Where to Plant Blueberry Bushes and Preparing the Soil

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Growing Blueberry Bushes sponsored by Monrovia

You are reading an article about where to plant blueberry bushes. This is part of a year-long series on growing blueberry bushes sponsored by a plant donation from Monrovia®.  There are two major considerations to consider when picking a site for your new blueberry bushes: First is your climate, which we covered a bit in an earlier post. Second, is the specific location in your garden or yard. I’ll get more into that below then show you how we selected and prepared the soil for our blueberries.

where to plant blueberry bushes

This is me pushing a huge tiller to mix in the organics into the soil.

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If you are following this series, you have probably already done your research and found the right varieties of blueberry bushes for your climate. Now that you know what you need, you may have even been to the store to purchase yourMonrovia® bushes. For the moment, your new plants are probably decorating your driveway. Let’s take a closer look at where to plant blueberry bushes so your kids can get back to using the driveway for street hockey.

Where to Plant Blueberry Bushes

Blueberries need a few specific things in regard to their location. The first two are important, because there is not much you can do to affect them, but the later two are easily managed and maintained to be ideal for the bushes. Keep this in mind when scouting your property.

  1. As with most fruit-bearing plants blueberry bushes need bight sun. Make sure your garden or yard has full sun so your blueberries can soak up all of that energy!
  2. Drainage is important too. Blueberries like moist, well draining soil so don’t plant your blueberry bushes in a place where water collects. You want to keep them moist, not baptize them.
  3. Soil is very important to get right, it needs to be organic rich and acidic. Soil is easily managed to what you want, so consider this in your location but it is not as important as the light and drainage. Below, I describe how we worked the soil before planting our garden.
  4. Similar to number 2, moisture is important. Consider where you are in regards to utilities. I will be setting up a garden with an automatic watering system. If you will need one, take your proximity into consideration when you plant your garden.

Watch As We Prepare a Garden For Our Blueberry Bushes

We have a few acres in the suburbs of St. Paul and had to do a little site research. Ultimately, we ended up planting the blueberries near the top of a hill that overlooks a lake to the south. Here’s a video of us actually doing some work for once in our lives:

The site already met the sunlight and drainage requirements. The hill is wide open to protect our view of the lake from the house and it will keep the water moving away from the plants in the spring. But, this site’s soil is mostly clay and is slightly caustic. So this will require some work. Plus, we needed to set up a water system so we had to be close to the house.

To increase the organics in the soil, I took some bales from my straw bale garden which had been decomposing all summer and purchased some peat from Home Depot. I also purchased some sand to help the garden drain better too. You can see all of this in the photo below. Oh, I almost forgot, we also rented the biggest tiller I have ever seen. I knew when I found a rock because it nearly ripped my arms off a few times.

soil prep

When we arrived at our site, we had already measured the size of the mature blueberry bushes and knew roughly how big an area to till.

where to plant blueberry bushes

This is the future home of our blueberry garden

We decided to make three parallel rows of blueberry bushes that ran even with the hill. Here’s how we marked out our plan in the grass. We put a dot in the center, where the plant would be planted and then took a measuring tape to figure out the width of the mature plant.

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Then we hauled all of the soil additives down to our soon-to-be blueberry garden.

adding peat to the soilIMG_7887web

We broke the ground with this beast of a tiller. When all of the clay and rocks were broken up or removed, we added the peat, sand, and straw.

tilling soil for blueberry bush

The tiller was a BEAST

Here I am adding the peat, sand and straw to the loose soil:

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To finish, we ran the tiller over each row until the mix was even. Our garden was ready for planting.

where to plant blueberry plants

For more information about blueberry bushes, you can visit our blueberry bush page here or our main blueberry page.

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