We tried planting Blueberries last year, and went 0 for 3. We tried to follow the instructions:
- Planted in a mix of 50/50 mulch and organic gardening soil
- Watered infrequently but heavily (1/week, skipping if heavy rain)
- Planted three bushes/trees about 10 feet apart (20 feet total, 3 different varieties)
- Made sure the soil was somewhat acidic (though we didn't know about Magnesium, which we now do)
- Planted them where they're in 3/4 or so sun - they should have direct sun at least 4-6 hours a day, more in the summer, and when they grow to their full 4-5 feet (the varieties I'm getting grow that high) will have closer to full sun.
Two of the three were smaller (probably about a year old when bought, maybe 12" tall) and didn't ever really do anything, and this year didn't produce leaves (so are presumed dead). The third was more like 2-3 years old (2' tall or so) and did make some baby berries that year, but never really made it back this year - it had some leaves, but it was very weak, to the point that a relative removed it by accident while weeding (but it clearly was too spindly and dry to make it anyway).
This year, we bought two more, hoping to plant them with more success. What should we do differently? The general soil in our yard is fairly dense and lower quality (just grass for years and years), so one consideration is removing a much larger amount - but how much? And replace it with gardening soil, or a sandier soil, or mulch/compost? And what else can we do to encourage root growth so the bushes can make it through winter - if that's realistic at this point in the year (or should we try wintering them indoors and plant them in spring).
We live in zone 5a/5b, which is supposed to be a good area for blueberries.