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Thread: Blueberries are in full swing

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Blueberries are in full swing

    I don't have many blueberry bushes but they are producing like crazy.

    This is from one picking, a couple of quarts to add to the berries in the fridge from the day before.
    .
    blueberries_july_21.jpg

    If this keeps up much longer I'll have to start feeding them to the chickens.

    We have had several blueberry pies and have several in the freezer ready to defrost and bake. She froze a number of "personal" sized pies too to give to friends.
    Eating blueberry pie is a terrible responsibility but I give it my best shot. A bit of vanilla ice cream on top of warm pie softens the burden.

    The Queen of the Estate canned a bunch of pints of blueberries yesterday.

    JKJ

  2. #2
    How many plants John and different types? I eat tons of blue berries but buy frozen ones. Garden is a variety of things and lots is Kale.

    Do you need special soil PH or anything for the blueberries and are the plats years old or fairly new etc. Logical thing for me to add though likely eat too many to supply myself.

    thanks w

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Lake View Post
    How many plants John and different types? I eat tons of blue berries but buy frozen ones. Garden is a variety of things and lots is Kale.

    Do you need special soil PH or anything for the blueberries and are the plats years old or fairly new etc. Logical thing for me to add though likely eat too many to supply myself.

    thanks w
    I have a dozen or so bushes but only four are producing significantly and three of those are not large. (There are Highbush and Lowbush varieties.)
    My largest bush is maybe 8 years old (taller than I can reach) but if healthy even small bushes will start producing nicely in a year or two. Some I have were planted just this year.
    The first year you are supposed to pull off any berries that start to develop to let the plant put the energy into root and stem growth.

    I've had a number of bushes die over the years. Some may have not been appropriate for this zone - the people who sell them will uncaringly import them from anywhere.

    I understand you need more than one variety in the same area for pollination purposes.
    The bushes should be watered a time or two every week without rain.

    Blueberries need an acidic soil. Peat moss, oak leaves, special fertilizer and other things work.
    I have one friend who mulches her bushes with large amounts of oak leaves every year and they are doing great. I'm starting to do that.

    The birds LOVE the blueberries. Sometimes I hang a few strips of netting to encourage them to go find bugs to eat instead.

    JKJ

  4. #4
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    I don't have bushes, but am glad you are getting a good yield. I'm sure you can find some folks in your community to eat them if need be!! I've beeny buying the "giant" ones (Driscoll) brand for sometime now as I regularly serve fruit/berries with meals. Those big ones are really sweet and flavorful.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    Sep 2013
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    Wayland, MA
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    Up to our elbows in blueberries in MA. And they are huge this year with all the rain we've gotten. I can eat a lot of blueberries, though.

    If all of my plants (about 14) matched the most productive ones I'd be swamped. I have early, mid-season and late varieties but they don't seem to vary by as much as one might hope. There are ripe berries on every plant right now, first picking was last week.

  6. #6
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    Ours are just starting, but they are hanging like bunches of grapes from most of the branches. There is going to be a ton of them.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  7. #7
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    Putney, Vermont
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    I have 5 bushes and they are producing well this year. The branches are not thick enough to support the weight of the berries. I need to try to get the branches to grow more. I have been putting stakes in the ground to support them. And we have so many birds they would eat them all, so I have to put up netting which is a real chore.

  8. #8
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    May 2009
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    Wenatchee. Wa
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    Here in north central Washington Mother Nature decided to dry the berries on the plant. Blueberries and raspberries just don’t thrive in continuous high heat. Western Washington’s berry crop was also decreased significantly by the extreme heat. Glad that many of you have good crops. But if this keeps up all summer the apples will sustain damage also.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael langman View Post
    I need to try to get the branches to grow more. I have been putting stakes in the ground to support them. And we have so many birds they would eat them all, so I have to put up netting which is a real chore.
    I needed new bird netting to fit over the frame of our bird guard. I switched to 1 inch mesh knotted nylon netting instead of the plastic 1/2 inch bird netting. What I have now is the same netting they use at driving ranges. It took far less time to get the bushes covered. 32 x 36 foot was just under $200 plus shipping. It should last at least 15-20 years as long as I take it down after berry season each year.

    IMG_4961s.jpgIMG_4960s.jpgIMG_4957s.jpg
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 07-16-2021 at 3:01 PM.

  10. #10
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    +1 on the knotted nylon netting. Makes a world of difference. I string it over supports made from plastic electrical conduit to create a tunnel. I can open one end and pick the whole row from inside. Takes about 10 minutes to put up once the supports are in place.

  11. #11
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    I appreciate the recomendation Lee and Roger. I will look into that type netting for sure. The light netting is a nightmare to work with.

    I do something similar Roger. I bought 10foot lengths of 1" pvc piping. It fits just right over rebar, so I cut 2 foot lengths of rebar and hammer them in the ground at the 4 corners around each bush. Cut the pvc pipe to 78" tall, slip over the rebar and use 90 degree fittings at top of pvc pipe to connect the 4 corners.

    I think I'll have to cover all of the plants together as you guys do and not individually.

  12. #12
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    Where to get knotted nylon netting?

    Quote Originally Posted by michael langman View Post
    ...The light netting is a nightmare to work with.
    ...
    The light weight netting I bought at the Home Depot has another problem - snakes can get caught in it and be seriously injured. If I keep it from touching the ground and just hang some pieces over the top and partway down the sides it seems to keep most of the birds away. But I'll look into the knotted nylon netting too.

    Where can I shop for it?

    JKJ

  13. #13
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    I got mine here: https://orchardvalleysupply.com/coll...ldlife-control

    When I bought it they were able to send me custom cut 17x100 ft pieces ($91) which work great for my tunnels. Not sure I see the custom option on their web site now, but I didn't look very far. Pricey. but I've used them for five years now and they still look like new.

  14. #14
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    I can't keep up. Insane harvest this year!

    IMG_3350.jpeg IMG_3349.jpg

  15. #15
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    Slight post drift. Thanks for the tip on knotted nylon netting. I've been working on a berry enclosure (black, blue and rasp) using chain link fence top rail and some specialty fittings. Have used a heavy duty 1" extruded netting stitched together with stainless steel hog rings for the top and was about to order more of the same for the sides, but the knotted nylon looks cheaper and should do the trick (outliving me).

    IMG_4841.jpg, IMG_4835.jpg

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