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GROWING AND PRUNING BLUEBERRIES

Proper soil, water and care are essential for successful blueberry growing. Blueberries require acid and sandy soils with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. Blueberries also require good quality water with low sodium and bicarbonates. Calcareous or clay soils are almost impossible to modify sufficiently for blueberries.

Blueberries thrive best in soils enriched with composted organic matter. Ideally, mix about ½ bushel of peat moss with the topsoil in the planting hole of each plant. If you are attempting to grow blueberries in soils with insufficient acidity, dig a hole at least 36 inches in diameter and 18 inches deep and mix at least 50% composted organic matter with the top soil. You must mulch heavily with organic material such as pine bark, wood chips, pine needles or leaves.

Plant at least two varieties that are adapted to your area to ensure adequate cross-pollination.

When needed, prune in the spring by removing shoots from the base of the blueberry plant to bring the plant back into bounds. This encourages new shoots to emerge which will add to the bushiness of the plant.

Dianna Daigle, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas AgriLife Extension Service


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