Friday, August 27, 2010
Shrubs - Blue Berries as Shrubs
As you are looking over your fall garden and trying to decide what you'll do next year, why not consider blueberries. They are edible, and beautiful all seasons. It is possible to grow them in pots, or to plant them direct into a planned flower bed.
The major consideration is the soil they prefer. Soil is the most critical component of growing success with blue berries. It needs to be very acidic. (pH 4.0 to 5.5). Another thing you should be aware of is that blue berries have a shallow root system.
A mulch of organic matter such as compost, peat moss, or composted leaves will do the job really well and they contain enough acidic mix to the delight of the blue berries. You could also use a couple inch think layer of pine needles. Or as one tree trimmer told us, the small willow tendrils (branches) of the willow tree run through a shredder and soaked in rain water makes an excellent drink/tea for all your trees and shrubs --I venture to say, especially blue berries.
Blue berries have very few problems with insects or diseases which is perfect for the organic gardener who dislikes having to use pesticides. While the birds may pose a problem if you plan to harvest your blueberries for yourself, you can stall them off by covering the berries with netting - or plant a few in a place away from your cultivated berries so they may eat to their delight on them.
Be sure to water your blueberries during dry spells, especially the high bush types, fertilize them lightly in the spring with an ammonium sulphate nitrogen fertilizer and test your soil to see if you need additional phosphorus or potassium.
Blue berries are beautiful, easy to grow, pest free (for the most part if you don't count the birds) and they are so good for your healthy self.