Pruning and Winter Storage of Blueberries - Knowledgebase Question

Bristol, CT
Avatar for roberrl3
Question by roberrl3
July 27, 1998
I bought two different varieties of blueberries a year ago and container planted them in very large pots on my deck. The plants are approx. two feet tall above the pots. This past winter was very mild and the plants stayed outdoors all winter. Should I plan on putting them indoors this winter so they don't freeze? When should I prune them? I have harvested almost all of the berries and am considering shaping them could you give me some advice?

Answer from NGA
July 27, 1998
If you prune your blueberry bushes to shape them, you will cut off all the growth that will produce fruit next season! Blueberries require very little pruning for good health and production - this web page gives details for pruning as well as other information about care:

We could hope for another mild winter, but who knows what El Nino will throw our way! Water your plants regularly into the fall. Wait until the bushes lose their leaves, and then, if you can't "plant" an entire pot in soil at your home, your next best bet is to plant the pots into larger pots so you can surround the plants' roots with an insulating layer of several inches of soil. Otherwise, tucking and tying about six inches of straw or hay around the pots should provide them with enough insulation. Wrap the tops of the plants with some burlap, too. This will protect the plant from drying winds. Hope this insures another great crop next year!

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