New Blueberry Bushes and Flies???

AmyColeApril 13, 2013

This will be my first year planting any sort of garden. I had set out my plot and decided to make a berry patch in a row behind my vegetable plot. I have planted three different species of blueberries as I have heard that one should do this (Early Blue, Jersey and Rabbit Eye due to my research of them being a good option for my area).

When I planted the bushes, my soil was more alkaline so I added in some compost as well as product that is good for acid loving plants (can't remember what it was although was advised by the garden store to add this to help bring the Ph level of our soil down a bit) and planted them as suggested.

When I received my Rabbit Eye plants, they were in the dormant stage. It has been two weeks since I have planted those two and they seem to have not taken to being planted. I.E. They still look dormant and some areas dead as the twigs seem to snap. Although a few areas still look like they may possibly be alive.

I just recently planted the early blue and the jersey within the past day. AFTER I read that I need different varieties for cross pollination. However, I have noticed what seem to be Blueberry Maggot Flies or possibly Asian Fruit Flies on the branches of the Rabbit Eyes (even though they are dormant or dead?) and when I try to brush them off they just stay there! I have even noticed them on my new bushes that I planted yesterday and those are only first year bushes.

So, my questions are: Are the Rabbit Eyes dead or should I give them more time? Should I prune off what seem to be dead branches and if so how? And what are these stubborn flies? I am a bit confused because there is obviously no fruit right now but the pictures I have found on the Internet look like these flies and if it is them how can I get rid of them and in an organic way? Thank you so much for your advice in advance!

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Don't fret about the flies they are likely harmless. There aren't many pests of blueberries and even if there were it won't be an issue now.

Your plants likely need more time to start growing. After they are growing snip off the dead twigs. If they have a lot of flowers remove most of them. It's OK to leave enough to taste but don't leave them loaded with fruit until next year.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 8:22PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Here IPM on flies Blueberry Maggot Flies. Stick Trays your best control.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blueberry maggot flys

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 7:21AM
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To confirm if the plant is alive, just do a "scratch test". Take your fingernail or another sharp object and scratch away a small area of the surface of the stem or bark. If it is green underneath, the plant should be alive, just dormant.

As for the flies, they could be seed corn maggot flies.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed corn maggot fly

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 10:45PM
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Thank you everyone for your replies! I will try the fly trap just in case however thank you so much @Rob Thomas! After reading the article and looking at different images I do believe it is quite possible that they are corn maggot flies. Especially since they do not move much if anything when I try to swat them away.

I have done the scratch test and it seems that there are a select few branches that are alive. Yet, a large amount (especially the main branches) seem dead and snap easily. Due to this I am unsure as to what their status is. I do know that frost swept over our area since they were planted. Due to this it could be frost damage I'm assuming and if this is the case I am unsure as to what I should do next.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 11:18PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

"As for the flies, they could be seed corn maggot flies." and few more Bean maggot flies, onion maggot flies manure maggot flies they do get around early early Spring and late winter.Moths lay eggs that turn into worms inside fruits.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 11:24PM
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