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Blueberry care - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Blueberry care

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

The blueberries are getting blue! And if you want to grow blueberries in your yard, the best way to do it is to have some early, mid and late season varieties. That way you can have them all summer; from July to September. So you've got the ones that are green and they'll be coming later, and you've got the blue ones coming now. It's really nice.

There are a couple of keys to growing blueberries that people sometimes stumble over. One is fertilizing. They don't need a lot of fertilizer, but they do need some fertilizer. You have to have enough fertilizer, so they have about 1 foot of growth a year. If you see this new growth, it should be about a foot long. If you don't have that growth, you'll want to put on more fertilizer. The time to do that would be in the spring. Put about one cup or so of cotton-seed meal, blood meal or some kind of organic fertilizer around them.

Another thing you have to do is lower the pH down to below 5. You can do that with sulfur applied in the spring or the fall. You can tell if you're pH is too high, because the leaves sometimes look kind of chlorotic or have yellow between the leaf veins.

Then remember that blueberries are shallow-rooted. You have to mulch them and then water them deeply. Use a soaker hose or you can just hand water them, but water them nice and deep. That way you'll get some big berries, even in a dry summer like this.

And, of course, the final thing is the birds! You can use this holographic reflective tape, or you can use netting. If you are going to use netting, try to keep it above the bushes so you don't pull off the berries as you pull off the netting.

~By Charlie Nardozzi

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