Protecting Blueberry Bushes in Winter – Must Know Tips

Blueberry Bush

There are many varieties of blueberry bushes that are hardy and can tolerate some level of cold, but you always want to be on the cautious side and provide your blueberry bushes as much protection as possible against the winter frost. Here are some important tips on winterizing your blueberry bushes.

Start Mulching the Shrubs in Fall

Make use of the dead, dried leaves in the fall season. Fallen leaves are great for using as natural mulch because they decompose and release valuable nutrients to the soil. The layer of mulch also offers insulation for the soil underneath, which will be important from stopping the roots from freezing.

We suggest building a layer of mulch that’s about three to five inches deep. In some cases, you might not even need the layer of mulch. If you get plenty of snow in the area then the snow itself could provide insulation for the soil underneath. You need to be careful, however, that the snow buildup doesn’t get too high as the weight of it could crush the blueberry shrubs.

Water the Bushes Sparingly

Be careful with how often you water the outdoor blueberry bushes. They are in a period of dormancy so don’t require as much water as they would during the spring and summer season. Standing water in the soil could pose a lot of problems for the blueberry bushes, especially if they freeze, so only water a light amount when the soil starts to becomes very dry.

Prune Dead Branches

It’s better to prepare ahead for the new harvesting season by pruning any dead branches before winter kicks in. Remove any branches that are spindly or have not produced well in the past. We also suggesting clearing away any dead plant materials (aside from the mulch). This will prevent rodents like mice from nesting in your yard and damaging new blueberry bush growth in the spring.

Enclosing the Shrubs in Plant Covers

If you are growing the southern varieties of blueberry bushes then it might be necessary to cover the shrubs with a plant cover. These covers are typically made of UV-resistant mesh fabric and will offer a layer of insulation for the leaves. These plant covers will work best for blueberry bushes that are grown in pots and containers.