Blueberries

Discussion in 'Gardening and Agriculture' started by Jason, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    2,696
    4
    I did a quick search on the forum here before I started this thread so my apologies if this info is already out there, but I have a few questions.

    DW wants to grow some blueberries this year. We've never grown them.

    Is there one variety that stands out as particularly good or bad?

    Any tips for location, other than in full sun and a slightly acidic soil?

    How many plants do you need to produce a yield that makes it worth messing with them?

    We live roughly on the zone 5-6 border (SW Pennsylvania).

    Thanks!!
     
  2. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    6,764
    108
    I don't have blueberries yet but I was given a catalog from my friend that I barter with. He marked the 2 types he grows.

    From the catalog:

    Chandler- This is a mid-late season blueberry plant with the largest berry of any available variety on the market today. Chandler will fruit over a period of 4-6 weeks, and has very nice flavor. This new variety is vigorous, with a spreading habit of 5-6 feet. Chandler is probably not hardy enough for the more northern areas, but should do well in zones 5-8.
    1-3/ $6.90 ea. 4-10/ $6.65 ea. 11-49/ $5.95 ea.

    Darrow- A late-midseason variety that produces large berries and is highly rated for it's flavor. The plant is very vigorous and grows upright. Not recommended for northern areas, Darrow is suited for southern New England and the South. Highly recommended to extend your blueberry season. Grows best in zones 5-7.
    Prices are the same as above.

    Here is their site but I couldn't find these 2 particular type plants.

    Live Plants
     

  3. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

    318
    0
    I would suggest searching on blueberry growing in Pennsylvania. I know there are several varieties, Northern Highbush, Southern Highbush, and Rabbiteye. I know the southern highbush grows well in my area, but cannot remember if rabbiteye does. I should think that Northern Highbush would do well in your area, but I can guarantee you will be able to find a website that will let you know for sure.

    They seem to be fairly easy to care for. My MIL has about 6 in a row in her side yard. Nothing is ever done to them. No fertilizer, no extra water, not even any pruning right now. They stand from 4 to 6 feet tall, maybe 7 for the taller ones. I made one picking that filled a 5 gallon bucket over halfway, and almost as many about a week later. Other members of the family also picked blueberries off these bushes. They are 15- 20 years old, and I have no idea if my FIL or MIL did anything to baby them when they were young. Hope mine do half as well some day. Good luck with yours.
     
  4. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    2,696
    4
    Thanks for the input. :) A little more research, especially of the varieties you mentioned, and it'll be time to order our berries.
     
  5. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    6,660
    8
    What I know about blueberries ...

    First - Our soil is "NOT" right for them and

    Second, the goats loved them...:gaah: all the way down to the roots. :(
     
  6. Horsecreeker

    Horsecreeker New Member

    2
    0
    Go for it Jason,

    I planted 6 bushes 3 years ago, put some sulfer in the ground about a year earlier, mounded the dirt about 1 foot, planted the bushes and gave them a heavy coating, about 6" of wood mulch. My cousin used sawdust. Either mulch will help to add acid to the ground. We got a handfull of berries last year and looking for more this summer. I learned blueberries like moist, well drained soil. Biggest problem I have had is keeping the deer our of our bushes. Good Luck.
     
  7. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    4,230
    4
    I love blueberries, but I trade blackberries to get them... plenty of paths here that berry bushes grow alongside/in ;) . I think for my area the native blackberry bushes are probably hardier too, I know that they put up with a lot of cow/horse trampling and still thrive.
     
  8. Horsecreeker

    Horsecreeker New Member

    2
    0
    Wow, me too, I have 4 different varities and pick about 15 gallon per year.
     
  9. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    1,922
    0
    Go for it, you will have more than you know what to do with in a few seasons:2thumb:.
     
  10. Murph

    Murph Member

    24
    0
    I am just north of you and have bluecrop and blueray. 3 of each. I get more bluecrop, but the blueray tastes better. I could probably have 10 of each and my girls would not allow any to be frozen or "jammed".

    I have them staggered for better pollination (supposedly) and I add about a 3 inch layer of almost finished compost as a top dressing around the first of June to help keep the moisture in. I add about 3 cups of sulfur to a yard of compost for a winter top dress.
     
  11. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    2,696
    4
    Thanks, Murph...we haven't ordered the berries yet but will soon and we'll take your advice to heart. I'll look into those varieties, too.
     
  12. PamsPride

    PamsPride edirPsmaP

    1,587
    7
    Blueberry syrup!!! YUM!!!

    My neighbor planted a bunch of them. I am not sure what kind but I think he planted over 100 of them. My boys have been down to his patch to weed but I have not seen it. I know they started some of the bushes from seeds in buckets in their back yard.