How to Care for Blueberry Bushes
With blueberry picking season upon us, we’re frequently asked how we keep our blueberry bushes so healthy and grow such big berries. Well, it takes a lot of work all year round to achieve this! Growing healthy blueberry bushes that produce big, delicious blueberries requires a combination of the following:
Yearly pruning in late winter is necessary in order to ensure that a blueberry bush remains healthy and continues to produce edible berries. During the first few years after planting, a blueberry bush needs little pruning but it is still important to remove any twiggy growth. More pruning is necessary after a few summers when it’s time to concentrate on pruning a small number of stout, fruiting shoots and remove other growth. Mature bushes that have produced for more than four years require the most pruning. We remove canes that have shown weakening due to heavy bearing over the years. Cutting these canes to the ground will stimulate the sprouting of new canes from the base, keeping the plant “young.” Learn more about blueberry bush pruning from the UMass Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment.
Blueberry bushes require just the right amount of water when fruit is present since too much water can result in large berries that lack flavor and not enough water can result in tiny berries. We water our blueberry bushes daily using drip when fruit is present to keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
The best pH soil level for blueberry bushes is between 4 and 5. This level needs to be actively monitored and steps need to be taken to maintain this level in order to grow the healthiest blueberry bushes. The best soil conditions for blueberries is well-drained soil.
Blueberry bushes are fertilized yearly during the spring and early summer only.
While blueberry picking season typically lasts from mid-July through late August here in New England, taking care of the blueberry bushes is really a year-round job! Learn more about our pick your own blueberries here. And as always, be sure to check our current picking conditions here.
Categorized in: Blueberries
This post was written by Parlee Farms