Thursday, March 11, 2010



I finally bit the bullet and am trying blueberries again. Blueberries were the very first crop I put on this land when I bought it 10 years ago. I managed to get 40 plants and nearly broke my back (and my will to live) trying to make them a success.

Five years and countless efforts and methods later, I finally gave up and let the last couple remaining die a slow death. None of them had really ever grown much. They got a few leaves and branches once in a while, then they'd lose more ground each year.

It was truly a horrifying experience, considering everyone I talked to said they were the easiest thing they'd ever grown. You just plop them in any old ground and they take off like a magic beanstalk and give you gallons of tasty blue antioxidants to enjoy for years to come.

They died and the soil mocked me, the foolish Westerner who thought she could grow a precious blueberry bush in the south. HA!

It's taken me this long to try it again. I found some at Lowe's. Pathetic little bare-root cuttings in sawdust for a whopping $6.99 each. It was better than the $10.00 they were asking for potted plants last year, so I got six of them. Three Bluecrop and three Earlyblue.

Do you see them in this photo? No. I didn't think so.

We decided to try a different location. The original place was in full sun and on a southern slope. I know they are best suited to have a little bit of shade in the hottest part of the day, but all the blueberry farms here have them in the sun and they seem to do just fine, so I don't know.

This is in a place that gets fewer hours of sunlight, though during the hottest part of the day it will still shine on them. It is also in a level, more fertile area. Only problem, it's in the horse pasture. That story gets quite complicated so I'll save it for another time.

Big tree that will shade them til about noon.

Dig six nice holes, three times the width of the pots, spaced wide enough apart that we can hopefully mow between them when fully grown.

Black Kow composted manure. Good stuff. I am concerned it might be much for the blueberries, but everything I've ever tried with them has failed before, so why worry about this?

Put some in the wheelbarrow.

Add dirt from the hole to a ration of 1/1.

Give your lats and delts a nice workout while mixing it up.

Looks great!

Grab a suspiciously light-weight container of future delectability.

What? That's all that's in there? Good thing I get a one year guarantee.

Try not to cry. Or laugh. I could see buying plants this small - for a dollar or two. But there are miracles in these roots!

Put the mixed dirt and compost back in.

And tuck that itty bitty little thing right in the center, making sure to give it several flags to signify it's presence in the world.

Repeat until you have to madly clean up, do chores, eat dinner, and run to town for a Constitution class.

A taste of what will be planted the next day.

Muscles pleasantly tired and ready for bed,




  1. Good luck on the berries. I've never tried growing them myself. Oh, and could I borrow your boys for a few months. lol

  2. I wish you great luck with the blueberries. I had none with 4 from Lowe's - they too were so scrimpy - they all died - I love blueberries.

  3. Thanks, SFG!

    I wish I had more than one boy. I have friends who have several and I must fight of envy. Still, I was a girl and worked just as hard as any boy, so they are good too. I don't have any of them, either. :o/

    I need to adopt children. Love, fun, and a built in work-force.


  4. Thank you, Sissy!

    Sounds like mine. I do hope for better luck. They said said I could return them for up to a year, with a receipt. You bet I am going to keep it! They said 3 days at first, and I just laughed and said, no way would I even consider buying them.


  5. Faith, my fingers are crossed for your blueberries!! I think you made a good choice, moving them into a little bit of shade. When I've seen them growing in the wild in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, it was always in really woodsy areas with lots of leaf litter, where the sun sort of peeks through. Kind of like shade grown coffee. :) Maybe they would like some mulch to keep they precious roots cool, just thinking out loud here. I'll sing some Gloria Gaynor for them, "they will survive."

  6. Jo,

    You may be right about that mulch. I'll look into that. Thanks!



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