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Planting blueberries.

057

We recently lifted our blueberry plants (they had been growing in our heavy wet soil and not doing very well) and replanted them in tractor tyres. Andy cut the wall out of the tyres so there is a nice size planting area. The tyres were filled with ericaceous compost which has the low ph necessary for blueberries. They must have good drainage and distinctly acid soil. However they also need soil that remains moist. Mulching with wood shavings or sawdust helps keep the ph low and retains moisture. They need a site that is sunny and sheltered. Blueberries are usually frost resistant. 058The plants will eventually reach a height of about 5ft and produce about 6lbs of fruit per year. It is necessary to plant more than one variety as blueberries are not self-pollinating. Birds consider the berries a very nice treat so it is a good idea to net them when to begin to ripen. Ripening takes place over a few weeks. Pruning is done in winter. Cut out any dead or damaged branches and any that are crowding the centre. Plants like to be kept weed free. The pictures show myself (Bridget) and my mother Lizzie doing the planting, hopefully we will have lots of berries this summer .  Sunshine is necessary for ripening so fingers crossed for 2010.

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