Saturday, January 19, 2013
Protecting & Pruning Blueberry Bushes
So, after a week of working and a week of catching up, post-Christmas season, and a week of heavy rains I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things here.
In my area of the South, we had A LOT of rain this past week followed by freezing temperatures at night. Since I have 4 blueberry bushes, I became concerned with these low temperatures and the fact that it could possibly affect my harvest this Summer. Since our weather has been swinging since Christmas from Spring-like temperatures to very wintery freezing temperatures, I've already got these pretty red buds (which are somewhat normal for winter), but I'm concerned my bushes are thinking it's Spring!
A few things I've learned in my research...
1) Rabbiteye Variety of blueberry bushes (which I have) are quite hearty. However, they should be
covered if the temps get down below freezing, which is 32 degrees. The Highbush Variety are even
heartier and probably don't need concern until temps get below 0 degrees but have survived temps as
low as -20 and -30 degrees!
2) When covering my bushes, one layer will increase temperatures by about 2-3 degrees, while two layers
can increase temperatures underneath by nearly 10 degrees. This is handy information since one the
upcoming nights, it will be as low as 18 degrees (at least that's what has been forcast).
3) If there is a constant temperature below freezing, more drastic measures must be taken--like portable
heaters and the like to help keep the temperatures up.
I've included this link to The University of Georgia's College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. This was a GREAT article! Click HERE to read all about Blueberry Bushes and Freezing Temperatures!
As I was continuing my research, I was thinking about pruning, too. Winter is the time for pruning bushes and I've always been sort of confused about which branch to trim.
So, I found this great video link from Growing Wisdom with David Epstein, NE Meteorologist I'm posting here and I hope folks will find it useful! It sure was helpful for me!