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I'm about to construct a 4ft wide x 16ft long raised bed, 6" height, for planting blueberries. The space where this bed is going has a chain link fence on the back and one end, although I can walk around to the other side to pick fruits.

How close together can I place the bushes so that density is maximized, but they aren't overcrowded?

I could make the bed 5ft wide if necessary. I was thinking of using some type of zigzag pattern but I also don't know how close to the edge of the raised bed the blueberry can go?

  • IMPE you'd do better with 2 beds 2 feet wide and a 1 foot path between if 5 feet is an option. 4 feet is way too much for one-sided picking (and weeding, etc) unless you have absurdly long arms. Lowbush or highbush blueberries? – Ecnerwal Apr 27 '15 at 13:32
  • Because of the fence and the shape of the property, two beds would be hard to pull off. I think I have enough room that I could do three 5x5 or four 5x4 beds though. – cathode Apr 27 '15 at 14:39
  • Although it sounds like if two beds @ 2ft wide each is acceptable, then the blueberries could be placed as close to 1ft away from the walls of the raised bed? – cathode Apr 27 '15 at 18:37
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Blueberries have relatively shallow, small root systems. They like consistent moist soil. (They are bog plants)

The spacing is dictated more by the tops than by the needed space.

Broadly speaking they fall in three size categories: Low bush, high bush, and hybrids. Low bush tend to be under two feet high, with a similar spread. High bush top out about 8 feet. Hybrids run about 4 feet.

The hybrids are the better ones for production. At 4 feet, picking is convenient.

So in a 4 x 16 foot garden: 3 high bush, 4 hybrid, or ~12 to 30 low bush.

Blueberries do reasonably well in containers full time. It's easier to keep the pH acidic to keep them happy. The size of the container is dictated mostly by keeping them from blowing over. A #15 to #20 pot is good. Be sure you put in enough drainage holes. Half barrels ends work well. In this form you can use them as patio plants.

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