Sodding Suggestions- Native Blueberry

Blueberry Sod – Vaccinium angustifolium

 

Specifics:

Scientific Name: Vaccinium angustifolium

Common Name: Lowbush Blueberry

Hardiness: USDA zones 3-7

How Sold: In slabs approximately 16″ x 24″  Contact us today to purchase some for your yard project!

Landscape Use: Ground cover for dry, acidic soil, protective cover for ground-nesting birds and other wildlife, attracts pollinators.

Description: Clusters of white flowers bloom in spring, followed by tasty blue berries in summer. The fruit is a favorite among humans as well as birds, small mammals and box turtles. Lowbush blueberry has lustrous blue-green leaves that turn bronze, scarlet and crimson in fall. It grows well in dry, acidic soil.

Planting Instructions: Blueberries grow best in a moist but not soggy wet soil with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5 to thrive. They require a minimum of 6 hours of full sun per day. Amend the beds with compost before planting to help retain soil moisture. Plant in early spring. Dig a hole 16 x 24 inches wide and 1-1/2” deep to accommodate the slab. Mixing some compost with topsoil and placing it in the hole is helpful, just make sure to dig your hole a little deeper to accommodate the mixture. Place the plant in the hole and cover the roots with the remaining compost/soil mix. Mulch with a 4-inch-thick layer of sawdust or bark mulch, spread 2 feet wide around the plants. Maintain the mulch depth throughout the growing season. Water thoroughly to settle the soil and give plants a good start.

Care & Maintenance: Fertilize based on a soil test each spring. An annual application of compost may be adequate. Maintain a 4-inch-thick layer of mulch to conserve moisture and water the planting with a soaker hose or drip irrigation for best berry production. Blueberries have shallow roots. Cultivate shallowly to keep down weeds but be careful not to damage the surface roots.

Prune during the dormant season. Starting in the fourth year, remove dead and weak branches. Thin out branches smaller than the diameter of a pencil. As the bush ages, remove old, unproductive branches to stimulate new growth, leaving 6 to 8 productive branches. Prune interior crossing branches to admit light to the center of the plant.

Blueberries ripen over a two- to five-week period. Gently roll berries between your thumb and forefinger, removing fully ripe berries and leaving unripe berries for the next picking.

Diseases & Pests: The major blueberry diseases include mummyberry and blossom blight. Wet weather during bloom provides the necessary conditions for infection and spread of these diseases. Pests include: Blueberry maggot, spanworm, flea beetle and thrips.

 

References:

https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/2079/

https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=vaan

https://extension.umaine.edu/blueberries/factsheets/production/wild-blueberry-culture-in-maine/

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