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McKay Nursery Company

How to grow blueberries in Wisconsin

8/12/2015 9:36 AM

Growing Blueberries

Blueberries are very attractive shrubs that can be utilized very effectively and should be an integral feature in any residential ediscape. Not only grown for their delicious yet nutritious fruit, they add great seasonal interest with creamy white flowers, attractive foliage and fantastic fall color.

Blueberries perform effectively when planted in amended soils and are excellent for a multitude of landscape applications when grown in full sun to partial shade. Half-high cultivars are preferred for the home ediscape and can be utilized in foundations, borders, groups, and berms (Northcountry and Northsky only get 18" tall, excellent low, spreading shrub).

Of primary concern is providing moist, acidic, well drained organic soil with a pH of 4.5-5.5 (soil acidification will vary upon your type of soil and its existing pH). Two different cultivars are a must for proper pollenization and optimum fruit production. Blueberries have a shallow root system, which should always be covered with a 4” layer of mulch and supplemented with moisture during dry conditions to insure good yields and high quality fruit.

The most fruitful canes are 4-6 years old and older dormant stems should be pruned at the base in late winter. Prune to shape and remove stems that rub or will interfere with one another. If you like blueberries on your cereal or love to gobble them fresh, you should cover your plants with bird netting as soon as the fruits appear.

  • Bluecrop – Larger, sweet fruit for eating fresh, canning and freezing. Long production. Bright tones of red in fall. Attractive reddish winter stems. 4-5' tall.
  • Bluegold – Med-large berry fruit (sweet). Yellow fall color and yellow winter wood. Makes a nice 3' mounded plant.
  • Blueray – Large ½” fruits for for dessert, baking, or freezing. Beautiful scarlet burgundy fall color. 4-5' tall.
  • Northblue – Medium-large fruit; fresh, freezing, baking. Deep red fall color; ediscape. 3-4' tall.
  • Northcountry – Medium size fruit; fresh, cooking, baking. Ripens one week before Northblue. Fire red fall color; ediscape.  Adapts in less optimum soils. Only 18" tall and 40" wide if happy.
  • Northland – Medium size fruit, cooking, freezing. Reddish branching, orange, yellow, red fall color. 4-5' tall.
  • Northsky – Small size fruit; cooking, baking, ripens with Northblue. Red fall color; ediscape; patio containers. 18" tall x 30" wide.

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