Berry Yearbook 2016 - page 11

One of his greatest challenges growing in
suchbags has been vineweevil control, the
bags providing an ideal habitat for theweevil
larvae. “This has required a dosingof the
bags every 5weekswith a nematode drench
applied through the drip-lines”, explained
Sean. “The othermainproblemhas been the
arrival of perennial weeds such aswillow
herb anddock, whichhave requiredhand-
weeding, an expensive on-cost per hectare”.
The cropwas set out initially at high
density 50cmpot spacing, settingout 3 lines
per tunnel span togive an approximate plant
populationof around10K plants/ha. As the
bushes grew the potswere spaced to their
final standof 1.0m apart, withnew areas of
blueberries established from the spaced
pottedplants.
Thewhole area of blueberry cropgrown
(3.5ha) is servedby a fertigation system
central to cropmanagement. As Sean Figgis
explainednitrogenmanagement is a key to
the successful agronomy of the crop. “We
have come to recognise that one central
component of yield is positive bushgrowth,”
he said.
BLUEBERRY
DEVELOPMENTS
11
Key to blueberry growing success ismaintaining
thick, new growths in the bushes to promote good
sized and high quality berries.
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