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Blueberries

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Blueberries

Post  NorthWoodsFever on 1/7/2012, 6:02 pm

I'd like to get some blueberry plants in and am looking at 2 or 3 different varieties. I was wondering if anyone has had success with any of the following: Patriot, Sunshine Blue and Top Hat? They are all fairly compact, which is what I need, as the space they will be going in is about 3 ft wide by 12 ft long.

Thanks!!

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Re: Blueberries

Post  Windsor.Parker on 1/7/2012, 7:43 pm

Transplants from retailers; 2 Patriot 4 yrs ago, 3 Top Hat 3 yrs ago, 2 High Bush 2 yrs ago:
Patriot fruit peaked yr 2.
Top Hat fruited sparsely in 2nd yr only.
High Bush fruited near 100% last Spring (3 flowers - 3 berries).
So we're disappointed. Sad
Yet hopeful, nonetheless. study

What a Face Recently transplanted 5 of them into large containers, and they're in a sunny corner of the basement.
sawing logs sawing logs sawing logs sawing logs sawing logs

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Re: Blueberries

Post  NorthWoodsFever on 1/7/2012, 8:06 pm

Thanks for the info! Eek on the High Bush Shocked I planted a blueberry last year, but it never made it. We got a TON of rain last Spring and it flooded my garden out twice, I had to replant almost everything after the first "watering". So I'm not sure if that's what did the blueberry in or not.

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Re: Blueberries

Post  Furbalsmom on 1/7/2012, 10:53 pm

NorthWoodsFever

Perhaps your MSU county extension service could advise you on the better blueberry varieties for your area. Just search MSU extension, then locate your county, there should be some on line information on varieties that do well in Michigan.

Wish I knew more to help you.

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Re: Blueberries

Post  NorthWoodsFever on 1/7/2012, 11:14 pm

All answers are helpful! Very Happy Now why didn't I think of that! Embarassed LOL

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Re: Blueberries

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/7/2012, 11:53 pm

I had some growing really well....don't remember the variety. I had them in their own 4x4 with straight peat moss. They love acidity. They were placed in the ground and covered with straight peat, I should say, up to 4 inches. After they got established, I added two strawberry plants to each 4x4, as well. Too bad we moved before things got really good. But, the bushes are still going strong! They just don't belong to us anymore. Sad

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Re: Blueberries

Post  janezee on 1/8/2012, 1:06 am

Hi, and welcome!
I have a Patriot and a Top Hat in their own 4x8 bed. They're 2 year transplants. I planted them in MM with lots of coffee grounds added last spring. The Patriot flowered and produced about a pint of berries. I wish I had been paying more attention, because I would have deflowered them to put more strength into their roots for their first year here. OTOH, they were really delicious!
The Top Hat just cruised along.
I also stuck some bush beans around the edges of the bed, to enrich the soil, and to prevent weeds from getting established there. Japanese blood grass in the corners really looks nice with them, too. I also planted a few tulips away from their roots.
This is in Washington, so YMMV. The Extension is a great place for more info.

Jane

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Re: Blueberries

Post  Windsor.Parker on 1/8/2012, 2:20 am

@NorthWoodsFever wrote:Thanks for the info! Eek on the High Bush Shocked I planted a blueberry last year, but it never made it. We got a TON of rain last Spring and it flooded my garden out twice, I had to replant almost everything after the first "watering". So I'm not sure if that's what did the blueberry in or not.
Ours didn't flood, but the bushes' roots were exposed and undermined. Moreover, since none of them had been pruned and we suspected soil deficiency, some bushes are in my ICU for some TLC!
Survivors will be returned to the back yard into our soon-to-be "SFG"!

BBG, ya think the bushes sleeping in my ICU will approve of the MM & Miracid? What a Face

Jane, as much coffee as we use; If I save all the grounds starting now... Very Happy

Check for updates ---> Fruitless4now
Rolling Eyes

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Re: Blueberries

Post  The Cat's Other Mother on 1/8/2012, 9:44 am

If you have bushes that aren't producing, you might try working some fireplace ashes into the soil. My father had three bushes that never produced until I accidentally set a small forest fire(don't ask) and burned them over. After that they went berserk with berries.

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Re: Blueberries

Post  llama momma on 1/8/2012, 10:35 am

@The Cat's Other Mother wrote:... until I accidentally set a small forest fire(don't ask) and burned them over. After that they went berserk with berries.

funny post Thank you I bust out laughing reading that. Sounds like something I would do. Produce or Fry! lol. Seriously, I read somewhere that bushes can sometimes take a few to several years to begin fruiting. I guess the advice is to buy bigger bushes if you can afford it and get berries quicker?

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Re: Blueberries

Post  camprn on 1/8/2012, 10:50 am

Many folks are known to prune or burn their blueberry bushes every 2 years to promote new growth and fruit production.
http://umaine.edu/blueberries/ Very Happy

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Re: Blueberries

Post  quiltbea on 1/8/2012, 11:44 am

camprn, that article is about wild blueberries, which are low-growing spreading bushes. The high bush don't even get pruned for the first few years and take time to yield.

I have some young ones, 3 Patriot and a couple of others whose name I forget, and tho I only get a handful of berries so far (they are 3 years old), I keep hoping. I add some peat around the bushes each spring hoping that will help, but I'm going to see if anyone I know has some ashes they can spare. I'll try anything. I hope its not the fact that they are planted over a granite base not too far beneath the soil and their roots aren't happy, but one has to try things in case it works.

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re: blueberries

Post  efirvin on 1/8/2012, 4:47 pm

New here but thought I would add a comment. I planted 6 blueberry plants 2 years ago. We don't have good acidic soil here so I planted them in large plastic garden pots with the bottoms cut out. I used a large amount of peat moss and another high acidic potting soil. My plants are slowly growing but still alive here in Wyoming. Oh, I also read you have to be careful watering your plants with city water because the pH is too high for blueberries. So now I have a 60gal rainbarrel just for my blueberries! I am determined to eat homegrown blueberries in Wyoming!Very Happy

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Re: Blueberries

Post  Lavender Debs on 1/8/2012, 5:50 pm

@camprn wrote:Many folks are known to prune or burn their blueberry bushes every 2 years to promote new growth and fruit production.
http://umaine.edu/blueberries/


I prune my highbush blueberries every spring. I start on three year old plants but do some snipping every year once they get that old. I clip off multi branches that fruited the year before. New shoots that have never made fruit (come from low on the plant) I leave to fruit this year. I know that many people delight in tiny berries but at my age I cannot tell the difference in taste between the large and small. Large are easier to pick. They come from the new branches. To me it seems like I get more fruit when I prune in the spring. Things might be different where you are.

At the time of pruning I sprinkle on a tonic known as Lovejoy (after the Seattle gardener Anne Lovejoy). It is 1 part bagged steer manure, 1 part alfalfa meal and 2 parts home grown compost. There is also 1/2 part dolomite lime and a handful of complete (boxed) organic fertilizer. Unless I am using vegan fertilizer, I leave out the fertilizer if we are still getting frost. I do not want the killing products in the fertilizer (blood and bone meals) to encourage tender new growth too early. Mix everything up in a wash tub or bucket and use it like a thin mulch at the base of potted plants and berries.

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Re: Blueberries

Post  martha on 1/8/2012, 5:54 pm

I thought Patriot was a highbush....

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Re: Blueberries

Post  Windsor.Parker on 1/8/2012, 7:27 pm

I have 5 gal of hardwood ashes from a friends wood burner. Think I'll mix some into the ICU container blueberrys before I water them a couple of weeks from now.
Here are a few pics taken yesterday,
Recent Pics
the scraggly one is outdoors in a bed raised 6", and overplanted I think!

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Re: Blueberries

Post  Windsor.Parker on 1/8/2012, 7:33 pm

@martha wrote:I thought Patriot was a highbush....
I think you're right martha!

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Re: Blueberries

Post  jpatti on 1/19/2012, 2:38 am

In addition to adding potassium, wood ashes make the soil alkaline.

I would not use them for blueberries since blueberries are an acid-loving plant.

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Re: Blueberries

Post  camprn on 1/19/2012, 6:56 am

@jpatti wrote:In addition to adding potassium, wood ashes make the soil alkaline.

I would not use them for blueberries since blueberries are an acid-loving plant.
+1

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Re: Blueberries

Post  Windsor.Parker on 1/19/2012, 12:23 pm

@camprn wrote:
@jpatti wrote:In addition to adding potassium, wood ashes make the soil alkaline.

I would not use them for blueberries since blueberries are an acid-loving plant.
+1

Thanks jpatti & camprn.
Oops, I won't use that wood ash on BB!
study
Instead I'll use Osmocote "6 or 9 mos slow release", coffee grounds, pine needle mulch, and Miracid solution.
Apparently they'll grow in containers so I may leave one bush in each, for now.
I'm also studying growing them indoors.
geek

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Re: Blueberries

Post  staf74 on 1/19/2012, 3:14 pm

Anyone growing Blueberries might take a look at this product by Espoma if they are looking for ideas. I love their line of organic products.

http://www.espoma.com/p_consumer/tones_holly.html

I made my own acid loving medium for my mature blueberry bushes that are housed in half whiskey barrels. I have 6 big bushes. Peat moss and shaved pine bark mulch with some sulphur (to maintain a lower pH), this espoma product and worm castings. Simple. I did have to add some liquid chelated iron after a while because the low pH makes it less available and they are heavy iron feeders.

Plants flourished with pints and pints of berries.

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Re: Blueberries

Post  nancy on 1/19/2012, 7:28 pm

NorthWoods Fever - last year we went blueberry picking at a farm not far from us. They also sell 2nd year bushes. I bought one last year but failed to care for it. I have a better plan for this year and will buy another from them when we go back. It was $9 for the bush. They were the best blueberies I've ever eaten, although I don't know the variety. Do you have a U-pick near you? I recommend checking them out!

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Re: Blueberries

Post  Noie on 1/25/2012, 10:01 pm

I'm not sure yet if my blueberries will survive or ever have berries. But, the instructions that came with them said to water with apple cider vinegar once a month during spring and summer. Who knows, might help?

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Blueberries

Post  bakermtb on 3/8/2012, 10:22 pm

I would like to plant some Blueberry Plants. Has anyone planted them in the SFG Mel's Mix? How big of a container did you use? Any wisdom out there?

Mike

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Blueberries

Post  jfkelly001 on 3/8/2012, 10:41 pm

A clay soil is preferred, but dark or sandy soils are acceptable with sufficient watering. What I do is put 2 ft x 2 ft x 6 inches bottomless box where I want to place them. I dig down 10 inches and remove the soil and then refill the entire hole and up to the top of the box with moistened Canadian peat moss. Plant your blueberry by making a hole in the peat moss. Top of the blueberry root ball should be level with top of the box. Do not put any of the soil you removed in or on top of the box. This is the way the growers recommends and it has worked great for all 5 of my blueberry plants over the years.
























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Re: Blueberries

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