Not for this year – to plant next spring. Maybe. So this is aspirational.
long background info
I have a carmine jewel cherry tree that I planted pretty much as soon as they became available. I built a cage around it, but it never worked, and I might have grabbed one or two under-ripe fruits, but the critters got the rest. But this year I completely covered the cage in hardware cloth — ground, sides, top — except for the door, which is covered with window screen that can be rolled up (and is, most of the year. And!! It worked.
But the bush has gotten too large, and I’m not sure the flavor is worth it getting the one spot that is actually protected from critters. I love blueberries, and have many blueberry bushes growing happily in my yard, but I don’t get any berries, because the wildlife eats them all long before they ripen. So my plan is to remove the cherry bush and replace it with two blueberry bushes, one early and one later.
But… the one cherry that was inside the cage when I completed it ripened fully, and was actually pretty decent. So I hacked back the bush to make it fit, and if it does okay next year, and I like the cherries enough, I’ll keep it. Otherwise, the space goes to blueberries.
- This is zone 6, Massachusetts.
- The cage is only about 8’ tall.
- I’m not worried about pollination, there are probably 8 other types of blueberries nearby that flower reliably.
- Looking for high yield in cramped quarters. (two bushes is pushing it.)
- Looking for strong, excellent blueberry flavor.
- Prefer smaller berries, but will accept large.
- Prefer berries that keep, ha! as if I’ll get enough for that to matter.
Also, I would prefer to buy from Nourse, which is nearby and reliable.
Some that I have been considering are
early: Reka or Bluecrop
late: probably Jersey
But I’d love to start a discussion about blueberries, the pros and cons of different cultivars, etc. (Or maybe that’s already been done, and just a recommendation between Reka and Bluecrop would be good.)