Blueberry Variety Trial For Houston Tx
I finally have narrowed the SHB vareities down. Im currently selling of some of my plants and keeping the ones the family liked the most. Hopefully this post can help a few people in deciding what varieties to get for the Houston area. Keep in mind everyones tastes are different so this is a concensis between 4 mouths at my house. My descriptions are kinda vage but Im not sure exactly how to describe every sensation I get when eating these things. I did my best and hated every minute of it;-) LOL! Also keep in mind most all of these plants came from Florida Hill Nusery and some from Just Fruits and Exotics. I believe almost all the varieties from FHN are spot on. I only had 2 varieties from them that I know for a fact are not true.
I will start with the earliest varieties I have.
Spring High- Early fruit with great size, very juicy (some might say watery here) with great flavor. The plant its self holds up well to our heat and humidity. No leaf fungus issues or heat stress at all. Its a keeper
Snowchaser- Early fruit of medium size, juicy with the best flavor of all my plants. This one was really a suprise as I had 2 of them and sold one not expecting it to be as good as it was. Wish I had the other one back at this point. The flavor is strong and robust plus its sweet. My oldest son said it tasted manly compaired to all the others. Only complaint about this plant is leaf fungus issues. Im going to try and remedy this by pruning to a open center as this is where the fungus tends to accumulate. Definatly a keeper.
Misty- This plant is very distinct in flavor and looks. The berry is large, firm, sweet, tangy, airomatic and very distinct. I didnt really like it at first but it grew on me. Grows very well here. No heat or fungus issues. Its a keeper to round off my early varieties.
Premadonna- Not imprressed with this one. To my taste it was juicy, gritty, bland to tangy. Not much flavor. Just not the quality Im looking for. Its gone.
Emerald- The plant its self is very impressive. Spreading with thick canes and very strong. Huge berries with nice sweet tart to sweet flavor but can be alittle mushy. Thats the only draw back I can find. Puts out more pounds of berries than any other plant I have. Alot more! No fungus or heat stress symptoms. Its a keeper!
FHN Windsor- Definatly not Windsor. Growth, leafs, berries and berry ripening times do not mesh at all with the for sure Windsor from JF&E. None the less, its a good berry just dont know what it is. Cant match it up with any other variety I have. It pops like a grape so the skin is alittle tougher than normal but its semi firm, kinda meaty with a tangy sweet flavor and really good. No fungus or heat stress problems. Its a keeper!
Jewel- I really like this plant. Very distinct looking plant. The fruit is soft and juicy with a tangy sweet flavor. Big berries and lots of them. I have noticed some leaf spotting on the spring flush. Mostly on lower mature leafs. Looks more like a bacterial thing than fungus. No heat stress. Im keeping it.
Sharpblue- Not 100% sure this is sharpblue. It really resembles Emerald in growth, leaf shape and berry shape. Some berries seem to be wider than tall plus the size of the berries is impressive like Emerald. On the other hand some of the berries are more round. Kind of a mix. The flavor doesnt match Emerald. It tastes alittle bit different but its soft fruit with good flavor. Probably getting rid of this one.
Scintilla- Nice plant. Kinda of a small stature plant with skinny branches and small to medium leafs. The fruit almost looks white when its ripe from all the bloom on the fruit. Medium size berries, good flavor, sweet, meaty but a little gritty at the end. Still a great berry to me. No fungus or heat stress symptoms. Im keeping it.
Abundance- The tallest growth of the 2 year old plants I have. Strong up right growth. The berry pops when you bite it, meaty, gritty and more tart that sweet for me but a very good flavor. No fungus or heat stress symptoms. Its a keeper!
Uknown Variety from FHN- Im gonna say its either Emerald or Sharpblue from compairing those varieties I have. Thats if the Sharpblue is true to type.
Sweetcrisp- What can I say other than wow!!! Hands down the best over all berry I have and everyone who has had them feels the same. I can't keep my Dad, Wife, Kids or my self from gravitating to that plant right off the bat. I like the weeping growth pattern it displays aswell. Easy to prune, no fungus problems at all, alittle heat stress when it gets hot but doesnt seem to effect the plant in a negative way. New growth will wilt but springs right back a soon as it cools in the eveining. No leaf tip burning either from the wilting. Not only keeping it, but getting more of them;)
Mid to Late Varieties
Bountiful Blue- Impressive plant from a looks stand point but after tasting all these other varieties the berries are not impressive. The skin is tougher than most with a very tangy taste, airomatic flavor with floral after taste. Diffinatly distinct but not worth it to me. For one it gets powdery mildew on the leafs pretty bad in the summer and fall. Plus it had a lot of fruit buds not even open for me this year and I think that the mildew might have had something to do with this. Its gone.
Gulf Coast- Ive given this plant 3 years to impress me but Im done with it. Had bad stem blight problems right of the bat with this one but hasnt showed its self in 2 seasons now. The plant has grown well but the fruit quailty isnt up to par. Its gritty, mushy, tangy and very bland on flavor. Plus stems want to stay attached at picking and it drops fruit like crazy thats not even ripe yet. Its gone!
Windsor- Nice stout plant with big juicy/watery fruit but very bland on flavor for me. Its actually one of the least flavorfull berries I have other than Premadonna and Gulf
Coast. Kinda suprised me. I thought being a newer variety and every thing Ive read about it. The expectations were pretty high for this one. It let me down! Its gone.
Southmoon- I like the looks of this plant. Very ornamental. The berries are large, meaty to watery, very distinct flavor, pops when you bite it so the skin is a little tough, very airomatic flavor. I thinks its okay for flavor, it diffinatly jumps out at you. My oldest son said it has the after taste of the way bleach smells. Hes says get rid of it but I like it. It puts out a good amount of fruit later than most so Im gona keep it. Plus its a 3 to 4 year old plant thats 6ft tall by 5ft wide and will have some pounds on it next season. Keeper.
Last but not least Sunshine Blue- Over all one of the best berries I have. Me and the wife were out there snacking on this plant yesterday and both agreed its one of the best we got. Its a late variety with alot of medium size, very flavorful, firm, sweet tart fruit. One of the best of my collection.
Sorry if your tired of reading yet. Im tired of typing and my brain hurts. Need to eat some more berries! So the over all best is Sweetcrisp, hands down! Best flavor goes to Snowchaser!
Over all Keepers
Rabbiteyes are next!