• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Dave Burton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Steve Thorn
  • Eric Hanson

Growing Blueberries Naturally with No Irrigation and No Pruning

 
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wanted to make this thread to help me keep track of and document my blueberry bushes.

Hopefully it can be helpful to others also!
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love blueberry blossoms!

The pollinators are busy at work too on these rabbiteye blueberries!
Blueberry-blossoms.jpg
Blueberry blossoms
Blueberry blossoms
 
pollinator
Posts: 1054
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
218
hugelkultur forest garden hunting chicken food preservation bee
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So purty...
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tj Jefferson wrote:So purty...



Thanks TJ!

They always looks so pretty, dainty, and fragile to me!
 
pollinator
Posts: 543
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
57
fungi gear trees chicken bike building woodworking wood heat homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had to coddle ours for the first years... some varieties didn't do well through the winter, etc.  After the survivor varieties became decently rooted, they've thrived.  Some of ours are now 7-ft tall and 4-ft across.  And producing lots of sweet berries.  Best of luck with yours!
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joel Bercardin wrote:I had to coddle ours for the first years... some varieties didn't do well through the winter, etc.  After the survivor varieties became decently rooted, they've thrived.



I had a similar experience with mine during the summer of the first year. The heat and drought really got to some of them, but like you said, once they made it past that and got a little established, they've really thrived!

Some of ours are now 7-ft tall and 4-ft across.  And producing lots of sweet berries.  Best of luck with yours!



Thanks Joel, yeah there's nothing like fresh blueberries, glad to hear yours are doing great!
 
Posts: 124
Location: Zone 7a, 42", Fairfax VA Piedmont (clay, acidic, shady)
25
forest garden fungi urban chicken woodworking homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Will blueberries do ok in an understory?  I have acidic, heavy clay soils, with some areas that get plenty of sun - up on a ridge, but there is scattered tree cover, perhaps 4-5 hours of sun overall.
 
Tj Jefferson
pollinator
Posts: 1054
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
218
hugelkultur forest garden hunting chicken food preservation bee
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Josh, most of mine are on an edge with 4-6 hours of direct sun while growing, essentially a north-south hugel. They definitely like more sun, but they absolutely need to have moist soil in the heat until well established. I'm replacing the current shade trees with other trees, and they will have full sun for 5-6 years while those fill in, and I'm not worried. They will produce far more in the sun, because of course that is how they obtain energy.

I would encourage you to richly amend your clay before planting, they prefer lots of decaying things. The ones I planted in clay- even mulched- had very high mortality.
 
gardener
Posts: 2521
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
186
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I have two bushes, both planted in a bale of peat, one in the ground,one in a sub irrigated container.
Neither are dying but neither are thriving.
So I'm wondering, do y'all fertilize your blue berry bushes,and if so,  with what?
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Josh Garbo wrote:Will blueberries do ok in an understory?  I have acidic, heavy clay soils, with some areas that get plenty of sun - up on a ridge, but there is scattered tree cover, perhaps 4-5 hours of sun overall.



I have some growing with a little more light, maybe 6-7 hours that have done pretty well. Like Tj mentioned, they didn't have quite the production or growth as ones with more sun. They were also more susceptible to late frosts, but they still did well.

It seems like blueberries are pretty tolerant to some shade, I think it would be worth a try!
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

William Bronson wrote:
I have two bushes, both planted in a bale of peat, one in the ground,one in a sub irrigated container.
Neither are dying but neither are thriving.
So I'm wondering, do y'all fertilize your blue berry bushes,and if so,  with what?



I just mulch mine with what I have, usually leaves, pine straw, and occasionally grass clippings. Mine have done really well with that and also being in an area with plenty of moisture.

I also don't prune mine, which has really helped them put on a lot of growth and has also increased production!
 
Posts: 7144
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1138
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

William Bronson wrote:
I have two bushes, both planted in a bale of peat, one in the ground,one in a sub irrigated container.
Neither are dying but neither are thriving.
So I'm wondering, do y'all fertilize your blue berry bushes,and if so,  with what?



Our local  blueberry farmer who we buy rooted cuttings from says they don't need much fertility but do need some nitrogen.  He says plant in a hole three times the root ball, mix in peat moss with the soil and don't let them dry out...mulch heavily.   I watered our young ones with the watered down pee bucket all last summer and they look good.  On the other hand I think the neighborhood dogs killed the bush on the corner of the yard from peeing directly on it.

 
gardener
Posts: 1323
Location: Southern Illinois
241
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Josh,

I am growing some blueberries and like you, they are in heavy clay.  As others have pointed out, I had to really coddle them in their first 2-3 years after which they got well established.

The place I planted them was not the best for blueberries, but then I don’t think much else would have grown there.  In retrospect, it does not get enough sunlight.  There were some nearby trees that looked far enough out of the way when I planted, but as these were locusts, they shot up like rockets and their lateral branches are giving some serious shade to some of my blueberries.

Circumstances dictated that I had to leave the blueberries neglected for a while, but as I am getting back to giving them more attention this year, I am planning on trimming back and maybe even cutting down those offending locusts.  The blueberries that did survive are well established and the only amendment I gave them was a healthy layer of pine mulch to enhance acidity.  I am thinking about spreading woodchips around the bases and sowing wine caps.

By far this point, for the bushes that survived neglect, my biggest problem are birds.  Birds will and have wiped out crops even before I knew that the blueberries were set.  The plants need some netting and I may see about that this year.

But to condense everything I said to a few words, coddle your blueberries the first couple of years till they get established, make sure and give them as much sunlight as you can, and give them some healthy mulch.  After those first couple of years, the bushes will be pretty bulletproof.

Eric
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Eric Hanson wrote:By far this point, for the bushes that survived neglect, my biggest problem are birds.  Birds will and have wiped out crops even before I knew that the blueberries were set.  The plants need some netting and I may see about that this year.



The birds have thoroughly enjoyed my blueberries too, and my grapes also.

I've planted some mulberries though this year, which I've heard the birds prefer over almost everything else, so hopefully they will leave my blueberries and grapes alone once the mulberries come into production!
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The pollinators are enjoying the blueberry blossoms!
Bee-pollinating-blueberry-flowers.jpg
Bee pollinating blueberry flowers
Bee pollinating blueberry flowers
Bee-flying-through-blueberry-flowers.jpg
Bee flying through blueberry flowers
Bee flying through blueberry flowers
 
gardener
Posts: 6414
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1113
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Josh Garbo wrote:Will blueberries do ok in an understory?  I have acidic, heavy clay soils, with some areas that get plenty of sun - up on a ridge, but there is scattered tree cover, perhaps 4-5 hours of sun overall.




I think this depends on your local conditions (maximum temperatures and humidity levels), we have a few U-pick farms here and two have installed blueberry fields in full sun, the bushes are pretty scraggly compared to the ones I know in New York state.
Arkansas has high humidity levels most of the year and we can have temperatures reach 108f but normal summer temps are near 100 with an 80% humidity level and night lows in the summer never get below 70, unless we have a freak cold front pass by.  

I planted my new batch on the woodlot line in an area where they will get morning and evening sun but be in at least partial shade from 11am to 3pm (our hottest part of the day). They are also able to remain more moist than most of our garden area because I located them near the pool of the backyard mini swale system.

I did this because of trapesing through the woods I would come across huckleberry stands that were in openings of the forest canopy where they got nicely dappled light most of the day.
I figured that if that is what the wild huckleberries liked, blueberries probably would too.
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The blueberries are growing quickly with lots of fruit clusters everywhere!
Cluster-of-young-blueberries.jpg
Cluster of young blueberries
Cluster of young blueberries
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I like to almost never prune my blueberries, which from my experience, has produced a multitude of flowers and later tasty blueberies!

Here's a link to a thread discussing that in more depth Why I don't prune my blueberries and a video about it below.

 
Judith Browning
Posts: 7144
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1138
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We've eaten most of our early bearing blueberries but the others look quite promising.  These are three year old bushes and I think bearing so well because of our rains this year.  
I'm challenged by bermuda grass everywhere here...it grows right through and over the pine needle, grass clippings and sawdust mulches so I'm experimenting with letting the creeping charlie 'mulch' more and more area.  

I tried to sharpen up my photos...so much green it's hard to see the green berries themselves.

Flavor wise we are not at all happy with the early ones...nice big berries but bland.

I've lost track of the names...have a stick down there somewhere with a label.  I'm planning to mark the better tasting ones and do cuttings.

There is a sage going to seed, poke, golden marguerite (small yellow flowers), a rose bush I keep having to prune back, iris and other things in the area that don't seem to mind sharing the space.  I'm trying to make the bermuda feel unwelcome
Blueberry-polyculture.jpg
Blueberry polyculture
Blueberry polyculture
Blueberry-with-groundcover.jpg
Blueberry with groundcover
Blueberry with groundcover
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Those look great Judith!

I love the diversity of plants growing around the blueberries, such great polyculture!

We've had a mini drought the last few weeks combined with really hot weather, which has made ours have a very strong flavor, and also I probably picked them a little early too since it was so hard to wait. We've had some thunder showers today and yesterday, so I'm thinking that will help sweeten up the berries also.

Do you have rabbiteyes, southern highbush, or another type of blueberries?
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
First blueberry harvest for this year!
First-blueberries-of-the-year.jpg
First blueberries of the year
First blueberries of the year
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 7144
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1138
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Do you have rabbiteyes, southern highbush, or another type of blueberries?



We have mostly northern high bush varieties that are good for our area in northern Arkansas and a couple southern high bush.  I'd like to try some rabbit eye but might have reached our limit at 20 bushes although I can't imagine having too many blueberries.  

We bought from a local blueberry farm that sells one and two year old rooted cuttings.

Your blueberries look tasty!

 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This blueberry bush is in more shade than most of my other blueberries, and as a result it produces its berries a little later in the season.

The shade sure hasn't hurt the berry production so far as it's full of blueberries, and with the berries maturing a little later, it's extended the blueberry harvest!
Shaded-blueberry-bush-full-of-blueberries.jpg
Shaded blueberry bush full of blueberries
Shaded blueberry bush full of blueberries
 
pollinator
Posts: 206
Location: Athens, GA Zone 8a
36
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Steve Thorn wrote:This blueberry bush is in more shade than most of my other blueberries, and as a result it produces its berries a little later in the season.

The shade sure hasn't hurt the berry production so far as it's full of blueberries, and with the berries maturing a little later, it's extended the blueberry harvest!



So glad to know this! I wanted to put blueberries in a certain spot in my yard, but I was afraid it was too shady. Now I'm emboldened to try!
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The blueberries are really coming off now!

Here's a link to another thread about uses and recipes to put all those blueberries to good use!  Blueberries- Favorite Uses, Recipes, and Preservation
A-bowl-of-freshly-picked-homegrown-blueberries-.jpg
A bowl of freshly picked homegrown blueberries!
A bowl of freshly picked homegrown blueberries!
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love seeing big blueberries hanging down in clusters like grapes, ready to be picked!

I'd love to see photos of your blueberry bushes or blueberries if you're harvesting them yet!
Blueberry-clusters-in-different-stages-of-ripeness.jpg
Blueberry clusters in different stages of ripeness
Blueberry clusters in different stages of ripeness
All-the-blueberries-are-ripe-in-this-cluster-.jpg
All the blueberries are ripe in this cluster!
All the blueberries are ripe in this cluster!
Close-up-of-fully-ripe-blueberry-cluster.jpg
Close up of fully ripe blueberry cluster
Close up of fully ripe blueberry cluster
 
gardener
Posts: 862
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
193
dog duck chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts pig bike bee solar ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Judith Browning wrote:

I tried to sharpen up my photos...so much green it's hard to see the green berries themselves.

Flavor wise we are not at all happy with the early ones...nice big berries but bland.



Lovely pics, Judith!
Do post those variety names if you find them.

I had a berm planted with blueberries,  cranberries and a schezuan pepper. A nice volunteer kindly strimmed the whole berm. Hey ho!
 
Posts: 47
Location: Western PA
2
urban
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We’ve been experimenting with different varieties. I’ve one Southern Lowbush and one Northern Highbush. We noticed better yields when the berries are running late. So we invested in an Eliot this year, a late producer. The reason for better yields is that the birds must have another option for food. So either the bush must produce really early when the mulberry is in production or late when the sunflowers are producing. The birds would much rather eat sunflowers if given a choice.

Our soil is clay, leaning to alkaline but the bushes get coffee grounds and pine clippings every fall. We have them around a Japanese Maple. They like the edges, a good mix of sun and shade at the drip line. I found bare root bushes need to be planted early in spring or they won’t survive. I live in zone 6. I recently added lingonberries as a companion. The lingonberries have not produced just yet. Other companions in the blueberry patch include hellebore, violets, and columbine.
 
Posts: 159
Location: Dayton, Ohio
48
forest garden foraging urban food preservation fiber arts ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I haven't seen any mention of inoculating the blueberry roots with beneficial fungi. I've read that species in fhe genus Vaccinium require ericoid mycorrhiza in their roots in order to properly absorb nutrients because the plants do not have well-developed root hairs.
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Linda Listing wrote:We’ve been experimenting with different varieties. I’ve one Southern Lowbush and one Northern Highbush.



That's neat Linda! I originally planted Rabbiteye varieties, but I have recently added some Southern Highbush to experiment with.

We noticed better yields when the berries are running late. So we invested in an Eliot this year, a late producer. The reason for better yields is that the birds must have another option for food. So either the bush must produce really early when the mulberry is in production or late when the sunflowers are producing. The birds would much rather eat sunflowers if given a choice.



That's a great observation! My early berries get hit hard by the birds too. However the later ones that are ripening about the same time as the plums and grapes don't get hit nearly as bad.

We have them around a Japanese Maple. They like the edges, a good mix of sun and shade at the drip line.



I've found that to work really well for mine too.

I found bare root bushes need to be planted early in spring or they won’t survive. I live in zone 6.



I prefer bare root plants too. I've heard spring is a good time to plant them in cooler climates, especially places with harsh winters.

I live in a little warmer climate on the 7b/8a line and have found Fall as the best time to plant them here. They seem to develop a good root system over the winter and early spring, in time to make it through our hot and usually dry summers.

I recently added lingonberries as a companion. The lingonberries have not produced just yet. Other companions in the blueberry patch include hellebore, violets, and columbine.



That's awesome!

I love experimenting with companion plants!
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ryan M Miller wrote:I haven't seen any mention of inoculating the blueberry roots with beneficial fungi. I've read that species in fhe genus Vaccinium require ericoid mycorrhiza in their roots in order to properly absorb nutrients because the plants do not have well-developed root hairs.



I've never had to inoculate mine, but I guess you could, to possibly help them get established quicker.

Mine usually are getting established the first year, start putting on more growth the second year, and really take off on the third year. I'm guessing the fungi are probably naturally starting to thrive around the third year too which probably helps the blueberries a lot!
 
Posts: 61
Location: WNC 6b
10
kids foraging chicken
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beautiful photos!
Occasionally we water our blueberries with diluted vinegar in hopes of raising acidity.
We purchase ours bareroot through the extension office. Baby them their first summer or two and hopefully this being their third year we will really start to see them thrive.
 
Sena Kassim
Posts: 61
Location: WNC 6b
10
kids foraging chicken
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We'd like to plant more at the bottom of our garden hill. Has anyone had experience with too much winter moisture in the soil adversely effecting their health?

I could mix in more sand and organic matter...thoughts?
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 1323
Location: Southern Illinois
241
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Steve,

On reflection, I think I planted my blueberries in a bad spot.  I put them near the bottom of a dam for my pond (the pond was there when I bought the land).  The dam is huge given the amount of water being held back.  The base is gigantic and slopes upwards only slightly.  I can easily mow sideways without fear of rollover.  My point is that given the shallow slope, the dam is not the problem.

The problem is that the area I planted in is close to a fence row that I let grow wild.  It has plenty of honey locust, and every plant grow like mad.  When I put the blueberries in, the fence row was a mere 4’ tall.  Today it towers 15-20’ and the branches reach out over my blueberries!  When I planted them, the blueberries were in near full sun.  Today they are in about 1/2 shade.  The blueberries are growing towards the sun.  They look like they are leaning over, reaching for the sun.  They do produce fruit, but not as much as I would have liked.  Not all of the blueberries survived, I think they failed to thrive due to lack of sunlight.

I need a bunch of new woodchips and I think I will do a little trimming and thinning near the area.  I don’t want to thin too much as this woody barrier provided some visual and sound barrier against my new noisy neighbors. I will update after I do my trimming, but I feel comfortable stating that blueberries really want full sunlight.

Eric
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sena Kassim wrote:Beautiful photos!



Thank you Sena!

We'd like to plant more at the bottom of our garden hill. Has anyone had experience with too much winter moisture in the soil adversely effecting their health?

I could mix in more sand and organic matter...thoughts?



I have some in an area that gets pretty wet during the winter, and they seem to be enjoying the spot so far. Like you mentioned, I have put some organic matter, mainly leaves, around them which have broken down and seems to absorb some of the excess moisture, but the soil still gets pretty wet sometimes.

I hope you get some tasty blueberries soon!
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Eric Hanson wrote:Steve,

On reflection, I think I planted my blueberries in a bad spot.  I put them near the bottom of a dam for my pond (the pond was there when I bought the land).  The dam is huge given the amount of water being held back.  The base is gigantic and slopes upwards only slightly.  I can easily mow sideways without fear of rollover.  My point is that given the shallow slope, the dam is not the problem.

The problem is that the area I planted in is close to a fence row that I let grow wild.  It has plenty of honey locust, and every plant grow like mad.  When I put the blueberries in, the fence row was a mere 4’ tall.  Today it towers 15-20’ and the branches reach out over my blueberries!  When I planted them, the blueberries were in near full sun.  Today they are in about 1/2 shade.  The blueberries are growing towards the sun.  They look like they are leaning over, reaching for the sun.  They do produce fruit, but not as much as I would have liked.  Not all of the blueberries survived, I think they failed to thrive due to lack of sunlight.

I need a bunch of new woodchips and I think I will do a little trimming and thinning near the area.  I don’t want to thin too much as this woody barrier provided some visual and sound barrier against my new noisy neighbors. I will update after I do my trimming, but I feel comfortable stating that blueberries really want full sunlight.

Eric



Yeah Eric, I've noticed the ones of mine that have thrived the most, are ones with access to moist soil with lots of organic matter and a good amount of sunlight.
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 1323
Location: Southern Illinois
241
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Steve,

That’s why I planted them where they are.  I put them at the base of the dam as that soil never completely dries out.  It is not soaking wet, but even during summer drought, they never hurt for lack of water.

I spent a lot of my post explaining about the dam.  I am glad that you could figure out why I put that bit in.

Eric
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love the red foliage of the blueberries in the fall. They can really add a lot of color and beauty to the landscape.

I think it's really neat how the shades of red and other colors are slightly different between different varieties.

Here's a video and some pictures of my blueberries this Fall.



Red-blueberry-bush-1.jpg
Red blueberry bush 1
Red blueberry bush 1
Red-blueberry-bush-2.jpg
Red blueberry bush 2
Red blueberry bush 2
Red-blueberry-bush-3.jpg
Red blueberry bush 3
Red blueberry bush 3
 
Ryan M Miller
Posts: 159
Location: Dayton, Ohio
48
forest garden foraging urban food preservation fiber arts ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Steve Thorn wrote:I love the red foliage of the blueberries in the fall. They can really add a lot of color and beauty to the landscape.

I think it's really neat how the shades of red and other colors are slightly different between different varieties.

Here's a video and some pictures of my blueberries this Fall.





I don't see any trees around that blueberry bush. I didn't know they could grow in full sun.
 
Steve Thorn
gardener
Posts: 1073
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
342
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ryan M Miller wrote:I don't see any trees around that blueberry bush. I didn't know they could grow in full sun.



There are some larger trees about 50 ft away to the east and west, so they get some shade in the morning and evening, but also get sun for a good portion of the day. They have good access to moist soil also, and the ones in this location have actually been my fastest growers and produced the most fruit.
 
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!