Grow blueberries: from soil preparation to planting instructions. Here are all the instructions for starting a blueberry grow.
The ideal period to start the preparation of the blueberry falls in the month of September. Theblueberryit has very specific needs for cold and soil. As far as the land is concerned, it must have a good organic supply (3 - 4% of organic matter) and a constant irrigation availability. Theblueberryprefers loose, permeable and acid reaction soils.
The pH of the soil for growing blueberries
The soil reaction sees optimal parameters with pH values between 4.5 and 5.5. Before you start grow blueberryyou must perform a chemical analysis to determine the pH of the soil. If the pH of the soil exceeds 6.5, it is not recommended to start the cultivation of blueberry. For all information on how to detect soil pH and how to correct it, please refer to the articles:
- How to check the pH of the soil
- How to lower the pH of the soil
If you detect a soil pH of around 6.5, for the correction you can use acidic sphagnum peat which has pH values between 3 - 3.5. 1,000 liters of peat are required every 50 linear meters, for a one meter wide strip along the row that will host the plants. The acid peat must be distributed on the surface of the soil evenly and only after a thorough tillage of the soil.
Growing blueberries: fertilizing and soil preparation
Before starting the cultivation of blueberry it is necessary to fertilize the soil using mineral and organic fertilizers. For a cultivation area of 100 square meters, the dosages and fertilizers listed below are recommended. The suggested fertilizers also act as acidifying amendments, that is, they have the ability to lower the pH of the soil.
As stated, the optimal pH for theblueberry cultivationit is between 4.5 and 5.5. If you have a soil with a pH slightly higher than this range (therefore from 5.6 to 5.8), it will not be necessary to add acid peat if you follow the following fertilizations:
- 200 - 300 kg of cow or horse manure, fully mature
- 6 - 7 kg of mineral superphosphate-19
- 5 kg of potassium sulfate-50
- 7-8 kg of ammonium sulfate-20
The dosages indicated are recommended for fertilizing an area of 100 square meters
To prepare the soil, carry out a very deep plow, possibly with a motor hoe. Forcropssmall, just dig to a depth of 35 - 40 cm in sandy and gravelly soils. If the soil is medium-textured, plowing must be as deep as 50 - 60 cm and even deeper (65-70 cm) in compact soils.
Only after carrying out these works will it be possible to add soil improvers to modify the pH of the soil and add the fertilizers indicated above.
Preparation of the row to grow blueberries
The row that will host theblueberriesmust be raised from the ground to a height of 20-30 cm above the pitch. This measure will allow easier management of the mulch but it is carried out above all to make the draining of surface water faster (avoid stagnation).
For mulching, in case of largeblueberry cropsthe purchase of anti-algae cloths with interwoven fibers is recommended. The cloth must be 105 - 155 cm wide, in order to cover the entire row. Mulching with this sheet will save you a lot of maintenance work because the sheet will prevent the formation of weeds.
Before spreading the sheet, it will be necessary to prepare the drip irrigation system with a dripline provided at the plant.
When to grow blueberries
The right time to start cultivation falls in late autumn (between November and December) or in spring (March, April or May).
In the southern and central regions, the right time to grow blueberries falls between November and December. In the regions of Northern Italy and in the Center-North, planting is postponed to the months of March, April or May in order to avoid the possibility of late frosts.