Blueberry Trial Summary, 1997:
Growing Blueberries in Santa Clara County
When/how to plant:
- Late fall through winter, using 2–3 year old plants.
- Blueberries require acidic soil; a soil test will help determine how much to acidify your soil. Be sure the soil has a pH between 4.5 and 6.5. If it's a clay soil, use organic mater to amend the soil, preferably peat moss. Oregon State University has information on acidifying soil for blueberries.
- Blueberries do well in containers like half wine casks. Be sure there is a drainage hole.
Harvest window: May–September, depending on variety. Most ripen in June. Protect from birds with netting.
Fertilization: Balanced acid loving plant fertilizer in late winter, early spring, additional applications as needed. Be sure the label includes blueberries. More information on fertilizing blueberries available from the Purdue University Cooperative Extension.
Annual care overview:
- Blueberry varieties appropriate to Santa Clara County [Southern highbush and Northern highbush] bloom in late January through March. These flowers become berries for harvest in late May through early September. New branch and leaf growth begins after berry harvest and continues until fall colors appear in September through November. Some, not all, blueberry varieties are deciduous and drop their leaves in late November–December. The plants are dormant December–January.
- Blueberries need annual pruning to maintain the right balance of new & previous season growth.
- Adding sulfur during our wet season helps maintain acid soil conditions.
- Mulch in hot summer / early fall weather so roots remain cool and moist.
Fall Creek® Farm & Nursery, a commercial grower, offers comprehensive information about growing blueberries and new varieties for the home gardener.
Some Recommended Varieties for Santa Clara County*
Blueberries: Bluecrop, Chandler, Georgia Gem, Gulf Coast, Jubilee, Miramba, Misty, O'Neal, and Reveille. More details are available on our blueberry varieties page.
* Many other varieties may also do well here in Santa Clara County. This list is based on UC Master Gardener trials, taste tests, and feedback from local growers.