Free Small Fruit Winter Pruning & Production Field Day March 19 in Laurel Springs

Published Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 4:22 pm

North Carolina Cooperative Extension of Watauga and Ashe counties and the Upper Mountain Research Station (UMRS) will offer a Small Fruit Winter Pruning & Production Field Day in Laurel Springs in Ashe County on Thursday, March 19, from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

search-1The Field Day will cover proper pruning and management of regionally adapted varieties of grapes, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, using UMRS’s research and demonstration plantings for hands-on examples. The Field Day is free and open to all interested gardeners and commercial growers. UMRS is located at 8004 NC Highway. 88 E., Laurel Springs, NC  28644-8631.

Blueberries, Grapes, Raspberries, and Blackberries are healthful and potentially profitable specialty crops that can thrive in the NC High Country climate with good management.

Winter pruning is a critical component of proper management for these crops. Pruning techniques will be taught and demonstrated by NC Cooperative Extension Agents Travis Birdsell and Richard Boylan, plus members of the High Country Wine Growers Association, Joseph Geller of Surry Community College, and UMRS staff.

Other production and planning factors, including soil drainage, fertility, weed management, and insect challenges will also be discussed as vines and bushes are pruned. Participants are welcome to bring pruning tools of their own, and some tools will be available for use on site as well. In addition to hands-on pruning work at the station, there will be time for a Q&A on production challenges throughout the afternoon.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s agents in Watauga and Ashe counties work to identify and promote viable crops and agricultural marketing strategies suitable for the region and work with farmers to improve profitability.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Research Stations have a mission to manage crop and livestock facilities that serve as a platform for agriculture research to make farming more efficient, productive and profitable, while maintaining a sound environment and providing consumers with safe and affordable products.




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