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Holy Blueberries Piggos

July 30th, 2014

We have the pigs in an area by the back garden that has a small patch of high bush blueberry bushes.  They were overgrown with weeds, something blueberries do not take too kindly too.  We knew the pigs would chomp down the weeds and possibly root a little around the bushes.  That wasn’t a huge issue though, I figured I could simply take cuttings to start new bushes. I didn’t think much of the bushes until yesterday when I noticed they were heavy laden with GIANT berries.
blueberries 1
The pigs had decided to use the area around the bushes as their latrine after chomping down the weeds. They have only rooted a little bit around one bush. I plan on moving them shortly and filling back in with soil and the bush should do just fine. The size of these berries is incredible. I’ve been growing/picking blueberries my entire life and I’ve never seen berries this large. They’re flavorful too, not watered down as sometimes oversized fruit is.
blueberries 2
Funny thing is that I read in a very old (circa 1880’s) livestock book that pigs fed with wheat middling have very high quality manure, some of the best pig manure you can get. I didn’t think much of that until now. The pigs have been getting wheat mids in their feed every day. In return I get giant fruit, I think next I’ll be putting them in the orchard under the fruit trees to improve fertility in that part of the garden.

What kind of manure or fertilizer have you found to work best in your garden?

8 Comments to “Holy Blueberries Piggos”
  1. ann roberts on July 30, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Beautiful berries. We use rabbit manure. Supposedly the best manure around and instantly usable as it is a cold manure and won’t burn plants.

    Let us know if you ever get cuttings from blueberries to take. Or if you successfully move them. We have tried numerous times and have never been able to. Our on-line research has led us to believe that we are not the only ones. Not sure why they are so difficult to mess with but as long as I can buy new plants at the nursery to build my blueberry empire I am happy

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    • Susy on July 30, 2014 at 8:33 am

      I have both moved blueberry bushes and successfully rooted cuttings many times in the past. I think the key to root cuttings is to be very patient. Usually I take cuttings after they produce fruit and put in a pot of 100% peat. I put them in a shady spot throughout the summer, making sure to keep them moist and then I overwinter them in a sheltered spot with lots of mulch surrounding the pots. My parents have also rooted them in peat moss bales that they have around. They take cuttings and put them in the top of a bale that they have cut open. They stay there for 8-9 months. In the spring they pull out the rooted blueberry cuttings and then spread the peat in the garden.

      I think the key to moving mature bushes successfully is to keep them well watered. Blueberries tend to have fairly shallow roots that aren’t too far beneath the soil level, so they need watered a bit more often when establishing than other plants do. A good layer of mulch also works wonders, something acidic like wood chips is best.

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  2. Nebraska Dave on July 30, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Susy, wow, those are some mighty fine looking berries. I think I’ve mentioned before that I do have a source of unlimited horse manure but just haven’t capitalized on it. I have good intentions but don’t follow through on my plans to make horse manure tea. This year’s garden is so bad for me that there’s really no point in pursuing it. Next year will be better.

    Pigs are the best for cleaning up brush and weeds, aren’t they. They are always seem to be happy just being the best pig they can be, don’t you think? I see more ham and bacon on the horizon.

    Have a great blueberry day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  3. PennyAshevilleNC on July 30, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Those are incredible- how cool! I have 3 bushes of different varieties that someone was selling from their yard years ago here… no idea what they are. This year they are producing like crazy! I don’t try to harvest really, I kind of put them in for bird/animal diversity, but yesterday I got about 2 cups :D
    Neat tip– I brought home the evergreen wreaths from Christmas at church and stacked them around the new tiny bushes to keep them from being trampled and it turns out that as the wreaths decayed, it was helpful in acidity. A happy accident. So now I toss one around them each winter and then dump used coffee grounds in there.

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  4. Amy on July 30, 2014 at 9:03 am

    They look like berries that grow in the pinebarron areas of NJ. The soil is naturally acid and the blueberries love it.

    Reply to Amy's comment

  5. Natasha on July 30, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Any chance you could sell a few of those cuttings? Those berries are gorgeous! I think I definitely need some blueberry plants next year!
    Natasha´s last post ..I Thought I Couldn’t Grow Anything!

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  6. Sarah on July 30, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I wish we could grow blueberries here. Too hot and wrong ph though. I’ve never been great with fertilizing. Burned a few plants and now I get nervous about overdoing it.

    Reply to Sarah's comment

  7. Natasha on July 30, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I used the fishy fertilizer you recommended awhile back. I used it on Friday and by Monday, I noticed a huge difference in my plants. It’s great stuff!
    Natasha´s last post ..I Thought I Couldn’t Grow Anything!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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