Blueberry cultivation notes


Blueberries should be planted in a free-draining acid soil, enriched with organic matter. Planting holes should be filled with a mixture of moss peat, coarse sand, soil and a little sawdust. Very well rotten bark mulch, almost of a soil consistency can also be mixed into the planting hole. Plant six feet apart. Blueberries are self-fertile, but growing a selection of cultivars will give better pollination and thus better crops. Very little pruning is required. Cut out damaged or dead branches in winter, and on older bushes, prune out some of the older less productive stems. Mulching with rotten sawdust will keep weeds down and help to retain moisture in the ground. Apply after lots of rain! Blueberries tend not to have problems with pests or disease. Net the bushes to keep the birds off if necessary.

Reported health properties of blueberries are numerous. The berries contain anthocyanoside compounds, tannins, alkaloids, phenolic acids and glycosoides, all of possible benefit. Arthritis, bladder stones, bruising, diarrhoea, gout, haemorrhoids, lung and liver disorders, mouth ulcers, myopia (short-sightedness) rheumatism, scurvy, varicose veins, water retention in the legs, and the list goes on of ailments treated with blueberry extracts...

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