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Will heavy pruning now delay SHB bloom next spring?

Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 9, 13 at 9:13

I'd like at least some of my greenhouse protected SHB blueberries to bloom ASAP next spring. This is better for my bees and should give earlier ripening fruit. If I prune little or none now and try to crop existing shoots will this result in earlier blooming next spring?

If it won't, then I'd rather prune heavily now, fertilize, and go for an evergreen bush.


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RE: Will heavy pruning now delay SHB bloom next spring?

Hmmm......I don't think so Steve. If you wanted them to be early you should have pruned them mid May......but not sure if your harvest was done yet? While I have never tried it I would assume if what your proposing worked that the commercial folks here in Florida would not summer prune. The first fruit out of the state yields about a $1.50 per pound premium over normal early market price and lasts for just the first two weeks of picking. So they want fruit as soon as is possible and do everything they can to make that happen. The conventional wisdom is the earlier you prune the earlier your crop will be next spring.

I was at my friends BB farm just yesterday dropping off 20 1 gallon fig plants and his 13 acres of BB had been topped, his were done about two weeks ago. I found it funny because I summer pruned my BB on Monday and took me all day because I look at each plant and decide what to cut and where......go to his farm and they are just mechanically sheared, tops and sides and look like square hedges now.

Btw i'm up to 72 fig varieties now lol.


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RE: Will heavy pruning now delay SHB bloom next spring?

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 9, 13 at 10:31

Bamboo stated:

"The conventional wisdom is the earlier you prune the earlier your crop will be next spring."

That makes sense but it also would make sense then if I don't prune at all then bloom should be even earlier. I can hold my plants all summer with little new growth, I think.

Probably those commercial growers figure they have to prune at some point and as soon as possible after harvest is their best option.

I have less leaf disease than you, way less. But the leaves that grew early this spring don't make it through next winter like ones I could force by pruning now. So forcing new shoots now and maintaining high nitrogen will hold more leaves through winter. That evergreen system may have some advantages like more leaf area sooner in spring.

I'm still only just past half way on harvest. It was cold at night all spring which affects even greenhouse plants.

After thinking this through I probably need to go out right now and at least do some pruning on those plants done harvest.

Wow, 72 fig varieties! There should be some good ones!

As always thanks for the help!!


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RE: Will heavy pruning now delay SHB bloom next spring?

Steve,

It is just a guess......I have no first hand knowledge. You are 100% right on the leaves and the fungus though this year because we had no rain the leaves were still perfect when I pruned them off. In any event it will be a good experiment to see if they are early.

I will send you the list of figs. As promised you are first on the list for cuttings.


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RE: Will heavy pruning now delay SHB bloom next spring?

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 9, 13 at 16:47

Bamboo:

I've got my thinking cap on about rooting and sizing those figs. I've got to get it right the first time. I hope yours are growing well.


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RE: Will heavy pruning now delay SHB bloom next spring?

Steve,

They root pretty easy and there are some tricks. Of the 72 about 65 varieties were from cuttings and with 3 cuttings of each type I only had to redo 2 varieties because I killed all 3:) Just stay away from the hormones. Baggie method using long fiber sphagnum moss is the ticket. I sent you the list.


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RE: Will heavy pruning now delay SHB bloom next spring?

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 9, 13 at 19:27

Bamboo:

After rooting them in the baggie did you move them to a pot first or straight into the soil? How much roots did they have when you potted/planted? Thanks again.


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RE: Will heavy pruning now delay SHB bloom next spring?

Steve,

They went from the baggies to cups......think they are 24 ounce, just iced coffee cups. I use them inverted so cut the bottom off and put the drain holes in the lid. It has a lot of advantages doing it that way. You also put small holes in the sides of the cups, I use a soldering iron. Just maybe 12 small holes around the cup to allow more air in. If you have fungus gnats out there be ready to handle that.

The mix is just a 50/50 mix of screened (important) chunky perlite and regular peat. Put a smaller 16 oz cup on top of the cutting for humidity. Once the roots are showing well then in to 1 gallon pots.

The cups are the weak point.....don't want to water unless they really need it as they like to rot. In the baggie stage you will get almost 100% that root if the cuttings are pretty fresh. Once in the gallon pots they are easy so it is just that month in the cups you have to be careful.


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RE: Will heavy pruning now delay SHB bloom next spring?

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 9, 13 at 20:46

Bamboo:

Thanks for all the tips. I'll save this for the actual rooting this winter. It will give me a nice break from the work of replanting my greenhouse. I've got a warm room and two big 600 watt grow lights that should come in handy at some point.


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