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Blueberries never last long in our household. You can never plant enough of them!

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Blueberries in flower. Each flower will be a delicious berry! These bushes are about 4' tall now and getting close to full size.



Who doesn't love a good blueberry? No, seriously, does such a person even exist? Blueberries hardly need any introduction, but they are a berry rich in flavor and antioxidants and native to our region wherever naturally-occuring highly acidic soil is found. Although there are many species of blueberries out there (and blueberry relatives and look-alikes like huckleberries), the mainstay of blueberry production in our region is the Northern Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum). Most cultivars get anywhere from 4 to 6 ft tall, but wild highbush blueberries can reach as tall as 15 ft.


Blueberries do best in full sun and absolutely love rich soil with loads of organic matter and moist but well-drained soil. But the one thing blueberries absolutely must have is a soil pH of 4.0 to 5.5, which means they need very acidic soil. Around our area, soils are more typically around 6.5 in pH, but the best way to know for sure is to do a soil test and send it into the Penn State Soil Lab or a similar university soil testing service like Rutgers, Umass, etc. It's easy and cheap to do, and it will tell you exactly what your soil pH is. If your soil is above 5.5 like the vast majority of us, you will need to amend the soil with elemental sulfur in order to get the soil pH where it needs to be. Elemental sulfur is just pure, naturally-occurring sulfur, so it's safe and approved for organic use. Application rates will be found on the back of most bags, but you can also use a soil acidifier calculator to figure out how much you need to add. I can pretty much guarantee that if your soil is not below 5.5 pH and you DON'T add sulfur, your blueberries will never thrive and never produce large amounts of berries, so don't skip this step!

One other thing you will want to watch out for is the dreaded spotted wing drosophila (SWD), a fruit fly that lays eggs in soft berries like blueberries. The only way to deal with this pest organically is to only plant early or early-mid season cultivars that produce their fruit before the SWD populations are extremely high later in the season. For this reason, we only carry early blueberry cultivars in our nursery and we don't recommend any late season blueberries for our area. Blueberries are not self-fertile, so make sure you get at least two cultivars for pollination.

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