Growing blueberries in Perth

| January 10, 2021

How to grow blueberries in Perth

Grow blueberries Perth

Blueberries have become a staple for many Australian households, however they can be quiet expensive. This is why many people are starting to investigate just how easy it is to grow your own blueberries at home. Blueberries are a real hit amongst kids, and if you have a few bushes you will be getting a pretty good harvest. 

In the Perth climate, Blueberries are best grown in part sun with protection from the hot afternoon sun and winds. Morning sun or a light dappled shady area is ideal.

Planting blueberries:
Blueberries are self-pollinating, however they will produce much more fruit if you grow a couple of different varieties next to one another. There are some big blueberry plantations around Western Australian now so the availability of varieties is ever increasing.

Blueberries can be grown successfully either in a large pot or in the ground.  Having free draining soil is essential so they do not become waterlogged.  They have a fine, fibrous root system that needs a well aerated soil to grow in. They are accustomed to a lower pH soil, between 5.5 and 6.5 is good.  Azalea potting mix is an easy way to achieve this in your home garden.

Mulching is recommended to prevent weeds and help retain water.  Plants need to be watered thoroughly several time a week during fruiting season and in warm weather which is common in Perth. Less water during the other parts of the year is fine.

A small amount of Azalea fertiliser added regularly throughout the year will be beneficial to the plants. 
 
Perth blueberry varieties;

  • Blue Rose – Produces large berries mid-season. Taller growing variety, up to 2m high. Prune well.
  • Burst – Australian bred compact variety growing to 1 m high. Produces very large fruit early in the season. Suitable for coastal areas as well as the general Perth area. Heavy cropper.
  • Climax – Medium sized fruit early in the season. Suitable for more coastal areas as well as the general Perth area.
  • Legacy – Produces medium sized fruit, mid-season. Suitable for coastal areas. Vigorous and upright growing.
  • Northland – Tolerant to extremes of heat and cold. Long harvest period from December – March.
  • Northern Highbush – These varieties are usually deciduous.  Perth doesn’t have enough chill hours to grow these varieties, although some areas of the South West of the state are very suitable for these varieties.
  • Rabbiteye – These are late season varieties with a lower chilling requirement than Northern Highbush.  They are tolerant of a wide climate range making them a resilient choice.
  • Sunshine Blue – Compact growing variety producing high yields early in the season. Suitable for coastal areas as well as the general Perth area.
  • Southern Highbush – They produce a quality berry and are suitable for Perth’s climate, tolerating the heat of summer very well.  They are usually evergreen varieties and retain leaves all year round.  

Care and common problems with blueberries;
Blueberries require sunlight to set fruit.  More sun equals more berries.  But they also need to be protected from strong winds to avoid them blowing off the bush.
 
Harvesting blueberries:
Bird netting is essential during fruiting season to keep the them from your precious crop.  After around 4 years, a healthy plant will produce 3kg of fruit or more.  Fruit takes approximately 6 weeks to ripen.  Fruit is ripe when it is entirely blue in colour.  Ripe blueberries will come off the plant very easily.

Check out how to grow other berries in Perth:

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Category: Vegetable Garden

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