- Learn about harmful temperatures
- Cover up bushes
- Use wind machines
- Try sprinkler irrigation
- Trust Avian Control
Early spring is the prime time for growing and cultivating blueberry plants and bushes, but it is also a reminder that the last hints of winter could pop up at any time. Sudden drops in temperature are bad news for blueberry growers, as frost can severely damage blueberry bushes and buds. Learn about five helpful tips and tricks for blueberry bush frost protection in the months of spring to start your harvest at its best.
RELATED: How to Grow Berries in the Backyard
Understand Critical Temperatures for Blueberry Plants
One of the first steps to protecting blueberry bushes from frost is to understand the temperatures at which they can be damaged or destroyed. The extent of frost damage depends on how mature your blueberry plants are. The more mature the blueberry plant, the more easily the fruit can be damaged by cold.
- Unopened blueberry buds are damaged at 21°F
- Blueberry buds that have ruptured are damaged at 25°F
- Fully opened flowers are damaged at 29°F
- Fully formed blueberries are damaged at 30°F
Use Row Covers and Nursery Foam to Combat the Cold
In the event of a frost, nursery foam or floating row covers can help to insulate blueberry bushes and crops. When installed properly, they can potentially offer up to 2°-3° of additional protection to the plants. When a row of nursery foam is double-layered, the heat gathered around the blueberry plants can offer up to 10° of additional protection. Row covers and nursery foam can be found at most gardening supply and home improvement stores.
Invest in Wind Machines to Properly Protect Plants
In the event of a less-severe frost that occurs later in the spring, wind machines can be used to heat up the air around blueberry plants. Wind machines can provide a few degrees of warmth to blueberry bushes by mixing warm air with colder air floating above low-level plants. It is important to note, however, that wind machines are not useful in the event of especially cold temperatures or freezes.
Turn to Sprinkler Irrigation for Increased Protection
One of the tried-and-true methods of protecting blueberry crops from frost is with sprinkler irrigation. Sprinkler irrigation works by coating blueberry crops in a thin layer of water, heating them up as the water goes from liquid to solid form. When used as directed, sprinkler systems can beat the frost to the punch and allow you to control the temperature on your own terms.
ALSO SEE: Protecting Berries from Birds
Don’t Forget to Protect Blueberry Crops from Birds with Avian Control!
While frost and freezes are certainly enemies of a blueberry grower, so are birds! Remember to prevent your budding blueberry bushes from becoming a bird’s next meal with a liquid bird repellent like Avian Control. To order commercial or residential sizes of our proven bird control solution, contact us at 888.868.1982, today!