Quick! blueberry sale- which of these are good?

christinmk z5b eastern WAApril 22, 2013

So I went to a local store the today and they have a sale on different blueberry bushes. There is only so-so info on some of them online. Mostly it is from companies selling the plant, so obviously a bit skewed.

Could you please give your findings/recommendations? Which of these varieties have you found to be superior in terms of flavor and production? Any super-duds in there? Once I whittle down the list to the best varieties I'll pop back over there and get a few.

Bluetta
Bluegold
Brunswick
Burgundy (low bush)
Northland
Northsky
Polaris
Reka
Rubel

Thanks much, I really appreciate it.
CMK

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Bradybb(wa8)

Hi CMK,
The ones I'm presently growing on your list are:
Bluegold-I like them but they had to stay a long time on the bush after turning blue to get sweet,otherwise a good tasting berry,plant doesn't get real big,maybe four feet.
Reka-Very hardy and vigorous.Good taste.
Rubel-A small berry,tastes good and suppose to be high in antioxidants.It was named after the guy who found it in the Pine barrens of New Jersey,hired by Elizabeth White early in the 1900's.
I think Brunswick can go along with Burgundy as low growing. Brady

This post was edited by Bradybb on Wed, Apr 24, 13 at 0:22

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 5:49PM
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northernmn(3/4)

Northland, Polaris, and Northsky are 3 plants that are considered 1/2 highs developed for colder climates than you have. However, I'm sure that all 3 would preform well in your temps. My Polaris get to about 4ft and have nice sized berries. Not as flavorful as I'd hoped. My Northlands are shorter still but produce a lot of slightly smaller berries. Much better flavor though. I haven't picked Northsky yet but it appears that it will be the smallest of my bushes.

With your zone, I'm not sure if I'd pick any of these three. If any, it would be the Northland because of the flavor.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 5:51PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

You guys are great, thanks!

-Brady, didn't know Brunswick was a small one too (although I suspect if I wasn't lazy I could have looked that up, LOL) I am very curious about those smaller ones. Hopefully someone will chime in that has tried/heard reviews of them...

-northernmn, good advice on the cold hardiness. Sorry I'm being a bit dense here, but why would you not suggest any of them, even though you liked the flavor of Northland and are in a colder zone than me?

Under the new usda hardiness map I am listed as more of a z6a, though I still like to pad it a little and say I'm on z5.

I work at a nursery and we have blueberries too, just not as nicely priced ((even with my discount :-P)) I may get another blueberry plant at work too if none/few of the ones I listed above are very good.

We have (working from memory here)
Tophat
Blueray
Bluecrop
Eliot (?)
Toro
Patiot
Northcountry
Duke (these produced last year and were wonderful- anyone know about hardiness?)
CMK

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:20PM
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riverman1

My northland and north sky have always had small berries. I would buy all Reka, easy growers, great producers and my favorite.

RM

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:25PM
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ABz5b

Toro is an exceptional Landscape variety. Both bluecrop and patriot if they are well cared for can produce 18-20 lbs at maturity.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:18PM
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northernmn(3/4)

The 1/2 highs that I mentioned were designed to survive 30 below temps with snow cover. In the process of that development, crop size for sure was reduced. Most top out at 8 lbs / bush at maturity. Most have marble sized berries. I have a total of 6 varieties and Northland does have the best flavor in my opinion. Being a fairly low bush, a lot of the picking will be on your hands and knees.

I would recommend that you get at least 2 different varieties to get the best pollination. This will get you more and bigger berries.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:44PM
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TheDerek

Here is a tip, if you want REAL information, instead of the (often BS) that retailers post, include the word TRIAL or STUDY in your search.

For example try 'blueberry trial', or 'hardy blueberry study' and you will get a lot of results from universities that have done unbiased research comparing varieties. This works for other plants also...

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 11:22AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Might try a Nortland- sounds like you enjoy it a lot northernmn. Yeah, I did know about the 2 blueberries for pollination thing ;-)

-Derek, great tip. I didn't think of adding trial or study to my search. I did look for actual plant reviews (like say at DG or other) but didn't come up with much.
CMK

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 11:34AM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

Of the varieties that you mentioned in your first post, the only one with which I have experience is Reka. I haven't had fruit yet (it was a new addition last year), but I've been amazed at its vigor (and eye appeal). Nourse Farms says that it's "one of the fastest growing and most adaptable varieties we have seen," and, in my limited experience, I definitely agree. I had fruit from my Duke bushes for the first time last year, and I wasn't blown away by the flavor. They were good but not great. Since Reka is reported to fruit at about the same time as Duke and have a better flavor, I'm anxious to see how they compare.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 12:30PM
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riverman1

My northland grow like crazy every year and have lots of berries but the fruit is small, really small, like same size as huckleberry. If they were marble sized I would definitely give them the thumbs up.

RM

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 1:32PM
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mnvikes

I had a duke and wasn't impressed with the flavor either

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 9:49PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Thanks all.

Interesting you guys didn't like the flavor of 'Duke'. Our plants at the nursery (still in pots) fruited and I liked the taste. I suppose the taste could have been improved to some degree because it was growing in a pot...
CMK

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 10:42PM
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