Friday, April 14, 2006


It was BEAUTIFUL outside today! It got up to 70 degrees F. and I loved it! It brought me right outside in a hurry after all my "in house" chores were done. After we lost the tree on top of the house, we were left with a messy yard. That's going to need some attention, but today my heart was with the blueberries.
The important thing to remember with pruning blueberries is that you do it before they get too far along in their spring growth. Since I’m so far north, none of my blueberries have any buds that have broken out into leaves, so I’m still safe. They DO have big, fat buds at the ends of all the branches. I think this summer we should have a ton of blueberries.
Some of these blueberries have had a tough life. This home was a vacation home for 20 years or so. Through those years, I planted all kinds of perennials, shrubs and trees. They HAD to take care of themselves because I wasn’t here nearly enough to keep them weeded, watered and pruned. The other thing is that over the years, some of these plants that started in the sun ended up in shade because we’re in the woods and the trees have a habit of filling in.
So… the blueberries were some of the ones that ended up in the shade. They did NOT yield at ALL. When we moved up here full time about 10 years ago, I decided they really did need to be moved. We put an addition on the house at that time, and during the construction, I couldn’t plant them where I wanted them to be, so I put them temporarily into my plant “nursery” until their permanent site was ready. Anyway, they were in and out of the soil a few times before they finally were placed. Needless to say, they had been set back considerably.
They have never had any bumper crops. But, this year I think my patience is going to pay off. They are loaded with fat buds and I can’t wait until they bloom and yield. Now if we can only keep the bear at bay.
Pruning them involves a few easy principles. As with all pruning, you need to remove all broken, diseased and dead branches. After you’ve done that step back and take a good look.
Make sure that the center of the bush is open so the breeze can blow through, to avoid mold and fungus.
Be sure that no branches rub on others. That will create abrasions which are vulnerable to disease and insects.
Prune out about a fifth of the branches. These should be the oldest which no longer give much of a yield. Saw them off close to the ground or at the lowest healthy new branch growing out of it.
Remember, blueberries yield on 2 or 3 year old branches, so hang onto the newer branches.
That’s enough for now. Enjoy your garden!


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