2024 Blueberry U-pick Season

Starting Date Still Yet To Be Announced –

Blueberry U – Pick is NOT happening at this time, folks. They’re not ripe yet!

We will keep you posted here on FB when we get closer to picking. We are waiting for sugar in the fruit. WE ARE NOT LETTING ANYONE INTO THE FIELDS — so please don’t come out with the intention of going out or picking at this time.

We are looking toward the first part of JULY 2 OR SO — WE THINK. However, we can’t control the weather.

If questions – you can call the restaurant at (509) 687-2379 daily from 8-3.

Anyone discovered in the fields will be asked TO LEAVE.

Thank you!

What to Bring

Please be prepared to leave your CURRENT DRIVER’S LICENSE at the fruit stand in exchange for the buckets we lend you to pick into. We’ve had a big problem with theft over the last couple of years and find this encourages folks to come back, return the buckets AND pay for their fruit more readily. Yes, it’s a hassle, but we can’t think of anything better.

We do provide buckets for picking but NOT for taking your fruit home. We do tend to run out of buckets during heightened activity, so you are always welcome to bring your own. Wearing a belt around your waist to hang your bucket from is helpful if you’re looking to use both hands.

Water Water Water!

It’s hot out there so remember to stay hydrated. (Folks, we appreciate you not leaving garbage in our fields.)

Planting & Caring For Blueberry Bushes

Site Selection And Preparation

Select a sunny location in well-drained soil free of weeds and well worked. (Fer you’n me, Buddy, that’d be a spot yer not doin’ nuthin’ with that’s close to a hose.) Locate in an area where irrigation water is available, as best results will be obtained by keeping the root zone moist throughout the growing season. Where the soil is poor or marginally drained, raised beds 3-4 feet wide and 8-12″ high work very well for blueberries. (Otherwise, the flat & lazy kind’a plantin’s best.)

A fail-safe way to grow blueberries in almost any soil is to incorporate peat moss into the planting medium. For planting directly in the ground, work up a planting area approximately 2-1/2 feet in diameter and one foot deep. Remove 1/3 to 1/2 of the soil. Add an equal amount of pre-moistened peat moss and mix well. One 4 cubic foot compressed bale will usually be sufficient for 4-5 plants. For raised beds, mix equal volumes peat moss with acid compost or planting mix. Blueberries thrive in acidic soils – between 4.5 –5.5. You will very likely need to amend your soil! DAD SAYS – IF YOU DON’T TEST AND AMEND YOUR SOIL – DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON BLUEBERRY PLANTS! THEY WILL NOT THRIVE – NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO IF YOUR PH ISN’T RIGHT! Your garden center representative can recommend a soil acidifier if necessary for your area.

Spacing

Blueberries can be planted as close as 2-1/2 feet apart to form solid hedgerows or spaced up to 6 feet apart and grown as individual specimens. If planted in rows, allow 8 to 10 feet between the rows depending on equipment used for mowing or cultivating.

Planting

For container stock, remove from pot and lightly roughen up the outside surface of the rootball. Set the top soil line of the plant about 1-2 inches higher than the existing ground and firm around rootball. Mound soil up along sides of exposed root mass. Water in well.

Mulching

Blueberries do best with a 2-4″ mulch over the roots to conserve moisture, prevent weeds and acid organic matter. Bark mulch, acid compost, sawdust, grass clippings, etc. all work well. Repeat every other year.

Pruning

Blueberries should be pretty heavily pruned (ABOUT 1/3 OF THE PLANT) each year to avoid over-fruiting which will result in small fruit or poor growth. Follow these steps after the leaves have dropped:

4. Remove low growth around the base. If it doesn’t grow up, it gets pruned out!

5. Remove the dead wood, and non-vigorous twiggy wood. Select for bright-colored wood with long (at least 3 inch) laterals. Remove blotchy-colored short growth.

6. If 1/3 to 1/2 of the wood has not been removed by the above steps, thin out the fruiting laterals and small branches until this balance has been obtained.

Fertilizing

Blueberries like acid fertilizers such as Rhododendron or Azalea formulations. For newly planted stock, use 2 tablespoons (OR LESS!) of 10-20-10 (or similar fertilizer) in late spring or once plants are established. (Be very careful! Blueberries are very sensitive to over fertilization! Less is always more!) For subsequent years, use 1 ounce of fertilizer for each year from planting to a total of 8 ounces per plant. Apply in early spring and again in late spring for best results. Always water well after fertilizing. DO NOT to fertilize after the 4th of July – as your bushes need time to go dormant before the fall. For organic fertilizers, blood meal and cottonseed meal work well. Avoid using fresh manure as it will burn the plants and, well, it smells like fresh manure. ;/

Shopping List

Blueberry Plants (2 per family member) Peat Moss (4-5 plants per bale) Soil Test Kit

Mulch (1 cu. ft. per plant) Fertilizer (details above) Soil Acidifier