Potting Compost

Bags of ericaceous compost are suitable for blueberries but some coarser material such as chipped conifer bark, mixed with it improves texture. Home-made compost tends to be too dense and often includes kitchen waste, which is not good for blueberries.

BERRY BEDS

These are equally suitable for an allotment, fruit and vegetable garden, or as an ornamental feature. Use railway sleepers, decking boards, bricks, rocks or even the very ornamental flint blocks. Fill to the brim with a mixture of garden soil (if not alkaline) and organic matter. Plant with a selection of highbush and half-high blueberries, and finish off with cranberries or even alpine strawberries as a carpet below them.

Keep blueberries well watered, but not water-logged, with tap water if necessary, but rainwater is best.

HOW HARDY?

All blueberries need to have a winter chill in order to flower and fruit properly the following summer. They certainly don't need to be mollycoddled. However, if a big freeze is forecast it may be sensible to put young plants in pots into a shed or garage until the really cold spell is over, to avoid the root systems being frozen for too long.

FEEDING

The best and safest feed is one of the granular fertilisers recommended for rhododendrons and azaleas, with the recommended dose split into two applications, one in April and the second in July, to provide minerals for the two main bursts of growth.

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