[nafex] blueberries/wool/mulch

Ginda Fisher ginda at concentric.net
Fri Nov 16 20:17:37 EST 2001


Did you get flowers?  No flowers suggests rabbits.  Check now to see if
there are fruit buds.  (They are much fatter and larger than herbaceous
buds.)  If you have fruit buds in the fall and not in the spring, the
bunnies ate them.  For some reason, they selectively prune the fruiting
buds, with (at least in my yard) no other visible damage.   Chicken wire
or hardware cloth will keep them at bay.  If you got flowers but no
fruit, the plants may not be getting enough water, or they might be over
cropping for their size and dropping all the immature fruit as a
result.  (Unlikely with only 3 berries, but I had this problem on one
bush.)  If you get green berries but no ripe berries, you are probably
losing them to the birds.  Netting can keep out birds.  Also,
blueberries are slower to mature than most bushes.  If you started with
babies, they may just not be big enough yet to bear much.

I doubt wool keeps the feet dry.  More likely, it keeps them moist,
which most blueberries like.

Good Luck,
Ginda

"Erdman, Jim" wrote:
> 
> Del,
> Do you do anything to keep rabbits etc from eating the bushes in the winter?
> We never got berries until one winter when the  snow covered the bushes
> completely all winter so the critters couldn't prune the bushes--they hadn't
> eaten  much, apparently just the buds and new growth, so I hadn't realized
> the extent of damage in previous years.  we have since gone to a cage of 1"
> chicken wire around the plants (6' tall, 5' wide, 25' long, with an old
> screen door for access) to keep animals out in winter and birds away in
> summer.
> I mulch with sawdust, wood shavings, pine needles, grass, hay, etc.
> We have 7 plants and usually freeze 20 to 30 pints and eat lots fresh.
> 
> Jim Erdman, Menomonie, WI, cold edge of zone 4 in western Wis.
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: del stubbs
> To: nafex at yahoogroups.com
> Sent: 11/16/01 7:45 AM
> Subject: [nafex] blueberries/wool/mulch
> 
> Amy, I re-read your post about wool under blueberries.
> 
> My wife grew up picking wild blueberries, but we have very heavy soil
> and
> not a blueberry in sight.  So, for a present,  I dug out a side-hill pit
> 18"
> deep x 4' x 8' and added 1/3 proportions of peat moss, sand, and rich
> garden
> soil. Put in northern hardy blueberrries 3 years ago, keep 'em weeded,
> and
> to date we've gotten a whoppin 3 berries!
> 
> Is there something magic about wool that I have'nt heard of?
> 
> We can get plenty of free cleaned reject wool from the local wollen
> mill. Or
> is the lanolin, dirt, etc. of 'fresh ' wool important? I don't
> understand
> the principle of planting a blueberry on a pile of wool unless i'ts just
> 
> keeping its dry feet or such, I would think the roots would be starved.
> 
> Secondly, wool was mentioned as a good mulch. My wife tried a bunch of
> this
> stuff over our asparagas first time this winter, so we'll see. But my
> concern is that the the voles will have R20 housing for the winter as
> well.
> any comment? Doesn't it matt down to nothing under snow? Thanks, Del
> 
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