How to Grow Blueberry Bushes Under Pines
Blueberry bushes grow to 4 to 10 feet tall depending on location, cultivar and care. They bear hundreds of small, tasty berries every year. These bushes live for more than 30 years, but require appropriate growing locations and maintenance. Sites under pine trees offer rich, acidic pine litter for soil and mulch, but restrict sunshine for growth. If you want to plant blueberries around pine trees, move the bushes to the outskirts of the tree foliage giving blueberries more sun and protecting the roots of the pine trees themselves.
Plant 2- to 3-year-old nursery blueberry seedlings in midspring when nighttime temperatures rise to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. These hardy bushes thrive with a warm start and summer growing season before their winter dormancy.
Choose sites with as much sunshine as possible. Plant the bushes 15 to 20 feet from the tree’s base. Blueberries tolerate partial, filtered or dappled shade, but need at least four hours of sun every day to bloom and bear fruit.
Amend sites for blueberry plantings. Dig into the top 8 to 10 inches of soil in 2-foot square areas, and turn in 4 to 5 inches of organic compost or peat moss. This base gives blueberries rich, acidic soil, quick drainage and good moisture retention. Set the blueberries 5 to 7 feet from other plants to allow room for full growth.
Plant the blueberry seedlings in holes deep and wide enough for their roots, and then fill the holes carefully with amended soil. Water each seedling with 1/2 gallon of water after planting to settle the soil around roots. Put the bushes on a schedule of 2 inches of water every week.
Fertilize the blueberry bushes one month after planting. Give each bush 1 lb. of 10-10-10 granular fertilizer, per manufacturer directions. Keep the granules of fertilizer away from the trunk and foliage of the bushes, as they’ll burn. Water each bush immediately after feeding.