Blueberries as a hedge?

memo(Zone 4B Nebraska)February 8, 2006

I was planning to enclose my potager with privet hedges because they are quick growing, don't mind drought too much, can be maintained at a specific size or shape etc. Then I went to do some deep research and found that they are extremely toxic to livestock. Well...with goats, cattle, donkeys, chickens etc. I had to throw out that idea immediately.

I read up on blueberries last night and they sound like they could be the answer for me. Not too tall, no stickers to deal with, EDIBLE fruit. I have never grown blueberries so I am wondering if any of you with experience could tell me how they would be as an enclosure? There are quite a few different types that could give some year round interest that a privet hedge could not so maybe this is one of those things that happen for a reason?

MeMo

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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

memo, I think they would be great. They are twiggy and dense when not in foliage, and very dense when in foliage. THey can be pruned to size in the fall.
We grow blueberries at church. They are typical varieties of the southern bush blueberries planted several years ago and all are very tart.
DO you have an extension service near by, or for your state with publications? They will probably have something about the best blueberries and polinators for your area, along with size listings.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 12:17AM
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georich5(z5Oh)

Memo,
Useful and yummie at the same time...You can't go wrong.
That's a great idea. I'd love to see be4 and after pics.

georgeanne

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 1:49PM
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mrsgalihad(5 CO)

I think it sounds like a wonderful idea. I've been contemplating the idea of putting in a mixed berry hedge along one side of our property in the area where we ripped out a privet hedge. My mixed fruits hedge would be a few feet back from the property line and have "holes" in it for easy access to the back side.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 3:19PM
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Nicki(z9 FL)

Memo, I don't have experience with blueberries, other than I LOVE picking them at the local "u-pick" farm and eating as many of them as I can in one sitting...

I think your idea is great! I want a few blueberry bushes too. I have a plan to include some with a pomegranate tree since they like similar soils. I wish I could use them as a hedge like you... I wouldn't have to go to the "u-pick" place anymore... ;)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 11:22AM
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memo(Zone 4B Nebraska)

I happy that I'm getting the thumbs up from all of you on the blueberry hedge. I have been able to track down more than 15 varieties that will do well in my zone. I will have to ammend with peat moss since they like an acidic soil. They do like a lot of water too which could be a bad thing in a drought year but the extra work of getting water to them would be worth it.

Mrs G. A mixed hedge sounds like a good idea. I am going to put arbors in my hedge to allow access through the four sides of my garden. It's a good excuse to add more arbors ;)

Nicki, Some of the berries I have read about produce 10-20 pounds of fruit per season. One I found actually bears fruit twice. Many of them can be grown in pots too. One is even evergreen and doesn't take many chilling hours in winter so would be an excellent choice for you, it's called Sunshine Blue. Surely you could squeeze in one little pot of blueberries?

MeMo

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 11:58AM
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memo(Zone 4B Nebraska)

Here is Sunshine Blue for you Nicki. It has pink flowers with blue inside the urn shaped umbels. Most Blueberries bloom white.

MeMo

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 12:28PM
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harper(8)

Nicki, Rabbiteye blueberries do well in the south, but the bushes get very large as they mature. Keep that in mind when choosing a planting area.

Harper

Here is a link that might be useful: Rabbiteye blueberries

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 12:28PM
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gardenpaws_VA(z7 NoVA)

MeMo, my suggestion in your zone would be to look at some of the shrub-size saskatoons as well (Amelanchier spp). Theyre more tolerant of your climate and soil, and also very tasty. You dont get the colored stems with saskatoons that you do with blueberries, but there are spring flowers, summer fruit that can be used a lot like blueberries (think mild blueberry flavor with a touch of almond), lovely fall foliage, and usually fairly nice gray stripey bark.

Here is a link that might be useful: saskatoon - USDA

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 9:36PM
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