are blueberry bushes productive?

preppystudApril 13, 2009

i am thinking about buying one, but i wonder if they are productive?

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12 to 20 lbs. Is that productive to you?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 7:28PM
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Karen Pease

Yow. What have I gotten myself into? :) I just bought three blueberry bushes to plant, because I thought that I had accidentally removed the two that I planted last year that had gotten overgrown... and then I discovered that the two from last year were still there and perfectly healthy, so now I have five.

How long does it take to reach that level of productivity? And how big are your bushes? I picked three cultivars that looked appropriate for my climate; one's supposed to reach 3-4'x4', one 5'x5', and one 6'x6'.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 8:44PM
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yes, i have the same question.

one bush can produce over 10 lbs of blueberries? that is a lot, how long did it take for it to produce that many?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 9:48PM
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We have one blueberry shrub that will produce about 5lb of fruit in a good year. Its 12 years old, but I think it began to produce that much fruit when it was 8 or 9 years old. Everything has to be just right to get 20lb per shrub. The pH needs to be down around 4.5, the moisture level should be just so, and you need full sun, all day. Here in Madison, Wisconsin, we have calciferous soil, and our tap water is hard, due to the limestone layer underground. I don't think the soil pH is much below 6, as a result. This shrub is next to the neighbors driveway, & it can get exposed to salt put down during the winter. I would like to see 20 pounds per shrub, but this location is not ideal.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 10:04PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Mine are in 15 gallon pots so production is more limited. The bushes are 3x3 ft to 3x4ft or slightly larger. I'd say mine do 5-8 lbs. I could get more but I'm concerned that the quality would suffer. At the prices they charge in the store that's a lot of fruit for such a small plant.

I'd say they're very productive.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 10:10PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I have two rabbiteyes (don't know variety) that were planted straight in a field many years ago. We have average to slightly clay soil. Rabbiteyes grow quite a bit smaller than highbush varieties, but are better suited to my climate. I get 10 lbs + from each bush and have for many years.

One important factor is getting the right plant for your area. Preppyjock, I notice by your member page that you live in Los Angeles. I hope you purchased a variety that will perform there. Northern Highbush would probably not do well at all.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 10:19AM
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alan haigh

pH doesn't have to be all that low in my experience to get great productivity. That is one of those gardening myths. In commercial production a very low pH may be necessary in mediocre soil with low OM but in mulched, high OM soil the pH can be as high as the mid 6's with very healthy deep green foliage and heavy crops.

Plants don't need a soil with a homogenous pH to get the minerals they need. For blueberries, mulch releases acids as it decomposes which frees up plenty of iron in a very thin layer beneath it, adequately serving blueberries.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 5:48PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I have 2 acres and lots of blueberries, but don't try hard enough to get maximum productivity out of them, and also don't keep records, but I never have enough. For one thing, they don't ripen all at once. Berries in clusters ripen sequentially over several weeks. This makes them a pain to pick. Different varieties ripen early, mid or late. By getting a wide variety you insure pollination of all the varieties and extend your harvest. We don't have any trouble eating them all fresh.

For real productivity, try Aronia. They are no good fresh but good cooked into juice, gelatin, etc. The big clusters ripen all at once and all the berries in the cluster ripen at once. The whole cluster can be pulled off, and all the bush harvested at once. I pick the berries off the cluster inside and put them in freezer bags, very easy. They are complementary to blueberries in use, so I like both. There are regular and dwarf varieties.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 8:00PM
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Well somebody is wrong.
I grow about 160 bushes with 28 varieties.
. That might make me an expert but the bushes are all less than four years old so I can't draw any conclusions save one: I am a voracious reader and every source I've found is adamant on keeping the PH BELOW 5.
. Maybe the poster here is on to something but for now I'd stick with the experts.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 5:13PM
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Grizz, you do realize this thread you resurrected is more than 5 years old, right?

Every source is adamant on keeping it below 5? That is not consistent with my reading of various publications and peer reviewed papers. Ranges very commonly provide for up to 5.5 for optimal health.

A whole lot of bb threads have been resurrected as of late. Must be the season for googling problems with bb's.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 5:45PM
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