Edible landscaping, the idea of incorporating fruits or vegetable plants into your flower beds instead of an isolated or defined food-growing area, is catching on.
And rabbiteye blueberries are great for that, providing fruit as well as aesthetic qualities that allow it to blend in with the landscape.
In 2014, these blueberries were named an LSU AgCenter Super Plant, a program that's an educational and marketing campaign that highlights tough and beautiful plants that perform well in Louisiana landscapes. The rabbiteye blueberries have a proven track record, having gone through several years of university evaluations and observations.
To have a successful blueberry crop, it's essential that two different varieties of blueberries are planted near each other. There are many different varieties to choose from such, as Climax, Premier Tiffblue and Brightwell. Each variety has its own qualities, making them stand out slightly from one another.
Rabbiteye blueberries should be planted 6 feet to to 8 feet apart, allowing enough room to pick from all sides. However, if you use rabbiteye blueberries as a hedge, consider planting them slightly closer on a 4- to 6-foot spacing.
After selecting two different varieties, be sure to plant blueberries in an area that gets full sun, meaning it receives eight or more hours of sunlight each day. Be sure the soil is well-drained and slightly sandy with a pH of at least 4.5 to 5.5. If soil is not as acidic as it needs to be, add organic matter, such as peat moss or pine bark, at planting. This will greatly increase the productivity of your blueberry plantings.
During the first year of establishment, blueberries do not require very much pruning. As the plants get older, nearing the fifth or sixth year, pruning needs to begin to maintain the size of the plant and to encourage new growth. Prune older canes from the bush, which helps to direct energies into new growth.
Blueberries are fairly easy to grow, and they have few insect and disease issues. However, blueberry gall, midges, cranberry fruit worm, different types of caterpillars, stink bugs scale and flower thrips could cause some problems. Diseases to watch out for include botrytis blight, stem canker, septoria leaf spot and powdery mildew.
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