Gardening: Save a fortune and grow your own blueberries
Love blueberries but want to save on your supermarket shop? Grow your own by following our expert guide.
THEY have become one of the most popular soft fruits on the market – and one of the most expensive. Yet blueberries are easy to grow and fruit specialists are constantly expanding their selections to include easy varieties for gardeners.
Markus Kobelt, founder of specialist fruit grower Lubera, offers the following growing guide:
Where should you plant them and in what soil?
All blueberries need a well-drained, acidic soil and can be planted in either the partial shade or full sun in a sheltered spot. Use a fertiliser to keep the pH low or help reduce it.
Can you grow them in containers?
Yes. If growing in a container, use one 30cm in diameter for young plants, then move into a 45-50cm one when the plants start to get too big for the earlier pot.
The blueberry 'Little Blue Wonder' is one of the most compact blueberries at only 50cm high. This variety is perfect for dense area plantings or as an underplanting.
How important is pruning?
Pruning for rejuvenation and renewal of growth is important. If you don't prune them, they will become woody. So cut out old shoots that have already fruited as low as possible to a stub to stimulate new growth at least every two to three years.
Are there different coloured blueberries?
Did you know you can get pink blueberries? 'Pink Lemonade' is a beautiful pink blueberry and planting another genetically related blueberry next to it works wonders. The latest blueberry variety Buddy Blue, which belongs to the so-called Rabbiteye group of blueberries, has shown the best results – together they are dynamite.
You can even buy the two varieties together in one pot for maximum pollination. The Moreberries 'Pink & Blueberries' gives you not just the combination of two flavours, but a visual joy in the garden and on the plate, when they ripen consecutively so that you can enjoy delicious berries until well into October.