We're inspired by the ornamental beauty of blueberries in the landscape. This is our first crop from our home garden. The color transition of the berries during ripening is a stunning mixture of light green, rose, lavender and blue. And the fall leaf color is a spectacular, glowing red.
But how do we grow blueberries in the Midwest? While there are large berry farms in the area with field-grown plants, our heavy clay soil requires quite a bit of amendment to lighten it up enough for blueberries.
In our garden, we find placing one shrub each in large patio containers of peat moss topped with ground hardwood mulch is the way to go. The plants are hardy here and because they were already growing year-round outside in nursery containers at the berry farm, their roots were plenty happy with wintering above ground. Ours have done well with no special winter treatment. We just left them where they sit on our patio.
When you decide to add blueberries to your own garden, bring home more than one shrub so they can pollinate one another. Place your potted blueberries within six feet of each other to ensure pollination. Mix your shrub varieties so you have early, middle and late blooming types to extend the harvest season.
Before the berries begin to ripen (as pictured above), cover them with netting so you get to eat the harvest before the birds invite themselves to dinner.
Water blueberries generously at least every other day, if not daily, during the growing season. Make sure your container drains well so the berries aren't sitting in a bathtub condition. They will thank you for it.
Happy edible landscaping!