The Planour blueberry journey series | part one
The blueberry journey, as we like to call it, started mid-August 2017. Our neighbor has a large blueberry patch in which they invited us to pick from this summer. In conversation about the plants, they mentioned no longer wanting to care for them and were considering ripping them out.
The idea of moving the plants onto our property, if they could handle being transplanted, seemed to align with our homestead’s greater goals and so we began researching the subject. These plants are mature blueberry plants, believed to be around 30 years old. They’ve been cared for enough to maintain production, but not to a high standard. We returned to the neighbors to propose our idea and, while I’m sure they thought we were crazy, they agreed to let us have the plants.
To transplant, the plants have to become dormant – meaning we’d have to move them late fall to early winter. Blueberry plants also like well–draining, sandy soil with a low ph and access to water. So, without doubt, the area we wanted to plant them has loamy clay soil and a neutral ph.
After tilling the land, we spread sulfur over the area, allowing the natural weather pattern to breakdown the element in our field. When the time to transplant neared, we began mapping out the area to dig holes. Now when you have more time than money, you dig the holes by hand. We’re trying to be as cost–effect as possible, with a tight budget leading into the holidays. After work, Rich headed out to the field and began the long process of digging 4’ x 3’ holes approximately 12” deep. A couple days before we tested a transplant, I helped him dig 87 holes. People, this work is not for the faint of heart. It hurt, we were both tired, and I was so thankful to have put a roast in the crock pot that morning! At every hole I had to keep reminding myself that each blueberry would taste so much sweeter knowing we put the sweat into it now.
We now have 203 holes ready for their new (to us) plants to be set in.
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