Gardening Questions And Answers
Identifying Powdery Mildew Powdery mildew appears on blueberry plant foliage as white to gray powdery growth on leaf surfaces. Affected leaves may pucker or curl and can develop pale spots with reddish margins on the upper leaf surface with corresponding water-soaked areas on the lower leaf surface.
When to Fertilize Blueberries Fertilizing is recommended in early spring before the leaves have grown in. This gives the fertilizer time to be absorbed by the roots of the blueberry before it enters its active growth stage during summer. Feed new plants once in early spring and again in late spring.
Bluebirds, cardinals, catbirds, robins, mockingbirds, mourning doves and wild turkeys all nibble blueberries. Squirrels, mice, opossums and chipmunks also eat blueberries, but keeping the three smallest of these rodents out of your blueberries without resorting to trapping or toxic baits can be difficult.
Each type of blueberry has its own chill hour requirement. Your climate meets a shrub’s chill hour requirement if temperatures drop below 45 degrees (7 C.) for the number of days specified. If you start growing blueberries and temperatures do not stay low long enough, the bushes won’t fruit the following year.
Blueberries grow best in full sun. Plants will tolerate partial shade, but too much shade causes plants to produce fewer blossoms and less fruit. Avoid areas surrounded by trees. Trees provide too much shade, compete with plants for water and nutrients, and interfere with air movement around plants.
Episode 1: How to Plant Blueberries Unlike typical garden crops, blueberries are perennial shrubs, and once they mature, they will grow and produce fruit each season. They are valuable landscape plants as well: In spring, they are covered with white blooms, berries ripen in summer, and the leaves turn red in the fall.
Many people want to plant blueberries. Blueberries require acid soils. Michigan State University Extension recommends the soil pH be between 4.5 and 5.5. If you plant blueberries in the neutral soils (soil pH 6.5 to 7) favored by most plants, theplants will be yellow and grow poorly if they grow at all.
Northern highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) are a common blueberry variety in the Northeast that can grow to be six feet tall. If you live in a cold climate (USDA hardiness zones three through seven), you might consider the Patriot blueberry, a type of northern highbush blueberry that does well in containers.
Exobasidium is a relatively new fungal disease that causes a light-green to white spot on blueberry leaves and fruit. It can make the berry smaller and give it a bitter taste due to the fruit’s immaturity. When damage is high, 1 to 2 percent of infected fruit still inevitably make it to the supermarket shelf.
It’s called bloom, and it’s totally natural. This pale coating that leaves berries a dusky shade of blue is called bloom. It’s a natural waxy coating produced by the berries that acts as a barrier, protecting the skins from insects and bacteria. It also helps to seal in the fruit’s natural moisture.
Neem oil sprays are used to combat problems with pests such as aphids, weevils, red-striped fireworm and blueberry flea beetle. Insecticide products containing spinosad, which is created from a soil bacterium (Saccharopolyspora spinosa), also provide blueberry plants protection from blueberry maggots.