planting blueberry bushes

robfamApril 19, 2008

We live in middle Georgia and would love to plant some bluberry bushes. Is mid-late April too late? Would they just require extra watering? Thanks!

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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

it's important to understand that diff't varieties of blueberries have diff't ripeness times (early/mid/late season ripe times). they also require cross-pollinators, so you will need to buy in pairs. "climax" is reportedly the best pollinator out of the bunch.

i went with:
2 x 'climax' (strong pollenator, early ripe)

2 x 'bluebell' (mid-season ripe)

2 x both 'centurion' and 'tiftblue' (late ripe)

there are a few other mid-season ripening varieties out there, but bluebell sounded the best to me.

if you buy 1gallon to 3gallon plants, you may find they are already starting fruiting, hopefully they wouldn't lose them on transfer. you'd want to water a little extra after planting anyway, i like to use a liquid root stimulator when putting anything in the ground.

i wouldn't buy the little "twig" plants that you'll find at some major chain hardware+garden stores. go 1gallon or 3gallon, if you can find them.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 9:10AM
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esh_ga

A good write up and list of the cultivars by season can be found at the below link. The advice that satellitehead gives is appropriate that you have to consider which ones you are getting to ensure good cross pollination.

But to answer your question about is it too late ... the later in the season that you plant anything, the more care you have to give it as the warm and then hot weather comes on. So yes, you'll need to be careful about making sure that they have adequate water during the late spring and summer months. No different than planting any other shrub. Good luck.

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

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 9:26AM
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robfam

Thank you for the information! As I've looked into buying plants, I'm wondering if either of you have used some of the internet nursery's that ship?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 11:28AM
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esh_ga

Nope, I usually get mine from Home Depot - they usually stock them in the spring.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 11:38AM
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rjinga

I just got off the phone with a lady (same one I posted on another thread) who lives in Bolingbroke/Macon area...they have a blueberry farm there (you pick). Anyway, she still has Climax blueberry plants for sale, she said they are 2 1/2 to 3 ft tall and have berries on them!!! for $8 each. they are in one gallon containers.

I'm going to get some and plant them in raised bed boxes, so that I can tailor their soil ph needs and give them a good start. She also said they would have more in about a month. (other varieties, that you also need to have for the cross pollination).

Her # is in the Farmer's bulletin, but if anyone is interested...478-994-1120. She said they have about 30 plants left. (but please dont take the 5 I want to buy ;)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 2:18PM
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esh_ga

rjinga, I hope you will have bushes besides Climax ... I can't remember if you already have some, but you want cross pollination from something else (premier or woodward, etc.).

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 2:52PM
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rjinga

I do have 3 other varieties, but I also intend to get 5 more plants from this lady next month (she will have different kinds then)

The ones that I do have planted now...are like foot long twigs!!!! this is what the box stores sold as 2 year old plants...I kinda seriously doubt that these are 2 years old.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 6:00PM
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railroadrabbit(7b - Atlanta)

I planted some a few years ago in just the red-clay with some soil ammendment. They didn't do so well. I called the county extension agent office 1-800-AskUGA1 and they said you can plant in a raised bed on top of the ground in a mix of Soil Conditioner and Pine Bark Mini Nuggets or Shredded Pine Bark Mulch. The Soil Conditioner is mostly ground up pine bark. You need to add a little Holly Tone fertilizer. The pine bark will give the correct PH.

Otherwise, remember that blueberries love organic matter in the soil. And the pH needs to be on the acid side--mix in wetable sulpher or iron sulphate if you need to.

If planting late, you may want to pinch off any blooms/berries on the plants this year so the strength of the plant will go into building the plant rather than expending its energy on making fruit. If you do this, you will have healthier plants that will reward you with many berries next year.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 1:04AM
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