Blueberries are one of the easiest fruits to add to your home landscape and are so worthwhile to grow.

When planted in full sun, they provide year-round interest with their pendulous flowers in Spring, the most rewarding fruit in Summer and stunning shades of orange and red in Fall. They are one of the few blue edible fruits and are full of antioxidants.

 

Growing Blueberries

When you decide to grow blueberries, there are a few things to consider.

While most blueberries are self-fertile, they are more productive when at least two varieties are grown near each other.

They will flower at the same time; however, they ripen at different intervals from summer to fall, extending your blueberry season. Be sure to check the tag for harvest times or view our chart below.

This will also help our bees. Bees have a smart way of gathering food called “Flower Constancy.” Basically, they like sticking to one type of flower arranged in groups, so they don’t waste energy flying around to find different flowers to pollinate.

 

Planting Blueberries

Select a sunny location, for best results avoid planting around trees. Trees will provide too much shade as well as take away the water and nutrients needed for blueberry success. Blueberries prefer their soil on the acidic side, which is what we have here in the Pacific Northwest.

They need soil that drains well but keeps their roots moist. When planting, mix planting compost with the existing soil, about 50/50 is perfect, and press it firmly around the roots. This helps break down any hard clay soil and release the acidic nutrients they love

 

Pruning & Fertilizing Blueberries

When first planting your blueberries, no pruning is needed until they become established. This can take 2 to 3 years. However, removing all the blossoms the first year after planting will allow your plant’s roots to become more established.

  • By the third year, remove any weak, spindly growth that is unproductive.
  • Remove any branches that may have been damaged or dead from the earlier winter weather.
  • Prune a few older, more mature canes. These can be distinguished by their woody texture as opposed to the smoother, brighter color of newer growth. By removing older growth, you will not only improve your production but the quality and size of the blueberry
  • Keep in mind that blueberries fruit on the previous year’s growth and put on flower buds in the fall. Heavy pruning will result in less berries.
  • The best time to prune blueberries is in the late Winter or early Spring while they are dormant.
  • Fertilize blueberries twice a year: in early Spring, from mid-March to mid-April, and again in June using an organic fertilizer for acid loving plants.
  • Be careful not to over fertilize, as you will get nice green growth with no flowers..

Harvesting Blueberries

Since different varieties set berries at various times, you can plan it so that you can have berries from late June through late August. Berries will ripen over a 2–5-week period depending on weather and variety.

Don’t be too excited to pick the berries when they first turn blue. They will develop a better flavor if you leave them for a few days.

You can enjoy blueberries by eating them fresh from the bush, in scrumptious baked goods, in smoothies or simply freezing them to enjoy later.

Not all blueberry bushes are created equal. Because there are so many different varieties, there are certainly options that would be aesthetically pleasing for your landscape project in addition to producing delicious berries the whole family will be sure to love.

However you choose to indulge, they are a must in the home garden. Below are a few of our favorites we carry.

 

 

A lifelong Oregon resident, Drake has been passionate about plants since childhood, beginning with propagating and growing flowers at his grandfather’s nursery. He opened Drake’s 7 Dees in 1974, while earning degrees in Business and Horticulture from Oregon State University. He later expanded into the design/build side of the industry, allowing him to combine his passion for plants with his love of family by maximizing the quality of family time spent outdoors.

Drake is co-founder of the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association and is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager (LICM)—a designation that less than two percent of landscapers have attained. Additionally, Drake serves on the Board of Directors for the Portland Japanese Gardens, widely regarded as one of the seven best Japanese gardens outside of Japan.

Drake is married to former Oregon Speaker of the House, Lynn Snodgrass. Together, he and Lynn received the Farm Bureau President’s award in 1999 for their service and dedication to agriculture in the state of Oregon. Drake and Lynn have two wonderful daughters, two talented son-in-laws, and seven grandchildren. In his spare time, Drake enjoys camping, water and snow skiing, reading, and of course, gardening.

Born and raised in the Portland Metro Area… Tim has had an appreciation for the outdoors from a young age.  Inspired by our local beauty ranging: the Mt Hood National Forest to salty, sea spray of Cannon Beach, the arid high-desert of Central Oregon to the rugged terrain of Steens Mountain – Tim sought higher education at the University of Idaho in their Landscape Architecture department.  Graduating with honors in 2004, he returned home to establish his professional career.

Now making his home in Sandy, Oregon – Tim and his wife [Nicole] are raising two happy and healthy kiddos and 4 fur-babies.  Between soccer, football, cheerleading, girl scouts and other extra-curricular activities… the Sellin family are heavily involved in their community and church family.  Since college, Tim has spent 13 of his 17 years with Drake’s 7 Dees and has ‘set roots’ in anticipation of long-term growth at the family-focused company.  Having spent his time away from Drake’s in a ‘boots on the ground’ capacity, Tim has fostered a love for the operational/production side of landscape business, as well as the design/sales.

His goal in life as well as business is to put others first.

Bachelor of Science Landscape Architecture, BSLA… 2009
California Polytechnic University, Pomona… Cum Laude
American Society of Landscape Architects – Honor Award

Steven has 15 years of experience in the residential landscape design/build and garden center industry, including 9 years with Drake’s 7 Dees. Steven also has experience working with the National Park Service in Yosemite on sub-alpine restoration projects, as well as volunteer experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer serving the community of Zaouiat d’Ifrane in Morocco.

Together, Steven and his wife Anna have four lovely children, all 5 years old and under! In his (very limited) spare time, Steven enjoys camping, hiking, archery hunting, and cooking. Steven’s passion for his work lies in helping others, through design to envision a more beautiful space that, once built, becomes a reality that improves their quality of life.