blueberry

Blueberries are divided into 3 classes by fruit ripening time:

  • Early Season: Fruit ripens in early to mid-June.

  • Mid-Season: Fruit ripens mid-July.

  • Late Season: Fruit ripens July into August.

Planting: Blueberry varieties grow to different sizes, but on average, plant 3 feet apart for a hedge, 4-5 feet apart for shrubs. Strip flower buds when planting to encourage first year growth.

Culture: Well-drained, acidic soil in full sun is essential, and a site with good air circulation can help to prevent fungal problems. Although our native soil in Portland is somewhat acidic, blueberries prefer an even lower pH of 4.5 to 5.5. Use cottonseed meal, organic fertilizers for acid-loving plants or soil sulphur to lower pH. Do not use aluminum sulphate for this purpose.

Fertilizing: Two applications per year of a balanced fertilizer for acid loving plants are recommended. Apply the first dose in early spring when the buds begin to swell. One month later apply the second dose. Follow the directions on the package to determine dose.

Pruning: Blueberries do not need pruning for the first 1-2 years. On older plants, pruning encourages larger fruit and facilitates air circulation, which prevents disease. An ideal time to prune is in early spring (February or March) when bushes are still dormant.

Blueberries produce fruit on one year old wood which arises from four to six year old stems. To increase this type of growth, cut back the ends of twigs to the point where fruit buds are widely spaced. Remove some of the oldest branches to the ground each year.

Lowbush varieties can be pruned by shearing back half of the plant every two to three years.

Pollination: Most highbush blueberries are self-fertile, but they will produce bigger crops and larger fruit when planted with a different variety. Lowbush and half-high varieties require pollinators. Check our pollination chart for details.

Harvest: The blueberry harvest season can be extended from early summer into fall by planting varieties that ripen at different times. Check our Blueberry Fruiting Time/Harvest Chart for details.

blueberry

Find the best Berries and Small Fruits for your Garden

We carry a wide variety year-round.
These are some of our favorites but represent only a fraction of what you will find at the nursery.