blueberries-1Blueberries earn their keep in a small garden by providing year round interest as well as tasty fruit.

Blueberries need acid soil, so if you don’t have this in your garden grown them in tubs in ericaceous compost. Blueberries like moist conditions, so you might want to add some water retaining granules to the compost if planted in tubs. Water with rain water rather than tap water in hard water areas.

Feed with ericaceous fertilizer. For a good crop you’ll need to plant more than 1 variety to allow cross pollination. If growing in pots you’ll need to repot them every couple of years.

You’ll need to protect the fruit from birds. Little windmills or streamers can deter a lot of birds. If growing in pots be sure to treat with vine weevil nematodes.

Bluecrop is a good mid-season variety and one you’ll often see in the supermarkets. Northcountry and Chippewa are good dwarf varieties. For those that like something a bit different you can try Blueberry Pink Lemonade which has pink fruit.

Prune your blueberries in February or March. Cut off any horizontal shoots near the ground and cut the oldest brown stems back to ground level. Prune off any dead or damaged wood.