The 5 most common mistakes in blueberry cultivation
The blueberry plant has a very sensible root system that requires specific cares for its development and fruit production. Therefore, it is difficult to adjust all the cultivation parameters to the plant’s requirements and it is possible that some plants are destinated to death.
So, what are the most common mistakes in growing blueberries that are affecting plant productivity? Our more than 20 years of experience in blueberry cultivations has gave us the global perspective about the most common factors that affects directly to the plant’s development.
To choose an inappropriate culture medium.
Blueberry plants need a soil with specific physical and chemical characteristics to grow. In consequence, decide to grow in unsuitable soils, or a poor choice of compacted substrates is the first error.
The growing medium is of vital importance. In terms of its physical characteristics, blueberry plants should not be planted in clay soils with high water holding capacity. In terms of chemical characteristics, blueberry plants should not be planted in soils with a high pH (unless it is corrected and it is possible to lower it to an acid pH), nor in soils with a high concentration of bicarbonates and high EC.
For this reason, many growers choose soilless techniques for its vegetative and productive advantages and because the soil quality it does not matter.
To choose a variety not suitable for the growing area where the plantation is to be carried out.
It is crucial to choose the varieties according to the climatic and geographical characteristics of the place where the crop will be installed. In this sense, the best way not to be mistaken in the choice of the variety will be to carry out a complete evaluation of the soil, identifying the factors that cannot be controlled and which will determine the development of the crop.
For example, the pH level of the soil (property), its Electrical Conductivity (EC) and the availability of cold hours (commune-region). The next step will be to distinguish the varieties that will best adjust to these conditions and those that will perform better.
This aspect is super important at the level of fruit size, flavor, kilos per plant, plant development … The fertilization concentrations will be low, since the blueberry is very sensitive to the Electrical Conductivity (EC) above 1 mS / cm. Depending on the type of water, plant development and climate, one formulation or another will be recommended for the correct development of the plant.
Pruning and blunting.
This aspect will have a lot of weight in the production dates, especially in the precocity and in the quantity of kilos per plant. It is important to do it properly and in the right moment within the plant’s life-cycle.
It is essential to establish the frequency of watering and the number of liters per hour, so that the plant does not undergo root suffocation at any time. The blueberry plant has a very delicate root system, which means that when there is excessive watering, the plant suffers a lot and a root loss occurs.
It is true that the blueberry plant also generates roots quickly, but all these changes cause kilos of fruit to be lost in the plant and, therefore, profitability in the crop.