Tous les articles par Maryse Colin

Blueberry shrubs pruning

Pruning is done during dormancy in cold dry weather conditions after leaf fall. Dry weather avoids disease proliferation when making cuts and allows wood to heal faster.

Pruning shears must be clean, wipe it with alcohol or fire to kill all bacteries and viruses. This must be done regularly during pruning day. It avoids progagating diseases in the orchard.

Pruning consists of aereting your bushes to allow light inside the shrubs. We are keeing 5 main branches with the current year’s shoots and we remove an old branch every year. Some less vigorous species are made keeping 3 branches only during the first years.

The first picture is showing us a blueberry shrub before pruning.

 

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This second picture is showing you the same shrub now pruned, some old branches have been removed to let space for the current year’s wood shoots which will be bearing fruits the following season.

myrtille_apres_taille

 

Some professionals prefer pruning every two years, it requires then twice as much work during the second year so there is no time gained .

Pruning has another advantage for pickers. Indeed fruits with be easier to gather and bigger saving time significantly during the picking.

That’s it all that remains is to check the equipment and bring some elbow grease, good luck.

Blueberry jam recipe

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This recipe is quite simple to carry out : necessary ingredients are blueberries (i use frozen ones), sugar and citric acid (lemon juice).

I put together 5 kilos of blueberries and 3 kilos of sugar no more because my fruits are naturally sweet already and bring it to boil, let it cook for about ten minutes in order to reach 55 brix degrees ( brix being the unit to measure the sugar content, it is done with a refractometer).

I then remove the preparation from heat and add the lemon juice. Lemon juice helps acidifying the mixture and avoid jam ending up too runny.

I immediatly pour the whole into jars that i close and put upside down to pasteurize them naturally.

You can easily make about twenty 300grams jars with this recipe.

Happy cooking to you and remember that « blueberry protects eyesight in the long run ».

The planting

myrtilles_plantation_1Soil :

It grows well in draining and acid soils, best to avoid too heavy soils mostly consisting of clay.
Our orchards are installed on plots cleared from deciduous mostly chestnuts which gives them an especially high organic matter content thanks to leaves and underbush humus piling up.
This organic abundance gives blueberries a flavour beyond compare.

 

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You also can plant it in pot on a balcony. Choose a 5 liters pot then increase  the size every two years until you reach 15 to 20 liters. Please do buy heather peat checking its pH which should not go over 4,5 or 5 maximum. A 6 to 6,5 breeding ground will not be suited, seek advice at your garden center.

 

 

Period : It goes from November till May for pot plants and ultil February for bare roots.