Sweetest Blueberry for Zone 6

treehugger101June 5, 2013

Of the few blueberry bushes I just bought, the Reka's are really tart. I have many different kinds but will not taste them until next year. So I am wondering what the sweetest blueberry is. Opinions? I am looking for large, really sweet, low acid berries. I see a thread on southern berries like sweetcrisp, but not for zone 6. I would appreciate your input. Thanks.

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treehugger101

By the way, I plan to buy my bushes at this place. Does anyone know anything about them? Their 5 pack of 3 year old bushes is a great deal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dimeo Farms

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 3:17PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

A quick word of advice, don't walk away from Dimeo farms, RUN, run as fast as you can!!!!! They'll send you 3 year old plants with a rootball the size of a lemon. I lost two of five and it took an extra year to get the others going. You'd be better off with barely rooted twigs. No, you'd be better off with unrooted twigs. Then you won't waste a year on them.

In my experience Sweetcrisp is in a class by itself. There is no substitute. At least get a couple to try. Seems like I've seen zone 6-10 listed. The patent says hardy to -15C. What's that, about 5F. My second sweetest is Santa Fe but it's another SHB and by comparison it's berries are mush.

To me the best part of Sweetcrisp is the texture. But the sweetness and flavor, picked at the right time, were sensational this year.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Blue jay gets my vote

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 4:17PM
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treehugger101

Wow. Thanks for saving me. I just ordered from the only nursery that has sweetcrisp which is island grove. I know that will make some folks groan but they have them and if they make it here OK, I will baby them. The other nurseries mentioned on another thread do not call back or answer email. At least these guys did and have the stock. I am very much looking forward to trying the sweetcrisp! I think they will stay in my garage this winter just to be safe. I have one supposedly Pink Lemonaide (doesn't look like the plant and the berries are blue right now). So if the berries turn pink maybe they will be sweet/low acid.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:03PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

5F is not cold enough, Sweetcrisp will die in zone 6. It often is that cold. This winter we hit zero a few times here.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Wed, Jun 5, 13 at 18:31

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:53PM
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treehugger101

5f is not cold enough? I don't understand.
My sweetcrisp will die? In the garage over winter?
What blueberry for my zone is very very sweet with low acid in your opinion?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:56PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

OK, in the garage it's cool! You should definitely get them. Mine are in ground. I have not tried enough cultivars to give a good opinion! Plus I like tart fruit. I only like my cherries sweet.
You mentioned Reka, and it's an early variety. Mostly early anything is just OK, never the best. Look for mid to late season types. Many here have been raving about Ka-Bluey, but again, I never tried it.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Wed, Jun 5, 13 at 18:37

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:35PM
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treehugger101

Whew. I really could taste those sweetcrisps. I will look for late season varieties but would appreciate names if anyone would be so kind. Thank you.

Terri

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:41PM
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kngskid(Georgia zone 7b)

Emerald and Oneal produce large sweet berries in my yard. So does Pink Lemonade

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:11PM
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treehugger101

Emerald is listed as a southern blue. Does anyone grow Emerald in zone 6 or above? Drew 51?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:21PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Emerald is what you grow to feed the masses, lots of yield and a so so berry. It's no better for zone 6 than most any other SHB. In fact it has more fall blooming than most.

Santa Fe has a better berry than Emerald. It is really sweet and no acid plus a good blueberry flavor. It's just soft like most blueberries.

I wish I had more experience with NHB. Can't help you much there.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:51PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

I just ordered from the only nursery that has sweetcrisp which is island grove.

As you might have noticed in the blueberry nursery thread, Island Grove appears to have some packaging issues (to put it mildly). I'll be curious to know if your order arrives in better condition than mine. Also, don't expect to receive any communication at all from them beyond the order confirmation, and, if it's necessary to contact them, don't waste your time with e-mail. You won't get a reply, so you'll be better off calling.

As for sweet blueberries for zone 6, I'd also suggest O'Neal. I've been eating O'Neal and Reka side by side for a few days, and the O'Neal berries are definitely sweeter and plumper. I'm rather enjoying the contrast. I should have my first South Moon berry within the next week or two. It might be another one to consider. I'll let you know what I think of it.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:12PM
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treehugger101

I appreciate the info on Island Grove. I will keep you posted. Also about O'Neal, where did you get yours? I might as well try to secure some of those, too. Thanks for your help and advice.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:43PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

I bought it from Burnt Ridge in 2012. If you're ordering now and would like to order from a nearby nursery, Edible Landscaping in Afton, VA might be worth considering.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blueberries at Edible Landscaping

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:53PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

There is also the biggest Blueberry in the world,Chandler.To me,it's sweet and doesn't have much tartness.
I also like Spartan,that I'd put in the mostly sweet category. Brady

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:50PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"I also like Spartan,that I'd put in the mostly sweet category. Brady"

In my research this is the best tasting NHB early season variety. I would like this one to extend my season. In my research for best plants for zone 6a. I concentrated on good taste, productivity, ornamental value, and adaptability to my area, not really sweetness. I decided on Toro, Liberty, and Chandler.
Like all experienced growers will tell you, try and obtain plants that grow well in your area. so that was my major concern. NHB might not do well in pots. They grow to be huge plants. I would think they would not do well in pots.
Also NHB might not do well in hot areas. Fruitnut describes some SHB as mushy. I can say I would never describe a NHB as mushy, When ripe they have some firmness, slightly less than a strawberry.Mushy only when over ripe.
If grown in warm zones though, I would think you would not get good fruit as they would be out of their element, Again not meant to grow in warm zones, so results could be way different.
Darrow is one that might do well in southern zones. Zone rating 6-7. I really have little experience with many cultivars. I do like what I grow, and I'm sure O'Neil, and Blue ray are also fine plants as mentioned. Blue crop is another decent plant that kept popping up as decent in my research. But research is all I have to go on.
Again I would like to add Spartan as it sounds like a really decent early cultivar. And Pink Lemonade, just because it is so different. But I have no more room. I grow too many other berry plants and I like them a lot. All space is taken at this point.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 12:01AM
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treehugger101

Thanks for all of the ideas. I think I will try a few of all the suggestions and see which is best to me.
Drew51, I grow in 27 gallon pots. I have fruit trees in there so I am hoping the NHB will do well. My in ground soil is nothing but clay and even in raised beds would be a small fortune to amend enough for the blues. Off to place a few more orders...

Terri

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 5:28AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"Drew51, I grow in 27 gallon pots"

Holy Moly they make such things? Yeah you could probably put 2 in there!! That is probably more dirt than in my raised bed for my blueberries. Thanks for this discussion, it was very interesting! What's great about gardening is all the approaches to it. Recently in the Dave Wilson forums I saw one of the sweetest set ups for pots I have ever seen. Check out the Boysenberry thread
I linked, page 3,David7212's setup. Sweet!
Anyway I'm learning so much and having a lot of fun talking to you all. Good luck with the blueberries, my guess is you will have ton's of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bramble set up

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 9:48AM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

I grow in 27 gallon pots. I have fruit trees in there so I am hoping the NHB will do well.

Your NHB should do fine in 27 gallon pots. I've grown NHB in much smaller pots (7-10 gallons) for something like five years now, and they've done very well. I have half-high and dwarf varieties, NHB and SHB varieties, as well as an assortment of Rabbiteyes, and they've all thrived in wood planters, terra cotta pots, fabric pots, etc. In my experience, blueberries are perfectly suited for containers.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:01AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

If I ever get a fork lift, I would grow in 27 gallon pots too!
Shazaam, thanks for the info. I have seen lot's of people growing other types in pots, but never seen anybody mention NHB in pots till now. Plus a 27 gallon pot is not really a pot, it's a portable garden!

I would love to grow in pots, my problem is a have a bunch of sub tropical plants in pots, and it's a pain to move them. The last thing I want is to have to move more pots! Although I do have room in the garage, darn maybe I do need to get a sweetcrisp too! Blueberries are so beautiful, I would love to grow more.
I would love to see a picture of a 27 gallon pot, know how the heck do you move them, and who sells such beasts?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 3:04PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

After struggling with heavy pots in the past, I've moved nearly all of my blueberries to 10 gallon fabric pots with handles. I'd prefer for them to have a bit more leg room, but my back should be much happier.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 3:11PM
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treehugger101

I get the 27 gallons at greenhousemegastore. They are $43 + shipping for a pack of 5 which is an amazing deal. Since I am using the 5-1-1 mix (5 parts pine bark mulch 1 part perlite and 1 part peat), they are not quite as heavy as local soil or miracle grow would be. They ARE still heavy though. If I could grow them in 10 gallon pots that would be great. I'm not sure if the roots would freeze here in such small pots though. PA winters are pretty brutal. I will probably get a drum truck which is like a hand truck but for round barrels e.g. pots. I don't plan on moving them though so it would only be on rare occasions.

Terri

Here is a link that might be useful: 27 gallon pots

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 3:34PM
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