'Emergency' situation:How quickly will highbush blueberries grow?

karenfromhingham(6a MA)July 16, 2009

Hi everybody. I am back from a long online hiatus and used to hang out almost exclusively in Compost/Mulch so I'm a newbie here.

DH and I have been slowly introducing or reviving existing edible plants in our yard over time but I've run into a suburban "emergency" that's forcing me to jump further down my "to do" list!

Yesterday, neighbors cut down a number of mature trees along the property line and have eliminated a lot of our privacy. This has also changed the microenvironment of one area of our yard from fairly heavy understory shade to a mix of full sun/dappled shade. So, we're staring at each other now -- and I have a beautiful, uninterrupted sightline to busy Route 228 from my garden I didn't have before -- and I'm getting ready for the maintenance involved in battling weeds along a formerly shady and unweedy little pathway-under-trees that boasted a border of shade loving native things. I hope they continue. : (

However, the upshot is that I maybe able to grow fruiting bushes for a screen, now! I would like to grow highbush blueberries but do need to get some privacy back asap. The lay of the land is such that we are higher than they are and they can look right out their bedroom windows into our backyard and back of the house.

So my question is, how quickly can I REALISTICALLY expect highbush blueberries to grow? My preferred site is under a row of limbed-up maple trees and behind rhodies and azaleas at the back of a mixed mass planting. This area gets light shade from the maples overhanging but, now, full sun from behind.

I have plans to plant hb blueberries, anyway/as well, in an open full-sun area, but am trying to figure out if I can use them in this spot, too, to make a privacy hedge, or if I need to include something else for quick height.

Thank you!

-Karen

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nhardy(5b)

Karen, Can you copy and paste this question on the Fruit and orchard forum for people like Eric to answer this question? I bought 3 half high blueberry bushes this year, so I can not answer this for you. (If you had a little more time to let them a mature height, lilacs are great hedges. Lilacs like alkaline soil though. Kiwis or some erect blackberry bushes might grow faster. The people on the orchard forum can suggest ton more ideas for hedges to go with the blueberry bushes. Just tell them how tall of a hedge.)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 4:10AM
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karenfromhingham(6a MA)

Thank you for the suggestion. I will.

And, btw, yes I LOVE lilacs and have a nice one growing out front. I may put more in somewhere but this area had many mature pines growing in it, so the soil's got to be pretty acidic.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 12:18AM
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djofnelson(7ACtrlVAfoothills)

You'll be waiting a long time to get any privacy from slow growing blueberry plants (at least 7-10 years under ideal conditions?). Trellised plants, such as trailing blackberries (e.g., Triple Crown), hardy kiwi and hops (which will fill an arbor or trellis fast) will provide you with much quicker privacy in non-winter months. You could also plant some quick growing privacy trees (thuja, etc.) as temporary screening until you fruiting plants got bigger (assuming they don't overly shade the plants).

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 3:48PM
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