil that is acidic, sandy, and well-drained. Their ideal pH range is between 4.0 and 5.0. In order to adapt and grow, young plants and shrubs that have just been transplanted need a significant quantity of organic matter. Be careful to dig in organic materials that are high in nitrogen, such as compost, well-rotted manure, and other types of organic material. If the soil in your garden has a high clay content, you should amend it with a large quantity of sand to improve drainage. If your soil isn’t acidic, even after adding compost and other amendments, you may assist change the ph by sprinkling sulfur around the bushes in the spring and autumn. This can be done either before or after planting acid-loving plants. The soil may be made more acidic by applying a top dressing of mulch comprised of wood chips, sawdust, or chopped-up oak leaves. This will also assist to keep moisture in the soil.
Varieties for the North
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed a useful tool known as a plant hardiness zone. On some of the maps, there is even a spot where you can key in your postal code to find out precisely which zone you are located in. This is significant because blueberry kinds native to the north need a harsh winter for their optimal growth, while blueberry varieties native to the south require a warmer winter. In general, zones 2-7 are suitable for the growth and cultivation of northern lowbush blueberries. The growing zones for northern highbush types are 3-7. These blueberries ought to be able to flourish very much anywhere, from the northern sections of Canada to the northern parts of Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. They are also able to flourish in the state of California’s higher altitudes, despite the presence of snow and frost. However, near the coast of California, Oregon, or Washington, or anywhere farther south than the regions that have previously been described, they will not perform very well.
The cold tolerance of the highbush species known as Saskatoons allows it to thrive in environments with temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius. They are also the only kind of blueberry that grows best on soil with a pH range of between 6.0 and 7.0, making them unique among blueberries. If you reside in a northern location and your soil has a significant amount of lime, then they could be the ideal option for you.
Bird Netting For Blueberries
Tulle netting that has been finely woven is both lightweight and durable. It will prevent the birds from eating the berries while still letting air circulate around the bushes, hence reducing the likelihood of the plants being infected with mold or mildew. In order for netting to be successful, it must surround the whole plant and be firmly fixed into the ground in such a manner that it is impossible for birds to fly below it and get entangled in it. You might also use netting made of plastic or nylon, provided that it is lightweight, allowing for air circulation, and preventing birds from reaching the berries at the same time.
A frame may be constructed to surround a number of plants, and then netting can be stretched over the whole space once the plants have been enclosed. Alternatively, netting can be wrapped over each individual plant. Always make sure that the netting is anchored to the ground so that birds cannot sneak underneath it.
Varieties for the South
It’s possible to cultivate rabbiteye blueberries and southern highbush cultivars anywhere within zones 6–10, which means you may plant them anywhere from the deep south to as far north as Ohio. Before you go out and buy blueberry plants, use a chart of plant hardiness zones provided by the USDA to confirm that you are in the right zone.
The rabbiteye does not need to be chilled before it can produce fruit since it is a southern native plant. They, like other blueberries, grow best on acidic, sandy soil that drains easily and has a low pH. At a minimum of 6 feet apart, rabbiteye bushes should be planted. Horticulturists crossed Rabbiteye plants with northern highbush plants to create southern highbush plants, which need a planting distance of at least four feet between each individual plant.
Growing blueberries isn’t very difficult, and once they’re established in your garden, they may provide a tasty harvest for decades. Why not experiment with a few different kinds?