I have been told to
1. prune when planting, or not necessary, or depends...
2. cut off flowers first year to encourage plant growth
3. Mulch with pine bark instead of pine straw ...
Any ideas for this infant permie?
I would 1st focus on the soil and increase the soil fertility.
Next I would inoculate the plant and put it in a 3ft hole.
I would also plant in the fall.
I would also try and get the plant to focus on root growth and less so on fruiting and leave growth (aka prune flowers and leave if it seems top heavy)
Observation/Planning/Testing (what you are doing now)
Earthworks/Swales/Berms/Sunken Beds (this helps with water)
Soil Life (Compost, Worm Tea, Mushroom Slurries, think yogurt probiotics for plants)
Minerals (Rockdust, Minerals, Sea90)
CoverCrop (80% legumes to increase soil fertility aka nitrogen--and usually phosphorous)
Carbon/CoverCrop/WoodChip/Strawbale/BioChar (CL, buy, chop and drop, talk to arborist, I esp like Biochar for sandy tropical soils, think activated charcoal loosely holding onto minerals for the plant roots)
Plant make food in their leaf and then give it to the roots to find minerals and water. But fungi/mycelium are even better at that, so if plants could give the "sugar/food" to fungi and trade for more concentrated mineral and water it's a win win for everyone. Also buy having lots of "good" microbes already there is no "vacuum for the "bad" critters to fight over and then take over. https://fungi.com/collections/mycogrow/products/mycogrow_soluble
It is normally cooler and so plants generally put more energy into root and less into flowers or shoot, and if you get bare roots, you usually get the best stuff that they have just harvested from the tree farm/nursery.
I would also add that it is a good idea to get a locally adapted cultivar that strives in your Florida soil/temp/climate and not necessarily only get a species/cultivar that only does great in Canada.
1. Soil has been mixed with homemade compost for a year and with pine bark and pine straw and pine wood mulch covering the area where I will be planting.
Will it still need fungi inoculation? All my other plantings in the area have had mycelium introduced a few months ago.
2. I have researched the types and have 2 Emerald and 2 Sweet Crisp to add to 2 Jewel cultivars already planted from last year. These should be good for our area according to my research.
There are lots of u-pick blueberry farms in that area. You might be able to find knowledgeable people willing to divulge some information specific to Putnam County.
A new u-pick farm that started near my property got hit pretty hard last winter. We had an unusual early frost and cool weather, followed by a typical early warming in January, and more frost in February. It is quite common for things to go dormant and then break dormancy in January, to get badly damaged by a late February frost. Some early blooming varieties will not bearfruit if this occurs. Their plants look like they just started to recover in the past month. Having a mix of early and late blooming varieties will probably give you a better chance at getting some sort of yield. If maximum yield for sale is your goal then I'd imagine you would need to be extra vigilant about protecting the plants from frost after they have broken dormancy.
In my case I'm probably not going to plant any blueberries. There are enough local farms doing it that I can get plenty of blueberries and other common fruits and vegetables affordably, so I'm going to focus on less common things first. They clearly grow there very well for some people, so it can certainly be made to work. Good luck!
Trees are our friends
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