Blueberries for Alabama
Rabbiteye blueberries are one of the most delicious fruits grown in the South. They are easy to plant, easy to care for and have very few pest problems which makes them easy to grow organically. Blueberries have a wonderful fall color for the landscape and a brilliant burst of flavor that is low in calories. Plus, blueberries are a Super Food.
Cross Pollination is necessary for setting fruit. You will need to plant more than one variety for cross pollination to occur. By planting several varieties you can extend your length of harvest.
Early Seasons: Climax (medium size berries), Brightwell (medium size firm berries), Premier (large size berries).
Mid/Late Season: Trifblue (medium size light blue berries).
Planting Site & Soil
Select a full sun area, with moist well drained soil. Plant no deeper than the container they are in and use an acidic pine bark mulch or straw on top. Blueberries need an acidic soil such as Azalea or Camellia plants require. Plants should be placed 5 feet apart when planting, to give adequate spreading space. Watering is one of the most important needs in establishing and maintaining productive blueberries. Plants should be watered thoroughly twice a week for the first year. Blueberries set buds in the late summer. The plant must have adequate moisture year round for plant growth and good development.
Apply Aluminum Sulfate in February, 1/4 cup per foot of height, to create an acidic soil. Apply more Aluminum Sulfate in late May, 2 tablespoons per foot of height, for strong greener stems. Apply Slow Release Azalea Food the first week of September after harvest has ended, 4 tablespoons per 3 feet of height.
Mature height of full grown plant should be maintained at 5 feet or less. Pruning should only be done in early spring every few years to remove older dying canes. Plants produce berries on the previous years growth. Blueberry plants need less pruning than most other fruiting plants. Pruning controls fruit potential by opening up the plant for greater sunlight penetration.