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Garden Hints

Blueberries
Blueberries

Soil Needs
Blueberries require an acid soil with a pH of 4.0-4.5. A pH of 5.0 or higher is too high! We highly recommend you have your soil tested and amended prior to planting blueberries.

Planting
Space plants 4-5 feet apart in the row with rows 8-12 feet apart.

Dig a hole double the size of the root system and mix peat moss with the soil if desired. Use more peat moss in heavier soils. If you use peat moss mix, make sure that it is thoroughly saturated with water before putting it in the planting hole. Peat that is not saturated can wick moisture away from the plant and cause the roots to dry out. Make sure the peat/soil mix is thoroughly covered with soil after backfilling.

Flower Removal
Remove all the flowers during the first year. Do not permit berries to develop, as they will restrict shoot growth.

Fertilization
Do not overfertilize these plants, as it can cause root burn. Wait 4-8 weeks after planting before fertilizing; then go through with 1 oz. ammonium sulfate in a circular band around each plant. In subsequent years add 2 oz. at bloom time and another 2 oz. one month later in a circular band around each plant. Do not apply fertilizer in late summer or early fall. This could lead to new, succulent growth which is susceptible to winter injury and may lead to entry points for disease. If feeding with a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10, try to select a fertilizer with potassium sulfate and not potassium chloride. Blueberries can be adversely affected by potassium chloride.

Yellow leaves on blueberries can be quickly corrected with a foliar application of 1 tablespoon iron chelate in a gallon of water sprayed over the leaves. You should see greener leaves in a few days. However, the real culprit may be that the soil pH is probably too high. Have your soil tested for pH and amend as directed.

After 2-3 years of establishment, you should be getting 12-18 inches of new growth each year. If not, recheck your soil pH and use more fertilizer. Blueberries

Pruning
No pruning is required for the first 2 years. Then blueberries should be pruned annually during the dormant period. Remove the lower, weak branches and branches less than 6 inches long. Old and mature heavy branches in the center should be removed to allow air and sunlight to penetrate. Your goal is to eventually have 12 canes per plant. Canes should be a mix of different ages and any canes over 2 inches in diameter should be removed. New wood produces the largest fruit.

Mulch
A heavy mulch is good for water retention and improves the general health of the plant. Wood chips and/or sawdust are the best mulches. When using these mulches, you may need to use a little extra nitrogen in your fertilization, in order to maintain good growth.

Special Considerations-Cross Pollination
It is best to plant at least 2 blueberry varieties for good cross-pollination. Cross pollination leads to bigger berries and more of them. Any combination of varieties will work.

Strawberries
Strawberry Plants

Mira
This variety is the result of a cross between a resistant, high runnering plant and a plant known for its high yeilding quality fruit. In 1996, the Kentville Research Station, Kentville, Nova Scotia, introduced this early-midseason variety. The very attractive, glossy, medium-red berries are firm and have good flavor. Fruit size holds up well and does not get too dark. Our trials show that Mira is our longest-season berry producer, making it a top yielder. Growers report that Mira is an excellent performer and is well-adapted for home gardeners throughout the East Coast and Mid-West regions. It is presently one of our most popular varieties. Mira has resistance to red stele and grows best in zones 4-8.

Planting
Space your strawberry plants 12-18 inches apart in the row. Rows should be spaced 3-4 feet apart. Set plants in the row with the roots straight down. Be sure that planter shoes or hand tools penetrate deeply enough to facilitate proper planting. Care should be taken that plants are set with the middle of the crown level with the top of the soil. Within a week or so, the soil will settle and the soil line should be even with the bottom of the crown. (See illustration.) Avoid covering crowns with soil while you hoe, weed, and cultivate throughout the season.

Weed Control
Weed control for strawberries is very important for successful results. We recommend preparing your site the year before planting to remove perennial grasses and to reduce weed pressure. At planting time, the soil should be thoroughly prepared and weed free. After planting, weekly cultivation removes weeds when they are small so they do not have a chance to compete with weeds. A tool called a scuffle hoe works well for this type of work. Consult your local Cooperative Extension office for advice on using any chemical controls.

Fertilization
Fertilizers should be used to maintain a balanced soil fertility, which will result in good vigorous plant growth. We recommend fertilizing in small quantities on a regular basis to encourage adequate growth and remove the possibility of overfertilizing. Overfertilizing leads to rank, disease-prone growth and soft berries. See details for fertilization in the June bearing and/or day neutrals sections.

Irrigation
Irrigation is helpful for producing good crops of strawberries. If irrigation is not available, select a site with good water-holding capacity (but avoiding wet soils) as strawberries do poorly under drought conditions. Plant as soon as possible when the soil moisture is good. Strawberries do best when they get 1-2 inches of rainfall or equivalent each week, depending on soil type.
Strawberry Plants

Mulching is necessary in most northern states. A mulch prevents quick freezing and thawing and thus mitigates fluctuating temperatures which affect plant survival and crop yield. Mulch keeps fruit clean, conserves moisture, keeps down weeds, and adds humus to the soil.

Mulch with any loose, acid-free and weed-free material such as salt hay or straw, after plants have started to go dormant or after 6-10 hard frosts - usually in early to late November. Avoid materials like decayed or wet leaves that tend to mat down and can smother plants. Remove mulch from the top of the crowns in spring when the new growth starts. Leave mulch in the aisles to help keep the fruit clean.

LAMOUREUX GREENHOUSE
LAMOUREUX GREENHOUSE
Tree & Shrub Planting
GuideContainer Trees & Shrubs:
If the plants you bought are in a plastic pot, the container must be removed before planting.

Loosen the roots by slicing vertically about 1 inch deep with a knife in 3-4 places around the root ball if root bound.

Dig a hole as deep and twice as wide as the root ball. Make a mix of 1/3 humus or peat moss and 2/3 existing soil. Set plant in hole and fill with soil mixture. Press soil with hands to eliminate air pockets; then add Root Stimulator solution according to package directions. Add remaining soil to fill hole to the surface grade.
Plants should be watered gently but thoroughly immediately after planting. New plants should be watered twice a week for the first month and in the summer, then once every two weeks for the remainder of the growing season. In general, 1” of water every 7 days should be sufficient, accounting for rainfall. Water should flow at a very slow trickle. This will allow water to sink down into the roots without run-off. Water thoroughly, moving the hose to different locations around the root ball.

Balled & Burlapped Trees & Shrubs:
If the tree you bought is balled and burlapped, care should be taken so the ball does not dry out during transportation or storage. If the tree is to be held above ground for any length of time, the tree should be placed in a cool place out of the sun and the ball should be mulched and kept moist.

When planting a B&B tree, all ropes should be removed from the tree trunk but the burlap should remain. The burlap will rot away pretty quickly. If the tree has a wire basket around the burlap, this wire should NOT be removed. After digging the hole and making sure it is wide and deep enough, set the tree in the hole and back-fill the soil 1/3 of the way. You may want to take bolt cutters or a hack saw and cut off the upper 1/3 of the wire basket, but this is not absolutely necessary.

Finish backfilling the soil the rest of the way following the normal planting instructions:

Cut rope from around the trunk and top of root ball.

Remove nails and fold back burlap to the sides of the root ball.

Do not remove burlap.

If there is a wire cage do not remove it.

There is no need to loosen roots.

LAMOUREUX GREENHOUSE

Dig a hole as deep and twice as wide as the root ball. Make a mix of 1/3 humus or peat moss and 2/3 existing soil. Set plant in hole and fill with soil mixture. Press soil with hands to eliminate air pockets; then add Root Stimulator solution according to package directions. Add remaining soil to fill hole to the surface grade.
Plants should be watered gently but thoroughly immediately after planting. New plants should be watered twice a week for the first month and in the summer, then once every two weeks for the remainder of the growing season. In general, 1” of water every 7 days should be sufficient, accounting for rainfall. Water should flow at a very slow trickle. This will allow water to sink down into the roots without run-off. Water thoroughly, moving the hose to different locations around the root ball.

If your tree or shrub fails to survive, simply return the product with your dated signed cash register receipt and all tags. A replacement plant of the same variety and size or a store credit equal to the amount of your purchase will be issued. No cash refunds.

 

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