Growing Blueberries in Colorado
I’m going to make a bold statement and say - if Fall Gold Raspberries (yesterday) are the queens of the bramble patch then Blueberries are the kings of edible landscaping! I didn’t grow them for years because people said they were too finicky and they don’t do well in Colorado but I’m telling you, THEY WERE SO WRONG!! With a few tips/tricks they will thrive. Here are the reasons why I am a massive fan:
1. They are absolutely beautiful in every season (I’ll post photos and video on my stories)! In the spring they have little white (and sometimes pink) flowers all over them, then in the summer against the backdrop of silver bluish green leaves are the navy blue fruit which comes in different flushes - first they are a pretty pale green, then pink, then blue. Lastly - in the fall the leaves change into a glorious orange and red - stunning!
2. Blueberries are delicious, they fight free radicals with anti-oxidant power, and you can find varieties that fruit at different times so wandering outside with your cereal bowl all summer is a reality. Also - growing different varieties together increases their harvests. You can buy short varieties as well as tall, and let’s not forget about the magic of pies, tarts, pancakes, scones...need I say more? What do think?
Blueberries are not hard to grow but they do need different conditions than other plants so if you follow the key steps they will do great! Our soil in Colorado isn’t naturally acidic so I grow my blueberries in whisky barrels in 80-90% peat moss with 10-20% compost. I use an acidic fertilizer and sulphur plant food, particular to blueberries, and I feed them on schedule, religiously. Also, they need to be pruned in late winter early spring (and you may want to wrap them in the winter - I don’t.) Eventually I’m going to plant them into a blueberry hedge by using a practice that I have seen work where native soils are not compatible. The only change I would make is to put the peat moss directly into the ground rather than plant it in the plastic wrapping. (Recycle that)