Agressive blueberry pruning

I have an area in my yard that would accommodate a few blueberry bushes. The problem is I want to keep them under 3’ since I have taller plants growing behind them. Has anyone taken the Dave Wilson nursery aggressive pruning approach to blueberries?

This doesn’t answer your question, but there are varieties that only grow about 3 feet tall, like Sunshine.

Yeah I would not trim them small you could right after fruiting otherwise you’ll cut the crop off! Yeah go with Sunshine, Top Hat, The Brazzleberry cultivars would be awesome in this situation too.

Is anyone growing brazelberries? The reviews online are pretty bad.

I don’t have them but most people have no idea how to grow blueberries so bad reviews just may mean bad gardeners. Blueberries require a low pH of 4.5 at all times. Of all plants I have seen more problems growing blueberries than any other. Not so much here though. Lot’s of very experienced growers here.
Here a review from Parkseed nursery
B. Muggle from ME wrote (May 12, 2014): Why
_ I bought it: I live in a town home with little yard so this was _
_perfect for a container. I bought two plants to accent my entry way. _
Likes: It’s beautiful! Living in Maine I’m no stranger to blueberries,
_ but these blew my mind! Gentle pink new growth transforms into a pale _
blue green, even the berries are tinged with pink until they ripen. I’m
_ in love. I figured they would be pretty but even my neighbors keep _
_talking about these plants! Dislikes: So far, not a single thing I _
_don’t like about this plant, it’s simply the most perfect blueberry I _
have ever, ever, seen.

I may pick one up. Raintree has them for only 20 bucks, at first they were 35 dollars each. This review was of Peach Sorbet BTW.

I have a ton of blueberry bushes now (mix of climax, powerblue, tiftblue, brightwell & premier) and they are thriving in our climate. We get several gallons of berries each year and they are by far the lowest maintenance plants I have. That said, they are large bushes and crossed branches are the only thing I’ve removed. If you are growing brazelberries please let me know what your experience has been. These would be ideal.

Yeah I grow blueberries too, and they are easy once you get the pH right. I have 7 plants. All different. I think you should try them and let us know! :grin:
Seems nobody has them? I’m going to pick up Peach Sorbet I think. I have not bought much this season! (so I should!). Of course they might grow well in one zone, and not so well in others. I heard the raspberry is not that good, but have seen little on the blueberries.

The brazelberries are kinda pricey and it looks like I can pick up 5 sunshine blueberries for the cost of a single brazelberry. I think I"ll go that route since they are compact plants. Did you test your soil prior to planting your blueberries? I just tilled peat moss into our Georgia clay when I planted them and they have gone nuts ever since. Hoping in a few years we will get enough spares to make a pie. :slight_smile:

Here is a thread I started last year after picking up Peach Sorbet and Glaze. The peach sorbet died but the blaze was still going strong when I sold the home late last year. I did harvest a few berries off of each plant. They both produces small berries. The peach sorbet berries were better but neither as good as the bluecrop I was growing.

They are in raised beds so I built the soil completely. I check pH usually monthly in the growing season. Our local soil is too tough to deal with. Raised beds work well. I saw the brazzleberriees for 20 bucks. A little steep, Prices have been going up quickly too on everything. I want a Toro blueberry and they are not that easy to find. I’m paying $16.50 for one plant. So $19.99 isn’t that much more. If you can get Sunshine cheap, go for it. They should grow really well in your zone too.

I worry once the peat breaks down your plant will decline. Not sure how long that will take? Maybe 4 years? It also depends what the pH of the clay is? If low, you should be fine. You might want to use sulfur a couple times a year to keep the area acidic. Mulch heavy too. So those are Rabbiteyes, I need to grow Northern High Bush. They grow best here in the north.I’m experimenting with some Southerns too.
NHB:
Toro
Chandler
Liberty
Legacy
Cara’s Choice
SHB:
Sweetcrisp
Southmoon
Indigocrisp

Starting this year I plan to check my pH each spring and amend as needed. We have acidic soil here (lots of pines) so I shouldn’t need to do much.

I have some Brazelberry blueberries and the raspberry. The blueberries are a bit more showy in terms of foliage, but nothing special (but still good) for fruit. It’s branding and plants grown at higher standards than typical more than anything.

Looking at what I have now I think I’m not going to try it, at least not right now. Too many things to do this spring, I won’t be around much, if at all.
Thanks guys for the info on these plants.

Mickster, I have Sunshine and Chippewa blueberries, both are less than 3 feet. I planted them in the front row, because they are short and do not shade the taller ones. I cannot say much in terms of their production, because I am newbie at blueberries and my plants are young.

I don’t recall much in the way of BB pruning advice, aggressive or otherwise, from DWN. Always thought that was a gap in their instructions. If you could post a link detailing said advice, I would offer a comment.

Four Winds Growers has the most aggressive pruning advice that I’ve seen. I only follow up to step 3, with mostly thinning cuts and cuts to maintain some balance. They seem to enjoy having some height. Even my Sunshine Blues are 4’ high.

Or not.

We’re not in Michigan. The red clay here is acidic and wants to stay that way. I wouldn’t add sulfur unless the soil test results from the county extension office came back with that recommendation.

Yes pretty much what I was trying to say, I guess I failed at it. Thanks for clarifying. I do my own pH tests as I need 5 or 6 a year. I would grow a lot more blueberries if I had your soil. The west side of Michigan btw is acidic and is where our commercial farms for blueberries are. It’s all sand there.

I also grow a few of the rabbiteye blueberries and the Tifblue tends to be my most aggressive grower and my one Premier seems to be the slowest grower. I’m not sure if I am doing something wrong with the Premier or if this is just how it grows (slow). I also have three of the southern high-bush blueberries which seem to doing well for me but they are not as aggressive a grower. Bill

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I realize you have probably already purchased your blueberries for this year but I thought I’d mention the varieties I have that are all under 3 ft and are 6 to 10 yrs old: Patriot, Northland, Duke, Blueray and Bluecrop (and Chippewa but this is only it’s 2nd yr). Northland is a little bit shorter than Patriot but it grows very wide (I prune it back to 40" w because that’s the size of my bird cage). Others roughly 30" width. For me Duke has largest, sweet fruit; Northland smallest, but prolific and best wild bb flavor. I like them all. I’m in colder z3 and natural blueberry country. My plants are all in the ground (not pots). In warmer climates they might grow larger.

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Your plants are rather small which might be a reflection of your zone. Mine get to about 5 feet in 4 years. This one is 4th leaf and right at 5 feet.