Growing Bushel and Berry® Blueberries

Growing Bushel and Berry® in containers:

Bushel and Berry® bushes are dwarf plants that produce full-size fruit. They will produce some fruit in the first couple of years, but really hit their stride in the third year and beyond. Upon arrival, replant in a 12-16" container using a peat-based potting soil mix with pine bark. Place the container outdoors in full sun for the growing season. As your plant matures, you will likely need to put it in a 20-24" diameter container. Your plant will start producing more fruit in the second year.

Fertilizing. Bushel and Berry® Blueberries thrive in acid soil (pH of 4.5-5.5). Fertilize your plants with a slow-release fertilizer designed for acid-loving plants in spring and again in midsummer.

Pruning. In spring, prune out any dead branches. After harvest, prune out fruit-bearing branches, leaving new branches to fruit the following season.

Wintering over. In colder climates (Zone 5), you can overwinter plants in their containers by storing them in a sheltered, unheated area such as a garage or shed once the leaves drop in fall. Be certain the soil is moist when the plant is brought under cover, and water very sparingly during the winter. Once every 6 weeks is generally sufficient. The intent is for the plant to go as dormant as possible. In spring, bring them outside when temperatures remain above 25° and place in full sun.

In warmer climates where freeze-thaw cycles occur, store plants on a protected porch. Where freezing is not a concern, plants can remain outdoors in containers and enjoyed year round.

Growing Bushel and Berry® Blueberries in the ground:

Choose a planting location in full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sun each day) with soil that is moisture-retentive yet well drained. Because Blueberries grow best in soil that has an acid pH and is rich in humus, you should replace about half of the soil dug from the planting hole with at least as much peat moss. Mix the peat moss thoroughly into the remaining soil, and then dig a hole that will generously accommodate the plant's root ball.

Gently remove the plant from its pot and place into the hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. Then push soil back into the hole around the plant and press firmly with your hands to eliminate air pockets and establish good soil contact. A gentle but thorough watering will further settle the soil around the plant.

Blueberries require about 1″ of rain or irrigation per week. Surrounding your plants with a 4–5′ circle of mulch helps keep the soil moist and prevents the growth of weeds. Apply a 2–4″ layer of wood chips, shredded bark, or other organic material. The year after planting (and every year thereafter) apply a fertilizer designed for acid-loving plants at flowering time in spring and again about 4 weeks later.