Blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits around; they are low calorie, almost fat free, packed with vitamin C, antioxidants and dietary fiber--and they taste wonderful. As if that weren't enough, they can add striking beauty to your garden. Whatever your reason for growing them, blueberries will work very well in your landscape plans. In addition to the fruit they produce, they have beautiful bell-shaped blooms in spring, handsome glossy foliage in the growing season, striking fall color and bright red stems in winter.
Blueberries are easy to grow, require little care and are seldom bothered by pests. They can vary in size from low ground-covering varieties to large bushes ranging 4-6 ft. high. Their versatility allows them to be used as background shrubs or as border plants. They even make excellent hedges, if spaced correctly. If you are limited in space or just have a patio, consider planting them in containers.
Different varieties of blueberries produce different sizes of fruit, with flavor ranging from tart to very sweet. Larger fruiting varieties produce fruit perfect for fresh eating and large desserts, while smaller fruiting varieties are better for adding to cereals, muffins and pancakes. Be sure to select different varieties to lengthen your harvest season from June until the end of August. For blueberry lovers, we suggest at least two plants per family member.
Blueberries can tolerate full sun in milder summer climates but prefer partial shade in the afternoon. They prefer a light, airy acid soil, so adding 50% peat moss to each hole is highly recommended. Blueberries like to stay moist but not wet. If your soil does not drain well, consider building a raised bed to plant them in. Feed with an acid plant food in spring and midsummer for best results.
Blueberries can be planted as close as 2-1/2' apart if a solid hedge is desired or up to 6' apart if you want to grow them as individual specimens. Just make sure you have access to them so you can get at those tasty, juicy berries!