Caregiver in Durham NC
Blueberries are not only available at grocery stores, but can be grown in your very own backyard. Not only will it provide a healthy snack right outside your door, but it also adds a unique, stunning plant to any garden.
Older adults can especially benefit from having a blueberry bush in their garden. This tiny fruit has antioxidant power that will rid the body of free radicals and toxins, while having a sweet taste that will compliment a wide range of recipes. Elders who are in need of caregivers due to a chronic disease or illness may need help planting this fruit in their garden. Here are several ways the senior and their elder care provider can successfully grow a blueberry plant.
Find and Prepare the Area
Find a location that has plenty of sunlight, while also having well-drained soil that is free of weeds. If there is an area where irrigation is readily available, plant the blueberries there for the best results. If irrigation or well-drained soil is not available, a raised bed can also be used. Elders living in an apartment or condo most likely do not have the space to grow a garden. In these cases, blueberries can also be grown in patio containers.
Give it Space
As with any plant, make sure to plant this one in an area that will give it room to grow. Blueberry bushes can be planted as close as 2 feet apart in order to create solid hedgerows or 6 feet away from other plants. If your elderly loved one would like to plant a row of blueberry plants, provide 8 to 10 feet of space between each row.
Planting the Blueberries
If the blueberry plants were purchased in containers, remove them from the pot and soften the outside of the root ball. Pile the soil on top of the existing ground, making the soil ½ inch higher. Then, place this soil firmly around the root ball. The soil should then be piled along the sides of any exposed roots.
In order to create a successful blueberry plant, 2-4 inches of mulch should be placed over the roots to preserve moisture. The best types of mulch to use are bark mulch, sawdust, grass clippings, or acid compost. If using bark mulch or sawdust, avoid using it from redwood or cedar trees. Make sure to add mulch every year.
Don’t Forget to Prune
If the plant were to grow too much fruit, it could cause the berries to grow poorly or become too small. This is why pruning is so important. This process involves removing a majority of the flower blooms as they grow. To begin pruning, remove low growth around the base of the plant. Any short or discolored branches should be removed. Pruning should be done until 1/3 to ½ of the wood of the plant is removed.
Fertilizing blueberry plants should be done carefully since over-fertilization could kill it. Use organic fertilizers, cottonseed meal, or blood meal fertilizer for the best results. Do not forget to water after fertilizing the plant.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Durham, NC or the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at HomeChoice Home Care Services. Call today (919) 847-5622