Blueberry reset.

beeman_gardener(5)March 14, 2013

I am planning to reset my Bluberry patch. Remove all bushes, add amendments, resite and add drip irrigation.
When would the best time be? Before bud break and dormant or after bud break?
Any help and advice gratefully received.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

That's an easy decision, before bud break. As soon as you can work the soil without compacting it.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 9:24PM
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fireduck(10a)

B...if I were you, I would get them in the ground ASAP. Keep in mind...blueberries want acidic soil. Amend correctly. (peat moss, small ground cover bark. compost)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 9:28PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

I am not a fan of drip irrigation for BB unless you use several emitters per bush or have a soil that really wicks well. Ground level 360 degree spray heads cover better and I can visually tell they are working.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:55AM
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beeman_gardener(5)

Thanks for the info. I have been having a real think and am considering building a low poly tunnel to contain my patch.
Obviously I will have to roll up the sides to allow pollinators and to control temp. But apart from that any other problems? What do you think, good or bad idea?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 9:25PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

That would solve any bird issues and make for an earlier harvest. Mine do great in a greenhouse. I've found the black woven polypropylene shade cloth very durable and would be an option to close off areas for birds exclusion.

I have the 30% polypro over my greenhouse for cooling and to keep the hail from tearing up the polyethylene covering.

If you don't need an earlier harvest a shelter covered with the shade fabric would be great by itself to exclude birds and larger insects like stink bug.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 9:34PM
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beeman_gardener(5)

Thanks: 'Fruitnut' your pictures are a real encouragement.
I am sourcing amendments for when the snow has gone. To date I cannot find 'Pine Bark Fines' in spite of living in the softwood capital. All I can find is Pine Bark Mini Nuggets, about half the size of regular nuggets.
Would a slightly larger 'fine' make much of a difference if used with Peat which is readily available.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 7:55PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

Hi beeman,
The nuggets can be run over with a vehicle. Brady

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 11:56PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

I tried the vehicle thing, didn't have very much success. What worked for me but made alittle bit more mess was using a lawn mower. I did it on the drive way with large nuggets. Took a few minutes to sweep it all up but it worked.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 12:25AM
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kittymoonbeam

Now I know what to use my old lawnmower for!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 10:20AM
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sun-junkie(9)

Beeman,
Like Bamboo I also use the low 360 sprayers. Even watering and easy to regulate/monitor.

I pulled the 2 middle bushes from our raised bed about 4 weeks ago and re-positioned the outside 2. Root mats are very heavy and hard to keep together. I managed by using burlap coffee sacks. Loosened the roots, then slide the sacks under each bush w/ the help of a 2x12. (stuffed inside). Just grab the sack's corners and you're good to go.

But if you're not doing this for space or rearrangement, why not just scratch the top layer and reapply a layer of Spanghum peat and leaf mold compost for mulch?

Relocating was a huge endeavor. I've got new growth and good fruit set on all 4 now though, been watering a lot w/ maxicrop seaweed for root recovery.

Climax Rabbiteye, 4 weeks after transplant....

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 8:39PM
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beeman_gardener(5)

Thanks "Sun-junkie".
This for me is 'do or die'. Quality has dropped off, little to no plant replacement from new growth. I have to gut and resite to save my plants.
I worked out the plants were planted over 20 years ago! Will take your advice as soon as the snow has gone.
Your new growth gives me lots of encouragement.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 10:35PM
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beeman_gardener(5)

Just an update on my siting plans which you might find interesting.
Today I did some Ph tests, prior to digging out the plants. This is weird and not what I expected. Rain water, today it rained and filled the water buts, Ph 6.7. Tap water from my well Ph 5.6. Soil test Ph 7.8 At this rate irrigation seems to be the way to go and acid might not be needed.
All tests done properly and accurately!
Still getting a plant trim from a danged rabbit, snow gone and just waiting till the soil is a bit dryer.
Plans well ahead for a poly tunnel, got to keep the rabbits off.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 7:49PM
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