Rabbiteye blueberries up north? Which varieties to choose?
I sold my home and moved in 2009, so I lost my 7 highbush blueberries(and black, orange, purple and red raspberries, blackberries, peach tree, plums, currants, gooseberries, strawberries, hardy kiwis, etc).
I'm not yet ready to replace all those plants, but last fall(November) I was in Lowes, and they had slashed the price of their remaining blueberry plants to 25% of their original cost. But......Most of them were small and not well taken care of, except for 1 plant. It was fairly large and healthy. So I bought it.
ALL garden centers up here sell highbush varieties, so I assumed it was a highbush variety But it only listed about 7 compatible pollinating blueberry varieties that will pollinate it. I had never heard of ANY of the listed pollinators, and no other stores around here carry any of them.
So last night, I go online to find one or 2 of these other varieties(Tifblue, Premier, Climax, Brightwell, Beckyblue, Misty, Woodard, Homebell).
It was then that I discovered that my plant(Powderblue) is actually a Rabbiteye, not a highbush.
Ironically, my Uncle, who is a workaholic, decided to retire and buy a 38 acre organic blueberry farm in N. central Florida in 2003, and he and my aunt spend like 10-14 hour days working that farm. Originally all the existing crops there were rabbiteyes, but he has since planted some highbush too.
I cant get ahold of him right now, so I cant get any info from him about rabbiteyes, so I came ere.
My Powderblue rabbiteye bush was about 4' tall when I bought it, but about a month ago I pulled it out of its pot and since it was badly pot bound, I removed a lot of feeder roots when I loosened the root before planting in a bigger pot. I also pruned the height down to 2.5 feet(because someone told me to prune the top if I prune the roots back to even things out)
It survived winter here, but our winter was very warm. So thats question #1: Will rabbiteyes survive Northern DE winters?
I thought the whole point of compatible pollinators was that they needed to bloom at the same time, or else they wont pollinate each other, but the listed pollinators seem to be early, mid and late season producers, so they shouldnt bloom at the same time. So question 2 is: How can these varieties pollinate each other if they produce and bloom at different times? Or do they actually bloom at the same time, but produce berries at different times and rates?
Question 3: If you had to choose 2 of the compatible pollinating varieties I listed above, which would you choose, and which have the best traits like, best productivity, not too tall but bushy, good size berries, best able to survive northern winters, etc?