Thank you for this article! I've been trying to find information on how to prune my own blueberry bushes, which are about 20 yrs. old, 7' tall, still productive, and have never been trimmed. I would like to cut them back to 5' so that I can easily cover them with netting and so that over time they will eventually match the height some young blueberry bushes I planted last year. I'm scared to cut them without more detailed instructions. Can the author, Kathleen Tenpas, or anyone else advise me?
tkimes- Hi "neighbor"
I haven't researched lately, but I have bushes.
I have read that commercial operations do this kind of 'whack' pruning on some schedule. I do some annual pruning. If you look closely, some branches are bigger and grey at the base, and lead up to where they have some fresh young green sprouts. I usually find some that have very little in the way of new growth and prune that off, or even take a whole branch. There should be new branches to follow from the ground level.
Came here to tell the author, it's good to hear that whacking can work. Takes some guts or desperation though!
Great article...I am a wack 'em and thin 'em clan person. We have never missed a fruiting year. This year was super great with all the rain. We use an organic blend fertilizer for acid plants placing about a cup full each spring and again August 1st. They bloom and produce on new growth with minimal feeding.
tk, When you do your pruning, take only the older branches, and I see no problem with keeping them at a convenient height - just don't prune in early spring or you'll cut off your blossom buds.
Sally, we're very accomplished at whacking around here. Everything was so overgrown, it was the only option. the only things that we've lost were those that we were too timid with.
Hey, doc. There's a great sense of accomplishment after a bout of whacking away. Our bushes are along a lane on which the cows spend a good amount of time. I think perhaps all the poo is exceedingly beneficial to the berry bushes.
It's not just whacking to keep them shorter, or thinning the branches - according to a blueberry grower that was next to my dad's farm , you also have to thin the ENDS of the branches to no more than 4 buds - do it as the buds swell, start at the end of a branch, and strip off all but 4 or 5 clusters of buds. Keeps the berries bigger - well worth your time!
I have 2 Blueberry bushes in large containers. They are now 2 years old. I would love to fertilize them with an organic fertilizer. Where can I find such a thing and what is it called? Would this also be an Acidic Fertilizer?
I do not know your neck of the woods. However the basic organic fertilizers are now sold by most large lawn and garden centers. They are also listed on every organic site with easy access. There are different brand names from one area to another. All you should have to do is ask the basic questions in your area. Fertrell is the worlds first and perhaps still the largest distributor of organic products. They have a web page and list all their dealers in their catalog on the web.