Frost tolerant. With these options, it can be possible to have fresh nutritional blueberries for 6-8 months during the year depending on your area. 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. South African blueberries a niche product, but growing Compared to the country's bigger commodities such as citrus, South African blueberries make up … We recommend to use at least a 23L pot/grow-bag as the plants do get fairly large. Preferably sites where agricultural lime was not previously worked in which would have artificially raised the ph level and might be too high to economically lower the ph level to around 4.5 (KCl ph). It will also help to retain moisture and to lower the ph level as it breaks down over the years. Varieties are listed in order of chill level requirements. 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. Do not use bark or saw dust from redwood or cedar trees. Sow and Plant. Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, Free State and Mpumalanga also produce small volumes. 8L Cannabis Grow Bag Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20cm . Traditionally blueberries do not require as much fertilizer as other crops, but a well balanced fertilization program is necessary for optimum plant growth and crop production. 27L Blueberry Grow Bag Dimensions: 30 x 30 x 30cm . The blueberry’s fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. The South African blueberry industry started in Mpumalanga’s Lydenburg district during the 1970’s, and by 1987 blueberry cultivation reached the Western Cape. Give the plants an extra boost with a teaspoon of acid-loving fertiliser every three weeks to get them through the dry summers. View Gumtree Free Online Classified Ads for blueberry plants and more in South Africa. 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. 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. Plant your blueberries in a pot so you can regulate the acidity without spicing up an entire garden bed. 18L Cannabis Grow Bag Dimensions: 30 x 30 x 20cm . They are ericaceous plants, meaning much like Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Camellias, they need to grow in very acidic soil with a ph between 4.2 and 5.5. Be careful of those real scorchers though, the African sun can be a tad stronger than these berries are used to. 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%). 40L Blueberry Grow Bag Dimensions: 30 x 30 x 45cm Avoid sites that are water logged, have poor drainage or have a permeable layer close to the surface. Irrigation is usually applied with drip irrigation, but micro sprinklers and overhead irrigation can also be successfully used. Either strictly use only rainwater, or in a pinch, add a dash of vinegar to tap water. Pruning is normally done after harvest with the Southern High Bush and during winter with the Northern High Bush and Rabbiteye varieties. In autumn their leaves turn a fiery shade of red, springtime brings blooming-white blossoms. 10 Tips for Growing Blueberries in South Africa: 1. Avoid placing too rich fertilizers such as manures or chemical fertilizers in the plating hole as they may burn the roots. There are many varieties of blueberries out … Most of South Africa's blueberries are produced under shade nets in the Western Cape. Notes. Get a plant, or a cutting. The Western Cape accounts for at least 60% of total production in South Africa, followed by Limpopo and the North West. Our blueberries are sweet and juicy. Rich soil with compost dug in. 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. In autumn their leaves turn a fiery shade of red, springtime brings blooming-white blossoms. For commercial operations we recommend to have the soil and water tested before adding any nutrients into the soil or water. Blue Delite Nursery, at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains, specialises in a number of blueberry varietals, or if you’re in Joburg try the Lifestyle Home Garden to start your own proudly blue garden. 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. New suckers will grow from the crown each year. 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. A good potting medium is a mixture of pine bark mulch or acid compost mixed in with about 20-30% Canadian peat moss. 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. Two shipments of blueberries that Ross Berries sent from South Africa to the EU were confiscated at … The poles can be positioned at an angle to form a triangle or vertically to create a rectangle. 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. Compared to other fruit crops blueberries do not need much water but care must be taken to keep the moisture consistent, but not overwatered. 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. Plant the larger varieties along a fence or trellis where they can also be used as a hedge or screen. Feeding. Blueberry bushes prefer full sun but they can tolerate partly shade. One of these forms part of the 5 000ha diversified and highly successful Fyvie Farming enterprise near Harrismith. Alternatively a very slow release, coated fertilizer can be used to provide a wide range of nutrients. We provide the most suitable varieties for our South African climate. Acidic pH of 5 to 5.5 required. 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. Blueberry plants can also be container grown in pots or bags. - There an annual average growth of over 30% for blueberries. Typically blended with local raw material to decrease pH of growing media and soil. 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. Blueberries are resilient to many of the common problems associated with other soft fruits. After all, we do supply around 70% of SA’s blueberries to retailers in SA. Blueberries are "one of the fastest-growing horticultural industries in South Africa", said Pieter Zietsman, manager of fruit breeding company Top Fruit. Nitrates and chlorides should be avoided in fertilizer blends for blueberry plants. Once the growing area is full, remove any new growth that emerges outside of it. Blueberry plants require superior soil growing media with good drainage and internal aeration as well as good water holding capacity. 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. LEARN ABOUT GROWING BLUEBERRIES IN SOUTH AFRICA. A thick layer (10-15cm) of pine bark mulch, pine needles or saw dust can be used as a mulch as a protection from extreme heat and cold temperatures. Leave 8-12 healthy, upright canes which are younger than 6 years old as they will produce the best quality fruit. I’ve found my best perfoming varieties in Gauteng, South Africa are 1) Brigitta, 2) Centurion & 3) Gulf Coast in that order. 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. In 2018 South Africa was the world's twelfth-largest blueberry exporter, according to International Trade Center (ITC) data. The distances between the rows will depend on which equipment will be used for cultivation, harvesting and pruning. Miscellaneous Soil. Blueberry plants can also be container grown in pots or bags. This amount is dramatically lowered during the winter season when the plants are in their dormant phase. Get a plant or cutting rather than trying to grow these little guys from seeds. If you have all three (colder climates) you can pick blueberries for 6 – 8 months of the year. 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. Yes but cover if a severe frost is forecast. Serving the Fruit Growers of South Africa. Blueberries are self-fertile, but for best pollination, plant more than one cultivar. Blueboost Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved. Blueberries are by nature a highly demanding crop and the greenhouse was planned for an area with a hot and windy climate. The stars of the show, the berries themselves, will start popping up late spring, ripening in time to be a refreshing delight in summer. Class 1; Ideal for snacking . Position. We grow many varieties to cater for specific needs, areas and different fruiting windows. The first recorded batch of blueberries exported from South Africa was in 1992 which was valued at R9 780 and shipped to Zambia. We have Early, Mid and Late fruiting season Blueberry Plants. No heavy pruning is needed during the first 4 years of the plant, but the fine twiggy, low growing vegetative shoots that grow sideways and do not bear fruit, should be pruned out. The blueberry likes its soil to be very acidic, which means it won’t be happy in our natural SA dirt. May need potassium added, particularly if the leaves start to brown at the edges. Blueberry plants are salt and nitrate sensitive. And, because they’re just so loved in SA, its super simple to find a young plant that will pop off a blueberry or 20 in less than a year! Weed control should begin the year before planting with means of herbicides and/or cultivation. Last season South Africa exported around 8,000MT of blueberries. Harvest fruit when ripe. The amount of water needed per plant or plantation would depend on the soil type, rainfall and climate conditions. Mid Season will fruit November/December. An integrated pest management programme can be incorporated for crop protection and there are many registered chemical and organic pesticides available in SA. Younger, newly established plants require the most care to make sure that their roots do not dry out or get waterlogged. Known as a super food, blueberries are very high in antioxidants, making them one of the healthiest fresh fruits to eat. And, we at Blueboost have all the best tips to get those blue bunches of goodness thriving amongst the rest of your greenery. Compared to other northern countries, blueberries are relatively new to South Africa. Welcome to the Blueberry Growing Regions of South Africa. Blood meal, cottonseed meal and soya meal are very good sources of organic fertilizers. 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. The fiber in blueberries helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease. This is due to the dormancy chilling requirements for the Northern Just like us Saffas, blueberries love the sun, so let those rays shine on down. 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. Established in 1993, BerryWorld South Africa is a joint venture between Trevor McKenzie and BerryWorld. © 2020 Berries for Africa - All rights reserved. To maintain a low PH level you’ll also need to hydrate with acidic water. South Africa has only about 20 commercial berry farming operations. 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. Just be aware that growing blueberry plants in pots (or anywhere else) requires some patience. Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area. For more information, please. Spread the fertilizer along the top of the roots and avoid fertilizing on the crown (stem) of the plant. They’re best eaten raw or lightly cooked in a pie or crumble. In South Africa the blueberry industry is small relative to other domestic fruit industries such as citrus, apples, pears and table grapes, and 68% of our berries are grown in the Western Cape, with about 70% of the production being exported. Visit my blog for info on where to buy plants & regular updates on how mine are doing. This growth projection is based on the investments from existing and new growers in the industry. 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. In South Africa we are fortunate that not many natural pests and diseases are found on the blueberry plants and fruit. 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. 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. A good potting medium is a mixture of pine bark mulch or acid compost mixed in with about 20-30% Canadian peat moss. 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. Plus, if you live in an area without acidic soil, growing blueberries in containers allows you to tailor the soil pH specifically for them. 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