252-Cultural Management for Weeds in Wild Blueberries

Fact Sheet No. 252

Prepared by David E. Yarborough, Extension Blueberry Specialist, The University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Revised June 2017.

Weed Controlled Method Comments
Most weeds, especially grasses Fertilizer and pH Keep nitrogen applications below 20 lbs./acre. Reduce soil pH to 4.0 by applying 100 lb./a Sulfur for each 0.1 pH unit reduction.
Most weeds except grasses Hand pulling Effective against spot infestations. Pull before any weed flowers go to seed.
Weeds spread by seed or vegetative parts carried on equipment Field sanitation Steam clean and inspect equipment before entering a field.
Herbaceous weeds, such as dogbane, St. Johnswort and woody weeds sweet fern, poplars, maples, etc. Mowing above blueberry plants or cutting at the ground surface. Most successful if done during the vegetative year. Cut flowers off before they go to seed. Woody weeds need to be cut three or more times a season.
Coniferous trees, some weeds spread by seed Fire pruning When burning with straw or hay, use weed-free material.
Woody weeds, maple, birch, aspen etc. Cut to base Cut in June, July, and August to deplete food sources
Prevent weeds spread seed Mulching and/or planting blueberries on bare spots Apply much 2” to 4” deep. Use one of the following: bark, woodchips, shavings, sawdust, peat or sand.

Increasing blueberry cover will suppress weed growth.

Information in this publication is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied.

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