What's Happening in the Fall of 2017


Awesome harvests you guys, cool to see, keep’em coming.
I transplanted some blueberries from containers into ground. Perfect timing the soil i was using was bone dry, it rained an hour after planting. My hoses are put away at this point.

A first year Pink Popcorn. My hardiest blueberry, good to zone 3.

A 3rd leaf Legacy cultivar. I broke off a cane, the newest (damn!), transplanting it. I mounded it up in a raised bed.

A little experiment, leaving these in root pouches all winter in zone 5b/6a. It worked well for my currants, and honeyberries last year.

Raz and Ka-Bluey. Fantastic growth for first year plants. hey after 6 years I finally learned how to grow them!

I noticed Southern Highbush refuses to red up, I should probably get rid of these, just not a good fit. Although Indigocrisp produces fine!

My Sweetcrisp was almost killed two years ago. Only half a cane survived. it took two years to recover.

@Bradybb gave me a Spartan cultivar this spring, so first year. To the back upper left is chandler, a monster at 5 feet.


Do you give any frost protection to your sweet crisp ? I thought it’s only hardy to zone 8.
Has it produced any fruit for you? I read somewhere that it blooms so early and late frost kills it in any zone below 8. So even if the plant survives it doesn’t produce any fruit. Has this been your experience?


Those look nice. Hope they take to their new home.

My little bloobs all had their fall red leaves fall off last week. They didn’t put on a lot of growth in their first year. The Blueray is maybe 2ft tall, but the Nelson, Patriot and Bluecrop still look like little shrubs, not more than 1-2ft tall. Is that normal for a NHB bloob? Mine look scrawny compared with yours.


. I had it in the garage and it came out of dormancy early, then it became cold again, and that is what killed most of it. So last year I put it on my porch which has overhead protection and it did well. Keeping it outside prevented the plant from starting too early. Indiocrisp produced berries. Sweetcrisp, still needs some time due to that setback.

Yes, no fruit! It can take the temps, it just rushes out of dormancy. But it could not fruit last year, as the new canes were small. So I decided to give it another year. I’m hoping staying outside it will stay dormant. As it is too warm in the garage and thinks it’s spring.
Also here late frosts are rare, the Great Lakes buffer are warmup so it is very gradual and consistent with rarely a late frost, they happen about once every ten years. It gradually becomes colder in the fall too. I observed it was 2 degrees warmer 35 miles north of me because 35 miles north of me is much closer to lake Huron which is about 50F right now. It stays 50 day or night, so it warms the night air, heat rises too. The water will become colder, but very slowly.
I plan to cross this one and see if I can get a firm berry with a late ripening type.

Most are taller, so i would say no. Feed them more, they are nitrogen hogs.
Also you are in-between Northern and Rabbiteye territory, You might want to try a couple Rabbiteyes.

All photos btw were taken today in this post and the above post.

Hard to see well with the mixed background. this is chandler, about 5 feet tall, it must be pruned when mature as branches lose productivity without renewal.
The lower parts are bare and unproductive. I removed the biggest branch after it fruited. Overall I like this plant a lot. It still produces a ton of berries. And grows new branches if pruned really well.The red colored branches are new ones this year.

This is Toro it has fat leaves, the fruits are all sugar even tasting sweet when green. Nothing is perfect, the berries are very soft with no firmness.

This is Liberty, it produces a lot of berries, hundreds of them. They need to hang a bit to become sweet. Firmness is good, same with Chandler.

What’s super cool, if taken care of properly blueberries will produce for over 50 years. Awesome plants!

I left out Cara’s Choice, no photo, it is a smaller plant, does well in containers. About the best blueberries I ever tasted, All are decent I have not tried Raz, which is named because of it’s raspberry flavor, Ka-Bluey is supposed to be good, but lacks firmness too. Pink Popcorn who knows? It is supposed to be more productive than Pink Lemonade which has Rabbiteye in it. Popcorn is pure Northern and a better fit for my location.Berries are white to a light pink.
Legacy has a good taste, and firm berries, needs to hang some, hard to tell when fully ripe. A good producer and quickest grower. It suffered a setback of low pH that killed two others, but it managed to survive and even fruit that year. Toughest most all around above average rating in all categories of any plant I have, growth, production, firmness, and hardiness. The flowers froze one year, and they did not fall off! The berries were great! It was in the garage with Sweetcrisp which almost died! An amazing plant!
Spartan is early and one of the best tasting early producers. Plus I went to MSU and am a Spartan! Go Green (go white!) had to get one! Thanks Brady!


Thanks for the info. Yeah, I should have given the bloobs another dose of Hollytone in August or so. I did fert them in early June for the first time, and they did well, but ran out of juice I guess. How often do you fert yours? How often should I fert these and the gooseberries next year since they will have been established?

NHB should work well here, they grow them in mass quantities over west of here in central KY. Rabbiteyes might go here, but UK doesn’t recommend them. Are any of yours Rabbits?

You know with all the berries you grow you should change yer avatar name to “DrewBerryMore”…


I’m sure a lot of people here feel your pain including myself :slight_smile:


No, seems like you’re in that zone, but I guess not if UK says no.
Fert with Hollytone once a month on the 1st, start in April. The 15th hit them with Ammonium sulfate or urea the 21 -0 - 0 stuff!
I would do once a month on the gooses too, but feel they don’t need the crack like urea or AS, a regular fert the 15th would be fine, or nothing. I feed them well once growing in the spring, and taper it down mid summer, stop late summer.

LOL, that was berry nice to say!


Looks absolutely Delicious!!


My Rabbiteyes Dood are out of this world. Growing like crazy. 5-6 feet high and a good harvest in their 3rd summer. My northerns are still small and look as you described and I have them on same fertilizer schedule as RBs. I am not sure UK has recommended Rabbiteyes much in our state of KY for this reason I found in their blueberry documentation. They state, “Since
research at UK has been limited to highbush blueberries, this
publication will deal only with this type”. I would try 2-3 RBs for your location. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them take off like mine did here in Western KY.



Yes, I thought so, NHB like it cold and they grow here like your RB there. Michigan produces the most Northern berries than any other state. We don’t produce the most berries, but the most NHB berries. Another option would be Southerns. I still may pick up South Moon. I had one but I killed it. I had a pH problem, not too high too low! You have to be careful with the sulfur, live and learn!


I have so much work to do in the garden. Removal of annuals, and prepping beds for next year.

I have two more blackberries to tie up in containers. I also have some in the ground. I removed most to plant honeyberries instead. Just easier to care for and I like the berries better.

And to complete my blueberry photos, Cara’s Choice. Last but not least! I killed one of these too with low pH. I bought this last year so 2nd leaf. A small plant, it only gets to five feet maximum height. While growing it has beautiful blue-green leaves.


OK, I might look into some Rabbits. Indiana Berry says folks in KY have grown them, but I don’t know what part they are talking about. The state has many different climate areas. Pecans grow great in the west parts, but here not so much. Same with peaches.

I’m going to be more aggressive with ferting the NHB and see if they respond. I think that is why a lot of my fruit plants struggle, because they’re starving for neuts. But the are still getting established, too.


Are you that aggressive with your rasps and blackberries when it come to fertilizing? Do they like similar ferts to bloobs, that is, more acidic types, or would a simple fert like 10-10-10 do?


So true Drew! My RBEs just grow like crazy. Each one has 3-4 new canes coming up year after year. I am lucky to get one new cane a year on my NHBs. I noticed you have a several new canes for next year on your NHB. To me that’s a clear sign or forecast on how next spring may work out for a particular blueberry bush. Of course no new canes typically equals poor or little growth. I have a few Sothern’s that are doing very good but have killed a few as well and lost some to moles/voles. They certainly seem much more fickle with PH levels.I haven’t lost a single RBE. All 8 are doing fantastic. I have more on the way to replace the NHB eight that are all dead or very small with little growth and lack of canes.
This weekend I will give each of my Blueberry bushes a big dose of pine needles.


I have three areas of blueberries. The 1 to 7-year-old bed that is thickly mulched in decaying wood chips and in partial shade did not turn red this year. It just sort of stayed yellowish green 'til winter. The other beds are red. The varieties are similar. Does that mean there is too much shade there? I am considering moving those plants out to my rural acreage next spring if it is too shady where they are, although they are much more convenient where they are.
Dood, my youngest plants are no bigger than yours. The one year I fertilized a little more and had an automatic sprinkler on into the fall on the ones planted in sand (since we were gone), in full sun, I had the top 2/3 of every bush in that area winterkill, so I have gone easy on fertilizers. I have several KaBlueys, but they don’t produce. Too cold here, I guess. Since I have plenty of room, I leave them, hoping for global warming. My Chandler only has had berries after I shoveled snow over it one winter. After about ten years it is under three feet tall, growing in sand and peat in full sun. My bushes look healthy, but didn’t produce a lot this past summer. A new kind I planted in 2017 is Sweetheart. Anyone tried that one? I have about 100 bushes, but many are short varieties like Northblue, Northsky, North Country, etc. That’s a lot of chicken wire! My favorite variety is St. Cloud. There really isn’t much difference in flavor of most varieties.


I looked on IB’s site and they have Pink Lemonade rabbiteyes, which can be grown in this zone. Are you growing this one? What other RE are you trying?

I actually have a hard copy of that UK article on growing NHB. My county ag agent sent me a copy. Reading it, they say to fert once a month from March thru August, so that’s 6 feedings. I only gave my plants one, I believe, no wonder they struggled.


No, but I do fertilize them at least twice. I’m still learning too. If you watch plants and they seem to be stalling, they need food. if they do not respond, you have another problem. If you have acidic soil some plants can’t absorb food, and with blueberries vice versa. It’s cool when you figure out what’s wrong, NHB should grow also. Rabbiteye are nice because I think they are the easiest to grow. A few northern too, like Legacy which has SHB and NHB is easy, So is Sunshine Blue, and Bluecrop is like the Red Haven of NHB plants. I’m not sure how easy it is? It produces like crazy from all reports. I want unusual flavors, thus I have Sweetcrisp, Cara’s Choice, Raz, all unique, etc.

It will do! With blueberries if pH is high use AS, if your pH is good use urea. I have killed three plants with too low a pH, I ran out of test strips and winged it, not aa good idea! I have a crap load of strips now!

Yes, and even experienced growers moan at keeping this right!


My hoses are frozen!


Yes @subdood_ky_z6b I am on the KY/TN line and KY goes up pretty far north up towards where you reside.
Are your Blueberries still on the same canes as when you planted them or do you have any new canes? Like I stated earlier, my rabbiteyes have 3-4 nice new healthy canes every year. I think a healthy, happy blueberry gets new canes each year.

I tried Pink Lemonade blueberries this year. They did very poorly and I have removed them. Supposedly they have Rabbiteye characteristics and/or genetics, but I didn’t see it. Someone else on here has companied about them as well.

The Rabbiteyes I have are Climax and Premier and they have been sensational. They are old, proven blueberries that have been around a long time. These two have really made me realize that its not worth my time, nor is it prudent for me to mess around with other poorly performing blueberries which just aren’t suited for my area or need too much amendments for me to deal with. I just don’t think growing blueberry bushes should be that hard. If it is too hard most likely I would think a person has the wrong variety. Its all about finding the right ones for blueberries and I think you will find it. It just seems like your northers are doing the same thing as my northers. A change to RBEs could do the trick for you. In fact @Matt_in_Maryland has a Rabbiteye variety in Maryland which is further North than you I believe that does really well for him. I’ve been wanting to try it. Its a late season variety called the Ochlocknee.
In fact Isons now has Ochlocknee for $9.50 a piece. https://www.isons.com/shop/berry-plants/ochlockonee-rabbiteye-blueberry-2-plant/


LOl! I think this is the first year I got them off in time in a long time. I don’t have to go shopping!

Most report bad results, some have got it to work. It looks like a rabbiteye to me, the pink color, not really seen in Northerns at all. Pink Popcorn is more white than pink, but it’s the first pink Northern i have seen. Berries are green to blue on northerns.Never pink.
I can’t grow blueberries in ground here, pH is too high. I can amend a raised bed just fine, works really well. I feel overall blueberries are not that hard to grow once conditions are right, they grow like weeds.