BLUE­BER­RIES

Herbs & Superfoods - - Top 25 Super Foods -

Blue­ber­ries are packed with an­tiox­i­dants and phytoflavonoids, as well as es­sen­tial nu­tri­ents, in­clud­ing Vi­ta­min C and po­tas­sium. They are anti-in­flam­ma­tory, and stud­ies sug­gest that can help lower the risk of can­cer and heart dis­ease.

While blue­ber­ries are con­sid­ered self-fer­tile, all are best planted with a dif­fer­ent va­ri­ety to en­sure max­i­mum pol­li­na­tion and a good, heav­ier yield. Blue­ber­ries like acidic soil with a ph of be­tween 4 and 4.5, so it’s best to make a ded­i­cated blue­berry bed. It doesn’t need to be very deep, as these plants have a shal­low and fi­brous root sys­tem. A spe­cific area also makes it eas­ier to cover bushes with net­ting in sum­mer to pro­tect the fruit from birds.

The eas­i­est way to create the ideal acidic soil con­di­tions is to pre­pare the bed with a 50:50 mix of peat and soil (or half and half peat and con­tainer mix for pots). Mulch around the base of the plants with well-rotted sawdust from un­treated tim­ber. Re­peat the mulch at the start of each sum­mer. Keep the area around the base weed free, as the shal­low roots cannot com­pete with the vig­or­ous roots of in­vad­ing weeds.

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