Blueberry – Jersey Blue

Though fairly undemanding, blueberries need ericaceous acidic soil.  Well-drained and moisture-retentive in a sheltered sunny spot (or light shade).  Compost with bark, pine needles or composted sawdust.  Avoid manure compost which is too alkaline for blueberries.

Fertilise with sulphate of ammonia at 15g per sq m.  (Do not exceed the dose as blueberries are sensitive to fertiliser levels).

Water well in dry spells.  They prefer rain water if possible.

Netting is usually needed to protect ripening fruit from birds.

Some cultivars are partly or fully self-fertile, but it is best to grow a minimum of two different cultivars for cross-pollination to ensure reliable cropping and good berry size.

The RHS recommend ‘Patriot’ (large flavoured berries, more tolerant to heavy soils & good autumn colour); or ‘Sunshine Blue’ (self-fertile & compact; suitable for containers; pink flowers fade white; high yielding)

GROWING IN POTS: An acidic substrate such as Jon Innes ericaceous is best for blueberries in pots.  Pot to a final pot size of 40-50 cm across (16-20 cm).  Blueberry hate to dry out so water regularly – ideally with rainwater.  Feed during the growing season with an ericaceous liquid fertiliser.  Keep in a sheltered spot during cold spells: cover with fleece or move into a shed.

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Whilst up North (The Wirral, Liverpool and environs) early spring 2019 we dropped into a garden centre just to the side of Ness Gardens, and picked up a potted blueberry for the lottie.

Jersey Blue are – luckily! – self-pollinating.  (Some types of blueberry you need two for fruiting, and even still it is said that the plants will yield larger crops if pollinated with another blueberry such as Bluecrop or Earliblue.

We’ve got it in a pot and filled it with ericaceous soil.  Jersey Blue were developed in 1916 and introduced in 1928.  They are cold-hardy, and fruit ripens in August.