Blueberries are both delicious and healthy and they make a great snack or addition to your pies, juices or smoothies. They provide various health benefits including the following:
- Prevent cholesterol issues
- Protect the brain, and prevent memory issues, thanks to their antioxidants
- Blueberries are high in nutrients and low in calories; A cup of blueberries provides 3.6 grams of fiber, 24% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C and 36% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K
- Nutrients in these berries lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues; According to a recent study, a 50-gram serving daily can cause a 4-6% drop in your blood pressure within 8 weeks
- Antioxidants prevent premature aging, DNA damage, and cancer; Blueberry juice reduces DNA damage by 20%
The good news is that you can grow blueberries in your backyard. Here are some handy instructions:
Find a nice spot
Your blueberry shrub will need some good-quality soil and plenty of sunlight. The shrub needs enough light to carry its photosynthesis and grow. Raise beds work perfectly for large gardens, but if you don’t have enough space, just use patio containers.
Blueberry shrubs need 6 feet of free space. If you grow several shrubs at once, make sure they are 3 feet apart.
Plant your blueberry shrub in fall or spring. Make a hole, put in the plant, and add enough soil around it. Press down carefully. This is a shallow-rooted shrub, and it needs regular watering. You need a good draining system, and use acidic soil with about 5.0 pH value.
Sawdust works great, but feel free to use pine bark, ring mulch or grass clippings if you can’t find any. Use 2-4 wreaths to conceal the moisture of the soil, and protect your shrub from weeds. Mulch once a year, and avoid rinds or sawdust from cedar/redwood tree.
Prune your shrub regularly to strengthen the branches, and optimize its growth. In this way your shrub will grow enough fruits with a decent size. Select the blooms, and remove dry brunches. Scissors and clippers work fine for this purpose. Remove the branches at the bottom of the shrub, scrape off any dead wood, and clip off dry branches.
Organic, eco-friendly fertilizers work best for your blueberry shrub. Fertilize the soil in early spring right when the leaves wake up. Do it again after you prune the shrub. Your bush will grow and fruit for 4-5 decades. Try planting different varieties, and provide cross pollination.
Follow these tips, and enjoy munching on your homegrown blueberries.