Do You Think You Would Like to Grow Your Own Blueberries?

— Written By Bill Hanlin and last updated by JoAnne Gryder

north-carolina-blueberriesArea specialized agent, Richard Boylin, has sent out the following news release. The Watauga and Wilkes Extension Services will host a Blueberry Propagation, Pruning, & Production Field Day in Purlear (Wilkes Co.), NC, on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Blueberries are a healthful and potentially profitable specialty crop that thrives in the NC High Country climate. On Wednesday, November 11, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., North Carolina Cooperative Extension will lead a Blueberry Propagation, Pruning, & Production Field Day. The Field Day will be held at the farm of Kent & Kathy Bishop in Purlear, NC, where State Blueberry Extension Specialist, Bill Cline, and the Bishops will guide participants through blueberry crop management. On the propagation front, the Bishops will showcase their efforts to root cuttings from their older bushes in an irrigated hoop house. In order to assist growers in planning for the pruning season, the field day will also cover the decision process for selecting blueberry canes to be removed to maximize plant health and production for the coming years. Participants are welcome to bring pruning tools of their own, and some tools will be available for use on site as well. Environmental factors, including soil drainage, fertility, weed management, and insect challenges will also be discussed at the 11/11 Field Day, using the Bishop Farm as a living laboratory. In addition to hands-on pruning work on the farm, there will be time for a Q&A on blueberry production challenges with Dr. Cline and the other presenters throughout the afternoon. To reach the Bishops’ Farm (871 Pumpkin Run Road, Purlear, NC 28665), take Hwy 421 southward from Boone toward Wilkes County. About 18 miles from the New Market / 194 intersection, turn left on Pumpkin Rd. From Wilkesboro take US Hwy 421 West approximately 13 miles towards Boone and turn right on Pumpkin Run Road (Road 1303).