Blueberries Not Producing & Ridding A Lawn Of Clover

Question:

 Three years ago, we were given several Blueberry plants that we planted in containers. So far, they have yet to produce any berries. How long do we have to wait until the plants start producing and when should they be pruned?

Answer:

Blueberry plants produce berries at an early age so you should have had a crop by now.
  • For berries to form the plants must flower and the flowers need to be pollinated. There are early flowering varieties, mid-season, and late-blooming Blueberries. They must be pollinated by another variety from the same blooming period.
  • Blueberries are also grouped according to their winter chill requirements. Because of our mild winters, the Southern Highbush which are the low chill varieties, are the best-suited blueberries for Bay Area gardens.
  • Knowing the variety name would answer a lot of questions but I’m going to assume that they are unnamed. So, that leaves you with two options.
    • You wait another year to see if the plants bloom at the same time. If so, then the problem is that the varieties are not suited for our climate or they are the same variety. You need two different varieties, with a similar blooming period.  If the varieties, bloom at different times, you could replace one with an another variety or increase the number of blueberry plants in containers.
    • The second option would be to replace both varieties now and save a year.  A good selection of Blueberries is now available at your favorite garden center. I might suggest Bountiful  Blue or Sunshine Blue as they are self-ferule and you avoid the pollination problem altogether. This would be my preferred option.
  •  Blueberries are pruned annually in February before the flush of new growth. Excessive pruning should be avoided because it greatly reduces the crop for that year. The plant(s) is kept fairly open by cutting out weak and/or older non-producing stems down to the ground. You should also remove all the dead or dying branches. As a general rule, you keep four to six of the vigorous, older stems and one to two strong new shoots per bush. The new shoots will eventually replace the older stems. Another reason for pruning is that it limits the plant from over producing. If all the flowers are left to develop into berries, the berries will be small, ripen later than normal, and the plants will have little new growth.

Question:

What can apply to eliminate clover in my lawn?

  • Ortho Weed-B-Gon and Bonide Weed Beater Ultra are two of several selective herbicides available that will remove clover and other broadleaf weeds without harming the grass. You could also apply a ‘Weed and Feed’ type turf product as it should control the clover along with many other broadleaf weeds.  So, eliminating clover shouldn't be that difficult.  Another option is to leave the clover. A mix turf of grass and clover is not that undesirable. Clover doesn’t require much care and it’s water-wise.

Note: