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Home » Lessons From Butterberry Farm, Organic Gardening

Planting Blueberry Bushes

Submitted by on February 17, 2009 – 5:42 pm 4 Comments
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My friend Addy was so generous to give me 10 blueberry plants today. The last time that she came to my house I asked her if she would help me find a good spot to put some blueberries. She pointed out a bare bank beside my driveway, a place that stayed sunny all day long. I had never considered putting anything there, what a great idea!

She offered me some of her blueberry plants, and asked me how many I wanted. If it had been up to me, I would have covered the bank with them. I asked, “How many do you want to get rid of?” She said, “Well, I’d give you a hundred, but you probably wouldn’t want that many!” I asked her how many she would put there. So, she offered her expert advice.

She told me that I don’t want to put too many too close together, ’cause they grow pretty big. We got a shovel, and she showed me how she spaces her plants out… about a shovel distance between them (about 5 or 6 ft apart). She pointed out that the branches will grow out, and if the bushes are growing too close together it would be hard to get in there and pick the berries. I’m so glad to have had her advice!

She told me that if I wanted any, now is the time to plant them. I was surprised that she said that… I thought I’d have to wait until the last frost, but she said otherwise. So, I went to her house and we dug up some second year plants. They already had buds on them, so they should give fruit this year, if I don’t kill them first :). She gave me ten, and told me to plant two in each hole, just in case one died. Then, I could thin them out later if I need to.

Along with the plants, she also sent home with me a 5 gallon bucket of rabbit droppings for fertilizer. She told me exactly how she plants hers, so I went home and followed her directions to the “t”. Here is what I did:

planting blueberries

Here’s my bare bank to plant on. We put stepping stones out as markers in the places where we had measured out for the plants to go.

planting blueberries

Here are my plants, and the rabbit dropping. Very smelly.

planting blueberries

I dug each hole big enough to get the roots in up to where they were before we dug them up, plus I allowed a couple of inches for the depth of the fertilizer I would be adding. I made sure that the roots weren’t too cramped, and had room to grow once they were buried.

planting blueberries

Next I filled each hole with a shovel full of rabbit manure, and added about a half a gallon of water to it. Don’t you love the close up?

planting blueberries

Next I put the plants in the holes, and covered them over with dirt. Then I sprinkled manure around the plant on top of the dirt, and watered it with another half-gallon of water.

planting blueberries

Here they are, all nice in a row. I sure hope they live!!

So, this is how I did it. I’m sure that this isn’t the “textbook” way of planting blueberries, but this is how Addy does it, and she has a beautiful little grove of them, so… I’m taking her word for it! I really hope that they grow well. It would be so cool to be able to walk out into my front yard and pick blueberries!

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  • Holly Crawford says:

    so how did they do? I planted my first blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry bushes this year. I am soooo looking forward to growing my homestead…I am going to be 30 next month and I have asked my husband for some milking goats…He could not believe that is what I wanted but could not think of anything better 🙂

  • Laura says:

    Oo, now I’m even more jealous! 😉

  • Kendra says:


    I would be so mad if people just came up and picked my hard earned blueberries!! Fortunately for me, we are surrounded by 34 acres of woods, and our driveway is about a mile long, off an old gravel country road, so I’m pretty sure we won’t have a problem with gleaners 🙂

  • Laura says:

    Sadly, if your driveway is in your front yard, you might have a problem with passers-by picking your blueberries. My parents have two lovely cherry trees in their front yard, and every season they have at least one family show up uninvited with ladders, buckets, the works to steal their cherries. I don’t have a problem with gleaning, but they need to ask for permission first! Sorry, sore spot–now I wish I had some blueberries to plant! 🙂

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