Grow your own blueberries

These two little bare plants may not look very inspiring, but they are. Have put my money where my mouth is and bought a couple of local blueberry bushes from Trehane Nursery. These are 3-4 year old, and they might even give me some blueberries this year!

Lorraine at Trehane’s recommended I buy two, as while most blueberries are self fertile to an extent, some are not and all varieties produce better and more fruit if you cross pollinate between two different types.

So I have bought a Bluecrop which produces big and sweet fruit and should be ready for harvesting from the beginning of July. And a Chandler, which has similar fruit, and is a late harvester. Both produce heavy crops – great! She helped me choose two good plants that had lots of buds. They were £20 the pair (they are on special offer at the moment). You can buy them by mail order online or call Trehane’s Direct.

Apparently Grandfather Trehane was the first person to grow blueberries in the UK, in 1957 he sent his daughter, Jennifer, a telegram which simply read “1000 blueberries arriving Queen Mary, Southampton. How about it?” He was 1 of 4 people who responded to an offer from a parson in Lulu Island, British Columbia, Canada offering 100 blueberry plants for free to anyone in the UK.

I briefly met Jennifer when I visited the nursery, and as you would expect, she is very knowledgeable about her subject. She was expecting visitors from Devon who she was to advise on pruning. She has written two books on blueberries. One for the horticulturist, and one for me: “Blueberries, cranberries and lingonberries for everyone”. The Trehane website also has free advice on pruning.

Blueberries grow easily and well in tubs using ericaceous compost – or in acidic sandy soil.

The nursery has rows and rows of blueberry bushes to pick your own from in the summer.

In the meantime I bought 500g of Trehane blueberries for £4.

Can there be a better way to support local producers, and eat locally?

My blueberry plants will go in pots so that when we move they will come with us.

This is my new years resolution: to learn how to tend, grow and not kill my two new blueberry plants.

O and just in case you missed my plug for Trehane Nursery…

Right, am off to find out what Lingonberries are and um, ericaceous compost…