Whether they are raw or in your favorite pie or smoothie, blueberries are simply delicious. Yet, despite their irresistible taste, they are also full of nutrients and offer numerous health benefits.
Therefore, it is a real treasure to have them in your own backyard!
These are the most important health benefits of blueberries:
- They are extremely rich in antioxidants, which prevent aging and cell damage, including cancer. The regular consumption of blueberry juice lowers the DNA damage by 20%.
- They prevent blood cholesterol damage
- They boost the function of the brain and memory as they are extremely high in antioxidants
- They are low in calories and rich in nutrients. Namely, a cup of these fruits provides 3.6 grams of dietary fiber, 24% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C and 36 % of Vitamin K.
- Lower blood pressure. The consumption of 50 grams of blueberries daily for 8 weeks has been found to lower the blood pressure by 4-6%.
- Prevent blood cholesterol damage.
Moreover, it is extremely easy to grow them at home! Most blueberry types need 3 years to produce fruit from seed, so you can also buy a baby plant.
Here is how to grow your own organic blueberries:
- First of all, the blueberry bushes need a sunny place, and a good, fertile soil. The sunlight supports the process of photosynthesis, which is vital in plant growth, and soil will also stimulate their growth.
- If you have a garden, you should plant them in raised beds, as the bushes will have the needed moisture. On the other hand, you can also plant your blueberries in a patio container in your apartment. You can grow the dwarf blueberry plant, which will only grow about 2 feet high.
- The bushes also need space, up to 6 feet, so make sure you leave about 2.5-3 feet between each one, but if you have chosen the dwarf blueberry type, you just need to leave enough room in between for them to grow up to 2 feet.
- Spring is the optimal time to plant your blueberries in most countries, and then you can harvest them in July and August.
- If you have purchased a baby plant, give the roots a little ruffle with the hands before placing it in the soil. Then, just add more soil around the roots to help it stand on its own. Water the plant well as it needs to be properly hydrated.
- Sawdust is your best choice when it comes to mulching, and you should apply it 2-4 inches onto the soil. You can also use rind mulch, grass clipping, and pine bark.
- As soon as the bush begins to grow, you should start pruning it, as it makes the branches grow stronger and ensures maximal fruit growth. Cut back some of the branches with small clippers or scissors, and remove the dead ones and the ones around the bottom of the bush.
- Inorganic fertilizers are high in chemicals which damage the plant, so you should always use organic ones. They keep the plant fertilized longer, are safe for the environment, and are not toxic. You can use Cottonseed or Bloodmeal to naturally boost the growth of the bushes.
In about 3 years, the bushes will mature and provide fruits which are ready to be harvested. Grow them on your own and enjoy their amazing health benefits and their fantastic taste!