Blueberry from seed
Growing Blueberries From Seed
Blueberries can be grown from seed very easily, but you do need to follow these instructions very closely. Best results are obtained if started inside in late winter or early spring, but they will germinate anytime of the year provided they are given ample light and warmth. Plant the seeds in a flat or tray of Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, or the Premium Concentrated Seed Starting Mix we offer, either will work fine, but we do not recommend using anything else. Make sure the tray is at 3 inches deep for root development. Sprinkle the seed onto the top of the peat moss, and barely cover seeds with a very light ( 1/8-1/4 inch ) sprinkle of peat moss. The tray should be placed in an area that is warm, with bright light and the peat moss must be kept moist. If fungus develops on the surface of the moss, spray with any type of garden fungicide to control it.
Blueberry seeds are slow germinators, the first seeds will probably start to germinate in about a month, and finish germinating over the next 2-3 months. Leave the new seedlings in the peat moss until they are about 3 inches tall, then transplant into individual pots, being very careful not to damage the tiny root systems. Feed young plants with a weak solution of Miracle Gro Acid Plant Food, feed monthly and raise them in small pots until they are about 8 inches tall, then transplant into one gallon pots. Transplant 1-2 year old seedlings outside in the fall.
Plants will start producing berries when about 2 years old, but will not mature and offer maximum berry yield until they are about seven years old. In order for blueberry plants to produce berries the soil pH needs to be between 4.5 – 5.2. Soils not within the range of pH acceptability for blueberry plant growth must be prepared before planting. If the pH is too high, the growth of the plant is slowed and the foliage turns yellow. If the pH is too high for an extended period of time, the plants will die. When several plants are to be grown together, more satisfactory results will be obtained if an entire bed is prepared rather than digging holes for individual plants. With the lowest soil pH requirement of all berries, blueberries grow in the same acidic conditions that please other native shrubs such as rhododendron and azaleas. If the pH of the soil is between 5.5 and 7.0 and the texture is sandy to sandy loam, the following method can be used. Mix 4 to 6 inches of acid peat into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil. In addition to acidifying the soil, the peat increases the soil organic matter content. In addition to adding peat, you can also add pine needles or untreated pine wood shavings or bark to the soil. The pine needles and wood shaving are very acidic and will assist in lowering the pH level of the soil.
Soils with a pH greater than 7.0 will require higher rates of acidifying amendments and are not recommended for blueberries. If your soil pH is higher than 7.0 consider planting blueberries in a raised bed or a large container. Planting blueberry plants in a raised bed allows you to instantly achieve the correct soil pH by the amendments that you add.
Blueberries require adequate water, especially the first year that they are planted, to properly establish a good root system. During the growing season, blueberry plants typically require 1″ of water per week