Blueberries masterclass: best expert content

Blueberries masterclass: best expert content


Blueberries overflowing bowl from Thompson & Morgan

A bowl of juicy blueberries, plucked straight from the bush
Image: Blueberry ‘Duke’ from T&M

Packed with antioxidants and bursting with sweetness, blueberries are a fantastic addition to the garden. Find out how to maintain the acidic soil they need to thrive, how to increase yields, and which varieties to try, using advice from our favourite blueberry growing bloggers, Instagrammers and YouTube experts.

Browse our full range of blueberry plants for more inspiration.

Increase yields by planting a pollination partner

Low growing blueberry hedging - Image: Thompson & Morgan

Blueberry ‘BerryBux’ makes a wonderful, low-growing ‘edimental’ hedge
Image: Blueberry ‘BerryBux’ from T&M

It’s always a good idea to plant more than one blueberry to help with pollination,” advise the experts at Thompson & Morgan. Although most blueberries are self-fertile, much better results and more abundant yields result from growing more than one variety together. Find out how to grow delicious blueberries in containers, the veg patch or even as a low ornamental hedge over at Thompson & Morgan.

Pink blueberries are super sweet and fruity

Pinkberry next to blueberry in hand

Blueberry ‘Pink Lemonade’ is a pink skinned variety with a lovely sweet flavour
Image: @myminiallotment

They taste like a fruitier blueberry!” enthuses allotment-grower Sharna who is the voice behind @myminiallotment and president of #thepinkberryclub. Sharna loves growing pinkberries and also grows Blueberry ‘Pink Lemonade’ for its sweet flavour and the gorgeous colour it provides at her Bristol allotment. Check out her Insta page for lots of soft fruit growing tips and to keep up to date with helper Frankie the chihuahua.

Plant blueberries in a sunny spot

Hand holding pinkberry

Blueberry ‘Pink Lemonade’ is as sweet as the name suggests
Image: Cornerstone Garden Life

Juliette Emilie of Cornerstone Garden Life recommends growing your blueberry ‘Pink Lemonade’ in a sunny spot. This experienced gardener explains that ‘Pink Lemonade’ harvests best in its third year, so you’ll be rewarded for your patience! Blueberry ‘Duke’ is another favourite she’s chosen to plant in her “perennial ‘food forest’ that’s brimming with wildlife”. Head over to her website to explore her gorgeous South Devon garden.

Fill your blueberry pots with ericaceous compost

Man filling container full of ericaceous compost

Ericaceous compost provides the perfect acidity for potted blueberries
Image: GYO Kitchen Garden

Are your blueberry bushes struggling in the ground? Get them into large containers filled with ericaceous compost, says YouTuber and DIY enthusiast Russell at his channel GYO Kitchen Garden. The secret of happy potted blueberry bushes is getting the acidity right, he says. Grab a cuppa and sit back with Russell to find out how to grow blueberries in pots.

Water your blueberries with rainwater

Six blueberries on a stem ready to be harvested - Image Thompson & Morgan

Blueberry ‘Bluecrop’ is a self-fertile bush with tasty fruits in August
Image: Blueberry ‘Bluecrop’ from Thompson & Morgan

Water blueberries with rainwater to help maintain the acidity of the soil,” advises garden blogger Sasha Ivanova in her guest post for the Thompson & Morgan blog. The easiest way to provide acidity is to plant your blueberries into pots of ericaceous compost mixed with bark, she says. “Bark mulch helps to retain moisture in containers, needed for the plant’s shallow root system.” Her favourite varieties? Blueberry ‘Bluecrop’ and ‘Pink Lemonade’.

Add a layer of pine bark to containers for natural acidity

Hand holding homemade compost

Homemade compost is nutrient rich and has a fantastic light texture
Image: Shutterstock

Over at My Family Garden, YouTuber Mothin adds a layer of pine wood chips to the bottom of his containers to help with drainage. But he says that the wood chippings also help to maintain the right pH levels for growing blueberries. Watch the full video to see how this experienced home-grower uses an environmentally-friendly mixture of chicken manure, homemade compost and pine wood chips to provide the perfect environment for his blueberries. He explains that the pine wood chips rot down slowly over time to provide natural acidity and nutrients, and this reduces the amount of pricey compost needed.

Be patient as your blueberry plants get established

Single hand holding blueberry fruit

Picking your first blueberry is cause for celebration
Image: @our_little_veg_garden

Don’t be disappointed if your blueberry bushes produce fewer fruits than you were expecting in their first year. Instagrammer Louise from @our_little_veg_garden picked a grand total of five berries from her bushes in their first summer, but she knows that good things are in store. “I’m excited to see these numbers gradually increase as the bushes establish,” she says. Patience is key!

Freeze your blueberry harvest for a winter treat

Weighing frozen blueberries in bag

Weighing your blueberry harvest is a good way to keep track
Image: @my.allotment.escape

Over at @my.allotment.escape, clever allotmenteer Jackie freezes her blueberries as soon as they ripen. She fills a freezer bag with blueberries from her ‘Chandler’ and ‘Darrow’ bushes as soon as they’re picked so they’re as fresh as possible for later in the year. Jackie has noticed that the two varieties seem to “take it in turns when it comes to fruit production”. She says that “last year Darrow was the outperformer, the previous year it was Chandler. Looks like they need a break every other year.” Watch this space to see if her theory holds out!

Make the most of your blueberry’s ornamental value

Mature blueberry bush with ripening fruit

Blueberry ‘Chandler’ produces large, juicy berries
Image: @allotmentnine

Blueberry ‘Chandler’ looks beautiful,” says allotmenteer KG from @allotmentnine. The photos of her mature, berry-covered bush prove that this popular soft fruit is as ornamental as it is productive! After two years on the plot, this Instagrammer has transformed a barren wasteland into a productive veg patch. Just take a look at the eye-catching, bright red autumn blueberry foliage that brightens up her autumn allotment. Great work KG!

Prune blueberry bushes in the winter

Woman showing large container for blueberries

A large ceramic pot turns a blueberry bush into a focal point

Katrina from the popular YouTube channel says that blueberries don’t really need much pruning, but advises removing any dead, diseased or inward facing branches. She recommends pruning in winter if your plants need a bit of help, and suggests keeping an open, goblet shape to allow air to circulate and sun to reach all the fruits. Watch her full video as she demonstrates how to re-pot two healthy blueberry bushes into larger, plastic-free pots.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our roundup of top blueberry growing advice. For everything you need to know about blueberries, head over to our dedicated hub page. And don’t forget to share your juicy harvests using the tag #YourTMGarden on Instagram. We love to see how you grow!