Blueberries, Blueberry bushes for Middle Tennessee?

obrannonMay 10, 2007

What are the best blueberry bushes for our area of Middle Tennessee? We have full sun and/or part shade areas available for planting blueberry bushes.

What varieties grow best here? Produce High Yields of sweet fruit? Fall color is always a plus.

Any suggestions?

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kiwinut

Your biggest issue is not which variety to grow, but finding or building good soil. While there are pockets of good acidic loamy soils in MTN, it is more typically thin, neutral, clay/chert on limestone bedrock, or if you are up on the Highland Rim, acidic clay/chert. If you have the thin limey soils, then raised beds may be needed. The acidic red clay on the Rim will need lots of organic soil amendments. A soil test is essential.

The one variety that has done best for me so far is Ozark Blue. Mine are just coming into good production, or would have been, if not for the big Easter freeze. I do have scattered berries on most varieties, but lost most of the crop on just about everything. Oneal is a good early variety. It needs more acid soil than most, but flowers over a long period, so spring frosts usually only get some of the earlier blooms. Others doing really well are, Legacy, Sierra, Blueray and Aurora. Blueray is probably the most heat tolerant northern highbush. Aurora is very late ripening and also suffered the least damage from the freeze. Star is a newer variety that a friend with a big blueberry farm near Lebanon really likes. It blooms late, but ripens really early. Aurora, Ozark Blue, and Oneal probably have the best fall colors, although most varieties are really good in that area.

If you get a chance, go visit Kelly's Berry Farm just north of Lebanon. After many years of growing many varieties, they now grow mostly Ozark Blue, Oneal, and Blueray, along with some of the old rabbiteye standards, Tifblue and Climax. Unfortunately, they will not have any blueberries this year due to the freeze. They do still have some strawberries, although it is getting late in the season. They also should have a good blackberry crop by summer.

Avoid the shade as much as possible. I just moved some bushes that got some partial shade. They just did not grow much or produce well at all, but the same varieties out in full sun were doing great.

~kiwinut

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 5:46PM
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alex45

Hi..
First of all I want to thank you for your question because It is my question also...
But one difference is I'm living in southern Tennessee I need some tips for planting blueberry bushes...

Thanks,

===================
AleX

Tennessee Alcohol Addiction Treatment

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 10:13AM
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