Blueberries also have the most gorgeous foliage as they go through their seasonal cycle. The amazing thing about growing blueberries is that you need not even plant them in a vegetable garden. Blueberries can be planted in your container vegetable garden.
How to grow blueberries – planting
Blueberries need an acidic soil but a blend of 50% acidic compost (like pine needles/bark or Rooibos mulch) with potting soil will give a good medium for growth.
Peat, which has been used widely in the past, is now not recommended due to the peatlands being over used and can easily be replaced with the above mix.
You will need two blueberry plants from different varieties for pollination, so do ask your garden centre for these when you make your purchase.
They must be well watered through the growing season which is spring.
Long term careHarvesting blueberries
Only harvest your berries when they are full blue and ripe.
In winter, when your blueberries are dormant, trim off any spindly or damaged stems. Cut one or two of the older stems right down to the ground to encourage new shoots.
Take off 5 or 6 flowers in the first year of growth so that the plant puts its energy into growing rather than making fruit.
Top dress with Rooibos or pine mulch in spring.
Blueberries do not like animal manure, so stay away from animal based fertilizers.
When to plant: Plant in Spring.How many plants: Choose two different varieties and place them within 10 m of each other.
How long to harvest: 2 years after planting
Successive planting: Not needed unless your bush dies
Blueberries can be eaten over flapjacks (pancakes) or waffles. They can be cooked in pies or muffins. Here is an easy blueberry muffin recipe.
140g wholemeal flour, 140g plain flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 50g butter, 50g honey, 85g fresh blueberries, 1 egg – lightly beaten, 275g natural yoghurt.
Mix the dry ingredients, melt the butter and add the honey. Pour this into the dry ingredients. Gently mix in the egg, yoghurt and blueberries into the dry ingredients. Do not overmix. Spoon into muffin casings and bake at 180 deg celsius for 20 minutes.