Blueberry Farming in Florida
For healthy growth and high yields, farms for sale in Florida (especially farms located in Central Florida), are ideal for blueberry farming. Central Florida farms for sale are perfect for blueberry farming because of the weather and naturally existing soil conditions. To ensure high quality and healthy yields, here are a few tips for growing blueberries in Florida:
When to Prune
Proper pruning will help to ensure strong growth and higher quality yields. Blueberry bushes that are not pruned on a regular basis will eventually become dense, twiggy, and ultimately will not produce profitable yields. When blueberry plants reach approximately 4-5 years of age, it’s important that they be pruned on a regular basis. The general rule for pruning is approximately 1/4 – 1/5 of the oldest canes should be removed immediately after the plants bear fruit. This helps to stimulate and promote the development of new growth.
Acidic soil and regular moisture are two of the main requirements for the healthy growth and the high quality production of blueberry crops. Mature blueberry crops require approximately 40 inches of water per year. Though most of this will be provided by rainfall, it is important to note that rainfall alone is not a reliable source for providing your crops with an adequate water supply, and some supplemental irrigation may be required. The frequency of this supplemental irrigation will depend on the weather, temperature, humidity, wind speed, soil type, plant age and stage, and variety chosen for production.
Management of Disease & Weed Control
There are a number of diseases and weeds that can affect the commercial production of blueberries, many of which can cause significant reductions in growth and yields, and some have the potential to even cause crop death. To protect your blueberry crops from quality and yield losses, management of these factors is absolutely necessary. Weeds compete with blueberries for water, nutrients, and sunlight. So for strong crop growth, its important to keep weeds at bay. Maintaining a bed of acidic mulch such as pine bark, pine straw, or oak leaves will help to keep weeds away, and will also acidify the soil to promote healthy growth. The best way to protect against disease is through site selection. When looking for farms for sale in Florida, avoid damp, poorly drained properties. These types of areas are not ideal for growing blueberries and contribute to the development of serious diseases like mummy berry.