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I have a blueberry growing in a pot. Good fruiting this first year. The plant has produced several quite long, new growth stems. Do I allow these to continue growing or should I prune them, and if so when and by how much? Also when and with what should I feed it? I have heard that blueberries like pine needles around their base – is there any substance to this story?

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Pruning is only necessary to remove the dead or diseased wood, any weak growth and any twiggy branches after fruiting. After 4-5 years some of the oldest branches may need cutting back to encourage vigorous new growth which is where the largest fruit will be formed. Fruit is formed on the last seasons growth. Blueberries like free draining, acid soil, so regular application of organic matter and mulch is all that is really necessary. A complete slow release fertiliser can be used as the start of the growing season. Pine needles are acidic and take a very long time to decompose. Once decomposed they would make a very good mulch.

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