Growing Blueberry Plants

At the Byrd House we love our blueberries. Frozen or fresh, cooked in a pie or in a bowl of milk, we are always up for a very berry experience. So, the prospect of growing blueberry plants for our own berries in a backyard blueberry patch was very, very exciting!

Growing Blueberry Plants

Growing blueberry plants in our back yard sounded like great fun. We learned from reading Jo Robinson’s book Eating on the Wild Side that blueberries are rich in phytonutrients. Yes, these berries not only taste great but pack a nutritious punch. That being so, wouldn’t it be great to harvest our own backyard blueberries?

Convinced we could grow our own berries, we found Gurney’s nursery online and ordered two Rubel blueberry plants.

In a few days a shipping box arrived at our front door. How exciting!

An inspection of the contents revealed two Rubel berry plants packed in plastic bags. They were very small.

Fall Update

We are happy with the growth of the blueberry plants this summer, and we can hardly wait until they begin to sprout buds in the Spring!

Looking closer, we saw that each plant was basically a dormant green branch with an attached root ball. We had to be very careful.

Thankfully, Gurney’s included specific instructions on how to plant our baby blueberry bushes. In fact, there is a great ‘how to’ video at Gurney’s site, which confirmed our plan to grow our plants in whiskey barrels in order to avoid nematodes and other root-eating bugs in our crazy Florida soil.

We prepared our barrels with our favorite potting soil – Jungle Growth – that is a horticultural grade mix of pine bark, peat moss, vermiculite, perlite and charcoal ash laced with 22-11-18 fertilizer.

We cautiously placed each plant in the barrel and covered them over with our mix, and then added a little organic soil acidifier because blueberries must have acidic soil. Note, our Espoma brand acidifier comes from elemental sulfur, not aluminum sulfate. Read more on aluminum sulfate here.

We watered in the plants with a little MiracleGrow liquid feed and placed the barrels in full sun.

In a couple of weeks, we noticed that our plants were putting on bright green leaves.

Hurray! We are ‘off to the races’ with our very own blueberry patch.

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