Transplanting Blueberries and Strawberries


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Help!

We moved into a new house last year and decided to lean into the whole “edible landscaping” thing. We planted loads of blueberry bushes and they’ve done really well EXCEPT we didn’t realize that there was a huge patch of thistle growing underneath and it’s constantly trying to take over the blueberry patch. The bushes were flowering in the spring and fruiting right now, so we didn’t want to take any drastic measures to remove the thistle just yet. I’ve just been cutting it back periodically to make sure it doesn’t choke out the blueberries or spread to other parts of the garden.

My thought is that I’m going to remove the blueberry bushes when they go dormant in late November, try to dig up all of the thistle, then replant the blueberries, then transplant some strawberries (which are growing in pots at the moment) around the blueberry bushes in early spring to provide some ground cover and hopefully prevent the thistle from coming back next year.

I’m worried about disturbing the roots of the blueberry bushes because I know that they’re pretty shallow, but I don’t really see any other way to get rid of all the thistle. I wish I had known it was there before I planted the bushes last year!

I’m relatively new to berries and especially to blueberries, so I’d love to know what you think of this plan — Is my timing ok? Is it ok to replant the dormant blueberries in November, or should I bring them inside for the winter? Is this going to work?
 
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Not certain I have not grown blueberries and I'm new to berries as well. But maybe if you brought them inside would it effect the dormancy? Perhaps the warmth would cause the sap to rise up from the roots again?. Maybe keeping the roots warm until you re-plant them and then mulching afterwards would be the way.

 
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Help!

We moved into a new house last year and decided to lean into the whole “edible landscaping” thing. We planted loads of blueberry bushes and they’ve done really well EXCEPT we didn’t realize that there was a huge patch of thistle growing underneath and it’s constantly trying to take over the blueberry patch. The bushes were flowering in the spring and fruiting right now, so we didn’t want to take any drastic measures to remove the thistle just yet. I’ve just been cutting it back periodically to make sure it doesn’t choke out the blueberries or spread to other parts of the garden.

My thought is that I’m going to remove the blueberry bushes when they go dormant in late November, try to dig up all of the thistle, then replant the blueberries, then transplant some strawberries (which are growing in pots at the moment) around the blueberry bushes in early spring to provide some ground cover and hopefully prevent the thistle from coming back next year.

I’m worried about disturbing the roots of the blueberry bushes because I know that they’re pretty shallow, but I don’t really see any other way to get rid of all the thistle. I wish I had known it was there before I planted the bushes last year!

I’m relatively new to berries and especially to blueberries, so I’d love to know what you think of this plan — Is my timing ok? Is it ok to replant the dormant blueberries in November, or should I bring them inside for the winter? Is this going to work?
I don't know how you feel about using weedkillers, but we eradicated fairly well established and extensive thistles in our front lawn using gel weedkiller - the kind you just dab on the leaves. It won't impact on your blueberries - just one touch on the thistle leaves and they just wither and die.

I'm wondering if it's still available as I tried to find a link to show you what I mean and it's hard to find. But here's one place still selling it:

 
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I don't know how you feel about using weedkillers, but we eradicated fairly well established and extensive thistles in our front lawn using gel weedkiller - the kind you just dab on the leaves. It won't impact on your blueberries - just one touch on the thistle leaves and they just wither and die.

I'm wondering if it's still available as I tried to find a link to show you what I mean and it's hard to find. But here's one place still selling it:

If you can't get the dab on mixing up a bit of weed killer in solution with wall paper paste gives you a controllable gel you can apply with a paintbrush
 
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Thistles are annuals and biennials. Digging them up won't really solve your problem. All you have to do is keep them from going to seed. But, thistle seeds can live in the soil for years. I had a huge thistle problem and just whacked down the plants before the seed pods opened. It took a couple of years but I have to hunt for thistles now.
 
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Thistles are annuals and biennials. Digging them up won't really solve your problem. All you have to do is keep them from going to seed. But, thistle seeds can live in the soil for years. I had a huge thistle problem and just whacked down the plants before the seed pods opened. It took a couple of years but I have to hunt for thistles now.
The thistles I had in my lawn seemed to spread through underground roots. The lawn was kept cut so the thistles never had the chance to go to seed. I did a quick google and it seems there are lots of types of thistle - 14 types in the UK alone.

An article here explaining them all and how to get rid of them.

 
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