Blueberry pruning question

nandakumar(7)July 25, 2013

Two weeks back (7/10/2013) I pruned two of my blueberry plants that I got this winter. I haven't seen any new growth until today.

After pruning, I applied Ammonium Sulfate (21-0-0) twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays) with the mix rate of 1 'tablespoon' to 5G water and the next application is due tomorrow. Besides AS, I also added Espoma Plant tone 5-3-3 organic fertilizer once on the day I pruned.

Please let me what else I should do to encourage new growth.

Below are the pictures for reference, looks like lawn is not an appropriate background. This is the first time I ever pruned Blueberry plants, not sure whether I have done a decent job.

'Palmetto' Southern Highbush - left one branch without pruning

'Climax' Rabbiteye - I also pruned a new shoot because it was too tall

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Glad you are seeing new growth. 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of water is about right, but I'd back off to once per week.

Sounds like you are doing ok. Just curious, how big are the pots, and what makes up the mix? Do you acidify your water with vinegar?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 12:15AM
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Fruits.Veggies(8a)

Blueberries

This post was edited by Fruits.Veggies on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 1:30

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:10AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Keep the pots cool.....perhaps wrap foil around the pot to keep the sun from cooking the roots. Your Palmetto has had a rough life so far, shows signs of stunting probably was shaded by more robust BB around it. Other than that you seem to be doing just fine.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 8:24AM
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nandakumar(7)

Thanks edweather and Bamboo,

Most of the days weather is 100+, sure I'll wrap foil around the pots. Out of all my blueberries, Palmetto only seems to have growth issue. These blueberries were translated from 3G containers to 7G containers and eventually I plan to transplant them to 15G containers. Now I have one more question to get clarification, when would be the right time to transplant blueberry plants to bigger containers?

Potting mix is derived referencing Blueboy's ratio of 70% pine bark mulch, 20% sphagnum peat moss and 10% Perlite.

Whenever available I use rainwater, otherwise I acidify the water using sulfuric acid to raise tap water pH between 5 and 6.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 12:35PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

If you repot very carefully without significantly disturbing the roots, then you can repot pretty much any time. For example, I've been moving some rooted cuttings from 2 to 10 gallon pots recently with no problems at all. For bigger pots, though, it's going to be more difficult to minimize root disturbance. In that case, I'd probably wait until they're dormant.

This post was edited by shazaam on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 12:58

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 12:56PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Nandakumar,

Contrary to what is recommended for most plants you can put a 1 gallon blueberry straight in to a 30 gallon pot. It helps it in many many ways...keeps it cooler, keeps it moist and reduces the risk of dry out reduces repeated transplant shock just to name a few. With most plants you don't want to put them in too big of a container but BB are different.

If you have used coffee grounds add them to your mix as well or put them on top, they like them. They also like leftover cold coffee btw. The caffeine really makes them grow, well not really but they do like the acidic coffee water.

Far as the acid I would aim for closer to PH 5.

It isn't Palmetto it is just that plant. I won't buy plants that are like that.....it seems the ones that roar from the start continue that way and the ones that are a bit more retarded in their growth tend to stay that way. All those L shaped lower branches are a tell tale sign it was shaded by more robust plants around it. Some people like to nurse the runts...I dispose of them.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:57PM
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nandakumar(7)

thanks again bamboo,

in fact I planted couple of other varieties Bountiful Blue and Peach Sorbet in 25G containers and they really took off and had lot of new growth, which I nipped and now I see lot of new branches coming out.

I have three more blueberries in 10G containers and can transplant all of them to 15G or 20G containers, since weather is 100+ I'm hesitating .

There are 2 Starbucks in our neighborhood and they always have packed coffee grounds to give to gardeners and so for I would have got 50lbs, sure will start to add more to blueberries.

After 3 times of mixing sulfuric acid to water, i think i'm getting hang of it, here after will try to make sure to maintain pH around 5.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 4:51PM
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nandakumar(7)

thanks shazaam,

it has been 2 months since I transplanted all of the blueberries from their original containers, probably they started to have new roots, is it fine to transplant them again now?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 5:13PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

If they are in bigger than 1 gallon containers I would wait till dormant. If they are in 1 gallons I would do it now.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 5:36PM
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