Winterize blueberry bushes using a range of techniques that vary in intensity and level of protection. A low dew point means the air is very dry, which makes the flowers several degrees colder than the air making them susceptible to injury. Usually when this occurs, the plant will be in various stages of budding and only buds that are emergent suffer damage. So what blueberry bush winter care can you do that will protect your plants during cold weather? Also, a sudden return to warm temps after a period of cold, especially in warmer climates, can cause injury to the berries if they begin to bloom early followed by a sudden cold snap. When I brought it inside for the winter, its leaves began to turn yellow and… Q. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Answers to this queston: Add Answer. I would venture to suggest that all of this is impractical for the home grower. Of course, ideally you will have planted late flowering cultivars if you reside in a region where the possibility of freezing exists. There’s the caveat, however, the plants must be fully dormant and Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate and allow the gradual cold hardening necessary to prevent potential winter damage of blueberry plants. Dew point is the temperature at which water vapor condenses. Use pruning shears to remove any diseased, weak or spindly branches and any canes that are more than six years old. Set up a sprinkler system if you don't want to wrap the blueberry. Sign up for our newsletter. winterizing blueberry bushes. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, North Dakota State University: Questions on Blueberry, Northwest Berry & Grape: Winter Acclimation and Cold Hardiness of Blueberry, Garden Centers of Colorado: Blueberry Care and Culture. Do blueberry bushes need anything special prior to the cold weather in Northeast Ohio? Moist soil absorbs and retains more heat. This allows the plant to harden off for the winter and prevents the development of new growth that will be easily damaged in frost. 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When faced with the prospect of a cold snap, commercial growers turn to overhead irrigation systems, wind machines and even helicopters to assist in the protection of the blueberry crop. This protects against damage caused by ground that thaws and freezes throughout the winter. Mulch the soil with 4 to 5 inches of straw or bark mulch when temperatures drop below 32 degrees F. Leave the mulch in place until the early spring. A. A frame of PVC covered and securely anchored can accomplish this purpose. Stop fertilizing your blueberry bush in July, advises Garden Center of Colorado. Q. I planted three blueberry bushes in large containers in my back yard. Stop fertilizing your blueberry bush in July, advises Garden Center of Colorado. Protecting blueberries over winter by covering the plants and mulching around them can be beneficial. If they were planted this past season, you can mulch the base of the plants to … This allows the plant to harden off for the winter and prevents the development of new growth that will be easily damaged in frost. Blueberry bushes should be pruned once a year to ensure good fruit production. I want to put mulch for the… Q. Specific care of blueberries in winter is usually not necessary, as fully dormant blueberry plants are generally very cold hardy and rarely suffer any severe blueberry winter damage. All Rights Reserved. Winter Care Of Hibiscus Tree - I have a hibiscus tree. The way I see it, I can do one of three things: 1) Move the containers to my uninsulated, South-facing, enclosed back porch (which gets good sun, but still gets very cold at night). Blueberry bushes are cold hardy to different degrees, with highbush, half-high and lowbush berries typically cold hardy to -20 degrees F. Blueberry bushes typically experience winter danger when the plant is not yet dormant or in a spring frost, when the plant has begun to emerge from dormancy. The sprinkler will coat the blueberry branches with water that turns to ice; the ice will provide insulation from the freezing air temperatures. Dew point is the temperature at which water vapor condenses. Generally, winter damage of blueberry plants occurs when temps are below 25 degrees F. (-3 C.), but this is in correlation with the relative dew point as well as the amount of wind. Answered on November 10, 2014. Q. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. Anonymous added on November 8, 2014 | Answered. Blueberry bushes are cold hardy to different degrees, with highbush, half-high and lowbush berries typically cold hardy to -20 degrees F. Blueberry bushes typically experience winter danger when the plant is not yet dormant or in a spring frost, when the plant has begun to emerge from dormancy. However, in some instances, dormancy has not been established and protecting blueberries over winter to mitigate any blueberry winter damage is of primary importance. 2) Build a small greenhouse for them out of corrugated … Also, keep your plants moist. Protect the blueberry bush from cold winter winds and ice damage by wrapping it in burlap. Continue wrapping until the entire bush is covered. Damaged growth may be discolored or the branches may be dead at the tip. Nikki Certified GKH Gardening Expert. Generally, winter damage of blueberry plants occurs when temps are below 25 degrees F. (-3 C.), but this is in correlation with the relative dew point as well as the amount of wind. In most cases, blueberry plant growth slows as dormancy develops and cold hardiness of the plant increases. Most perennials become dormant during the late fall and winter to protect themselves from the cold temperatures; blueberries are no exception. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Do they need covered? Protect the blueberry bush from cold winter winds and ice damage by wrapping it in burlap. Start at the top of the plant and cover the bush with burlap, pinning the material together. Prune your blueberry bushes late in the winter or early in the spring, when the plants are still completely dormant. Blueberries prefer full sun, but tolerate partial shade. Continue to water the plant regularly, because a well-irrigated bush is in better shape to tolerate winter chills. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Winter Planting Winter and early spring, when blueberry bushes are in their dormancy period, is the best time to plant new bushes. Wait until your blueberry plant begins growing again, then inspect for frost damage. It is important when covering the plants to trap heat much like a small greenhouse. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Turn on the sprinkler when frost is forecast; leave it running until the frost danger passes. Prune off discolored or dead growth with anvil pruners to stimulate new, healthy growth. Some of these include: Be sure to select your planting site with care. I know it's still the height of summer, but I want to have a plan in place to keep them alive over the winter. A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. 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