Blue Crop Blueberries

northernmn(3/4)April 30, 2014

I've been growing some Blue Crop blueberries about 30 miles north of Brainerd, MN. Most of my other varieties can handle the winters here better than the Blue Crop. I think that the problem is that it's a taller variety than the others, and is more exposed to our harsh winters.

I'm thinking about giving some of the bushes to our daughter in Twin Cities. Have any of you had decent success with Blue Crop in the Cities? I'm hoping that just that little bit of warmer climate may help them.

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Mine are doing great, they're going on their third year in the ground and I live just N of Minneapolis

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 9:06AM
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That is too bad ! I just planted blue crop last week along with other 3 varieties: patriot, liberty and hardiblue.
So what is your favorite variety anyway ?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:02AM
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Maryna... You may be enough farther south that blue crop will do OK for you. Here is a copy from my thread here last summer. If you want to know more about it, look for my "Picking Blueberries and Raspberries" thread on page 2:

"St Cloud was sweet, with very little acid (bite). Light on Blue flavor, but it was definitely there. Berries were medium size and not very easy to pick. Ranked above the next 2.

Chippewa and Polaris were kind of bland and also low acid. Medium sweet. Average ease of picking. Overall an "OK" to low rating.

Friendship had low production this year but it's medium/large berries had good Blue flavor. Still think this one will be good in the future.

Superior moved up into the overall #1 position by the group vote. Very good Blue flavor. Especially for a large berry. It was also sweeter with less acid than Northblue, but it still had some bite to it. Large berries formed in large clumps, ripened evenly, and were very easy to pick.

Northblue slid back one position because it had a less intense Blue flavor than Superior. I though that its sweetness and bite were in very good balance. Picks like Superior (clumps of large, evenly ripe berries).

We found out that the sweetness vs bite mix was very much a personal preference. Everyone agreed that a more intense Blue flavor was desired in a berry.

The number of berries that a plant set, was a definite factor in how large the berries grew. Cross pollination also affected size. Genetics only accounted a portion of berry size determination. There are many other factors that would determine how these varieties would perform for you.

As these plants get larger, winter's impact on them may become a big factor in how well they do in the long term."

The 38 Blues have now gone through another rough winter. Here is a hardiness report:

Almost no winter damage: Saint Cloud, and 5 of my 6 low lying unknown varieties.

Less than 20% winter damage: Northblue, Superior, Chippewa.

More than 20% winter damage: Friendship, Polaris, Bluecrop.

Please remember that this berry patch is 25 to 30 miles NNE of Brainerd.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 10:43PM
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dandy_line(3B (Brainerd, Mn))

I just bought 6 plants this Spring and gt them planted as an 'Edible Hedge'. They are 2 each of Northblue, Northcountry, and Chippewa . I made a point to stick to Mn developed berries to ensure hardiness. And I guess the higher the plant, the more susceptible it will be to winter freeze. I'll take my chances with the taller Chippewa.
Northernmn-do you have berry picking up there? I live just west of Brainerd near Pillager.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:22PM
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dandy... You are right about the taller plants getting more winter freeze damage. Especially on the new growth from the previous summer. The 3 varieties that you picked will be good at going through winters in your area. I think that Northblue will become your favorite.

The good news on my Blues is that most of them have a very strong blossom set getting ready to open on the lower branches that had no damage at all. Enough blossoms that the crop this year should still be very good.

We do get more blueberries and raspberries than we can handle, but then we send in the friends and relatives.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 9:47PM
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