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How to Grow Blueberries + Recipe for a Blueberry and Almond Cake

Winter gardening is a good time to see the bare bones and rethink certain parts of your garden. There are always a few hours in the day that are enjoyable to be out in the garden in winter, but the nicest part is taking your boots off and coming in to sit in front of the fire.

Read on for an extract from The Kitchen Garden by Lucy Mora to find out how you can grow your own blueberries this winter (plus a delightful blueberry and almond cake recipe to make with them).


Sow winter, spring

Harvest summer, autumn

Growing time 8-10 weeks

Space between plants 75 cm

Pots yes

Aspect full sun

Soil pH 4.0-5.0

Frost tolerant yes

Companions basil, thyme, rhubarb

Dislikes Blueberries prefer an acidic soil, so any plants that like a pH above 6 won’t be a good companion.

Brightwell – sweet, high yield
Sharpblue – high yield
Bluecrop – deciduous, sweet

Plant in the winter for a summer crop, spacing plants around 75 cm apart. While blueberries are self-fertile, co-planting more than one variety will help improve pollination and yield. You can buy blueberries in pots.

Test your soil to check the soil acidity. Blueberries need a pH reading between 4 and 5. If it is higher than that, add granular sulphur to the soil (this is best added a few months prior to planting). Till into the soil and water in. Used coffee grounds are a good addition. Add compost and manure and use mulch to cover.

Feed your blueberries in spring with an azalea fertiliser. Keep your patch well-watered. Remove any dead or diseased branches before the plant comes into leaf in spring. Reduce all the branches by a third to do two-thirds if it has reached its full height (usually after 4 years).

Leave fruit until fully ripe, as it won’t continue to ripen once picked.

Blueberry and Almond Cake

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 22 cm cake tin.

Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl with a whisk.

In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs with an electric beater on medium for five minutes until the mixture becomes pale and increases in volume. While the mixer is still running slowly, pour in the melted butter and oil. Add the almond extract. It should look thick and glossy.

Bake for 35-40 mins. Poke a skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready.

Let the cake cool before turning it out into a cake plate. Dust with icing sugar and serve with thick cream.

For 8

4 eggs, lightly beaten

200 g sugar

50 g vegetable oil

70 g butter, melted

1 tsp almond extract

375 g blueberries (you can use frozen)

Icing sugar (for dusting)

Thick cream to serve (optional)

Dry ingredients

175 g almond flour

85 g all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

This is an edited extract from The Kitchen Garden by Lucy Mora.

The Kitchen Garden by Lucy Mora is available now.

AU $45

Posted on June 29, 2022