Thursday, February 9, 2012


When we moved in we had a hedge of evergreen bushes along one of the fences in our backyard- one bush was already dead when we moved in and a second one died from being choked to death by the millions of morning glories that the prior owner thought would be a good idea to plant. SO meanwhile we have 2 gaping holes in our hedge. Good thing this is the neighbor we like, but our dogs tend to stand in the holes of the hedge and yowl, and the neighbor next to our neighbor has already complained about them a few times (like a jerkface).

So we decided to get some blueberry bushes to fill in the gaps! After doing some internet research I decided on two different varieties of "highbush" blueberries. Highbush blueberries grow to around 6 feet tall, as opposed to the lowbush varieties which only grows well in the north and 2-3 feet tall, and the rabbiteyes which (Unlike the name suggests) get like 12 feet tall. I got two different kinds, because when you have two different kinds they get cross-pollinated and somehow that leads to more blueberries (I think the blueberries know there's competition so they grow more blueberries to win the competition)

So on Monday our two bushes were delivered and I planted them on Tuesday morning. On Tuesday Barkley (or possibly max) dug one up and I had to replant it by moonlight, and so on Wednesday we got some nice little fences to put around them.

Supplies: two blueberry bushes, dirt for acid loving plants like blueberries, and a bucket full of peat moss that soaked in water overnight (if you don't presoak it it just sucks all the moisture out of the soil, which is not good for growing anything)

Two holes, each about a foot and a half deep and two feet wide. After digging out the top layer of dirt, I dug out the deeper layer of clay and moved that to the sinkhole. Then I refilled it with about 1/3rd native dirt, 1/3rd peat moss and 1/3rd acid dirt, and planted the bushes shallowly. I planted them a little further away from the fence, since blueberry bushes can spread up to 5 feet wide, and I don't want to have a bunch of blueberries falling on my neighbor's driveway all the time, that's just rude.

I think this one is the sharp blue

This one is the gulf coast one

After planting the bushes I pruned them by about a third to encourage growth. This year I'll remove all the blossoms so that the plant puts its energy into growing a good root system versus growing blueberries, but I should have a decent amount of blueberries next year! Next year I will probably have to get some sort of netting to keep the birds away from the blueberries, since they love to eat them right when they ripen. These bushes will grow to full height by around 6-7 years, and should continue producing fruit for the next 30 or so years. Once they are full grown, each bush should produce 10-15 pounds of blueberries each season.


  1. I love blueberries! I only wish I lived somewhere where I could grow some things. Right now I mostly rely on frozen blueberries for my fix (they're great in yogurt, though).

  2. N.S. Jakson- you can actually grow bluberries in a pot if you don't have land, but I would recommend the low bush varieties for that (and if you don't have a lot of cold weather were you live, the lowbush blueberries won't do well)

  3. JP- actually many contemporary fruits and vegetables were specifically cultivated into their current form through the careful work of humans around 10,000 years ago. For instance corn was developed (some may say "evolved" only it was deliberately done by humans) from some larger varieties of grass that were cultivated to get larger and larger and larger until they reached their current form, and potatoes were developed from simpler forms of tubers.

  4. AE, I live in the southwest, so it may not be cold enough. I'll look into the idea, though. Thanks.

  5. in fact the whole reason to plant two blueberry plants is that they will each grow many more blueberries in response, to try to beat out the other plant. Which sounds familiar...kinda like that whole survival of the fittest concept, no?

  6. N.s. jackson- you should figure out what growing zone you are in, this website (which is actually the one I ordered my blueberry bushes from) has a list of different types by growing zone, so you can tell if it'll be ok in your zone.

    you can find your growing zone here:

  7. Neat. There are efforts (of mixed results), to adapt Southern Highbush Blueberries to South Florida. We have to grow them in pots (our sandy soil can't maintain the acidity that they like), but each year they get more successfully adapted.

    They are being adapted the old fashioned way, grow them here, cross pollinate the survivors, rinse-lather-repeat until you have ones that actually fruit in the humid swamp!

    One thing with the blueberries, you need at least two varieties (sub-species) to get decent yields. I'd see if you can plant another one nearby of another variety in the hopes of increasing yields. Also, if one doesn't make it, you'll still have two established plants

  8. Miami Al- did you read my post? I DID plant two different varieties! :) One was "Sharp blue" variety and the other was the "Gulf coast" variety. If one fails we'll just buy another one for the same spot, no other good spots for giant blueberry bushes right now. :)

  9. I have certainly replaced a dead bush with the same bush, so Im a hypocrite, but it's considered a bad thing to do. Basically, when plants die, they are generally weak, and weak plants invite pests, disease, etc. So if you lose a blueberry there, replacing it with a new one is a bad idea.

    Yeah, I read it, hence my "if one dies, you'll still have two." Good luck, once established, you'll get decades of berries out of it!

  10. they seem to be doing well so far, they are already budding

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