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  • Thinning fruits.. Argh!

    The weather has been so odd again. We are in the midst of another two week period of 80 degree, record-breaking temperatures. Right now it's 87*. And the 'godzilla' El Nino that was supposed to bring to the west coast ample rain in January, then February, has failed to deliver in my area. Hopefully March, but after that, our rainy season is close to over. (We might get a half inch later this week)

    All the while, my blueberry plants have been massively blooming and setting fruits. There are some canes that are nothing but masses and masses of buds, blooms, spent flowers and crammed small berries. Unfortunately too many of the plants are not putting out new vegetative growth to go with this, so I'm thinking I should thin some of the fruits. Without leaves, the fruits will neither taste good, and even the health of the plant might suffer. If vegetative growth on some of these don't start soon, I may have to cut out some of the over-producing canes.

    Bummer.
    SoCal, zone 10.
    www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

  • #2
    Gina, do you have pics?
    Garden Pics
    http://s117.photobucket.com/user/the...?sort=3&page=1

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    • Gina
      Gina commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry, no.

  • #3
    I'm no expert, but I think I would give them more time for the growth to come. Mine did the same thing last year, tons of blooms, then new growth later.
    Jennings, Southwest Louisiana, Zone 9a

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    • #4
      I'm not going to rush into doing anything too severe. These are my babies.

      I do think this has something to do with not enough chill hours this past winter. We did have a week or so with low temps in the low 40s, and IIRC, one night or so in the high 30s. That just may not be enough for some of my berries, esp those with higher chill requirements of say, 300 hrs, as some are.

      This is reminiscent of O'Neal and Ozark blue, even Star - varieties that do bloom here, but have higher chill requirements, and just don't produce enough leaves to be worth keeping.
      SoCal, zone 10.
      www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

      Comment


      • #5
        Thinning bb's in my opinion is a given especially if you do not have enough foliage to support them but because you do not live in the same zone as I do it's hard to give you advice on whether it is time to thin.

        How far along are your plants?

        As soon as danger of frost is gone for me I fertilize my bb's with ammonium sulfate at a rate of 1 Tblsp per 3 gallons of water every week until harvest if the plants need water in between I just fill pots to the rim and let them drain. I still give them the ferts on their given day but maybe only a gallon if they do not need the water. My plants in the ground get the same treatment. You will get new growth and then you won't have to thin so much.

        Thinning is all about timing. You have to thin somewhat early so it is imperative that you start your ferts as soon as possible in the growing season.

        Might not work for everyone but it's the way I do it.
        Garden Pics
        http://s117.photobucket.com/user/the...?sort=3&page=1

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        • Gina
          Gina commented
          Editing a comment
          Nice garden pictures. Peppers are very impressive.

      • #6
        I just finished doing both some pruning and thinning of berries. My plants usually have leaves year round, but not as many this year. I did not get really good vegetative growth last year I think because in our prolonged drought, our city water has deteriorated and my plants suffered (even though treated with sulfuric acid and allowed to sit to off-gas chlorine). Now they will be watered with rainwater (entailing great time and expense ).

        Anyway, after pruning and thinning, my berry plants look much better to me. Having the problem of too many flowers/fruits has never been an issue before.

        The bushes are now in a netted enclosure so the birds will no longer get their share, so thinning shouldn't affect end output that much.

        I also found a couple old gardenweb threads on the subject, and feel better about the trimmings. In fact, after reading these threads, I might go out with a more critical eye and do more without having to tell myself: "Step away from the blueberries. Put the pruners down...."


        http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussi...creasing-yield

        http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussi...ur-blueberries


        "How far along are your plants?"
        Mine started blooming late last year, and are still putting out new flowers. I even have a scant few ripe berries on some of them. So they are all over the map, which I like. I want a very long season with ripe fruits.
        SoCal, zone 10.
        www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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