Gilbert tells how to grow blueberries
Oct 01, 2013 | 1151 views |  0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. Jerry Gilbert shared his expertise on growing blueberries in this area at the Sept. 18 Jacksonville Garden Club meeting at the Community Center. He was introduced by Klaus Duncan.

Gilbert said he started with 300 blueberry plants. His interest grew from that. He said that blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits and vegetables.

Gilbert said that blueberries need to be well-drained. They need full sun, acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 and 5-2 and planted at least five feet apart. It’s recommended to plant three varieties for the best yield.

Container grown blueberries can be planted locally from October through March. Incorporate some organic matter into the planting hole such a peat moss, compost, or fine pine bark. After planting, mulch the plants.

Watering is needed twice a week. Use organic materials as fertilizer or ammonium forms of nitrogen, such as urea or ammonium sulfate. Blueberry shrubs are virtually pest and disease free and have brilliant red foliage in the fall.

Gilbert handed out “pick a gallon of blueberries for free in 2012” certificates.

Sheila Webb, president, introduced Marilyn Blair and Tammy Singley as visitors. She also conducted the business meeting.

Other members present were Doris Baucom, Karin Drewes, Don Judd, Cindii Mitchell, Carolyn Patton, Constance Sims, Dan Spector, Barbara Tucker, Lucy Morris and Yun Prater.
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