Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Blueberry Weed Patch

Don't look now, folks, but our puny little blueberry bushes actually made some growth this year. I think it may have had a lot to do with the fact that I spread about four tons of peat moss over the whole blueberry patch this spring.

I thought the heavy layer of peat moss would act as super-efficient mulch to keep the weeds down . . . but it didn't. Quite the opposite. It seems there are certain weeds that just thrive in peat moss. During the summer I made a couple of weed-killing forays pulling every blasted weed I saw, but the darn things just kept coming back.

Then I will admit for about the last month I've turned a blind eye to the weeds while other things seemed to rank higher on my chore list. I have paid a price.

This is what happens when you let weeds have their way among your blueberry bushes.

This is probably the worst section in the whole plot. (Can't even find the blueberry bushes, can you?)

Well, dang. I just couldn't let the blueberry patch go into winter this way. We happened to have quite a good sized amount of sawdust back in the wood cutting area left from chainsawing our twelve cords of wood this summer. Roy estimates he brought about 12-15 wheelbarrows full into the yard and made a big pile in our mulch material area.

I took my trusty spading fork and hand trowel and went into weed attack mode. It took me two days . . . but I didn't work full days (that would have killed me considering our still hot, humid weather) to get out all the weeds and spread a heavy layer of sawdust.

Now if a bunch of weeds grow up again before winter sets in, I'm gonna be really bummed. But I'm fairly confident the heavy sawdust and wood shavings will keep the patch weed-free, at least until spring. I think. I hope. It better.

And maybe tomorrow I'll even be able to stand up straight again.


RuthieJ said...

Good job Mama Pea! And next year will you swap some blueberry jelly from your patch for mulberry jelly from my trees? I love blueberries!

Mama Pea said...

Ruthie - It's a deal. Let's do it!

Jo said...

Hello Mama Pea --
Did you have to add anything to your soil before planting the blueberries? I know they like acidic soil. But perhaps you've already got that in the great north woods? Thanks for the posts. I too have bookmarked the cold frame post -- a big project for my hubby's honey-do list!

Jennifer Jo said...

It looks beautiful. We need to get a blueberry patch started. You're (as always) inspiring me.

Erin said...

The weeds must be common, our local pick your own patch is very weedy, they just mow it down like pathways, lol! The sawdust looks so nice, I hope it works, you have quite a berry patch going!

thimblevee said...

Wow - your hard work really paid off with stunning results. I have only 5 bushes and I mulched with small pine bark nuggets. I still have to keep the crab grass and bermuda from creeping in, but so far so good.
It's really late I know (even in the deep south), but I actually planted greens and broccoli last night. The signs were right and we have had LOTS of rain (flooding in fact) and the temps are still really warm down here. I figure I probably didn't have $2.00 in the seeds and said heck, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I'm still cutting okra and still have a few green tomatoes and peppers to glory. Truly, I'm about ready to jerk the tomatoe and pepper plants out of the ground.

Good luck with your sawdust week control.

Mama Pea said...

Jo - Yes, we did add (peat moss, pine needles, sawdust, etc.) to the soil where we planted the blueberry bushes to make it more acidic. And seems we need to keep adding more every year to keep the bushes happy. We also add some compost around each plant in the spring for fertilizer.

Good luck on the cold frame project . . . they're worth it!

Mama JJ - Thanks for your kind words. Blueberries are so high in antioxidants that they're a good fruit to have a ready supply of.

Erin - I'm sure in commercial plots it's impossible to keep the patches weed-free, but I always think of all the nutrients the weeds are taking away from the blueberries!

Vivian - In many ways I envy your much (much, much, much!) longer growing season! But then I'm kinda ready for a change . . . quilt studio, here I come!