help with blueberry pollinator

alyciaadamo(3/4)May 29, 2012

I have 4 Blueberry bushes I just got this year. They are

Polaris, Earliblue, Elliot and Reka. Will they all Pollinate each other?

I question this for a few reasons. When I first got the first three, the tags said they would pollinate each other, but when I looked them up it said Polaris was a half high blueberry so I was wondering if maybe that was a problem. I later bought Reka because I only have enough room for two in my fruit garden and I have to move the other one alone across my property so I thought I would get Reka as a pollinator for that one.

Also I don't know very much about blueberry bushes(other than they grow wild like crazy here), but I read that I should prune off the flowers/berries when I plant them is this true?

Thank you in advance

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northernmn(3/4)

Polaris would be able to pollinate the other varieties if they bloom at the same time. When you say "across my property" for the other two plants... How far is that? Bumble bees really like blueberry blossoms and I don't think thak that 50 to 100 yards apart would be too far.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 8:00PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Your polaris earliblue and reka shouldbe close enough for pollination. earli/mid.
You might have issues with overwintering elliott. Elliott will successfully self-pollinate. Enough so that commercial growers don't interplant with others. I have berries that are already pea sized with flowers on the same bush at same time.
Try "Patriot".

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:13PM
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alyciaadamo(3/4)

northernmn My property is 60x90 FEET so not really big but the way houses, fences and trees are I wasn't sure if it would be an issue. I live in town and I have lots and lots of bee balm and butterfly bush among other flowers would that be an issue?

Noogy when you say I might have an issue with overwintering the Elliot is it because it is not good to my zone? I was thinking of Patriot but I was swept away with the amount of berries that were on Reka compared to Northland and Patriot that the store had.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 12:00AM
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northernmn(3/4)

With the size of your yard, several blueberry varieties, and having lots of plants to attract bees, pollination won't be a problem. It appears that we are in the same temp zone. I agree with Noogy in that Elliot and possible even the Reka, might get winter kill on stems during "low snowfall" winters.

This past winter, we had very little snowfall cover in northern MN. Only 2 of my 33 blueberry bushes had less than a 50% dieback on their above ground growth because of this. I stopped fertilizing by the end of June to prevent new growth late in the season as well, and the plants could harden off. Blue Crop was hit the worst with about 85% dieback on both new and some old growth. St Cloud, Chippewa, Polaris, and Friendship all had about 50% dieback. Mostly on their new growth. The 2 bushes with less than 10% dieback are older, low growing, bushes that I gifted and don't know the varieties unfortunately. Both have very large berry sets this year. I think that all of these varieties are more winter hardy than Elliot or Reka.

I know that my sour cherry trees and bushes prefer fairly dry roots going into winter. My blueberry bushes had moist, but not wet roots during the fall and when the ground froze. Should they have had even more water? They are all heavily mulched with 3 to 4 " of pine needles.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 7:41AM
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blueberryhillsfarm

All of your varieties are self-fertile and will do just fine. We are in Wisconsin and also had rather severe winter damage in areas where the wind blew the snow cover away. The Elliots didn't do too badly, the Toro's are almost dead to the ground and are all coming up from the base. Patriots and Chippewa seemed to hold up pretty well but it may be more related to where they are in the field. I think I will try some snow fencing next year to hold more snow.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 8:43AM
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alyciaadamo(3/4)

Thank you for the heads up. I thought all the ones I bought were for a zone 4 but I will have to make sure to keep an eye on them in the winter. Could I put them in a half whiskey barrels and then put the barrels in the garage for the winter? I lost a bunch of plants(that I am now wondering if I lost them because I fertilized them late????) this spring that were in half whiskey barrels so I have a few half barrels doing nothing.

I do "push" the zones on some plants and lost them all this winter. I had a beautifull 6' butterfly bush and two withering weigelas die on me!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 12:47AM
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