Blueberry Fertility

agrostis

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Winston-Salem NC
I have 35 large blueberry bush's. 70% are 8'+. Most are highbush, some are rabbit-eye. They grow in (for around here) decent soil. They are about 30 year's old. They have not been fertilized in 20 year's. I know they could stand to be cut back but since they are not commercial losing that visual impact for a few year's might not be the best idea. But i don't know. Maybe being cut back would be the best thing for them. Last year the berry's were getting fairly sour. I think they need sulfur. I was going to broadcast 0-0-5 on both side's and side dress with sulfur in Feb. But i really don't know. I have never had to care for blueberry's before. What would you do ?

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RAlmaroad

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
SC
Blueberries like grapes need sun to be sweet. Ever notice that whitish haze on them? That is yeast and aids in sweetness. They need an acidic soil so your idea of sulfur is correct. I'd run a pH sample and call Stark or visit their site. From the looks of your bushes they need severe pruning to let the sunlight to them. I'm not far from Boone or Banner Elk, NC where they grow and produce blueberries as a crop. You could make a visit to a production farm and ask and see their bushes. I'd start pruning now--go to youtube and check out their videos on pruning blueberries. You'll be fine just do not over prune and go for a low growing bush.
 

Smallaxe

LawnSite Fanatic
I add sulfer and iron to the blueberry plants each spring... gently work it in around the base of the plant... All of my varieties are shallow fibrous roots with just a couple of ground anchors, so be careful...

Blueberries, like grapes need sun, to be sweet... That is good to know, I never thought about it in that way b4... :)
 
OP
agrostis

agrostis

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Winston-Salem NC
Blueberries like grapes need sun to be sweet. Ever notice that whitish haze on them? That is yeast and aids in sweetness. They need an acidic soil so your idea of sulfur is correct. I'd run a pH sample and call Stark or visit their site. From the looks of your bushes they need severe pruning to let the sunlight to them. I'm not far from Boone or Banner Elk, NC where they grow and produce blueberries as a crop. You could make a visit to a production farm and ask and see their bushes. I'd start pruning now--go to youtube and check out their videos on pruning blueberries. You'll be fine just do not over prune and go for a low growing bush.
Yes i have noticed that whitish haze. I didn't know that yeast was what that was. I looked at the stark website. That picture on their front page has some of the biggest blueberry's i have ever seen. I am going to start pruning these thing's. They are so dense that removing individual cane's is going to be hard. It will probably be a multi-year project. Thank's for the info.
 
OP
agrostis

agrostis

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Winston-Salem NC
I add sulfer and iron to the blueberry plants each spring... gently work it in around the base of the plant... All of my varieties are shallow fibrous roots with just a couple of ground anchors, so be careful...

Blueberries, like grapes need sun, to be sweet... That is good to know, I never thought about it in that way b4... :)

Iron... I hadn't thought of that. They have delicate roots. That is good information, Thank's.
 

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