Now we all know New Jersey is famous for its blueberries, but have you ever thought about growing your own? Now is a great time to get started creating your very own blueberry patch or hedgerow. A blueberry hedgerow can be used just like any hedgerow, offering privacy, a beautiful red foliage in the fall and delicious fruits to eat all summer. An edible fence, can’t get any “greener” than that.
New Jersey’s own DiMeo Farms of Hammonton offers for sale, by pick up or mail order, 3 year old Blueberry plants for $10.00 each! Fully mature 10 year old plants are also available for pick up only and are $60 each.
The most popular variety grown commercially and in home gardens is the large sized Duke variety. Dukes are self-pollinating. Some other varieties usually available at DiMeo include Ivanhoe, Reka, Spartan, Patriot, Northland, Bluetta and Bluejay.
A few planting tips:
Plant your new plants 2 or 2 ½ feet apart, they do not need to be raised above ground level. You must also consider that blueberries love acidic soil, a ph between 4.0 and 4.5 is optimal. Blueberries have a shallow root system that requires 1 to 2 inches of water a week; but after September 1st you should stop watering. Order from DiMeo and you will receive additional tips on growing blueberries at home. Read this article from the Western farm press on the importance of moderate pruning during dormancy.
Tom Kovacevich is in the wholesale fruit and vegetable business in Philadelphia. His company, TMK Produce, distributes top quality produce to retailers and food service companies up and down the east coast. In 2008, Tom started a blog at BestFruitNow.com as a way to share his thoughts on what fruits are best each month. Geared for consumers, BestFruitNow.com also offers tips on how to select and prepare the fruits being recommended. An avid cook, gardener and all around foodie, Tom regularly travels the world meeting with growers ever learning more about his passion for fresh produce.