"My" blueberries

I was excited about my blueberry crop this year. Although the plants are still in smallish containers, this was their second year for me so should have produced quite a few berries.


You'll notice that I said "should have". Let me amend that statement: they did produce a decent amount of berries. The humans who live here didn't get to eat any though. Not one.

***


But I'll get to that in a minute. First, let's just take a look at these little globes of delight:






If you want to know more about these shrubs, take a look at the post I did when I first got the plants last year.

If you want to know why we humans didn't get to eat any this year, here are the facts:

  • Robins love berries
  • Humans know when blueberries are ripe
  • Robins do not, or don't care
  • Robins are not satisfied with stuffing themselves with mulberries even though there are two heavily-laden trees in my yard and a couple dozen unripe blueberries won't make any difference to them or their chicks but they take them anyway even though they must taste terrible and have no regard for the human who uncovers hundreds of worms each year for them when tilling the ground and who doesn't bother them in any way even letting them nest wherever they want to so is it too much to ask to just leave the berries alone for a couple of weeks...
Whew.

As soon as I noticed that some berries were going missing (clued in somewhat by the robins that kept appearing on our deck), I got out the bird netting:


With the plants seemingly well-protected, I sat back and waited for the ripening to continue.


What also continued was the poaching, as the robins either found a way under the netting (I had to help one bird free itself after it couldn't get out and was fluttering around in a panic) or figured out how to push the netting down enough to reach the berries.


Since I was doing some traveling for work I didn't have time to construct a proper cage for the netting, so had to resign myself to the fact that I was at most going to taste a berry or two this year.


That's okay, as I really want to get these plants into either much larger pots or into the ground this year, and the poor crop this spring is just another incentive for me to do it.


Still, I get to enjoy these photos, right?

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Steve Lau  – (June 3, 2012 at 9:12 AM)  

When you get small fruit, or wrinkled fruit, that may be a sign that you have too many berries in comparison to the foliage, and that could ruin the health of the blueberry plant since energy directed towards producing berries means that not much energy is going towards foliar growth.

I've had a few bushes which have over fruited, and nearly dried up completely last year so this year, I've been cutting out some of the branch bearing branches.

Hoover Boo  – (June 3, 2012 at 9:46 AM)  

The photos are gorgeous, anyway. I made cages for mine out of hardware cloth and they've been perfect. We've been stuffing ourselves with berries while disgruntled birds look on.

But your photos are way better!

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (June 3, 2012 at 11:21 AM)  

The photos are really beautiful!
Had a giggle about your rant about the birds eating your blueberries - I know it must be quite irritating, but if you plant it, they will eat! Lucky birds - I lOVE Blueberries!!!

Steve Lau  – (June 3, 2012 at 4:49 PM)  

I know robins love blueberries, but I grow enough so that there is enough to go around for everyone.

One of the ways I've been expanding my blueberry bushes is taking some of the shoots from the ground, ground layering them so that they become their own individual plants. Mine should start ripening in 1-2 weeks

Modern Mia  – (June 4, 2012 at 11:20 AM)  

I had the same problem with my blueberries before we had to move and leave them behind. We also had neighborhood children who would pick them at night since they were under the glow of the streetlight. I am hoping in our new garden to have many more blueberry bushes. Thanks for the tip on the netting. We have several dozen birds that like my current garden.

Steve Lau  – (June 8, 2012 at 1:52 AM)  

I had to follow up with a blog on my own about blueberries with my own story because I love the taste of fresh blueberries.

They should start turning ripe by next week

http://stevespeonygarden.blogspot.com/2012/06/my-experience-with-growing-blueberry.html#more

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