Luck was on our side when we heard that a blueberry farm in Victoria was changing hands. The new farmers invited local folk to dig up several varieties of mature blueberries and take them home, for just a few dollars each. (Send me a note, Victorians, if you’re reading this in early May, and I can give you their details to get your own. There’s a few left.)
Just the sort of day for a blueberry farm adventure. You’ll want to get at least two or three varieties, as they produce more berries when they have friends.
You can get away with planting, or transplanting, a blueberry most of the year in this coastal climate. Dig down at least the length of a spade, all the way round, leaving a sizeable root ball.
When it has worked loose, get the spade right under and push hard to lift it.
We were so sore from carrying a dozen of these beauties, with all their earth. We lined the cars with tarps, but you could bring a large bag to move a plant this size too.
Best to bring a picnic on this sort of trip, not unlike blueberry-picking journeys in midsummer.
The little blueberry and strawberry plants I’d put in on a sunny spot welcomed a few more plants. There’s Reka, Bluecrop, Duke and Liberty in this mix. I dug quite deeply and widely, mixed in some rich compost and a bit of homemade bone meal, and mulched with pine needles to give them the acidity they like. The heavy spring rains have kept them well watered in. Fingers crossed for a big crop!
We are delighted to have berries put in at the lake. We may always pick at a local farm for preserving, yet it’s such a basic pleasure to eat fresh fruit from our own garden. Do you have a berry patch?