Three Months of Blueberries Out of Your Back Yard
The north coast of California, and in particular the coastal region of Humboldt County, has an excellent blueberry-growing climate. But to grow them successfully you must be able to provide them with the right requirements. Blueberries thrive in Humboldt, although not all varieties are adapted to the same areas. If rhododendrons do well in your soil, blueberries will also. They can grow in small spaces and even in containers.
Blueberries are filled with healthy chemicals and are high in antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins and many other beneficial items. The berries contain high quantities of pectin which could help lower cholesterol, and blueberry health research is showing promising results for ailments such as diabetes, Alzheimer's, cancer and vision problems. The blue in blueberries is caused by a group of flavonoids called anthocyanins which have remarkable antioxidant power. They may help to prevent degenerative diseases, including heart disease, stroke and memory loss. And they taste great! Half of ours don't even make it into the house.
There will be all kinds of detailed information as well as some dos and don'ts on the next few pages but if you are wanting just the mini-version of backyard blueberry plant requirements, it is all about the roots. Here they are and then you can go plant:
- The roots need a spongy and acidic soil composed mostly of organic matter.
- The roots need to breathe. Always.
- The roots need watering weekly during the dry season.
- The top needs at least a half day of sun.
When we built our apple shrub orchard, we chose varieties that would ripen early, mid-season and late so that we would have apple fruit throughout the season. It works the same way with blueberries. Planting several varieties allows you to choose those that ripen at different times which will thus prolong the harvest season.
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