Blueberry Orchard today


#1

A little mowing and some nice berries coming in.


#2

Nice Blueberry orchard!


#3

Nice to see some berries already, ay? Which ones are producing, the northern highbush, rabbiteyes, southerns? Will this be yer first year of fruit from them? I bet it’s always exciting to see things start producing.

My bloob plants look to be adapting well to their new home, three of them have put on some good leaf growth, after I pinched off the fruit buds. The other one is still a bit bare, but it’s only been a month. I put wire cages around them as I had seen a rabbit lurking in the area… I think I’ll give them a little fert soon, but make sure not to apply any nitrates.

Since thus is their first year in the ground, there won’t be any fruit from them. But, do you think it’d be OK to let them produce next year? Some sources say wait two years before allowing any berries to fruit, but I guess I’m impatient.

I’ll post some pics soon.


#4

Well the Rabbiteyes are certainly the most hardy. This is the 3rd year for them and the first year I am letting them fruit out. Great to hear your blues are doing well.
On another note…when mowing today I ran over a nest of baby rabbits. 6 of them. Somehow that didn’t kill any of them. They were all snuggled together. I just couldn’t take my self to kill them so I could placed them in a bucket and moved them to the wood line. I’m sure they are good as gone now. Doubtful they survive alone long. Mom and others must have a tunnel going under my one inch mesh fence that is 2 feet high. I can’t figure out how they got in there.


#5

Very nice, I had to cage mine or the birds would eat them all


#6

Yeah, I’m dreading the day the birds discover them :dizzy_face::flushed::rage:


#7

Catbirds were the worst. Nest right near my bushes and ate them all day long.


#8

As promised, some updated pics of our bloobs:

Blueray, very tall plant, finally putting on some greenery.

Nelson, low to the ground for now, but lots of new leaves

Bluecrop, still lagging with new growth, but showing a few new leaves

Patriot, another shorty, but doing well, although a few pale leaves


#9

I love it! Great to see. Most important thing for me to see is the new young shoots that come up from the ground. That’s what makes my day.


#10

Thanks. I may fert them soon, even tho they seem to be doing OK. Guess they’re getting established pretty well as evidenced by the new leaves. Always a good sign. I’m still worried a bit about the Bluecrop, it doesn’t have a lot of leaves on it yet. Maybe a rabbit got to it? Idk, but I put wire cages around all of them just in case.

So, is just yer rabbiteyes producing? I find all the fruiting on the stem interesting, I thought they’d be spread out more amongst the bush. How have your northerns done so far?

Notice the tractor in the background in the Bluecrop pic with a tarp over it? That’s where it broke down last week. Waiting on parts for it, the water pump bearing went out, causing the fan to crash into the radiator ruining both. Hopefully the parts will be here at the end of the week. I was in the middle of discing all our plots, so perfect timing! :persevere::grimacing::triumph:


#11

Yes, I did notice your tractor in the background there. Hopefully the parts come in soon and you can get those repairs. I just completed my annual oil change and fuel filter change last Sunday on the property. I made a big mistake when changing the fuel filter. I just changed it like I would a car (gasoline engine fuel filter). Boy was that stupid with a diesel engine. The tractor fired right up and than mysteriously died. After a quick research on the internet (What would we ever do without it these days?!!) I found that I had air in the fuel lines. After about two hours of bleeding fuel lines, fuel injector lines, refilling fuel filter bottle, trying to restart over and over each time…it finally came back to life. Geez that was some serious frustration.

My Northerns have been a big disappointment. All 4 of my Bluerays did so poorly I pulled them and replaced them. 2 of the 4 Bluecrops I planted are left and they are doing fair at best. (I will try to send you a pic of those in there 3rd year) this weekend.

The SHB have tasted the best and are doing good. (Ozark, Summit and Blue Suede). I have 4 SHB Oneals as well in there 2nd year. They have struggled so far.

The Rabbiteyes are doing fantastic. I am 8 for 8 with them. All 8 (4-Climax and 4-Premier) are growing extremely well. There height is about eye level with me now in there 3rd year and they have a ton of fruit this year. I am hoping for better taste this year. Kinda bland on 2nd year small crop last year. Hopefully the taste gets dialed in as they age. :slight_smile:

For fertilizer I have only used Organic hollytone and mostly cottonseed meal. Nothing synthetic. Something you may consider based on the age of your blues. Blues can burn in a heartbeat if not careful with synthetic fertilizer. With organic fertilizer that risk, especially in there most vulnerable early years is virtually zero. Its risk versus reward for me kind of mentality. Too each his own.


#12

I thought you were new to fruit growing!!! Those are some REALLY nice looking blueberries. Thanks for making me feel bad. haha. I say that because even though lots of people say BB’s are fairly easy- and you sure make it look so- I’ve really struggled. Of course I think it’s a lack of acid in my soil and my dumb/lazy butt hasn’t tested it, but I have been adding sulfer/aluminum sulfate for years. Oh well. If you ever make it over my way you’ll see what I mean. I do have a few that are doing pretty good now, but its been a long, hard road for me.

BTW, for Zack or anyone else: The one blueberry that has always done the worst for me in terms of just not producing much fruit at ALL is the pink lemonade BB. Does everyone find it to be one or the least productive or is my luck just especially bad with it? Thanks


#13

Why Thank you Kevin!!!..I am definitely not an expert by any means on blueberries. I planted this patch 3 years ago and have worked very hard to do all the right things in regards too growing blueberries. My soil sample came back at 5.3 PH level prior to planting. That’s a pretty darn good start for blueberries from what I have researched. I am very new to growing fruit trees as this last fall I finally planted some but seem to have quickly added 25-30 more fruit trees (yikes its addicting).
The Pink Lemonade blueberry, which is actually a rabbiteye variety (I figured it would be a Southern HB) has been a recent addition to my orchard. I planted two in early January so I wont have any true data to report for a while. That’s a great question though.[quote=“thecityman, post:12, topic:10757”]
The one blueberry that has always done the worst for me in terms of just not producing much fruit at ALL is the pink lemonade BB. Does everyone find it to be one or the least productive or is my luck just especially bad with it?
[/quote]

Also Kevin, I do plan on stopping by and seeing your lovely looking orchard. Right now coaching HS baseball team on post here at Fort Campbell consumes all my hours after 4PM everyday and most weekends. How about some time in June—whatever works best for you?


#14

Well, your plants sure look better than mine which are mostly the same age. As for June, just let me know…I usually get off at 4:30 but if you are ever over this way during the week for some reason, I have the luxury of living really close to City Hall where I work and the freedom to sneak away about any time (Trust me, I put in way more hours than I’m paid for so I wouldn’t feel the least bit bad about taking an hour or two back!)

I didn’t realize you already had 35-30 trees! Yep…you’ve definitely drank the cool-aid as they say around here!


#15

I guess it’s just the risks of buying an old tractor, it’s gonna break down more often. A loose water pump bearing isn’t something one usually checks, so I didn’t see this coming. The parts should be here tomorrow, but we’re expecting rain over the next few days, so I may not be able to work on it then with it sitting out in the open.

Yeah, you never want to run out of diesel on these tractors, I was told that right off the bat to always keep some in the tank, so as not to have to go thru the routine you had to do.

Interesting how your various bloobs are doing. Maybe you’re pushing the northerns’ range where you’re at? I would think the other species are right in your wheelhouse as far as climate is concerned.

I don’t know why your berries are bland, maybe it’ll take a couple of seasons for them to get better. That’s true for a lot of fruit plants/trees.

I might pick up a bag of Hollytone instead of using synths. I just have so much ferts already but maybe need to try some HT.


#16

Sounds good. Will PM you some time in June. :slight_smile: During the week will be good and sometime in early afternoon will work out just fine.


#17

Yeah, its amazing really how long some of these tractors can go with routine maintenance and upkeep. Hard to avoid those bigger repairs though from time to time.

I actually had a tank full of diesel in my tractor. It was replacing the fuel filter that caused me to induce air into the fuel lines, which basically (as you stated) is the same thing as running out of diesel.

I think I may be pushing the range for northern blues here in N. TN. They just don’t seem to “Go” for me. I have lost all interest in dealing with them anymore.

HT and Cottonseed have been great for my Rabbiteyes and SHB. I’m just too paranoid /inexperienced to use synthetic ferts on my blues.

Hope to hear about your tractor being repaired and back on the job soon. :sunglasses:


#18

Hey, I picked up some HollyTone yesterday. So, how much of this should my new blueberry plants get? I planted them on April 2, so they’re prob ready for some fert.

Also, my little Crimson Passion cherry twig has sprouted leaves since I planted it last month, but it’s looking a bit pale. I was thinking a little HT might help. Do y’all think that’d be a good idea? If so, how much fert for this little plant? My Juliet and Romeo look good, so no fert for them.


#19

The radiator came in Thu, but the other parts haven’t yet. Aggravating, because I’d like to get it fixed this weekend, but I have to wait. I really need to get my other plots disced, it’s supposed to start raining again next Wed.

Yeah, I’m going to need to change the oil and filter on mine, plus the air filters need replaced. But, gotta get this big repair done first.


#20

Not much experience with it, but I found it bloomed earlier than my other varieties by about a week, and when a freeze came, it froze all the flowers and I have zero berries.

So two potential problems:

  1. It blooms early enough to be at more danger of frost damage.
  2. I need to find something that can bloom as early to pollinate it.

Could those help explain your low yield?