That is what everyone wants to know… right. Which variety, or combination of varieties will do best in their location. Including me.
I just joined this board a few weeks back and already have 12 blueberry plants growing… I did my best to research the subject and made my own decision but would appreciate any recommendations on what I could have done better.
I LOVE blueberries and could eat them every day and not get tired of them. I can say that about blackberries, raspberries, strawberries too.
One other reason I want to get answers to this question… is that I am 59 YO… and plan to retire at 63.
Between now and then, I will be selling my BIG House (and yes… all of the stuff I have growing here) and will be down sizing… building a empty nester home on other property that I own, and yes starting all over again, establishing all the stuff I love to grow and eat - including blueberries.
My start in planting blueberries was… not so well researched. Our walmart had a couple of Climax Blueberry bushes for sale, and I bought them and planted them… This was 3 years ago. Got several nice berries off them last year.
And last spring I planted 10 more… now this is where I actually did some research and tried to make a good decision on varieties for my area.
Per UT Ag, they recommend rabbit eye varieties in Tennessee… since our native blueberry bushes are rabbit eye and are known to do well here. I do have lots of wild blueberries on my property.
So I researched rabbit eye varieties… and found some some bloom early, some mid, some late…
But then there is a TiffBlue variety that blooms long, early, mid and late… so it will pollinate the others some regardless of when they bloom.
They said the early bloomers are more subject to crop failure, with a late spring frost… I did not want that.
So I stuck with the later blooming varieties.
The 10 that I planted last spring (same location as those 2 climax planted earlier) good pollination distance from them… I planted 2 TiffBlue, 4 BrightWell, 4 Powderblue.
So all together I have 2 Climax, 2 TiffBlue, 4 Brightwell, 4 Powerblue.
I know some of you are blueberry experts and … especially since I will be starting blackberries and blueberries on the property that I will be building our empty nester home on soon, may get some in this spring.
It would be great to have someone that knows (experienced blueberry grower in TN)… chime in and let me know what I could do better.
I think that is the main reason that this board exist… we all need help making those choices when you don’t have the actual experience (which takes a lot of time).
So what say all you blueberry experts about the best (late bloomer, rabbit eyes) for Tennessee ?
PS… last year we had a frost on April 15… that took out my peaches, apples (already had fruit set, browned and fell off). But my blueberry bushes still produced some berries.
I hate it when frost wipes out my fruit, so if it actually helps reduce the chance of that by sticking with later bloomers… (makes sense to me)… I would definitely go with the lower chance of fruit failure because of late spring frosts. that does happen here from time to time.
A year without peaches… is just a lot worse than a year with peaches
If I can have more success at regularly producing fruit (of any kind) by choosing later bloomers, that seems like the way to go to me.
Thanks for any recommendations.