3. After that, prices go up dramatically and 3 to 5-year-old potted blueberry plants can sell for as much as $100 each. Your plants can happily produce fruit for years with relatively little care, but you'll want to start them off right. Blueberries start easily from cuttings taken from a mature, well-established plant. Gather a 6-inch-long cutting from the tip of a healthy, vigorous blueberry stem. Sow seed in a flat, 3″ box filled with finely ground moist sphagnum moss. Some of the most common varieties for pot growing include Top Hat and Sunshine Blue. To start a blueberry farm you must take a long-term view. As with all blueberries, highbush blueberries propagate easily from cuttings, which will root in just a few months and start producing fruit in a few years. Apply ½ ounce of a 10-10-10 fertilizer in a band around the plant 6 to 12 inches from the crown. When you plant blueberries, your objective is to grow a big productive bush in eight to 12 years, and that bush requires a big root system. Provide water whenever the soil feels dry in the top inch. The best time to propagate blueberries is when the temperature start to warm up. The University of Maine is an EEO/AA employer, and does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. Insert the stem into the hole, and press the sand and peat mixture snugly against the stem. Transplant into a permanent bed in autumn after the first rain. Blueberry plants like a lot of water (but not until the soil is waterlogged). The emerging seedlings are very tiny. A small amount of seed will start quite a few seedlings. Keep moss moist but not soaked and place flat in a warm room (60 to 70 degrees F) and cover with a newspaper. Choose Containers and Blueberry Plants . Keep seedlings moist and allow them to grow in the moss until two to three inches tall. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Sarah E. Harebo, Director of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME  04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System). Blueberry plants can produce fruits for decades. If you are creating several rows … Pick a compact variety that fits well in pots. Store bought blueberries are a wonderful way to get free plants and tons of them too! Fill 4-inch plastic pots with a mix of half coarse sand and half milled peat moss that has been soaked in water until plump. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Growing blueberries from seeds is possible, but it tends to be restricted to lowbush blueberry plants. Older plants suffer more transplant shock and will still take a few years to begin producing large harvests. Transplant the blueberry into a 6-inch container filled with acidic potting mix, such as those formulated for roses or azaleas. Set the bush in the hole with the rootball just below the surface and its roots spread out. Plant the blueberries directly into this mix. It is important not to make this covering thick. Other types, such as the northern highbush blueberry, do better in the ground but can survive in pots with proper care. Potting soil. Blueberries start easily from cuttings taken from a mature, well-established plant. If you've grown other fruit-bearing plants, you know you're in it for the long haul. Start blueberry cuttings in summer when the plant is actively growing. Add to this mix a couple tablespoons of soil sulfur and mix well. If you are growing blueberry bushes and are fairly new to gardening, you are probably wondering how to fertilize blueberry bushes. For more information on growing blueberries check out the University of … Depending on cultivar, weather, and to some extent the level of detailed pruning done, the harvest can spread over several weeks (Figure 11). Call 800.287.0274 (in Maine), or 207.581.3188, for information on publications and program offerings from University of Maine Cooperative Extension, or visit extension.umaine.edu. Site and Soil Plant in moist, well-drained, acidic soil in a sunny, sheltered spot. Blueberries are heralded as a super food extremely nutritious, but also high in flavanoids which have been shown to reduce the damaging effects of oxidation and inflammation, allowing the body to fight off disease. Then, every spring and fall planting seasons, you can add and plant another 600 plants at a time. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. Grow the blueberry plant under light shade during the summer months. They take longer to produce as well. Pine bark mulch. You can grow certain types of blueberry bushes almost anywhere. Feel if the stem is firmly affixed to the sand by roots. An alternative to cutting the whole bush down is to remove one-third or half the canes one year and then the rest over the next year or two. Seed Propagating Blueberries. When To Start Blueberry Propagation Successful growing of blueberries from cuttings needs a temperature around 21°C (70 °F), so summer is the best time for propagation. Most nurseries begin selling blueberry plants when they’re 2 years old so that they’ve put on enough growth to look respectable in a pot. If your blueberry bushes look especially bad, you can use a rejuvenation technique to bring them back to life. Gently press the sand to release the excess moisture. Dig Hole(s): The width of the hole should allow you to spread roots. Firm the mixture, and poke a 3-inch-deep hole in the center. The best time to prune a blueberry bush is spring right before your bush is about to start growing for the year or autumn after the harvest. Start a pick your own organic blueberry farm for a profitable PYO blueberries farm business with a little blueberry patch like this one below, with just 600 blueberry plants for a fast u-pick organic berry farm start-up. If you plant in rows, allow 8 to 10 feet between the rows. The secret to a great blueberry crop is picking and placing the right types so they’ll cross-pollinate. Cut Broken Roots. For mature blueberry bushes should be pruning every year as it encourages growth in your bush. Plants are easy to grow provided you use an acidic or 'ericaceous' compost. Blueberries thrive in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 10, and when cared for properly, the plants can produce fruit for up to 20 years. February 23, 1967. Can Be Grown in Containers: Blueberry bushes can be grown in the ground, but they do just fine in containers. Dwarf plants produce plenty of blueberries without taking up much space. Compact Size: Unlike the sprawling vines you must train or wrangle with other types of berries, blueberries grow in compact bushes that are ideal for folks with small backyards or who want something that will not take up much space. So this means if 1,000 of the plants survive from planting an acre once they reach maturity you would have a minimum of 5,000 pounds of blueberries a year. Remove the plastic when the blueberries produce roots. Cooperative Extension: Maine Wild Blueberries, 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Greenland Point, 4-H Camp & Learning Centers at Tanglewood & Blueberry Cove, Insect Pests, Plant Diseases & Pesticide Safety, Affiliated Programs, Partners & Resources, Non-Discrimination Statement & Disability Resources, Register for Workshops, Classes, & Events. Well-managed, mature highbush plants can yield up to 10 pounds per plant or more. A small amount of seed will start quite a few seedlings. You’re effectively your own nursery now. Fruit will hold well on the plant through varying degrees of maturity. The only factor to remember is the soil acidity as blueberries require a pH 5.0 or slightly lower. Mist the soil to keep it damp. Lowbush blueberries can be propagated quite easily from seed. Add water until the sand feels moderately moist but not sopping wet in the top 2 inches. Extract the seed by one of the following methods: Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. Gardeners can take cuttings from new growth in the spring (softwood cutting) or older growth in the late fall or early winter (hardwood cutting). Blueberries contain small seeds almost not recognizable in comparison with other berries like raspberries or blackberries. peat pot. Gently flick the stem to knock off the excess powder. The cuttings will root in two to three months if kept in a warm, moist environment; however, they must be treated with rooting hormone to ensure successful rooting. Make the cut at a slight angle. Training young blueberry bushes by pruning them regularly during the first two years promotes proper structure of the plant, which in turn supports maximum production of fruit. Pack the hole tightly with soil. Sand. These seeds will actually produce new plants just as they do in the wild setting, slowly carpeting the area with new plants. You can mix some peat moss into your planting hole to … You can also grow blueberries from cuttings. Generally, I recommend growers remove two-thirds of the new shoots the first year and then about half the new shoots the second. With a bit of patience, you can turn a few blueberry … Obtain seed from blueberries that have been frozen at least 90 days. Reviving Sad-Looking Plants. Apply fertilizer one month after planting, not at the time of planting. Water well and keep seedlings in a sunny location. In addition, check the pH around the plants to make sure your blueberries are growing in acid soil. When selecting blueberry bushes, the best choice is bare-root plants that are 2 to 3 years old. Balanced liquid fertilizer. Plant the tiny seeds in blueberries for new plants. Follow these steps for planting new blueberry bushes: Dig the holes deep enough to cover the blueberry roots with about 4 … Most beginning gardeners plant blueberries not knowing the pH level of their garden soil (myself included). Place the potted blueberry cutting in a lightly shaded, ventilated cold frame. Planting Blueberries. Blueberry seeds are tiny, so it’s easiest to separate them from the fruit in large batches. Once established blueberry plants can be productive for 25 years. While blueberries are tolerant of shade, better crops (and autumn colour) are obtained in the sun. The maximum possible would be 20,000 pounds of blueberries a year. If the soil has become alkaline you can make adjustments by adding cottonseed meal and sulfur to the soil. 100% free blueberry plants! Once they begin emerging, place flat in a sunny window or greenhouse. Drizzle water around the base of the stem to settle the sand. The best time to start seed is in January or February. To start a blueberry farm could be a good long-term investment. How Far Apart to Plant Blueberries Plants. Blueberries take about 7 years to reach full maturity and production. Peat Moss. Seed should germinate in about one month. Avoid stems with active flowers or fruit since both will divert the cutting's energy away from root production. Fertilizing blueberry plants. This means it takes a lot of investment, hard work and patience while it … Remove the newspaper. Discard the remaining powder. Once you decided to add a blueberry bush to your yard, you’ll need to choose from the four varieties: highbush, lowbush, hybrid half-high, and rabbiteye. This will break the seeds’ nest period. The plants should bloom and set a few berries when two years old. Plant the Bush. 8-oz. Just sprinkle seed evenly over the moss then cover with a very thin moss covering. Blueberries require high acid soil, which often requires amending your garden soil. Pot each seedling in two inches to three inches of peat or plastic pots using a mixture of 1/3 peat, 1/3 sand, and 1/3 soil. Warm the pot to 70 F, using a propagation mat, if daytime temperatures are consistently below 65 F. Water the blueberry cutting whenever the sand dries out in the top inch. If you’re planning on growing more than one blueberry bush, space them about 3 feet apart. After frost danger is past set out seedlings in the desired location. Check for roots in two to three months by lightly tugging on the base of the stem. Extract the seed by one of the following methods: Waring Blender (Kitchen Blender) Place 3/4 cup … Cultivars such as Coville (V. corymbosum "Coville") and Jersey (V. corymbosum "Jersey") are particularly popular in warmer areas since they thrive within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 8, where few other blueberry cultivars will grow. Sever the cutting 1/8-inch below a set of leaves, using very sharp, clean shears. But as long as your cutting has not been in water long enough to rot, it can … No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied. The pH should be at least as low as pH 5.5. Obtain seed from blueberries that have been frozen at least 90 days. Her nearly 20 years of experience in horticulture informs her work, which has appeared in publications such as Mother Earth News. Acclimate the blueberry to direct sun over the course of one week. Carefully remove seedlings (especially around the root system). How to Plant Blueberries . If you are planting multiple blueberries, dig holes 4'-6' apart. How much can you sell blueberries for? That means planting them in the largest pot possible, one plant per pot. Learn how to plant and maintain them the right way so they will reward you with delicious berries for years to come. When you start growing a blueberry bush you probably won’t need to prune it for a couple of years. How to Start Photinia Fraseri From Cutting, How to Propagate Satsuma Orange From Cuttings, How to Propagate Blueberries From Cuttings. Pull off and throw away all of the leaves along the lower half of the stem. This will allow you to have 1,089 blueberry plants in an acre. First, freeze the blueberries for 90 days to stratify the seeds. Dig the hole twice the size of the roots, and back-fill with a rich compost mixture. After two or three weeks fertilize the potted seedlings with a liquid fertilizer such as Start-N-Gro etc. By recognizing mature canes and cutting properly, you'll train blueberry bushes to create productive plants. It just takes a long time. Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) appeal to gardeners seeking a compact fruit-bearing shrub with a high yield and ornamental appeal. You can plant blueberry bushes as close as 2 or 2.5 feet apart to form solid hedgerows, or space them up to 6 feet apart so they grow individually. The plants can then be set out in prepared rows, vacant areas in fields or as an ornamental ground cover plant for home landscaping. Most home growers purchase cuttings, but did you know that blueberry seed planting will result in a plant as well? Blueberries can be grown in containers filled with an acidic, bark based planting mix which is perfect for very small gardens, patios and decks. Unpack and Soak: Unpack your blueberry bush and soak in water for 3 to 6 hours just before planting. The quickest and easiest way to propagate a blueberry bush is through planting cuttings from an existing plant. Plant your first-year plants from the end of April to the beginning of May. If the root system is restricted, that plant … Plant blueberries at exactly the same depth as grown at the nursery. You can grow blueberries from seeds. What is the Step-by-Step Procedure of Rooting Blueberry Plants? However, the highbush is the most popular with homeowners. If compost is not available, use the finest bark mulch you can find, and add 10% peat moss. Pot the blueberry cutting in the prepared rooting container. This will break the seeds’ nest period. Those 2nd-year plants sell for about $30 each here. Make every effort to get the roots off to a good start so they can support vigorous growth for years to come. Answer: Rather than rooting in water, blueberry cuttings are placed in a soil mix for propagation. Transplant blueberry seedlings as they outgrow their seedling flats by filling 6-inch pots with a combination of two parts peat moss and one part pine bark. Water the plant to a 4-inch depth the night before gathering the cuttings to ensure the stems and foliage are hydrated. Make a planting pocket in the center of the container and place the root ball of the plant in the pocket. Dab the severed end of the blueberry cutting into the talc. In the United States, blueberries are considered the second most important cultivated berry after strawberries. 2. Mix compost and any other amendments you need into the soil before you plant your bushes. Prepared by D. A. Abdalla, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service, Orono, ME 04469. How to Plant Blueberry Plants. Samantha McMullen began writing professionally in 2001. 0.8-percent IBA (indolebutyric acid) rooting talc. 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