I bought a blueberry bush. What is the proper time to plant it and should I plant more than one bush? Also, I was told to add pine needles to the top of the soil–is that right?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Michele: Having blueberries in the garden is such a treat! For best fruit production, it is best to have more than one plant. You want to plant another cultivar that will bloom at the same time for best cross pollination. There are early, mid, and late producers, so talk with your local garden centers/nurseries to see which cultivars they carry that will flower at the same time as the one you already have. Blueberries require an acidic soil, so mulching with pine needles will certainly help but you also might want to have your soil tested so you know exactly what you need to add to achieve a pH of 4.5-5.2. Contact your County Cooperative Extension Service about having your soil tested. Early spring is a good time to get your fruit in the ground. Make sure to choose a planting site that is in the full sun–at least six hours each day is ideal. If you have an area with full sun at a higher elevation, this would be a good planting area. The soil should be well-drained and rich in nutrients. For more specific information on growing blueberries in Kentucky, visit www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/ho/ho60/ho60.htm. This is a publication full of reliable information. It is available to home gardeners from the Extension Service in cooperation with land grant research universities.