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Pest management schedule

In order to be successful, an IPM program should follow a schedule of monitoring and cultural controls that begin before the plants are put into the ground and are repeated each year. Read about the specific pest to determine how to monitor for the pest, and to decide what level of pest infestation can be tolerated.

Table 1: Pest management schedule when establishing a blueberry patch.

Time Action
Summer or fall before planting Locate site where the blueberries will be planted.
Take a soil test to determine nutrients levels and soil pH.
Amend soil to provide the appropriate pH for blueberry plants.
Kill all perennial weeds, especially quack grass and thistle.
Winter-Spring Order or buy plants from an established nursery that sells plants that have been certified virus free.
Spring Plant blueberries
Summer Control annual weeds by mulching, hand pulling and/or shallow hoeing.

Table 2: Pest management schedule in established blueberry patches

Time Action
Early to mid-March If plants were covered for winter protection, remove covers.
April and May Examine stems and branches for cankers. Prune out and destroy any infected branches.
May When buds open, prune out any sections of the branch that have been killed by winter injury.
June-July Look for iron chlorosis in newly formed leaves. If new leaves are chlorotic, spray with chelated iron. Add sulfur to the soil to lower soil pH.
June-August Watch for branches that have wilted brown leaves. Examine stem for cankers or other damage. Prune out and destroy any infected branches.
Mid-May to early June Place traps for spotted wing Drosophila and check them regularly throughout the growing season.
Mid-June through August Check leaves regularly for Japanese beetles. Remove beetles as they land on blueberry leaves when practical.
Late June through harvest If spotted wing Drosophila is present, harvest ripe berries, dispose of infested fruit and apply insecticides.
Mid November to early December If winter injury is a concern, cover plants in late fall.

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