Give blueberry plants a sunny spot with at least 6 hours of sun a day; they can handle some late-afternoon shade.
Soil should be acidic, well-draining, and high in organic matter. Do a soil test: Check with your county extension service for the best advice or order a soil test kit online (see Resources, page 103). If your soil ph is above 5.5, make it more acidic with an organic amendment, such as peat moss or elemental sulfur. If the ph is below 4, raise it by adding ground limestone or wood ashes.
Blueberries do best with consistent moderate moisture. If your soil tends to stay wet, plant blueberries in raised beds or containers to allow drainage.
If your garden soil is rich in organic matter, you may not need to fertilize your blueberries—especially if you topdress with compost each season. If you do fertilize, use acidic fertilizer (sold for plants like azaleas or rhododendrons) sparingly—only one-half or one-quarter the recommended rate on the package.
Young plants need very little pruning. After about three years, prune out a third of older branches in late winter or early spring when the plants are dormant. If plants are crowded, thin out young stems. Shape the plants by shortening any stems.
Shield berry plants from hungry critters such as birds, squirrels, and ground squirrels. Drape garden netting over plants or containers as an effective barrier.