BOONE, N.C. — The Watauga County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will host a Blueberry Winter Pruning & Production Field Day in Banner Elk (Watauga Co.), NC on Monday, February 22, 2021, from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Northern Highbush Blueberries are a healthful and potentially profitable specialty crop that thrives in the NC High Country climate. They prosper in acidic soils common to this region, and can be managed with reasonable winter pruning and spring mulching maintenance tasks relative to their yields. This workshop will inform current and potential blueberry growers when and how to perform these tasks and keep blueberry bushes productive throughout their many-decade life spans.
The Field Day will be held at the Ward family portion of the Banner Elk’s old blueberry farm (1867 Lee Gualtney Rd., 28604), where Area Extension Agent Richard Boylan will guide participants through the decision process for selecting blueberry canes to be removed to maximize plant health and production for the coming years. Environmental factors, including soil drainage, fertility, weed management, and insect challenges will also be discussed as bushes are pruned. Participants are welcome to bring long-handled pruningloppers of their own, and some tools will be available for use on site as well. In addition to hands-on pruning work on the farm, there will be time for a Q&A on blueberry management and production challenges during the afternoon.
This pruning workshop is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required via this link:
More information and any updates due to possible extreme weather are available from the Cooperative Extension office at 828-264-3061.
–Richard Boylan, Watauga County Center