How to Protect Blueberry Bushes From Frost In Spring

Overview

Blueberry bushes provide an edible element to your landscaping. The bushes begin forming flower buds in early spring that will later bloom, get pollinated then produce berries. If the blossoms are damaged by a late spring frost there will be no fruit set on the bush. Unopened blossoms and developed berries are fairly frost tolerant, handling temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Flowers can't survive temperatures beneath 28 degrees in most cases, so protecting the blueberry plant is necessary.

Step 1

Plant the bush in a frost resistant area. Avoid planting in low areas of your property or areas that remain frozen after other areas have already thawed.

Step 2

Prune your bushes properly each year. Remove short and small diameter shoots and leave longer, thicker branches which are more cold hardy.

Step 3

Keep the soil moist during cold snaps, as moist soil produces more surface heat which helps keep the blueberry plant warm.

Step 4

Begin constant irrigation from above the bushes once temperatures go below 38 degrees Fahrenheit and a frost is expected. Provide 1/10 inch of water per hour, running continuously, until the temperatures rise above freezing again.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep the ice on frozen blooms wet as this maintains a temperature of 32 degrees. Once the ice drys out temperatures will plummet and kill off the blooms. Avoid cultivating and disturbing the soil if frost is still possible in your area. Cultivated soil loses heat more quickly than uncultivated.

References

  • Northwest Berry and Grape Information
  • NC State University Extension
Keywords: frost protection, protecting blueberry, spring freeze

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.