Watching Your Blueberries Grow
Highbush blueberry bushes can grow up to 12 feet tall, but most peak at about 6 feet.
In the spring, you’ll see clusters of beautiful white blossoms pop up all over the bushes, which are then pollinated by bees.
Each blossom eventually becomes one blueberry – first hard and green, then reddish-purple, and finally blue, sweet-tart and ready to eat!
Supporting Your Blueberry Growth
After establishing your blueberry plants in the first year, continue fertilizing twice each year, once in early spring and again in late spring, following the guidance from your local garden center or Cooperative Extension. Always water thoroughly after fertilizing. Replenish your mulch as needed, keeping 2-4 inches of mulch over the roots to conserve moisture, prevent weeds and add organic matter. This will reduce your watering and weeding chores. For extra protection, drape bird netting over your plants. You’re not the only one who enjoys blueberries – they’re a favorite snack for hungry birds.
Pruning Your Blueberry Bushes
We know it’s hard to wait, but it’s best to give your blueberry plants time to get established before you let them bear fruit. In your first year or two of growing blueberries, remove any plant blossoms before they produce berries in order to stimulate hardy new growth.
You will not need to prune your blueberry bushes for the first four years or so. After that, you will need to prune plants in late winter or early spring to help stimulate growth for the following season. The Old Farmer’s Almanac is a great source for more details on pruning and maintaining your blueberry plants.
Harvest Your Blueberries
During the sweet summer months, you’ll hit your jackpot. In North America, blueberries are typically ready for picking between June and August, but they may arrive sooner or a tad later depending on your region. However, being just a little patient has big rewards. Don’t pick the berries immediately after they turn blue – give them a couple of days. When they’re ready, blueberries should fall right into your hand for a well-earned boost of blue.
Enjoy Your Personal Boost of Blue
What will you do with all your blue(berries)? We don’t blame you one bit if you want to rinse and eat them right away! If you have a big harvest, you can use your blueberries fresh or store them for a boost of blue down the road. With blueberries, the possibilities are endless.