By Doug Phillips
Blueberry Extension Coordinator
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Weed Management in Blueberry

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

Peter J. Dittmar and Jeffrey G. Williamson

 

Blueberry growers use a system of turf and weed-free strips under the bushes. A weed-free zone under the bushes reduces the impact of weeds on blueberry bush growth. For the first 2–3 years, a strip 2–3 ft. wide is maintained weed free. After 3 years, the weed-free strip is widened to 4–5 ft. Turf strips are mowed or growth is chemically controlled on a regular basis. The turf minimizes erosion and provides an area for machinery and picking crews.


Nonchemical weed management practices are part of a complete weed management program. Cultivation was once a common practice for weed management in blueberries. This management practice is not as widely used now because of bush root pruning, erosion, and reduced radiant heat in the spring. Reduce the spread of weed species by controlling the plants before seeds are produced and by cleaning mowing equipment. Polyethylene or landscape fabric mulches provide weed control but can be cost prohibitive.


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