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The wife wants blueberries. So bad her father just dropped off two bushes. I have clay soil.

I’ve read through the various Apple/fruit threads even though I have none of them because I enjoy reading about it. I searched and found references but no thread

So what do you all know about blueberries?

I was told to put a net over them to keep the birds off. Otherwise all I know is there’s two of them on my porch ?
 

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I was told,,, the spot they are planted has to be "WET, WET, WET!!"

And,, then there is pH,,,,:dunno:

I have killed a dozen blueberry plants in my garden,, over the last half dozen years,,
I S W E A R - sulfur kills them!! :nunu:
my advise may not be the best,,, :flag_of_truce:

:laugh:
 

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They taste good and I know how to spell it. That’s about it.
Guess I’m here to learn :munch:
 

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I know that they thrive in lower central Michigan, for some reason. Blueberry farms everywhere there.
 

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I have killed a dozen blueberry plants in my garden,, over the last half dozen years,,
I S W E A R - sulfur kills them!! :nunu:
:laugh:
I'm the opposite, sulfur is the way to go but you have to use the correct amount. I'll see if I can dig up the listing, but will be away from the computer for a few days.
 

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I have killed a dozen blueberry plants in my garden,, over the last half dozen years,,
I S W E A R - sulfur kills them!! :nunu:
:laugh:
I'm the opposite, sulfur is the way to go but you have to use the correct amount. I'll see if I can dig up the listing, but will be away from the computer for a few days.

they had the sulfur ratios in here, didn't see it any more, but this is a good guide.

How to grow blueberries
 

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Early last spring i bought 9 blueberry bushes about 16 inches tall, 3 different varieties, and planted them in a corner of where the soil is very rich with compost. I put bonemeal under them and kept the soil damp for the first weeks so that the roots would take.

They all produced blueberries and yesterday some of the bushes had leaves . . . we are in Atlantic Canada.

Good luck. Picking fresh blueberries for breakfast is great!
 

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I've never known blueberry plants to be hard to grow, but they are native to the northeast and grow in the wild just about everywhere.

Birds do love to eat them. You may need to net them but don't expect a lot of berries from the first year they are planted. So the netting can wait.

From what I remember the plants like soil that is on the acidic side of things and they prefer loose soil. Often in the wild they are found on the edge of a forest or along trails and lining the sides of ponds and lakes. They do need plenty of water and soil that will hold water. Peat moss is a good amendment to the soil for blueberries. Thick mulch or woodchips around the plants will help retain moisture.

To get the most fruit and best tasting fruit you will want full sun on the plants. Fertilizer should be applied in the spring around the time leaves come out if needed. Avoid fertilizing anytime after mid summer to prevent new growth from being damaged by winter.
 

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I am in SW Michigan about an hour inland from Lake Michigan. There are countless blueberry farms between me and the lake. It is BIG business here. It just so happens we have a farmer fairly close to me that is retiring and selling his plants. I just planted 6 each of four different varieties earlier this spring - Jersey, Bluecrop, Bluejay, and Duke. These combined varieties will provide berries from late June to early August. They are full size plants that will produce between 200-250lbs of berries. So, my little homestead is now in the blueberry business.

Here is what I am doing. First thing I did was ordered a soil PH test. The ground where i have them planted has a PH of 7, blueberries like 5. So, I went to my local SiteOne store and ordered some Sulpher to start sprinkling on the plant bases. I plan to do a 1/2 cup on each plant now and a 1/2 in the fall. I will retest in the spring. I am also putting drip irrigation around each plant. Blueberries also like wood mulch so once the irrigation is installed I will mulch the bushes.

Currently the plants are in full bloom with thousands of blossoms. Our beehive is very close to them and the bees are probably working the plants as I type this.

Here is a picture I took of the blossoms the other day and a picture of the plants when I was done planting them. Not sure how to rotate the pics.

I will keep this tread updated as we move through the 2019 blueberry season and how successful we are. I am learning right along with you. :bigthumb:
 

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My folks wanted blueberries years ago and started asking around. There was an old timer who did a lot of gardening who told my dad he'd fix him up. He brought 30 high bush plants of 3 different varieties. He said that was important so they would cross pollinate. He also told them to pick the blossoms off for the 1st 2 years so that the plants could establish a strong root system. They planted them in 2 rows about 4-5 feet apart. He also suggested that we mulch them with pine needles because they like acidic soil; it helps them produce more fruit. IIRC, they used cow manure in each hole before they planted them. These plants are at least 50-55 years old and still yield an amazing amount of fruit. I'll try to remember to take pictures of the size of the berries and how the branches hang down. We also built a fencing around them to drape netting once the berries start coming.

There is a big difference between cultivated (high bush) berries and native berries. The native berries grow close to the ground and are much smaller, but produce a much tangier taste. Most of the blueberry farms in Maine are the low bush type. HTH!
 

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My Father in law has about 50 blueberry bushes. Can’t kill them. They do like the soil to have the right PH. Peatmoss and sand work well. Or sawdust.

We bought 20 bushes this year.

10 from Dimeo

10 from Grover’s.
Blueberry plants, cranberry plants, for sale. - Grover's Blueberries

Don’t buy from Dimeo. They rip you off with the shipping. They charged me 65 bucks to ship them. Actual coast was 12.51.
And the bushes from Grover’s are much nicer and with the shipping cheaper.

Picking them isn’t much fun. But they are tasty.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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We're not in the blueberry business so we did things as we always done. Some years ago my wife wanted blueberry plants so she bought 5 plants. I planted them and since cut one down by accident. Wife got another one from her sister. I planted all of the plants in a corner of the first garden we had. They are still there and doing good. Every year after I rake the pine needles I put around 4 to 6 inches of it all around the plants. In the summer when they get ripe I pick them or the grandkids do and eat them. If it takes more then that to take care of them I'll be pulling them out of the ground. Birds do like them so you do what you have to if you want your share.
 

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I know that they are growing wild in my out back yard. They don't yield a lot of berries. Well, that's probably not true. They grow a ton of berries, but the birds pick them off before they get ripe enough for me to pick. Plus I don't try very hard. The blueberry plants out back have survived wet summers, dry summers, and normal summers. I don't know what makes them thrive.
I also have wild raspberries, an insane amount. Those suckers yield tons and tons of berries. The only animals that eat them are us humans. He have deer, occasional bears, and all kinds of wildlife. None of them seem to like the raspberries. What I don't like about them is when they stab me as I am trying to pick the berries. Ouchies!
 

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Question for you guys that know a lot more than me.... Will using "pine straw" as mulch accomplish the same thing as "pine needles"?

I usually think of Pint Straw as being longer needles and Pine Needles as what falls off a Christmas tree.
 

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Good for pies

They taste good and I know how to spell it. That’s about it.
Guess I’m here to learn :munch:
I love blueberry pie and jam. We used to have a couple of blueberry patches in the area. One was on some relatively heavy soil, tending toward wet and it did fine.

The other was on more loamy soil. I don't know if it helps or not but I remember lots of poison ivy in that patch so whatever blueberries like so does poison ivy.

As I recall the owner said it took 2-3 years for the plants to mature enough to yield anything much.

Here's what The Old Farmer's Almanac says: Blueberries: Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Blueberries | The Old Farmer's Almanac

The acidic soil matches what I sorta remember.

Treefarmer
 

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Question for you guys that know a lot more than me.... Will using "pine straw" as mulch accomplish the same thing as "pine needles"?

I usually think of Pint Straw as being longer needles and Pine Needles as what falls off a Christmas tree.
From what I can tell, pine straw and pine needles are the same thing. I've seen where they rake it up and call it pine straw, I rake it up and I still call it pine needles. :dunno:
 
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