Picking Blueberries!!!

blueboy1977(TX9A/B)April 27, 2012

Well me and one of my boys picked some blueberries the other day off our Emerald and Sunshine Blue. He had a blast and ate almost all of them as we picked. I made him save some for Mom and his 2 other brothers. Life is good;)

Here is the Emerald

And Sunshine Blue

Here are a few of my replacement plants from FHN.

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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

The fruit looks good, plants look even better and the boys are being taught right. Good job:)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 6:09PM
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blackrag(6A East PA)

Very successful looking fruit and plants. I am envious. Those boys are cute as can be. They are having fun and won't forget the "farming" experience. Thanks for the pics.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 7:53PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Hi,

Which blueberries are those huge ones with the quarter?

My Sunshine Blues are not that bushy. The oldest ones are growing tall and sparse. Do you keep yours pruned and is that why they are more bushy?

If so, what time of year does one prune blueberries? What are you feeding them? They are all beautiful.

I have 6 Sunshine Blues, 2 Tifblues, 1 Premier, 1 Climax and one Brightwell and all are sparse except for the new large Tifblue I just bought. Three of the Sunshine blues are older and are more full, but the three small SBs and the other three are very spindly with not much foliage to them and they got powdery mildew recently because it's been rainy.

Thanks for any tips you could give to me,

noss

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 10:18PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

Good looking kids and berries.For a few seconds I thought they were floating in the air!LOL Brady

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 11:56PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Thanks for the replies! Its been a long year waiting on these babies to fruit;) I couldnt be happier with my results thus far.

Noss,
The huge berries are Emerald. Its a Southern High Bush and are easy to find online. Not so much in nurseries locally in my area. Im in zone 9A also in south Houston.

The Sunshine Blue should be prunned heavily in Jan/Early Feb. I will post some pics of the same plant after prunning this past Jan so you can see. When prunned they bush out strongly in the spring. After prunning branches and old canes I also tip prunned the remaining branches fruit buds. I only left 4 fruitbuds on every branch this go around. Next spring i will leave 5 but there will be more branches. By decreasing the fruit buds the remaining fruit will be bigger, plus many Southern High Bush over fruit anyways and can cause alot of stress to the plant so prunning keeps them healthy with bigger berries.

After fruiting I will remove the wood that had berries on it and maybe thin out some of the smaller twigs and branches to open up the plant for light and air circulation. The reset of the growing season I will tip the branches at about 6 inches or so which will keep the canes strong and not long and lanky. If they get too tall they will bend over to the ground with your fruit, thats not good.

The only fertilizer I use on them is Microlife 6-2-4 with alittle sulfer add for acidity. Mircolife also makes an Azalea mix which already has 14% sulfer add to it. It is an organic slow release that is applied every 3 months starting in Feb and stopping in Sept/Oct. You may be able to find some in Lafayette at local nursery. Its made here in Houston and distrubuted locally.

This is Sunshine last Oct before prunning in Feb.

Here it is again in Feb after prunning

You mentioned you have a Brightwell. Heres my Brightwell after pruning in Jan.

And here is a currant picture of Brightwell

The boxes there planted in are 3ftx3ft for size reference.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 11:27AM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Nice!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 4:01PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Blueboy, Thanks so much for all the information on the bluberries. How kind of you to take the time to tell me everything and even show photos.

I really like those planter boxes. Perhaps we'll make some of those for the blueberries. I've got all of mine in pots right now because I don't really know where to put them. A friend said they can't stay out in full sun. It's very hot down here, so I kept them in pots, meaning to come to GW and see if I could find more information about blueberries in the deep South.

Is that bird netting you have over the bushes in the last photo? If so, what color is it and where did you get it? It doesn't look like the black netting that I have. I'm about to pound some stakes into the ground to put netting over my bb bushes.

Does Houston get colder weather than Lafayette, do you know offhand? I was surprised that the Sunshine Blues got any berries on them after such a mild winter that we had here.

Thanks so much,

noss

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 12:50AM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

No problem Noss, I was in your position last spring with my plants. I was and still am new to the whole blueberry thing and got all the help I needed on this forum to get where I am now. Everyone on here is very helpfull and informative. Im just trying to return the favor.

The Rabbiteyes that you have (Tifblue, Climax, Premire and Brightwell) can take the heat. Even in the horrible drought and record temps of last summer they showed no ware and tare at all. For that matter neither did Sunshine blue and its a Southern High Bush. I did see some sun damadge to Emeralds leafs about midway through summer but didnt really have any negative effects to the fruiting of the plant. I would get them as much sun as you can untill the dog days of summer, even then if no negative effects are seen leave them in full sun if you can.

Im pretty sure the climate is pretty darn close to Houston in Lafayette. Now chill hours may be alittle different. Where Im located we average about 350 to 450 chill hours. If I had to guess, last year we got about 300 maybe, that might be on the high side. You will never have to worry about Sunshine not fruiting in your area. Its listed at 150chill hours. Now your Rabbiteyes may not recieve as many chill hours as needed. Particularly Premire, Tifblue and Climax depending on your microclimate that your in. They all require at least 450chill hours and a few 550chill hours or more. I got all low chill Rabbiteyes for that reason. All mine are listed at 400 chill hours or lower.

Yes thats bird netting. I got 500ft of it for like $150. I cant remember exactly where I got from but the dementions were 18ftx500 but you had to stretch it out to get 18ft.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 12:17PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Thanks Blueboy,

I didn't realize that all of my other-than-Sunshine Blues were Rabbiteyes. I hope that's good. I like the Sunshine blues and they seemed to do well since I got them. I have six of those. I'll keep all of them in the sun.

The Premier, Climax and Brightwell with powdery mildew have begun to put out new leaves since I placed them out in the sun. I put them separate from the others to try and keep the midlew from spreading because I know nothing about it. Lo and behold, the new growth happened. Poor things were probably starving for sunlight and I thought I was protecting them. Plants need to be tough to survive around me. :( I respect people who are good gardeners and have a talent for it, a savvy that I don't think I'll ever have.

All the bushes will get full sun and we'll see how they do.

I wish you could remember where you got that much bird netting. The best I've done is 14' x 44', but that's still good. I need to set up some PVC frames for the bushes.

NewEngland Gardener's one video shows how he makes frames and holds the netting on with velcro wraps. Pretty neat.

noss

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 4:23PM
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