What to plant to cross pollinate Bluecrop blueberries?

sandpapertongue(7a VA)June 5, 2013

On Mother's Day, I went out and bought some blueberry bushes for fun. I got a Bountiful Blue and Bluecrop (having been told to get different varieties for cross pollination). Genius that I am, I did not realize until after I planted them that Bountiful Blue blooms much earlier that Bluecrop.

Bountiful already had fruit when I bought it, while Bluecrop was in midst of flowering, and didn't flower in earnest until after I planted it.

I have just enough room for two more plants. I figured I'll get a Sunshine to go with the Bountiful Blue, but can you all recommend what to plant to go along with Bluecrop? Thanks!

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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Hi sandpapertongue,
About any Northern Highbush will work with the Bluecrop.
Just be aware that some of them can get over six feet and almost as wide. Brady

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:27PM
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I bought 2 each Patriot, Legacy and Bluecrop last year - 2 gal pots. Lots of berries on the Patriot, very few (4-6 berries each plant) on the Bluecrop, and the Legacy hasn't flowered (yet?) this year. Lots of wild (high and low) bush around, they're all fruiting now. Any idea what's up with the Blucrop and Legacy? They look healthy (though all vertical growth, not getting bushy).

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:38PM
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All the half highs will also pollinate the Bluecrop. I have 3 Polaris a Chippewa and a Bluecrop. all have significant amount of Berrries. The tag i got with purchase of the bluecrop listed something like 30 different varieties of pollinators. With a little google search MSU lists Bluecrop as self fruitful. Just means can be pollinated by the same variety of blueberry.

This post was edited by ABz5b on Thu, Jun 6, 13 at 0:17

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:05PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Are they still in pots?
I have a Bluecrop in the ground that is fairly slow growing and a Legacy in a container that is doing really well. Brady

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:24PM
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No, they're all in the ground. They did get off to a bad start last year - 2" of rain in 1 day a couple days after I bought them (they were right up against house under eaves but still got flooded), I took them out of pots and tried to let roots dry out before planting them, but then had 3 freezes so they went back in garage and didn't get planted for a week. Then they had a "paprika-sprinkled" look to leaves last summer but seemed to get through the winter OK. Those 2 varieties just didn't seem to flower this spring, but the other is loaded with berries.

Does Bluecrop need more sun, less sun? It's in the sunniest spot (higher on the hill) right now, the middle 2 plants in the row of 3 are the ones that are fruiting. Planted near the lowbush,some shade but the lowbush always fruit. pH is very low (have to find report - 4.3?) but again native berries do well so I didn't lime.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 6:39AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Yes Blueberries like sun and ones in the ground shouldn't have any problems with over heated roots.
Is there Peat moss mixed in the planting hole.They like the organic matter.I also mulch with Pine and or Fir bark.
pH sounds just about right.
What are they getting fertilized with? Brady

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:53AM
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Mixed compost in planting hole with our native sandy loam when planted. Mulched with decomposed bark mulch, covered with hay and pine branches over the winter and then removed branches, left some hay right around them and now have fresh wood chips in area but not close to planting hole. All 6 are the same and only 2 have fruit (well, Bluecrop has a few berries), and those 2 are loaded.

Haven't fertilized - I don't fertilize the wild ones so figured I didn't have to with these (I only fertilize plants in containers, I just use compost and composted manure or leaf mold on all my veggies, 1st year with strawberries so I guess I'm supposed to fertilize those when I mow them down in July).

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 5:58PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Blueberries respond well to an acid type fertilizer for Rhododendrons and Azaleas about once a month in the Spring and early Summer.
Just don't use a fertilizer with Muriate of Potash on them. Brady

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:38PM
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Soil tests from last year (before adding compost), native soil in that area was 4.2 pH, Low in nitrate nitrogen, High in ammonium nitrogen, Medium Low in phosphorus, Low in potassium, Low in calcium Medium in Mg.

Are cultivated blueberries different from wild, need more fertilizer, or just to get them established? I guess I can ask my uncle - he's been growing them for PYO for about 75 yrs but I don't know that anybody fertilizes his (any more). Of course he doesn't remember varieties, they might not even sell those cultivars any more.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 6:42AM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

Are cultivated blueberries different from wild, need more fertilizer, or just to get them established?

I think I recall that lowbush blueberries will tolerate drought and low organic matter soils better than highbush blueberries, but I don't know that the latter necessarily need more fertilizer. In fact, blueberries are adapted to low fertility soils and can do just fine without supplemental fertilization if other conditions are right. Research has demonstrated, though, that they do respond favorably to fertilization (particularly nitrogen), so you have the potential to boost yields if you do choose to fertilize. Then again, since your native soil is high in ammonium nitrogen, it's hard to say whether you'd see a significant benefit. Since blueberries have shallow roots and burn easily, you definitely don't want to overdo it. If you do choose to fertilize, an organic fertilizer would be the safest option, especially since you don't need a fast source of nitrogen. Cottonseed meal, for example, might be a good choice.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 9:44AM
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Since the leaves don't look as red as last year and those other 4 bushes are growing, maybe they just need another year to get established? Don't think they need more N, but to get them to flower (and fruit) next year maybe put on some rock phosphate now, and anything for potassium? Since Brady said not to use potash?


    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Sulfate of Potash,(Potassium Sulfate) is okay for them.
I think its Chloride in Muriate of Potash that is harmful to them and some other fruits and vegetables. Brady

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 1:12AM
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