Some new photos of blueberry plants

riverman1June 15, 2012

Fellow blueberry growers, I wanted to show you some updated photos of my blueberry plants just before harvest. My guess is the berries will be mostly ripe in about two weeks.

To start off, this is a picture of most of my plants, think there is about 20 total here;

This is my largest Reka, growing well and lots of berries.

This one is a bluecrop, last year it didn't look very good but it's doing well now.

This is a Northcountry, kind of a weird little plant that seems to want to grow close to the ground. I pruned it hard this past winter trying to get it to grow upright and it seemed to help a little bit. I picked a few ripe berries from this one today, the first of the season.

This is a Jersey I planted last year, it too wants to flatten out but it's growing fast and doing well. I have staked it up in an attempt to keep the limbs going up.

This is a Duke I started last year........

This is a Chippewa. This variety tends to get too many berries on it so this year I took almost all the blooms off in an attempt to let the roots and plant get some size. This plant is a "half-high" variety so they don't get very tall. This is one of my older plants, starting it's 4th year.

This is a Reka which I have had for 4 years. I took off half the berries this year because it tends to over produce.

Hope you guys liked the pictures......

RM

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Bradybb(wa8)

Beauties riverman.It looks like the bed is being expanded for more plants.
I have two Jerseys that were being sold at a Home Depot toward the end of the season last year for $3.33 each,were scrawny but are doing very well now.Those Reka set a lot of fruit too.Nice. Brady

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 10:24PM
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northernmn(3/4)

Lots of great pictures Riverman. Your plants look really good.
Your header doesn't have your zone on it. You must be 4 or 5 if you have a 1/2 high plant.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 10:43PM
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riverman1

I believe I'm in Zone 6........southeastern Washington State. When I planted the "half high" I had no idea what it was, just bought a blueberry plant and put it in the ground. I probably wouldn't buy another one. The variety doing the best for me is Reka. I know "shock" is a problem in this area and a local grower has told me that duke, bluecrop, toro, and Reka have proven the most resistant on his farm. Chandler is more susceptible which I have a couple of so I won't plant any more of them.

Brady,

I bought two little sickly looking variety Toro blueberries from HD a few weeks ago but I had to pay $9 for them. I bought them because I hadn't seen Toro for sale before and area growers do well with them. You might try a Toro if you aren't already, they get really large, like 8' tall or so and are huge producers. The downside of them I have heard is the berries get sunburned easily.

Here's a pic of one of them........I find it interesting that some of my young plants have had wrinkled leaves, some discoloration, etc., but in the second year they do better. I'm confident this plant will do well next year, it was mistreated at HD, barely hanging on when I got it and now it's got a few new leaves. Notice the wrinkled leaves, leaves cupping, etc.

One other thing Brady, didn't you say you tried the seaweed and fish emulsion last year? I am using it this summer on my new plants and it's working fantastic. Here is a Reka I bought 5 weeks ago or so that has quadrupled in size. A second one is even larger and was growing so fast I had to trim the limbs back on it. They seem to really like it.

Reka is a fantastic variety, just grows and produces and seems far more tolerant to less than perfect growing conditions.

RM

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 12:14AM
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Bradybb(wa8)

riverman,
I have been looking at Toro for about for about a month.It's one of the new ones that Fred Meyer has in.They are small plants,but that's okay.I'll probably get one or two.
I did use the fish/kelp/ molasses recipe that Backyard Berry Plants talks about.I may start a two weekly routine again through August. Brady

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 2:25AM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Great looking plants RM!!! Ive noticed on some of my southern high bushs that the leafs are crinkly like your photo above. They do seem to grow out of it the following year. Are you going to put up bird netting?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 7:22AM
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riverman1

I hadn't planned on putting up the netting because it's such a hassle. Last year I tried putting it up and I hated the way it caught on the berries and pulled some of them off. Then any tiny hole in the netting the birds just hopped right through.

I know I will have some big losses tho, have already watched a couple robins test the berries for ripeness. Once the robins figure them out they keep returning all day long. In the coming years I will probably come up with a way to protect them.

RM

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 2:22PM
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kokopelli5a

Nice photos. I have some in pots here in Z5a. Like you and other posters have mentioned, 'Reka' seems to be a reliable grower in the home garden. 'Patriot' is also growing pretty well for me so far. 'Aurora' merely OK. 'Blueray' is in-between.

I've been doing the Fruitnut "add a tablespoon of Ammonium Sulfate to a bucket of water every week until you like what you see" technique for the past three weeks. I have to admit it works very well so far.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 3:23PM
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riverman1

I don't have any patriot but I had a grower here tell me that he quit growing them because they can't take the heat very well. We have long hot summers here though and if you have yours growing in pots you could simply move them to a shadier location. Ammonium sulf is definitely a good choice for blues.

RM

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 5:26PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

RM, My Chippewa in 1 gal size pot having 3/4" size berries. All my other BB are bigger this year after I thinned it. Thanks for the thining BB thread. I have to admit that it is hard to thin the little BBs, but the result is rewarding.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 11:59AM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Riverman, they look super happy.
I've read a lot about Reka and may have to pick one up. I've had floppy Jerseys also. It seems time will take care of that.
Nice job on the bluecrop. Mine are usually tall and spindly. Did you prune it back hard last year?
Noogy

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 7:47AM
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riverman1

I pruned off all the twiggy stuff and weak looking limbs. Anything that looked too small I took off. I think it helped on most of my plants but I have one Chandler that I think I pruned a bit too hard....it's growing fine but doesn't look as good as it should.

I pruned my two chippewas the hardest because they literally looked like a shrub. I also pruned a northcountry or northland (can't remember which it is) real hard but it's growing back like gangbusters.

Berries are big and just this last week I have started eating a few of them.

Today supposed to hit 90 so the BB plants are going to finally feel the heat.

RM

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 12:06PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

I've been eating the Dukes(big, bland and sort of sweet) and Blue jays hard(sweet, tasty) . Very little bug pressure. Most of my Jays were frosted out, leaving scarred berries, and some very large ones.
Bluecrop is just starting. Same location, but didn't have freeze issues.
I have had water running 20 hrs a day through drip lines. Finally we got some rain today.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 2:50PM
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