Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C and research has shown that they can improve circulation in the digestive and pulmonary systems, improving conditions like arthritis and water retention as well as being beneficial for the bladder.
Aside from the nutritional benefits, the blueberry bush is a great ornamental plant with attractive flowers that will look great in any garden. So why not grow your own blueberries and enjoy these delicious berries at their peak freshness.
Blueberries are best purchased already grown as a bush of about 2-3 years old. This is because it will take several years to grow a plant from seed that will produce fruits.
The best time to plant a blueberry bush is in the autumn or winter, as this is the dormant season for the plant. It is a good idea to plant two or more variety of bushes together so that they can cross-pollinate and produce more fruits.
Blueberries need free-draining, ericaceous (acidic) soil to thrive, and as soil is generally not acidic enough, it is advisable to plant them in pots outside using ericaceous compost bought from a garden centre.
The bushes require little maintenance, except regular watering in dry months and a little pruning during the dormant months of November-March.
To stop birds from eating your blueberries before you, cover the bushes with a fine netting, available from all garden centers.
The berries will grow and ripen at different times during summer, depending on the variety of bush. Once the blueberries have turned a deep blue color and come away easily from the bush, they are ready to eat.