From Planning To Planting - Our Team Will Advise You
Basic Planting and Care
At Fall Creek, we've been working with and advising commercial blueberry growers for more than 30 years. We travel the world visiting blueberry farms and talking to growers. Over those years we’ve learned a lot and, as part of our Grower Support program, we share our global perspectives with our customers.
Planning. Planning. Planning.
We can't stress this enough. A blueberry farm is only as good as the forethought and planning that go into it. Success starts with good pre-plant preparation. Talk to us early. We can provide critical insight on everything from site analysis and soil tests to marketing plans, water field design, planting advice and more. Talking to us early will also ensure that you get the varieties you want, when you’re ready to plant. We have the expertise to help guide your effort and maximize your success.
And keep in mind that your local extension agents and agricultural supply companies are also wonderful resources for planting and growing advice.
When Is The Best Time To Plant?
This is one of the most common questions our customers ask. Depending on region, there is some flexibility with the time of year you can plant. You’re ultimately ready to plant when your site is prepared in accordance with our best recommendations which includes having well-worked, weed-free soil that is loose and friable with adequate fertility and good drainage.
Shipping Your Plants
All orders are carefully packed in boxes, palletized and shipped by truck to your farm site. We take great care in preparing shipments to ensure plants arrive in exceptional condition. Careful coordination with you is essential. Shipping seasons and times vary depending upon regions, distances and climatic conditions. Typically we ship container-grown plants in the spring and fall, and our Advantage Cell™ Transplants in the winter and early spring. Transit times vary from delivering the same day the pallets leave our docks to 4-5 days across country.
Receiving Your Plants
Our team can advise you on special considerations for receiving your order once your shipping date is set. Since most shipments are delivered by truck, it's important to have the right equipment and proper facilities ready to receive and unload the order. Our customer service specialists can assist with temporary storage and handling considerations and with unpacking instructions.
Properly handling and preparing each plant to go into the ground is important. Make sure the root balls are thoroughly moist. Roughening up the outside surface of the root ball will allow the roots to grow freely into the ground. Scratch and pull the outside surface roots so that they are loosened at least one half inch into the root mass. Do not break the root mass or pull it away from the crown as this will injure the roots.
As the blueberry plant goes into the ground, it is extremely important to ensure good contact with soil and not to plant too deep. This can be a major cause of plant loss and poor plant vigor. The ultimate goal in the first growing season is to promote plant growth and root development. By planting a strong, healthy plant and providing the optimum conditions for rapid growth, your fields will achieve excellent results.
Care After Planting
Adequate moisture must be available to the blueberry plant roots at all times throughout the growing season. It's critical to ensure that irrigation systems are designed to provide uniform moisture over the entire length and width of each planted row.
Ensuring proper plant nutrition and providing a consistent supply of nitrogen and other nutrients throughout the growing season are very important. Extreme care must be taken when fertilizing young blueberry plants. More plants are lost to fertilizer burn in fields fertilized with dry fertilizers the first year than any other cause!
Blueberries are very shallow-rooted plants characterized by light, fibrous roots. They are poor competitors when they must share their growing space with grasses and broad-leafed weeds. This makes weed management especially important. Growers can keep their fields in much better condition in the critical early years by anticipating the weed problems rather than reacting to them once established.
Pruning young blueberry plants is an absolute must and can be accomplished fairly easily by following some basic guidelines. In northern climates pruning is typically performed when plants are dormant and most leaves have fallen, sometime in the early to mid-winter timeframe. It is ideal to complete pruning tasks before plants begin growing in the spring. The goal with pruning young blueberry plants is to encourage new growth from the strong parts of the small plants and to remove flowers and/or fruiting wood.
Fall Creek – Your Best Resource
Fall Creek is the leader when it comes to expertise and experience in working with successful commercial blueberry growers around the globe. Our Grower Support team is focused on providing customers with the best pre-plant advice, variety selection and industry perspective. We also assist our customers with field design, installation advice, planting recommendations and promoting best management practices. It all comes together with the exceptional plants our production team so proudly grows to ensure our customers get the fastest and best return on their investment.
If you're a commercial fruit grower or are contemplating a blueberry growing venture, call a member of our Grower Support Team to discuss your plans.