Useful Tips for Pruning Your Blueberry Bushes
Blueberries are a delightful bush to grow in your garden, especially at harvest time. To ensure a healthy harvest year after year, you’ll need to prune your blueberry bushes on an annual basis. From the appropriate time to prune to proper pruning techniques, our useful tips for pruning your blueberry bushes will help you grow healthier plants.
How Not To Prune
Before we dive into how-tos, let’s talk about the how-not-tos. Improper pruning techniques can do more harm than good to your blueberry bushes. When you know what not to do, you’ll be better equipped to care for your blueberries properly.
When pruning your blueberries, you don’t want to prune too much. Additionally, you want to avoid pruning new growth from your blueberries, as this will cause you to lose much of your crop. On the opposite side of the coin, you don’t want to neglect to prune completely. In that case, your blueberries will grow wild and may not reap as large, or as many, fruit.
Why You Should Prune
Well-pruned blueberry bushes reap generous harvests of large and delicious fruit. Properly pruned bushes enjoy plentiful air circulation, more sunlight, and reduced chances of succumbing to disease. Pruning will also remove dead or damaged branches, making way for new, productive shoots. Because of this, berries will increase in quality because the plant can focus more on production than survival.
Pro tip: before you get your shears out, one of the best ways to ensure a successful harvest is to invest in quality plants. Buy blueberry bushes from reputable nurseries!
The Pruning Process
Next up, let’s go over our useful tips for pruning your blueberry bushes. You’ll want to prune:
- Annually. You must complete this task each year to make way for new and improved growth.
- In mid to late winter. Prune while the bushes are dormant. This way, it causes less stress on the plant. You’ll be able to tell which branches to avoid pruning, as new growths are darker and smoother than older, lighter branches.
When it comes time to begin the pruning process, there are a few simple steps you should follow. You should:
- Inspect each bush and imagine what it will look like when you’re finished pruning. Having a clear mental picture gives you a plan of sorts and will keep you from pruning too aggressively.
- Look for diseased, broken, dead, or otherwise damaged branches.
- If you’ve had your bushes for a long time, cut off any branches that are seven years old or older.
- Prune off any branches that are short or hang low to the ground.
By following these steps, you’ll prune your bushes wisely and reap a great harvest next season.