Planting your blueberry buffer

Buffers for Blue Lakes
Buffers for Blue Lakes

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Find the right spot — not too wet, not too windy, not too shady

Plan where each plant will go

  • Low-bush plants that grow to 1’ x 1’ can be spaced 2’ – 3’ apart
  • Some low-bush plants grow to about 2’ x 2’ so they need a bit more space.
  • Half-high plants grow to about 3’ x 3’, and high-bush plants grow to about 5’ high x 3’ wide. Space these plants about 4-5’ apart.

Prepare a garden bed or individual holes for the plants

  • Use an edger or a knife to cut through turf, so it can be removed.
  • Dig a hole that is about 2’ wide and 1’ deep (or a bit smaller for low-bush plants).
  • Remove about half the soil from the hole.
  • Add 1-2 quarts of Elmore Roots blueberry mix or your own mix (see Planning your blueberry buffer) and mix into the soil in the hole. If your soil is sandy, rocky, or clay-like, add extra compost.
  • If you use sphagnum moss, you need to pre-moisten it in a bucket before you mix it into the soil. Add water and mix. Make it quite moist.

Plant your blueberry plant

  • Plant your blueberry bush so that the top of the root system is about 2” below the original level of the garden bed or lawn — this will allow a space for mulch and will make a water-holding area.
  • If your plant was in a pot, squeeze the pot, wiggle the plant out, and massage the roots to separate them a bit.
  • If you are planting in a lawn, keep soil away from the lawn-edge of the hole – grass roots will not grow where there is no soil.
  • Add back soil to fill the hole up to 2” below the original grade (and to the top of the plant roots) – press the soil on top of the roots down firmly, so that the plant is well supported.
  • Water the plant well – water should sit in the depression you created.
  • Add pine needle or other natural acid mulch on top of the bare soil.