The Vaccinium corymbosum , commonly called cranberry or blueberry , is a shrub known for its small round fruits as berries, sour taste and sweet. It is a great option to plant in many orchards if the minimum necessary conditions are met, since it begins to bear fruit from its first year outdoors and in large quantities.
If you want to learn when and how to plant blueberries at home , join us in this article in which we offer you a practical and simple guide.
When and how to plant blueberries
The sowing of blueberry seeds is a very little used process, since it is much more productive to reproduce the plant by cuttings , which are planted directly in their final location.
If you still want to try your luck with your own seeds, you should know that blueberry seeds should be sown between autumn and winter . To do this, follow these steps:
- Before sowing them, it is important to soak them for 24 hours in a glass of water.
- From there you can transfer them to a medium-sized pot with universal seed substrate.
- Plant up to two seeds in each pot.
- Water liberally to add moisture both before and after covering.
- The second time, use a sprayer so that they don’t end up washed away by the water.
- Leave the pot in a semi-shady location and water it again every time the substrate runs dry.
- When spring comes, they should start to germinate.
When to plant blueberries
If you choose to grow blueberries from cuttings or seedlings , which is the most common and fast, the onset of winter is the best time for it. The good thing about this is that they represent a good opportunity to take advantage of those garden spaces that are left empty in winter, with the summer crops already removed.
As they need an acid soil and they become shrubs of considerable size, an ideal option is to locate them in the outer limits of the orchard or plot, so that they act as a natural barrier against the wind and their need for acidic soil does not harm the rest of the land. .
How to plant blueberries – guide with tips and steps
Now that you know that the beginning of winter and the end of autumn are the best time to plant cuttings or blueberry seedlings, you have to pay attention to what the needs of this plant are.
Soil and space
The first and most important thing is that blueberries, like many berries , need a more acidic soil than usual. You can acidify your soil by adding pine needles that you mix with the soil a few months before planting the blueberries. If you think you need more, the best thing you can do is turn to a specialist to examine the pH of the soil to recommend how much sulfur to add to the soil to achieve the desired one. If you dare on your own, pH measurement methods can also be purchased for you to use yourself.
As we have mentioned, it is best to place them outside at the limits of the garden. The following is the space to be respected between the seedlings. Depending on the species of blueberry, you should allow from 1 m of distance between the plants, up to 4 m for the larger species and variants. Pay attention to what sizes your acquired variety reaches and leave a space accordingly.
Regarding the soil, in addition to the acidity it is important that it has a very good drainage. This is because you will have to water your blueberries abundantly, and if the soil becomes waterlogged, the roots of the plant can be spoiled. Therefore, it is necessary to have a soil that easily removes excess moisture, avoiding puddles.
Temperature and location
As far as temperature and location are concerned, this plant withstands low temperatures and even frost quite well. So much so, that it can withstand temperatures of up to -30 ºC in winter. In fact, it needs to spend the cold months below 7 ºC, or in spring it will not fruit with the usual force.
As it resists cold so well, heat is dangerous for this shrub. If you live in an area with mild summers there is no problem, but if your climate is very warm, you will need to place your blueberries in a semi-shady area, or both the plant and its fruits will be quite damaged.
How to plant blueberry seedlings
Lastly, when planting your seedlings, follow these steps:
- When the ground is prepared, make a deep hole to put the blueberry seedlings a few inches deeper than they were in the pot,
- Carefully remove the plant from the pot, taking care not to split the roots, and place the seedling in the hole.
- Cover all the roots with soil and apply a little pressure to compact it, making sure the stem is straight and attached.
- When you finish placing the seedlings, you can water.
The step by step to follow, in reality, is like when you transplant any other plant, from a pot to the ground or ground.