THE EFFECT OF ROW COVERS ON THE WINTER SURVIVAL AND PRODUCTIVITY OF MINNESOTA BLUEBERRIES
Several winter protection systems were evaluated using 'Northblue' blueberry during the winters of 1985–86 and 1986–87. White polyethylene, Agronet, Reemay, 0.3 cm mesh nylon netting, burlap, straw and mounded snow were compared to natural snow. Temperatures were recorded under each treatment. Total plant yield, berry size, spring flower bud development and plant development were recorded. The protection systems had no significant effect on production following the winter of 1985–86 when natural snowfall came early and was deep. During the winter of 1986–87 when natural snowfall was less than average, row cover treatments and mounded snow protected the plants resulting in greater fruit production. Row cover treatments modified temperatures, resulting in warmer minimum temperatures and less temperature fluctuations compared to natural snow. Following snow melt spring bud development was accelerated on plants covered with polyethylene resulting in earlier bloom. Other protection systems did not accelerate bud development significantly. The use of row covers to protect low statured blueberry cultivars in the winter may be cost effective in colder regions where snow cover is not reliable.
Wildung, David K. and Sargent, K. (1989). THE EFFECT OF ROW COVERS ON THE WINTER SURVIVAL AND PRODUCTIVITY OF MINNESOTA BLUEBERRIES. Acta Hortic. 241, 238-243