I'm obsessed with blueberries. They're super delicious and good for you, as the Blueberry Council notes they are low calories, full of fiber and packed with nutrients. So I was crazy happy when we cleared a spot for some bushes this past spring. Blueberry bushes turn a magnificent red in fall, so they add great color to your landscape. They are slow-growing and don't produce much for fruit the first few years. I'm being extra careful to make sure they make it through the winter. My source for this project is the University of Minnesota Extension website. And it's simple.

3 steps to prepare blueberry bushes for winter:

  • Mulch: Insulate the roots so they stay warmer. Apply 3 to 4 inches of shredded bark mulch around the bushes. I pile on a bit more, about 6 inches, because it will settle.
  • Water: Because moist soil holds heat better than dry soil, water before the ground freezes, especially if you've had a dry fall.
  • Protect from animals: To keep critters, such as bunnies or deer, away from your blueberry bushes, put up a physical barrier. I use wire fencing.

After the first year, prune blueberry bushes by cutting off only broken, dead or damaged stems in early spring when the completely dormant. With luck, my young blueberry bushes will emerge from this winter for another season of growth.

Winter-hearty blueberry bushes do best in cold climates. I found mine at a local garden center.

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If you want to know how to plant and grow blueberries, check out my video, Health Fusion: 3 tips for planting blueberry bushes.

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For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.