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LH 97: Growing Blueberries

How to Grow and Harvest Homegrown Blueberries


Growing blueberries seems to stump a lot of people.

This is because blueberries have specific requirements which if not met, mean…a sad plant with little fruit.

So I brought on Lee Reich to help dispel some of the mystery around blueberries.

You see… Lee knows a thing or two about growing food organically, sustainably and packed with flavor. He’s a well respected author and authority in our industry who loves to share his secrets.

And man, does he have a lot to say about blueberries!

Lee will tell you that it’s easy to grow blueberries…if you know the tricks.

And he shares those tricks with you on this episode.


You will learn:

  • How growing blueberries is easier than you think
  • The pros and cons of each type of plant
  • The exact formula needed to adjust your soil pH
  • The secret to creating the best soil for blueberries
  • Advice on preventing the birds from eating your entire harvest
  • How to prune each different type of blueberry plant
  • The trick to knowing when your berries have peak flavor


Lee Reich:

Lee Reich, PhD dove into gardening over 40 years ago with one foot in academia (as an agricultural scientist with the USDA and Cornell University) and one foot in the field…the organic field.

He eventually expanded his field to a farmden (more than a garden, but less than than a farm) and left academia to lecture, consult, and and write.

He is the author a number of books (A Northeast Gardener’s Year, Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden, The Pruning Book, Weedless Gardening, Landscaping with Fruit, and Grow Fruit Naturally), and his syndicated column for Associated Press appears bimonthly in newspapers from coast to coast.

His farmden has been featured in Martha Stewart Living and The New York Times as well as our PBS television series, Growing A Greener World.

Besides providing a year ‘round supply of fruits and vegetables, Lee’s farmden has an educational mission. He considers it a test site for innovative techniques in soil care, pruning, and food production.

Science and an appreciation of natural systems underpin his work. His goal is to get more people, whether in backyards or small farms, to grow more food sustainably and organically.


Resources & Links Mentioned:

Lee’s Website

Grow Fruit Naturally by Lee Reich

Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden by Lee Reich

Pruning Blueberries


Click here for the full transcript for Episode #97

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.


  • Carmen Carter says:

    Thank you for this podcast! I found the information Lee provided very helpful since I’m a novice at growing blueberry bushes. The information regarding fertilizers, leaf mulch and watering was especially helpful. Two years ago, I planted three large healthy blueberries and harvested delicious berries the first year. Last year, I lost one of the bushes and the remaining two looked to be near death. I considered digging up the remaining bushes but as a last ditch effort, I gave them some Sulphur and overwintered them with a layer of leaf mulch. This year, the two bushes look healthy with vibrant green leaves. I can’t wait to see how they do next year after I put some soybean meal down as recommended by Lee. I’ve researched how to grow blueberries on various websites but no one provided the level and quality of information like Lee did. Your podcast is the best and I enjoy listening to it as I do my gardening chores or driving in the car.

    • theresa says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this episode Carmen. Lee is pretty awesome. He’s going to be on the show again soon!

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