Lets Grow

Blueberries as Landscape Shrubs

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Published January 8th, 2010

Blueberry bushes are attractive shrubs with abundant pink-tinged white blooms in spring, shiny foliage and stunning fall color. If you have a well-drained full-sun location for foundation shrubs or privacy hedge, consider using blueberry plants. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There’s even a “groundcover” blueberry ideal for sunny hillsides! As an added bonus, you can enjoy loads of luscious fruit. 

Like any orchard plant, blueberry bushes need some care and present challenges, particularly keeping wild creatures from getting all that juicy fruit before you do. The most important step is well-drained soil, best accomplished in raised beds. The reward is an attractive landscape plant that also provides a plentiful food supply. 

There are hundreds of blueberry varieties available. Here are our favorites at GoodSeed Farm: 

Bluecrop:  Hardier and more drought resistant than most blueberries, Bluecrop grows into a dense, multiple-branched upright bush 4-6 feet tall. It produces medium to large, light-blue fruit of good quality, the fruit is firm, resistant to cracking and has a good flavor.  

Brigitta: Large, firm, light blue fruit has a crisp texture and a well-balanced sweet yet very tangy flavor. One of the highest-quality berries available with an amazing shelf life – can be stored up to one month! Bronze new leaves become deep green when mature, and burgundy in fall. A slightly spreading bush 5 to 6 ft. high and wide. 

Jersey: Bakers love the medium-size, sweet-tasting fruit produced by Jersey. Its rich blue berries are a perfect choice for tarts, muffins and coffeecakes. One of the most widely grown varieties, this bush is very vigorous and productive. It has an upright and open growth habit 6-8′ tall in a wide range of soil types, always producing heavy, reliable crops. It ripens in August and is a very reliable producer every year.  

Northblue: This prolific bloomer produces attractive showy white flowers tinged pink, followed by a huge midseason crop of blueberries. Fall foliage colors range yellow through red. A moderate grower 2 to 3 ft. tall and just over 3 ft. wide, its smaller size makes a fine landscape plant for borders, as hedge or specimen. 

Patriot: A “half-high” blueberry variety, (a hardy cross between highbush and lowbush-type blueberries), Patriot is a very productive blueberry that can produce 10-20 pounds of fruit per plant. The berries are large and firm, have a rich flavor and ripen in July. Patriot is adaptable to many soil types, shows good resistance to root rot, and can withstand wet soils better than other varieties. A mature plant grows 5-feet tall and wide, with a spreading rather than upright form. 

Ruby Carpet: This lowbush blueberry variety creates a ruby red and blazing orange carpet in autumn, and bears tasty small fruit that is perfect for baking. Plants grow just 1-1/2 ft high. For the best effect, space plants 3 ft. apart, and they will spread up to 12 inches a year. Why settle for the ordinary groundcovers when you can be a trend setter by planting these beautiful native blueberries? 

Spartan: Exceptionally attractive and tasty fruit is often larger than a quarter in size with a tangy sweet flavor. Large, glossy-green foliage becomes orange and yellow in fall. Small white, bell-shaped late spring flowers proceed the berries in mid-July. Moderate growing upright shrub 5 to 6 ft. tall, 4 to 5 ft. wide.  

Here’s a radical approach to successfully growing blueberries: Rather than digging holes and planting them, set the plants on top of the ground and build a foot-deep raised bed around them. Then fill the bed completely with shredded Pine bark mulch and keep the mulch moist until the root systems grow out into the mulch. Pine bark has just the right acidity so it makes the perfect soil for them. Renewing the pine mulch every spring prevents weeds, making your bed maintenance free. 

Espoma “Holly Tone” fertilizer is the perfect blueberry food, providing additional acid and trace minerals vital to healthy blossoms and fruit.

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