Darrow is the best tasting Northern HB i grow, size and flavor are outstanding.
Thanks for the info! I see Spartan and Darrow in my future!
Here are my blueberries now on March 31, 2016, I got them around mid October. Had 2 hail storms that hit them recently, but they made it through pretty good for the most part:
First Sweetcrisp (wonder if the smaller fruitlets are unpollinated or if they are just behind)
Indigocrisp (quite a few flowers and fruit on this small plant)
SpringHigh (only 2 fruits...not a very good set, but to be fair not many flowers on this young plant)
Wow, those look fabulous!!! The first is clearly Sweetcrisp. I can recognize the fruit. Glad you have some Indigocrisp. I have about the same amount. That's all it will take to know if the fruit is as good as SC.
Those small SC are probably set. You'll know soon. They'll grow or fall off.
You know I am a bit puzzled how these get pollinated. The bell-shaped flowers do not seem very conducive to insect pollination. I wonder if they are wind pollinated?
My two sweetcrisp plants were much larger then the springhigh and indigocrisp. The sweetcrisps seemed to set quite a bit of fruit all over the plant.
The two sweetcrisp plants bloomed first (early Feb...not good most years, but this year we barely had a freeze) and then the indigocrisp and springhigh followed a few weeks later.
I ordered Northsky (one of the ultra-hardy Minnesota dwarf blueberries) from Indiana Berry this week. Eight bucks ($8) for the bush and ten dollars ($10) for bareroot shipping. It arrived today nicely packaged-- at least 1.5 feet tall with a good root system (though the roots were a bit on the dry side). I soaked it and potted it immediately in a chopped peat and perlite mix. Now it is on my front stoop (left) alongside Northcountry, another MN bloob (right):
Whether they like it or not, they are a married couple now, and I expect them to "cross-pollinate."
Northsky gets better taste reviews in the literature as compared to Top-Hat. However, it is getting harder and harder to find Northsky... and Top-Hat seems to be available everywhere nowadays. Go figure.
Northcountry gets good reviews too. It is widely available.
I am hoping these two bushes give me some bloobs this summer...
I grow a pair of Northlands, very reliable and consistent fruit, a tad on the small side, but definitely has that wild blueberry flavor
I planted that one on my z6b mountain property. It gave me a few berries, and they were indeed delicious.
Blueberries are pollinated by a variety of bees -- there's even a specialized species called the Southeastern Blueberry Bee, but I don't think their range includes Texas. Bumblebees are excellent blueberry pollinators thanks to their long proboscis and buzz pollination technique. You're right that the bell shaped flowers can make it difficult for some pollinators to reach, though. The result is that carpenter bees will make cuts near the top of the flowers so that they can rob nectar. Often, other species like honey bees will take advantage of these slits to rob nectar, as well. I see a LOT of this on my own blueberries thanks to a high population of carpenter bees...
Remember that blueberries are native to the Americas and honey bees are not. So they managed to evolve here with our native bees.
Here are more pics of the blueberries on my front stoop, taken this evening:
NORTHCOUNTRY in full flower:
NORTHSKY coming on fast:
Do the cuts in the flower prevent it from fruiting?
I have seen the cuts on my blueberry flowers for several years but I wasn't sure how the got there. My blueberries have always set a good crop so I'm assuming that the cuts are cosmedic only. Bill
Love to watch one or two very busy bumble bees working on my bluberry bushes.
Couple of southern bushes in the front and Sunshine on the left. It is hard to see flowers because of the white fence on the back
Chippewa has very beautiful flowers, Pink lemonade on the back.
Bumblebees really like blueberries.
No, not that I've noticed. They do allow other bees to rob nectar without pollinating the flower (primarily smaller bees that aren't very effective blueberry pollinators anyway), but, again, that doesn't seem to be a problem as long as you have other bees present who don't use the cuts (bumblebees, for example).
My BBs are 90% pollinated by big fat carpenter bees, they shake the the flowers pretty darn hard when they fly from one flower bunch to the other, I enjoy fantastic fruit set. To a point where i consider thinning, consider...
Has any Indigo Crisp ripened yet? Brady
My Indigocrisp has some flowers too. Sweetcrisp started growing early on me, and the fruit buds died. I will figure it out, keep it cooler, longer. Indigocrisp didn't start growing till the proper time. Indigo may work out better for me?
I've eaten a total of two berries. Seemed pretty good but I need to wait until the others ripen up before saying anything more.