Edible garden: Blueberries

By Janice Marriott

Blueberries are a tasty, easy-to-grow treat. By Janice Marriott.

Blueberries generally prefer the cold, but some varieties are less fussy. Photo / WAIKATO PHOTOGRAPHY/RHYS PALMER
Blueberries generally prefer the cold, but some varieties are less fussy. Photo / WAIKATO PHOTOGRAPHY/RHYS PALMER

This is the time to plant blueberry bushes. And who wouldn't want to grow them. Unlike many berries, they behave. They have no thorns, they don't ramble or twine or take over the garden. They submit to being clipped into hedges, grow as standards, or sit in a pot happily. They're even interesting throughout the year.

A blueberry hedge will give you colourful burgundy leaves in autumn, white flowers with a hint of pink in spring, and large dark blue fruit in summer. They won't be attacked by insect pests, and don't even mind the wind, but birds do love the fruit.

They are hardy and most, important, they are delicious and good for you.

They love acidic soil, so dig in a bag of peat before planting them. Their shallow roots like plenty of water and a mulch blanket of bark chips or sawdust. The Rabbiteye types are the hardiest, and will fruit well in Auckland, whereas other varieties prefer colder climates.

Blue Dawn, Blue Magic and Powerblue are all Rabbiteye types. Go ahead and plant a row of them. In a few years you'll be making blueberry muffins for the whole street.

- NZ Herald

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