Rabbiteye bush

foolishpleasureDecember 10, 2012

I have a question about the southern bush like the Rabbiteye Blueberry. Does it need chill hours. I have the northern bush which prosper in cold climate. I want to protect the Rabbit-eye from our frigid weather but worrying it might need chill time and if so how long.

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gonebananas_gw

How cold does it get there? I would think 7B would be generally OK for rabbiteyes, though maybe at their limit.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:19PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

Yes, it does. Chill hours for rabbiteye varieties vary, but, from what I've read, most fall in the 400 to 600 range. I'm also in 7B, and I'm planning to leave my potted rabbiteyes outside all winter. I've insulated the pots with a thick layer of leaves, and they're under a greenhouse frame (no plastic) that I've covered with a heavy Agribon frost blanket. I keep the blanket open on both ends when the weather is mild so as not to interfere with chilling, but I can close it up and buffer extreme lows (around here, that's 15 or so...).

This post was edited by shazaam on Mon, Dec 10, 12 at 19:36

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:21PM
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foolishpleasure

Thanks for the info last year we had very mild winter but for two weeks we were in the minus column. I guess that will be enough to kill it. I did not have it last year. 600 chill hours that is about 25 days of say 35-40. We did not have that much yet. I am going to leave it outside during January and how the winter weather treats us. I am working on home made green house but have not finished yet too much work for an amature and the rain is not helping. I need to get that green house finished because my Citrus and Figs need more work in winter than raising children.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 1:31AM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

From what Ive read, Tift Blue is the most cold tolerant of the Rabbiteyes and suppost to be the best tasting. I cant comment on either because I dont grow Tift Blue. I only get 450 chill hour or below Rabbiteyes because of my location. I can tell you that Brightwell is the best low chill Rabbiteye I grow. There are some newer varieties out now that might be better suited up north. Titan, Prince, Ochlockonee and Vernon are few newer ones that come to mind.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:45AM
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sun-junkie(9)

What variety of Rabbiteye? I'm on the cusp of zones 8&9. Check out this chart for various Rabbiteye required chill hours....

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/fruit/msg1223191026565.html?8

It's populated for my area though, you're likely to exceed the requirements. IMHO, Climax is the best tasting Rabbiteye. Thin skin, very sweet, consistent flavor throughout and ripens all at once. The later season berries vary from sweet to sour and have a long ripening window. Just my $0.02

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 5:38PM
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