Q: I need to move blueberry bushes from Cobb county to my home in the next year. What’s the best way to make the move without undue stress?
A: Since you have ample time, you can do something called “root pruning”. Just as limb pruning results in lots of small sprouts, cutting a root encourages the same thing. Plunge the blade of a sharp spade or shovel in a circle around the bush, vertically, 12″ from the trunk. Immediately repeat the process, pushing the blade as deeply in the soil as you can. Many small roots will be severed but they will resprout in the next few months. Water the plant thoroughly each week until fall. In late October, dig a trench around the shrub 15″ away from the trunk. You’ll now have a root-filled soil mass that you can heave out of the ground and move to its new home without worry. There, mix equal parts of peat moss, gritty sand and native soil to fill an area six feet wide. Plant the blueberry in the middle. Begin collecting recipes for blueberry cobbler next summer!