The proper time to prune blueberry shrubs is in late winter (or very early spring), while the plants are still dormant. Pruning isn’t hard to do. The goal is to encourage new flowering and fruiting branches to emerge. I tackle the job this way:
Need more pointers for growing great blueberries? I have 8 useful tips for you:
Tip #1: Consider the real estate. Although blueberries will grow in part shade, they will grow even better in full sun.
Tip #2: Before planting, work plenty of organic matter into the soil. I added shredded leaves and peat moss to my boxwood-edged bed.
Tip #3: Never plant just one shrub! Cross pollination of different varieties will give you more and bigger fruit. I grow early-, mid-, and late-season varieties.
Tip #4: Even if it pains you to do so, remove flower buds the first two years after planting. Otherwise, growth will be slow, and the shrubs will never amount to anything. I speak from experience.
Tip #5: After three years have passed, winter-prune while the bushes are dormant. Pruning forces the plants to produce extra fruiting branches. (Click the above video to watch me prune my blueberry shrubs.)
Tip #6: Mulch the bed with 2- or 3-inches of…something. Over the years, I’ve relied on shredded leaves, pine needles, and wood chips to mulch my blueberry patch.
Tip #7: Provide adequate moisture. Blueberries, like most plants, prefer 1-2 inches of water per week.
Tip #8: Provide acidic soil! Blueberries prefer a soil pH of 4.6 to 5.5 (I mistakenly said “6.0” in the above video. ) I rely on Espoma’s Organic Soil Acidifier to achieve to the proper pH in my blueberry bed.
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