Best two northern blueberries to grow


#41

The plants are heavily influenced by the pH of the water, that’s for sure.

I tried treating the water down to the level of rainwater pH in my area, 6 PH. It wasn’t enough. Took it down to 4.5 and it was fine.


#42

I grow mine in pure peat moss…no issues. I also hit them several times with acidic ferts… I like Chandler and Northland. Birds will steal everything if not covered (at least in my yard).


#43

So I ended up purchasing from Raintree…Patriot, Northblue and Aurora just to spread the season out. The Northblue will live in a pot, and the other two will live in buried pots. However, if another variety catches my eye at the local nursery I may add another to the mix.

I liked the idea of growing the bushes in raised beds, but I just received my soil test results and the native soil has a pH of 7.2 and 1-2%free lime. I think pots are the safest bet to control the soil conditions.

One other question…do I need to worry about heavy snow breaking branches in the winter? I would assume if the bushes were wrapped with anything during a heavy storm, then the snow may cause some damage.


#44

That’s a nice gnarly bush! How old is it?


#45

Maybe put like a white plastic garbage over the whole plant during those times and the snow should slide off. Brady


#46

LOL, 5 years, I will eventually cut all the older canes off. The biggest was removed last fall. I’ll remove another this fall, and continue from there. It will produce new canes. Canes become unproductive after awhile, after about 5 years.


#47

I’m kind of surprised no one mentioned Reka. It’s been one of my more reliable blues. I believe its origin is New Zealand, but it’s pretty easy to find here. Reka seems to take drought and heavier soils better than some, and it offers an early, tasty berry of medium size. On the down side, it is a little shy in production and has been somewhat of a slow grower. The raised beds are a good idea–just be sure to mulch heavily. Shredded oak leaves are my mulch of choice even though some sources don’t recommend using leaves.


#48

A little more on raised beds. I have had them 5 years and they are testing at below 5 pH. So it’s been fairly easy to keep them acidic. I will say I don’t know how one can do this without a way to measure pH, it’s just as easy to get them too acidic, one needs to monitor the pH. I just do it at the start and finish of the season. This season the beds are around 4.0 to 4.5 pH.


#49

I’ve tried and like Toro
which is from New Zealand.
For edible front yard landscaping, a nice bush is needed.


#50

Drew, I may pick yo some of those pH strips you recommended. Thanks for the heads up.


#51

never had much luck with my blues,inground. i woukd like ti grow some potted,for my deck.


#52

I’m curious if anybody has had experience with using plastic sheeting in ground to separate native soil from what the blueberries are growing in. Ideally, I wanted to grow the blueberries in pots as well. However, they would need some sort of protection in the winter here in z5 since cold temperatures could potentially kill the roots if left out. It would be nice to put my pots on the deck, but I really don’t want to have to deal with relocating them in the wither so that doesn’t work for me.

If I were to bury the pots permanently, I could accomplish both the soil separation and keeping the roots safe over the winter. Plastic sheeting, on the other hand, does accomplish the same goals and is a bit cheaper than pots. So, I may follow Drew’s lead and create a partially raised bed for the blueberries. I’m hoping plastic sheeting could hold up over time and keep good soil separation.


#53

Blueberries have shallow roots. My beds are one foot high, Seems enough room, I don’t separate the bottom soil. . If you still like the idea of plastic I would suggest landscape fabric instead. Just so the area can breathe. It will give the area drainage.
I’m not so sure I buy the 2 zone rule with containers. I keep southern highbush plants outside all winter here. they did have overhead protection. And the porch may be warm like the ground, heat from the house etc. I think they would survive in ground here, I just have no in ground spot for them at this time.
My root pouches with plants do freeze solid, frozen root are not really a problem unless the plant needs water. I’m zone 5.5 so the containers would be at zone 3.5. So far serviceberries, honeyberries, red and black raspberries, all currant types, and blueberries Raz, and Ka-Bluey did fine with no dieback.


#54

So what size of pot would you recommend for those blue berries


#55

I like 20 gallon. Pretty big, but still movable., Although I don’t have to move them, and I may up the size once the fabric wears out in 4-5 years. I have a few 30 gallon fabric pouches I use for tomatoes. I don’t really move them at all.


#56

I have some 20 gallon tubs that our cow minerals come in. I was hoping to use them to try my hand at blue berries. They have handles so I could move them into a warmer area for winter.


#57

I like to give those in hard containers overhead protection in the winter. They tend to become saturated and crack otherwise.


#58

Here’s a neat article from MSU on selecting cold-hardy bloobs:
http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/Blueberry_Varieties_for_Michigan_(E1456).pdf

This morning I was out with a Q-tip cross-pollinating my potted Northsky…

and Northcountry.

I recently bought Northland and will pot it up today.


#59

Thanks Matt. Those bloobs look promising.
My Raintree order is set to arrive tomorrow so I’m looking forward to that!


#60

i have those 3 as well. all produce a good berry!