Interesting picture of 20 acres of organic blueberries grown in containers in high tunnels in Florida for the early market
don’t bb need chill hours? fl doesn’t get very chill…
Northern vaccinium species yes, southern vaccinium species no. One is native to FL, GA, etc. The U of FL has a decades-old breeding program.
I wonder what’s the size of the containers and how they handle blueberries outgrowing them.
The commercial growers out here use squat 12g or 15g in high tunnels. Blueberry roots are not aggressive. One grower in Escondido has yet to replace containers in 16 years of growing – although they do perform some selective pruning of the plants.
Is the performance comparable to in-ground trees? Some old bushes in my neighborhood are nearly 8’ tall - I’m not sure how they are managed but I would suspect they have a substantial root system.
We do not grow northern highbush here, nor to my knowledge do they grow them commercially in Florida.
This is a great idea surprised it took this long for someone to do it…Just goes to show how great the demand for organics has grown…We’ve got lots and lots of varieties down here…they grow pretty well too and you can get a decent crop if the birds don’t get to them first…
I’ve noticed the high tunnel berry growers have 20% shade cloth hanging on the ends to keep birds out.
Other than birds, blueberries here are usually pest free. I’ve seen a few mealy bugs on mine but an organic spray like BT or Spinosad will destroy them. Further the soil is kept acidic and thus no pests or pathogens will live there.
The difficult part of staying NOP organic is the fertigation must be nitrate-free. Most growers use a crop advisor to get the chemistry right.