Of course I do not see this as a bad thing. We live in ideal blueberry country. It is a major crop in our state, but I’ve never seen blueberries as big as the ones we have on our bushes this year.
Could you find the quarter? That’s because they are literally as big around as a quarter. You can only get two on a spoon at a time. Just having giant blueberries doesn’t really mean much. If they taste terrible then you have too much of a bad thing. However, these berries are sweet and tender and lip-smacking good.
How do you grow big blues? In actuality, at least in this climate, you can almost abuse them and still get a good crop. Blueberries like very acidic soil. Our soil is around 5.5 if I’m not mistaken. I slather on a heavy layer of pine straw and limb chippings to keep it as acidic as possible. Other than that nothing, nada. No fertilizer, no pesticides, nothing except protecting them from the birds when the blueberries start to turn, well, blue!
This is the second year the blueberries have been huge, but their even bigger than last year. Maybe they’ll just keep getting bigger and bigger and soon we can harvest just one berry to make a meal. Hmm, think I let my imagination get away from me.
The one thing we did this year is we built a nicer looking and easy to install netting system. The mockingbirds have been angry with use every since. It’s just PVC pipe and bird netting. We used two sizes of PVC that would nest inside each other. We sunk the larger of the two into the ground about 9 inches, then cut the other to fit around the berries. We used 2 – 5’ pieces, two 45 degree elbows and one 3’ piece across the top. We see that the plants are going to outgrow this, so we’ve already devised a way to make it taller, so that we won’t have any branches poking through next year. All we’ll need are a couple straight-through connectors and probably about 1’ more of pipe on each side, snap the top back on and we’ll be covered, hopefully for good. Luckily the bird netting will easily cover this change.
At the end of the berry season we’ll just roll up the netting, bundle up the poles and store it away. It’ll take hardly any room. Since we’ll leave the larger pieces in the ground it will be easy up next year. Anyway, if you’ve got blueberries of your own and you don’t want the birds to eat more than you do, this is a very inexpensive and pretty nice looking way to cover them. You could even spray paint the PVC if you wanted something more decorative or that blends in with the landscape.
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