blueberry is an easy plant to grow, just follow a few simple guidelines. It can give interesting results in terms of the amount of fruit harvested: you can harvest up to one or two kg of blueberries per plant.
We ask Sergio Panini, of the Antica Via Romea farm in the Modena Apennines, what you need to know about growing blueberries for your family.
If you live in a flat with a balcony and no private garden, you might think that the supermarket is the nearest place to find fresh blueberries . On the contrary, blueberries bushes grow very well in pots. You can create your own personal blueberries field right in the corner of your balcony and enjoy the freshly picked berries throughout the growing season. In fact, blueberries can easily be grown in the vegetable garden or on the terrace, both in cold and in warmer climates.
Our farm, in cooperation with qualified Italian nurseries, has created an initiative to bring hobbyists and private individuals to grow blueberry plants for home use. The offer includes three blueberry plants in pots, a cultivation manual, technical assistance via WhatsApp to interact by sending questions, requests, photos.
What is needed to produce blueberries?
The blueberry basically requires a sunny location and acidic soil. We recommend placing the plants in full sun, so that they are exposed for at least 6 hours a day. The acidic soil is what is already supplied in our pots, but you will have to transplant them immediately into larger pots or into the vegetable garden, adding acidophilic soil and/or peat. In our handbook you will find all the information you need to ensure that your plants produce for a long time in different conditions: in pots or in the ground, in the garden or on the terrace.
How long do you have to wait to reap the first benefits?
The plants we supply are two years old, so they will flower in spring and start producing in the first summer after purchase, reaching full production after three years. They can grow in the vegetable garden, in the garden or on balconies and terraces. They can be grown in the vegetable garden, the garden or on balconies and terraces. blueberry will be taken off as soon as the berry is uniformly blue, even at the point where the stalk is inserted, which tends to remain purple-green longer than the rest of the fruit.
At what time can you harvest blueberries from your own plants?
The ripening of the giant blueberry lasts about a month. During this period, the fruits can be harvested at a certain rate, so every week the fruits are ready for consumption.
The ripening period depends on the different varieties and the area of production, and can vary between April (for warmer climates) and July (for more continental climates). Once picked, the fruit can also be stored in the refrigerator at home for a week or more without losing its organoleptic and nutritional properties.
Growing fruit and vegetables is also an important experience for children.
Children's small hands love to work the soil and especially to harvest the blueberries they have seen grow, change colour and ripen. Rich in flavour, attractive to the eye, easy and fun to harvest: not only is growing blueberries with children a fun experience, it is also rewarding.
And after the harvest?
The main varieties of blueberry are deciduous: in autumn the leaves turn a deep red and then fall off; some varieties for warm climates are evergreen. In winter the branches are coloured and in spring the flowers appear, small white or pinkish bells that adorn the bushes in clusters.
How much does it cost to start this hobby?
The complete package (plants, manual and advice) costs 50€ + 9€ shipping costs: this is a cost that pays for itself in a couple of seasons, while a plant has an average production cycle of 15-20 years. Purchases can be made directly from our online shop www.ilmirtillogigante.com and are dispatched within a few days.
What advice do you give to private producers?
Technical assistance is essential to help the hobbyist with growing, pruning, fertilising and soil acidification. All too often private individuals buy plants from blueberry but fail to grow them, and end up with stunted plants that produce very little. With our advice, we accompany our customers through the seasons in order to prepare the plants to produce a lot in summer blueberries.
So producing blueberries can be easy!
That's right, it's easy and it's good for you too. In fact, part of the proceeds will be donated to Fondazione ANT Italia Onlus, which has always promoted the idea that cancer prevention "begins at the table" and with which our farm has been collaborating for years to promote a healthy diet with berries.