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Can We Grow Blueberries in the Denver Area?

It is possible, but not easy. Blueberries require acidic soil (pH 4.5 - 5.5). Most Denver area soils have a pH of 6.5 - 8.5. Using sphagnum peat moss as a soil amendment can help. Adding sulfur may or may not reduce the pH, depending on soil lime levels. Some people have tried growing blueberries in containers, using sphagnum peat moss mixed with soil as the growing medium.

In the ground or in containers, remember that most local tap water is slightly alkaline. Just watering the plants can negate previous attempts to acidify the soil. To reduce pH, try adding vinegar (a weak acid) to irrigation water. All of these efforts might allow blueberries to bear fruit, but they might be very expensive blueberries! Instead, consider using Saskatoon blueberry. While not a true blueberry, the fruit resembles and tastes somewhat like a blueberry. Another plant, 'Regent' serviceberry (shown above), is a shrub about 6 feet tall and wide. It bears white flowers in early May and displays a good red-yellow fall color. Robins relish its fruit, so use bird netting if you want to save some for pies and other desserts.

Photo: Judy Sedbrook

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CSU/Denver County  Extension Master Gardener 2010
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Date last revised: 01/05/2010