Growing Blueberries

General Information

Rabbiteye blueberries are native to Georgia. There are many varieties of Rabbiteye blueberries, and you will need at least two varieties to cross-pollinate. Cross-pollination is needed to produce the fruit. Three different varieties are recommended for maximum fruit production.

Blueberries produce fruit at a young age, and by the sixth year of growth, they can yield up to 2 gallons per bush.

Varieties we carry

Climax is an early-ripening (usually early July) variety. The fruit is quite large, and is a fairly heavy producer. Sweet-tasting fruit ripens over a short period of time, and is great for fresh eating or baking.

Premier produces a medium to large fruit, and is early to mid season ripening. Its fruit ripens over a longer period of time than Climax. The large light blue fruit has excellent flavor, and is a heavy bearer.

Tifblue ripens late season (mid to late July). Expect high berry production. Its fruit is large and very sweet. Tifblue is considered the very best rabbiteye by many.

Soil and Climate

Rabbiteye blueberries perform best in soil with a ph between 4.0-5.5. Luckily most of us have soil that falls into this range. A soil test is recommended to find out exactly what your ph is, so you can make the proper adjustments. Blueberries have roots close to the surface, and have very few small feeder roots. This means they benefit from consistent moisture, and heavy mulching. We recommend tilling your rows and amending with compost or Mr. Natural’s Complete Landscape Mix. If you cannot till the rows, dig holes about 30 inches wide and 10-12 inches deep.

Planting

Plant your blueberries 6’ apart. This will create a nice hedge without overcrowding. Dig your hole about 10-12 inches deep and 30 inches wide. Backfill with 1 part Complete Landscape Mix, 1 part Mushroom Compost, and 1 part existing soil. When you remove the plant from the container, loosen the roots from the bottom and sides with your hand.

Install the plant so that the level of the root ball is level with the top of the ground or slightly higher. Avoid planting too deep. Back fill around the plant using your hands or foot to firmly tamp the soil. Apply Cotton Seed Meal Fertilizer at a rate of 2 cups per bush. (A 3 lb bag will do 5 young plants).

Sprinkle the fertilizer on top of the soil, or mix into the top 1/3 of the soil as you backfill. Water each plant in well. Apply a heavy layer of mulch, but keep the mulch pulled back from the trunk of the plant.

Why Cotton Seed Meal?

Most commercial fertilizers slowly raise the ph of soil as they break down, and blueberries are very sensitive of ph. Cotton seed meal is an organic, slow-release fertilizer that actually lowers the ph over time, and won’t burn the roots of the plant. It has been used to successfully grow blueberries for decades.