Growing blueberries in the edible landscape

Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 09:24 AM.

Bare-root bushes should be transplanted during the winter months container grown bushes can be transplanted anytime.  The first year after planting, the blossoms should be removed to help the bush grow more quickly.

Pruning is an important part of blueberry culture.  It promotes the growth of strong wood, and rids the tree of weak twiggy growth.  The strong wood growth is necessary for good fruit production.

Believe it or not, the worst pests of blueberries are birds.  You need to protect your bushes with some kind of netting, or employ the old fashioned scarecrow to do the job.  It you don’t protect your bushes; you can count on the birds getting to the fruit before you do.

Other than birds rabbiteye blueberries have few pest or disease problems.  Powdery mildew can occur on bushes that don’t get full sun, but this problem can be easily controlled with a sulfur spray.  Bud mites, thrips, fruitworms, and defoliating insects can sometimes be a problem.

Weeds will compete with young blueberry bushes for nutrients and water, so keep the beds as free of weeds as possible.  Mulches are good for controlling weed growth.  If necessary, there are herbicides available.

For more information on Growing Blueberries in the Edible Landscape contact the Gulf County Extension Service at 639-3200 or visit our websitehttp://gulf.ifas.ufl.edu or www.http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu and see publication HS 967 & CIR 1192.

 



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