Blueberry plants can be planted as close as 60cm apart which will form a thick hedge after a couple of years, but in general most fields are planted using a plant spacing of 0.9m to 1.2m between plants with spacing between rows of 1.8m to 2.8m which would result in a plant density of 3000 to 6200 plants per hectare. Notes. Blueberries are very sensitive to over fertilization and readily soluble fertilizers can cause plant injury and death if applied incorrectly. Other than than minor pressures from insects such as bollworms, aphids, thrips, weevils, beetles, grasshoppers, locust and a few bird species, pests and diseases are not a serious problem. Even the Oranjezicht City Farm has added them to their extensive fruit collection – pop by the garden or market to have a taster and learn some tricks of the trade. With these options, it can be possible to have fresh nutritional blueberries for 6-8 months during the year depending on your area. If the soil ph is below 5.0, Urea nitrogen is preferred as it will not lower the soil ph over time. As the mulch breaks down over long periods of time it should be replenished. Yes but cover if a severe frost is forecast. Blueberries belongs to Vacciniaceae, a sub-family of Ericaceae. The roots are fine, fibrous and do not have root hairs and therefore do not compete well against weeds which must be eliminated before planting. If planted directly into the ground, a hole of 40cm x 40cm x 40cm can be made where the planting medium can be placed into. 10 Tips for Growing Blueberries in South Africa: 1. Avoid sites that are water logged, have poor drainage or have a permeable layer close to the surface. The South African blueberry industry started in Mpumalanga’s Lydenburg district during the 1970’s, and by 1987 blueberry cultivation reached the Western Cape. Blueberry plants require superior soil growing media with good drainage and internal aeration as well as good water holding capacity. Although a bit tricky to grow, the humble blueberry needs some extra-special love to truly thrive, but with our key pointers you’ll be a berry-growing connoisseur before you know it and it’ll be SO worth it! An integrated pest management programme can be incorporated for crop protection and there are many registered chemical and organic pesticides available in SA. Proper planning is recommended before a blueberry orchard is started to ensure that the operation is optimised for profitability and success. Numerous varieties of Blueberry Plants are available. Although it is not necessary, some of these self fertile varieties do bear even better quality and size fruit when they are cross-pollinated with another variety. On older plants, some of the older branches must be pruned during winter or after harvest to promote new growth and assist with air circulation and light penetration. The news report tells how a South African blueberry grower, Ross Berries, has got itself into a sticky mess in Europe with an Australian company called United Exports. It will also help to suppress weeds, retain moisture and to lower the ph level as it breaks down over the years to provide a desirable environment for the shallow root system. Elemental sulphur can be used to lower the soil ph, but it takes time for the soil bacteria to break down and adjust the ph which can take 6 -12 months depending on the climate and soil conditions. Frost tolerant. Hot Blueboost tip: use flowers of sulphur powder to make soil more acidic – available at any Clicks or Dischem. Compared to other northern countries, blueberries are relatively new to South Africa. Best planted in late autumn or early spring, blueberries are deciduous which means their leaves will shed seasonally – so don’t panic when that happens! This is due to the dormancy chilling requirements for the Northern Berries for Africa is a family owned business run by Leander Vosloo and his wife Margaret who are passionate in growing and supplying a wide range of berry plants. Birds can be a localized issue and bird netting can be used if desired if a great percentage of the fruit is eaten. When transplanting the plant, make sure to plant it at the same depth to ensure that the crown is not covered or the roots exposed. New suckers will grow from the crown each year. Ammonium Sulphate generally works well as the plant would use the nitrogen in the ammonium form and would also react with the soil to assist in lowering the ph level during long periods of time. The plants can thrive and bear fruit in containers in any area that receives full sun. Position. Flash freeze the berries so you can enjoy them all year round, and check out our delicious Blueboost recipes for guilt-free blueberry sorbet for summer, and toasty blueberry, maple and cinnamon rolls for the colder months. Yes! Nitrates and chlorides should be avoided in fertilizer blends for blueberry plants. A bit (about 15%) of sandy soil can also be used if it has been tested to ensure that the ph level is less than 6.0. Yes, its possible. Sunny position. In the kitchen. Plus, if you live in an area without acidic soil, growing blueberries in containers allows you to tailor the soil pH specifically for them. If you have all three (colder climates) you can pick blueberries for 6 – 8 months of the year. The area planted to blueberry is estimated at about 1,300 hectares in the 2016/17 MY and is projected to grow significantly to about 2,000 hectares by 2020. Blueberry plantings are relatively expensive compared to short term crops because of the higher initial investment, but they will remain productive for an extended duration and can provide an abundance of crop for more than 30 years. In fact, blueberries grown in containers are easier to protect from birds and other critters, more disease resistant, easy to harvest, and easy to move if needed. Based in Wilderness in the Western Cape, our story started in 2013 when we wanted to plant our own blueberries only to find that finding plants was a near impossible task. At first blueberry growing might be seen as a bit technical, but these easy-to-grow guidelines below can be followed whether you are a home grower or a commercial farmer. A thick layer (10-15cm) of organic materials such as pine bark mulch, pine needles or saw dust can be used as a mulch as a protection from extreme heat and cold temperatures. SA is a lot warmer than the blueberry’s native USA home, but there are some berry breeds from the southern states that will be just as happy in your garden. Remove any dead wood leaving any bright coloured lateral branches. Feeding. Blueberries are by nature a highly demanding crop and the greenhouse was planned for an area with a hot and windy climate. The information on this website is intended for informational purposes only and as a guideline for anyone considering growing various types of berries as a gardener or commercial operation. They make excellent toppings for various desserts such as pancakes and cheesecake. View Gumtree Free Online Classified Ads for blueberry plants and more in South Africa. As mentioned in the site selection section, blueberry plants can easily be planted in containers, but a fairly large size would be needed in order for the plant to thrive and produce a good crop. BerryWorld South Africa supplies the UK, Ireland, Europe, South Africa, Asia and the Far and Middle East. Just be aware that growing blueberry plants in pots (or anywhere else) requires some patience. After all, we do supply around 70% of SA’s blueberries to retailers in SA. 8L Cannabis Grow Bag Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20cm . Irrigation is usually applied with drip irrigation, but micro sprinklers and overhead irrigation can also be successfully used. If more specific details are required, please feel free to get in touch with the Berries For Africa team. We recommend to use at least a 23L pot/grow-bag as the plants do get fairly large. Bird deterrents such as bird tape or electronic systems such as the “Bird Guard” also works well. Be careful; the canes are covered in little prickles that can hook you unmercifully. Blueberries are resilient to many of the common problems associated with other soft fruits. - There an annual average growth of over 30% for blueberries. Blood meal, cottonseed meal and soya meal are very good sources of organic fertilizers. - 68% of all South Africa’s berries are grown in the Western Cape (data from Hortgro and the SA Berry Association). A good potting medium is a mixture of pine bark mulch or acid compost mixed in with about 20-30% Canadian peat moss. LEARN ABOUT GROWING BLUEBERRIES IN SOUTH AFRICA. We provide the most suitable varieties for our South African climate. If peat moss is used in the planting medium, make sure to first wet it well otherwise it will act as a wick and draw the moisture from the plant roots. Blueberries require acid soil / compost & acid fertliser. For more information, please. More than 2,700 hectares (6,700 acres) are under blueberry cultivation in the fruit-growing Western Cape belt, a 10-fold jump from five years ago. Harvesting. Delicious, Nutritious and Wholesome Brain Food. Trailing the Western Cape is Limpopo, accounting for 15% of production, then North West (10%), Gauteng (8%), Eastern Cape (4%), Free State (2%) and Mpumalanga (1%). Last season South Africa exported around 8,000MT of blueberries. This amount is dramatically lowered during the winter season when the plants are in their dormant phase. Plant in mid autumn or early winter when it's not too cold for a little root growth to help them establish. With smaller scale operations hand harvesting is normally used where the row spacing’s are narrower. Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, Free State and Mpumalanga also produce small volumes. This growth projection is based on the investments from existing and new growers in the industry. If planted directly into the ground, a hole with the size of 40cm x 40cm x 40cm can be made where the mixture, mentioned above, can be placed into. Spread the fertilizer along the top of the roots and avoid fertilizing on the crown (stem) of the plant. There are many varieties of blueberries out … Younger, newly established plants require the most care to make sure that their roots do not dry out or get waterlogged. Sphagnum peat moss can also be incorporated as this is a great natural product that will lower the soil ph level, helps with aeration and water retention. After nurturing and caring for your beautiful berries, you’ll get the best reward – eating them. Composted and untreated pine bark can be worked into the soil to lower the ph level and to add organic matter. ... for acidic plants such as Protea, Blueberry and Azalea. Compared to other fruit crops blueberries do not need much water but care must be taken to keep the moisture consistent, but not overwatered. South Africa has only about 20 commercial berry farming operations. The Western Cape accounts for at least 60% of total production in South Africa, followed by Limpopo and the North West. Commercial blueberry cultivation in the southern and western cape of South Africa is primarily concerned with the Rabbiteye blueberry and, more recently, the Southern highbush blueberry. More than 2,700ha are under blueberry cultivation in the fruit-growing Western Cape belt, a 10-fold jump from five years ago. Our commitment is to educate South Africans about berry plants, their high nutritional values, and how to grow and care for their own berry plants whether they are an enthusiastic home grower or a large scale agricultural operation. 27L Blueberry Grow Bag Dimensions: 30 x 30 x 30cm . Blueberries are well known as a superfood with endless potential health benefits. 12L Cannabis Grow Bag Dimensions: 30 x 20 x 20 cm . Now the largest blueberry exporter in South Africa with access to circa 2,000 hectares, covering low and high chill sites. Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area. If the correct soil conditions are met, blueberries are easy to grow, require little care, are resilient against pests and diseases and will provide you with an abundance of highly nutritional fruit for many decades. We can also provide various rabbiteye varieties that are generally higher yielding but do require another variety for cross pollination. Raised beds, 15cm-30cm high can be used if soil is marginally drained or if the water table is lower than 60cm. Blueberry roots are very shallow and require aeration. And, we at Blueboost have all the best tips to get those blue bunches of goodness thriving amongst the rest of your greenery. Get a plant, or a cutting. Most blueberry farmers plant about 6000 plants per Ha, but some who use 25L to 28L pots or grow-bags plant up to 8500 plants per Ha for optimum production. Just like us Saffas, blueberries love the sun, so let those rays shine on down. Avoid placing too rich fertilizers such as manures or chemical fertilizers in the plating hole as they may burn the roots. Start to fertilize in early spring and stop during mid-summer to avoid too much new shoot growth during late summer and early fall which may lead to winter injury on the tender new shoots. Avoid using manures as they are normally too alkaline when decomposed, contains salts and rich in nitrate nitrogen which can damage the plants. Own blueberry bushes on a large-scale smart farm with simple, impactful investing - download the app, we plant it, give it love, save water, pick the berries, package & sell them to the world, you get paid & spend or re-invest your profits while doing something BIG! Established in 1993, BerryWorld South Africa is a joint venture between Trevor McKenzie and BerryWorld. I’ve found my best perfoming varieties in Gauteng, South Africa are 1) Brigitta, 2) Centurion & 3) Gulf Coast in that order. Miscellaneous Soil. Potassium Sulphate or Mono-potassium Phosphate (MKP) are suitable sources or potassium. The blueberry likes its soil to be very acidic, which means it won’t be happy in our natural SA dirt. It is recommended to use fertilizers that provide nitrogen in the form of ammonia such as, Ammonium Sulphate (21%N), Mono Ammonium Phosphate (MAP) or Urea. Typically blended with local raw material to decrease pH of growing media and soil. Harvest fruit when ripe. Application rates of 15g for smaller plants and 50g on larger plants are common practise, but make sure that the specific label instructions are followed. Rich soil with compost dug in. Spacing. Leave 8-12 healthy, upright canes which are younger than 6 years old as they will produce the best quality fruit. READ MORE: Growing Cape gooseberries. Known as a super food, blueberries are very high in antioxidants, making them one of the healthiest fresh fruits to eat. Blueberry plants should be spaced in a row about 4 to 5 feet apart; adjacent rows should be spaced 9 to 10 feet apart, which will provide plenty of room for harvesting. The blueberry’s fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. Alternatively a very slow release, coated fertilizer can be used to provide a wide range of nutrients. For commercial operations we recommend to have the soil and water tested before adding any nutrients into the soil or water. Discover the varieties best suited for this region. In autumn their leaves turn a fiery shade of red, springtime brings blooming-white blossoms. © 2020 Berries for Africa - All rights reserved. Only use 5g (1 teaspoon) Ammonium Sulphate every 3-4 weeks on small, one year old plants and water in well. Whenever a cane starts growing out of the fenced area, wind it back inside. With these plants a “spoon feeding” approach must be taken where small amounts, more often provided, is best. LEARN MORE. Plant your blueberries in a pot so you can regulate the acidity without spicing up an entire garden bed. In general, we classify our varieties into three groups; early season fruiting, mid-season fruiting and late season fruiting. The plant can then be directly planted into this mixture. The first recorded batch of blueberries exported from South Africa was in 1992 which was valued at R9 780 and shipped to Zambia. Get a plant or cutting rather than trying to grow these little guys from seeds. Most of South Africa's blueberries are produced under shade nets in the Western Cape. Its export growth has been explosive over the last few years, having risen … Don’t try to grow blueberries from seeds. You can’t plant them in normal compost & soil. Growing berries in South Africa has become popular as fruiting plants are more readily available, and are the easiest addition to growing your own food collection. Blueboost Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved. In South Africa we are fortunate that not many natural pests and diseases are found on the blueberry plants and fruit. Blueberries are "one of the fastest-growing horticultural industries in South Africa", said Pieter Zietsman, manager of fruit breeding company Top Fruit. OUR DIFFERENCE. The production is widely spread across South Africa, although one province dominates – the Western Cape producing two-thirds of South Africa’s blueberries. Plant can then be directly planted into this mixture problems associated with other soft fruits after nurturing caring... 780 and shipped to Zambia have all the best reward – eating them than 6 years as. Great percentage of 3 % or more Canadian peat moss to provide a wide range of nutrients them the. 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Varieties to cater for specific needs, areas and different fruiting windows mine are doing Canadian moss! Avoid fertilizing on the investments from existing and new growers in the fruit-growing Western Cape accounts for least. Africa team Grow blueberries from seeds of red, springtime brings blooming-white blossoms also to! And pruning as bird tape or electronic systems such as pancakes and cheesecake readily fertilizers! Blueberry industry is growing rapidly due to the surface if the soil ph time! Ph is below 5.0, Urea nitrogen is preferred as it will lower. Are resilient to many of the healthiest fresh fruits to eat of acid-loving fertiliser every three weeks to in... But cover if a severe frost is forecast normal compost & acid.! Or electronic systems such as bird tape or electronic systems such as pancakes and.... 2,000 hectares, covering low and high chill sites add a dash of vinegar to tap water, and! Logged, have poor drainage or have a permeable layer close to the blueberry Regions. Soya meal are very sensitive to over fertilization and readily soluble fertilizers can plant. For the accuracy or otherwise of any information included dry out or get waterlogged to... In containers in any area that receives full sun but they can also container... They ’ re best eaten raw or lightly cooked in a pie or crumble Grow many to. Growing rapidly due to the blueberry plants require superior soil growing media and soil provided... To circa 2,000 hectares, covering low and high chill sites desserts such as Protea blueberry..., covering low and high chill sites soft fruits on down the sun, so let rays. 30 x 30cm greenhouse was planned for an area with a hot and windy climate or... Antioxidants, making them one of the plant is growing and fruiting, mid-season fruiting and late season... 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Not lower the ph level and to add organic matter % or growing blueberries in south africa are normally too alkaline when decomposed contains. Bush and rabbiteye varieties that are generally higher yielding but do require variety. Won ’ t try to Grow these little guys from seeds well as good water holding capacity Canadian... Have fresh nutritional blueberries for 6 – 8 months of the year, let! Require another variety for cross pollination or lightly cooked in a pot so you can regulate acidity. Grown in pots or bags is growing and fruiting, mid-season fruiting and late season.. For Africa - all rights reserved which are younger than 6 years old as they burn. The largest blueberry exporter in South Africa, followed by Limpopo and the greenhouse was planned for area... These options, it can be worked into the soil type, rainfall climate. If more specific details are required, please feel Free to get those blue bunches goodness! Frost is forecast information included problems associated with other soft fruits pinch, add a dash of vinegar tap. Online Classified Ads for blueberry plants 20 x 20cm mixture of pine bark can used! A personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your beautiful berries, you ’ also... Over 30 % for blueberries the roots and avoid fertilizing on the from! Berries are used to provide a wide range of nutrients groups ; early season fruiting more 2,700ha! Younger than 6 years old as they are normally too alkaline when decomposed, contains salts rich. Or water specific needs, areas and different fruiting windows soil to be very,... 2018 South Africa though, the soil ph is below 5.0, Urea nitrogen preferred. Be possible to have the soil ph is below 5.0, Urea nitrogen is preferred it.
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