Anyone grow blueberries in GA?

blazepepper(7b)February 8, 2008

I am very interested in growing blueberries in my yard. I just noticed that Home depot and lowed both now have plants available. They are small half gallon sized buckets, and plants are about 1.5 ft. tall. I have a couple of questions.

1) IN the past, I've seen blueberry bushes for sale at the

big box stores that look more like a bush, these look more

like small twigs. are they the same thing, just not as

mature? should I wait for the bigger ones?

2)I plan to plant 3 or 4 of them, do I need to get 3 or 4

different varieties for pollination?

3) Should I expect any berries in the first season?

4) If they are planted in a bed in the yard and dogs use

them as a toilet, will this hurt the plant/fruit?

5) any other tips on types of plants, how to plant, when

to plant, etc. would be very helpful.

thanks in advance, cant wait to get some in the ground.

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esh_ga

I have two blueberry bushes that I got from Home Depot in 2004, they have done well. The publication linked below is a must read for you.

I happened to see those blueberries at Home Depot yesterday and I passed on them. I'd rather buy the 3 gallon sized pots than those sprouts (that's what I got last time). Plus, the names were unfamiliar (and I didn't have my list).

You need to get at least two different kinds for good cross pollination. And as you can see in the attached, plants are consider early, mid or late season. You need two from each category to ensure that overlapping bloom time will occur and cross pollination can happen. So if you want both early and mid season plants, you'd need to buy four (two of each).

Dogs peeing on them would be an issue if a) they do it frequently, or b) the fruit is low enough to get hit (who wants to eat THAT one?). You could put a low fence of hardware cloth around them to keep the dogs from being able to pee directly on them.

Good luck. They like lots of sun and can be very colorful in the fall - a nice bonus. Mulch well with chopped leaves or pine straw to keep the roots cool.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home garden blueberries from UGA

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 1:44PM
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blazepepper(7b)

Thanks Esh,

I think I will wait for the larger bushes to arrive at the stores. I think I will plant 4 bushes, all of different varieties. The spot where I want them is in a mulch bed that borders the house/back of the house to be exact. that being said, they will not be in full sun all day long, I expect They will receive a good 6 hours of sun a day, mostly afternoon sun. Will this be a problem? My tomatoes and peppers have done fine in the past. Thanks for the advise.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 8:58AM
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esh_ga

I think 6 hours a day in the afternoon is fine. Especially if the tomatoes do well.

You could probably could call home depot and ask for the outside gardening manager to make sure that they are planning to get those (they get a lot of fruits in the spring) and to inquire as to when to expect them. And have your list handy!

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 9:23AM
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georgia-rose

Growers Outlet often have Blueberries in 3gal size. You might check their website about the 20th to see if they will be stocking them this year. They reopen on the 21st.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 3:29PM
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rjinga

I dont know how far from Macon you are, but a lady in Bollingbroke? (spelling)has a U pick family run blueberry farm and she is selling 1 and 3 gallon plants now...several varities (I dont recall exactly what she has but she rattled off at least 4 or 5 or more names) and they are $8 and $14 respectively...I have not seen them..but she said the 1 gallon plants are very good sized (taller) and the 3 gallon plants have bushed out so not as tall but more filled out...both should bear fruit this year. FYI..if you would like her info let me know.

(she is not someone I know personally and I have not seen the plants I found an ad of hers in the farmers Market Bulletin.

PS: I'd like to know myself if NOW is a good time to plant them? I'm in middle GA...I assumed that since they were now being sold that they could and should be planted...I bought some of the bare root ones at lowes, (the twig looking ones that blazepepper referred to)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 5:01PM
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lzon

Hi-I too, am interested in growing blubeberries this year. Where is that location near Macon? What's the name of the farm? My husband says he can pick me up some.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 9:08PM
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esh_ga

I would plant blueberries now in Middle Georgia. I'm just north of Atlanta and I would do it now as well.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 9:12PM
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blazepepper(7b)

Rjinga,

How did the bare root/twig looking blueberry plant look that you got at lowes?? I know they are in bags or something so I really wasn't able to get a good look at them. Did you plant it yet?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 12:55PM
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trudyjean82(z8SWGA)

I'm in Macon once a week an would also like to have info on this lady selling the bushes. Could you please pm it to me if your not comfortable posting it here. Thanks, T

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 7:27PM
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rjinga

The lady in Macon, I dont have her name but her number is 478-994-1120, she is North of Bollingbroke.

I have not yet planted my Lowe's BBerries...they were in a bag and had either one single stem with a few leaves at top. I've been out of commission as of late, as I hurt my back and had a herniated disk....so the slightest movement creates pain...I'd love to get out there, but I'm finally getting better so I dont want to push my luck.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 2:50PM
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blazepepper(7b)

I was at Pike Nurseries this morning, the Suwanee Loction off of Ptree Industrial and McGinnis Ferry (Gwinnett county), they had no fruit, but the manager told me that they made their fruit order 2 weeks ago and they should have blueberries any day now. She said they will have 1 gallon and 3 gallon berry bushes. FYI

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 2:52PM
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blazepepper(7b)

Did a little following up today, Pikes still hasn't recieved their fruit shipment. Was at home depot/duluth/pleasant hill, and they have now recieved a fruit order, had 3 gallon blueberries, cherries, apples, peaches, etc. I talked to Scottsdale Farms(Alpharetta/Roswell) today and they have about 10 bluebeerry varieties available in 3 gallon sizes, mostly earlycrops or mid crops, aswell as some dwarf berry plants.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 9:39PM
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rjinga

sorry blaze, didn't see your question to me :) I just got them into some water, I'm assuming that they are ok to soak for a few days...

I'm planning to plant them this week. As soon as I can get out there....they actually have some leaves forming (on the 2 twigs) I sure do hope they grow fast...I dont know how otherwise that they will actually grow fruit.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 2:42PM
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blazepepper(7b)

I was at Growers Outlet in Loganville this weekend and they have in their first blueberries of the year. Only one variety/Premier- 3 gallon - $10.00. They looked good too, and the lady at the counter said they should be getting more varieties in next or the following week. I picked up a nice Premier and will be back for more. Growers Outlet is awesome, what great prices! The same blueberry bush at a big box store would certainly be $15-$19 and wouldn't look as good.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 10:36AM
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rjinga

I'm wondering if anyone actually followed through with the lady in Macon (who's number I posted earlier) I planted my Lowe's "TWIGS" and am concerned that they will take a long time to grow big enought to produce berries.

I'm tempted to go and check her's out, but wanted to see if anyone else had done so yet?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 11:09AM
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baluscreek

Several varieties most times I have been there.
I have 8 bushes from there. The late freeze killed the fruit last year. I am looking for a good harvest this year. They are budding already.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 11:44AM
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rjinga

blaze, are you saying that you got blueberries from the lady near Bollingbroke? Or are you talking about another source?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 4:02PM
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blazepepper(7b)

no, sorry for the confusion, I was talking about the Growers Outlet in Loganville, GA. A great place if you are nearbye. They emailed me yesterday and states that they expect several more varieties to arrive this friday. So Far I purchased a Premier from them and a Woodard From home depot, both 3 gallons and approximately 4 feet tall, both are already budding. I plan on purchasing a couple more, likely from Growers Outlet, hopefully a couple of later cropping varieties, maybe tifblue.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 12:59PM
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blazepepper(7b)

Growers outlet now has 3 gallon climax blue berry plants, but I hear they are going fast, might want to call first

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 4:34PM
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mad_gardener

I just bought four plants (Premier, Climax and two others) at Pike's Nursery in Acworth. They were a bit pricey ($20-25), but the plants seem to be in very good condition and each had a number of flowers already. The Premier and Climax were in 3 gallon pots and the others were in 2 gallon pots.

Here's a question though, we planted ours on the border of our property, but realized after the fact that several trees in an adjacent lot and one tree in our lot might cast them into shade for at least part of the day. The info. sheet says that they require full sun, so should we consider moving them or should we wait to see how they will do?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 12:11AM
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esh_ga

The definition of full sun is 6 or more hours of direct sun per day. On a sunny day, observe the area and see if they get that much; if they do, they will be fine.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 6:04AM
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blazepepper(7b)

Another update on Growers OUtlet in Loganville, it looks like they now have 3 gallon tifblue and 3 gallon climax blueberries, both only $10 bucs, what a steal, these are at least 17.00 at other places. I just recently purchased a3 gallon tifblue at Cofers in Athens for 19.99. Just an FYI

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 9:47AM
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esh_ga

Yes, a great price indeed (and I am so jealous). Woodstock HD has 'Woodward', 'Premier' and 'Climax' as of last night for $14.97 in 3 gallons. These are 3 of the "early blooming" ones. Remember (for the new folks), get at least two different kinds for cross pollination (which yields the most berries).

'Tifblue' is a mid-season one. Other mid-season cultivars are 'Bluebelle', 'Briteblue', 'Chaucer', and 'Powderblue'.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 11:11AM
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railroadrabbit(7b - Atlanta)

You need to make sure your soil is acidic enough. Add wetable powdered sulfer if you need to. It will take a few months for it to become stable in the soil. Meanwhile your bushes will not do well. Put about 50 to 75 percent pine bark mini-nuggets as planting medium. They have the acidic content you need and they will help aerate the root zone. My county agent told me to plant above ground in an 8-inch bed of mini-nuggets and ground pine bark soil conditioner. I have a few plants that I'm going to try that with.

The county extension offices have a sale in late February to benefit the 4-H clubs. This year they had blueberries, crepe myrtle, deciduous azaleas, and other plants. Very reasonably priced. Call 1-800-ASKUGA1 and you will get your local office. Ask them to put you on their mailing list for the sale next year.

Your bushes will be healthier if you pinch off the blooms the first year so the bushes can use their energy to become established, rather than trying to get the few berries that they might produce the first year.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 5:53PM
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rjinga

The "twigs" I planted from Lowes are getting a few leaves now...but really no growth to speak of. I actualy forgot about the sulfur, but did top them with pine needles and mulch.

How can I add in some sulphur now?

I also purchased one of the spikey meters that you insert into the soil and wait 60 seconds or whatever it is...to get a PH reading, any thoughts on the efficacy of these type of meters?

Final question...has anyone from around the Macon area checked out the lady who has the self pick farm? since my little sticks dont possibly have hopes of doing anything for what seems like forever, I'm seriously thinking of checking her out...or maybe I'll first look for some 3 gallon plants locally...sounds like maybe the price wont be that different (counting what I'd spend in gas to get to her and back).

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 11:04PM
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jenny3

Cobb County 4-H ran a great sale on 2-3 blueberry plants. I got two and they are now in the ground and doing well. I was supposed to cut all the flowers off the first year. I believe my soil is acid enough, I have added pine mulch.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 7:45AM
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alpharetta(z7 GA)

Pike Nursery in Alpharetta GA is having blueberry plant on sale. Buy 2 get one free! 1 G blueberry plan for $8.99. They look very healthy. I saw Star, Power Blue, Misty and few different variety there.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 8:56PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

I got Tifblue, Woodard and Climax in 3gal, I believe, all from Pike on Roswell Rd last year. 5 plants total.

Planted on our front mound. We ignored the general directions and let them fruit this year. Each bush has 100-200 berries =). Varying states of ripeness. The bees and insects pollinated better than I could have dreamed.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 8:37AM
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esh_ga

By the way, the UGA publication link I provided earlier seems to be broken because they moved the article. Here is an updated one.

Here is a link that might be useful: UGA CAES Home garden blueberries

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 9:04AM
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neutralground2

I know this is an older topic, but I just planted four blueberry bushes in our back garden that I got on sale from Pikes. The plants look great and are about 2.5 - 3 feet tall.
Given their size/age, should I still remove the buds the first year to promote root growth? I was thinking of letting two of them fruit and see how they do. I guess I'm just to impatient to wait a whole extra year to bear fruit!

Thoughts on this?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 3:45PM
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esh_ga

I didn't do that with mine and they seemed fine.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 9:23PM
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