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Old March 18, 2012   #16
fortyonenorth
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Naysen - In the past, I've ordered hundreds of plants from Hartmans. They list a good number of "low chill" types.
http://www.hartmannsplantcompany.com...ory_Code=BBW-R
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Old March 18, 2012   #17
z_willus_d
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Thanks for the link fortyone. Do you think they can ship those southern varieties to California? I couldn't find an answer to that question on there site.
-naysen
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Old March 18, 2012   #18
peebee
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Naysen, believe me I searched high and low online, all those sites where people raved about the great low prices. Sure, they have Southern Highbush. Sure, they are great for low-chill areas. But try to order them and no, no can ship these perfect-for-CA varieties. Can they ship you varieties that won't do so well in your area? Sure they can! Arggghhh!

I've read that blueberries do not produce deep roots, so they can do well in big wide pots, like in my half barrel. That's why I'm gonna build a wide bed, and only 2 or 3 of those retainer brick's worth of height. Figure if I have to buy so much peat moss and/or acid planting mix, it would be too expensive for me to plant too many.

Is there an Armstrong in your area? They emailed me that for a short time, (started late last week, so I'm hoping the sale is still on) their bluberries in one gal pots are $9.99 each, reg $14.99. Armstrong is kinda on the high side, but they have good varieties. Lowes has some bare-root for around $6, but they did not have Misty or any recognizable name. I bought one called Camilla (I think that is what is was) anyways. Other good nurseries offer the 1 gal at around $12.99, I've seen. I'm waiting for OSH to have a sale.

Looked at that link to Hartmann, looks like they will ship to CA. But with shipping and handling, it might come to about the same as just buying here. Unless I'm getting such a great deal, I prefer to be able to see and touch before I buy, plus I'm one of those "need it now!" type of shoppers.

Last edited by peebee; March 18, 2012 at 11:23 PM. Reason: forgot to add
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Old March 18, 2012   #19
fortyonenorth
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The only problem I can imagine would be regarding California state restrictions, if any exist for blueberries. Give them a call. I'm sure they could answer that with more certainty.

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Thanks for the link fortyone. Do you think they can ship those southern varieties to California? I couldn't find an answer to that question on there site.
-naysen
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Old March 19, 2012   #20
z_willus_d
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Peebee, I've not heard of Armstrong, but I'll seek them out. It looks like my options are going to be limited, short of a trans-American blueberry hunting drive out of state.

Good luck yourself-
Naysen
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Old March 19, 2012   #21
peebee
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I considered doing that myself, having the plants sent to a friend in AZ or NV,esp when I saw deals where it was free shipping and for about $50 you get a dozen plants. But with the high price of gas, and the time involved, the timing wasn't right--I had no plans to go out of state around the time the blueberries would arrive there. Maybe one day I will plan such a blueberry vacation...I'll have to keep the reason a secret or I'll see rolling eyes from friends and family . Home-grown blueberries were really good, I can't wait for mine to ripen.
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Old March 20, 2012   #22
z_willus_d
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Sadly, Gurney's is shipping my Northern Highbush blueberries. I contacted them three times yesterday before the berries were shipped. The 1st time it was an American woman who seemed nice, but we were somehow disconnected mid call. The 2nd call was to one of their Indian reps, and she told me flat out they had to ship the plants because they were already scheduled/processed for shipping (even though they hadn't yet shipped!) She was no help at all. The 3rd call got me back to the states where a nice lady called the shipping dpt., sent and email, etc. Unfortunately, her efforts were apparently not successful, as the plants did end up shipping. So, I've got $100+ worth of blueberries that aren't suited to my climate -- on me, I know.
-naysen
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Old March 26, 2012   #23
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Thought I'd post an update on my blueberry situation. Soon after learning that Northern Highbush is not suitable to the Sacramento Valley (zones 9-10), I made a call to Gurney's to request an order cancellation, but that failed. Well, the plants arrived this last weekend. I tried calling Gurney's again and got someone in India (assumption, yes), that had to play it by some rule-book, so no go with the return request since there would be a restocking fee, dead plants, shipping to pay, etc. Anyway, I knew I could do better than that, so I waited until today (Monday) and tried again. First dial-up was another foreign rep, so I tired a 2nd time and got someone in America (again, I assume). This woman was very helpful, and she gave me no grief about the return. In fact, she said I could keep the plants and dispose of them as I saw fit.

Well, that last part was a bummer in a way. I'd taken today off, and had planned on building up several EarthTainers, but now I had to dispose of 11 Norther Highbush root cuttings (yes, they failed to ship one of the Jersey plants)? I couldn't just bring myself to toss them in the green garbage, so I redirected activities to blueberry mode. I had plenty of peat, forest hummus, and perlite left-over from recently filling my new raised beds. I mixed these up with some composting horse manure and soil sulfur, aiming for pH of around 4.5. I have a 3' wide strip of soil along the west side of my house that wasn't doing anything better than growing weeds, so I went to digging up holes. I dug around a foot deep by 2 feet wide. I planted six plants in the ground, and then potted the other five. The side location doesn't get sun before noon (due to my house) or after 5 or 6pm (due to the neighbor's house). So, these plants aren't going to get the full sun they demand. Furthermore, they're Northern Highbush, which means I assume badness, though I don't know exactly what to expect...plants die? don't yield any fruit? just turn out weak and un-vigorous? I figure when these plants don't work out, I'll go find some of the Southern HighBush varieties and the transplant will be easy now that I have the soil and pots and everything situated. BTW, I topped each plant hole with 1-2" of decorative pine bark.

So that's it. Do I have any hope of growing healthy blueberry bushes? Yielding any Blueberries? Will I get a refund? Do I deserve one since I planted the bushes? Did I just take three more years off my back dragging awkward 50lb pots around the yard all for nothing? Will I ever get around to building Ray's EarthTainers? Questions for the ethos. I'd really like to know the answer to those first two if anyone cares to take a stab at them.

Thanks,
Naysen
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Old March 27, 2012   #24
John3
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as fortyonenorth said - i bold the area of interest for you in the quote. They should grow but getting enough chill hours for fruiting is another question.

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Naysen,

The varieties you selected are northern highbush types that require a significant cold period in order to perform well. They are the mainstay of commercial blueberry production here in the great lakes region. I think you'd be better off with southern highbush and/or rabbiteye types. These will produce much better in warm weather areas.

Here's a link to a University of California website: http://ucanr.org/sites/gardenweb/Berries/?uid=19&ds=466
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Old March 27, 2012   #25
fortyonenorth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z_willus_d View Post
So, these plants aren't going to get the full sun they demand. Furthermore, they're Northern Highbush, which means I assume badness, though I don't know exactly what to expect...plants die? don't yield any fruit? just turn out weak and un-vigorous?
It'll be interesting to see what happens. My bet is that, with proper cultural conditions (e.g. low soil pH, etc.) the plants will simply fail to bear much fruit and may decline in vigor over time.
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Old March 27, 2012   #26
z_willus_d
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Yes, it will be interesting. If I can find some Southern Highbush types for a decent price in the meantime, I'll snatch them up and swap with these Northern impostors. I just wish I had a better way to dispose of them than tossing out. They all look happy in their new homes. At least the Elizabeth plants are supposed to be good in zones 4-9, so they might have a chance here.

Thanks for posting.
-naysen
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Old March 28, 2012   #27
lakelady
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Blueberries are one of those things I want to grow too, but have often been confused as to varieties, etc. My acidic soil is perfect for them and I understand my state of New Jersey is very high in blueberry production (along with cranberries) so I figure I should be able to grow them too. I think I'm going to wait until the local garden center offers the locally grown ones, while they are going to be more expensive to purchase, I know they are grown in this area for sure and the grower is local. I tried those roots you buy at the big box, and I got two sticks in the ground last year that I kept thinking were dead. Not planning to do that again.
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Old March 28, 2012   #28
janezee
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It sounds like you might already know that local nurseries often have bare root blueberries that will do best in your climate at this time of the year. Jersey blues should do well for you.

Check to get an early and a late to extend your season. It takes up to 5 years to get a full crop from them. give them plenty of room. A good sized Jersey can grow to 6' x 6'.

I've read that it's best to remove the flowers the first year and let the plant grow its roots the first year planted. I forgot last year when I put mine in, and got a handful of berries from each bush. Ooops! They were yummy, though!
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Old March 28, 2012   #29
kath
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakelady View Post
Blueberries are one of those things I want to grow too, but have often been confused as to varieties, etc. My acidic soil is perfect for them and I understand my state of New Jersey is very high in blueberry production (along with cranberries) so I figure I should be able to grow them too.
We're not that far from you and have tried several different highbush varieties over the years and all have done well with very little care. They do get big- 6' and taller and are wider than that, especially when fruiting, so for ease of picking and caring for them, I would suggest a minimum of 6' on center spacing.
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Old March 28, 2012   #30
Tormato
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Naysen,

Your blueberries will most likely not fruit, although they may grow as healthy bushes. Contacting your county cooperative extention agent may supply you with information on "chill hours" in your area. Then finding out what the chill hour requirements are, of each of your varieties, will tell you if you'd get any fruit.

4'-5' spacing is recommended for most high bushes. High bush blueberries eventually need to be pruned. So, they could be planted closer with more pruning.

Amending with peat is a good way to acidify your soil. However, only add peat from about 1 inch below soil level and lower. The top 1" should be just soil. Otherwise, peat at ground level could wick away water. A 4" layer of mulch is recommended. 1"-2" isn't enough.

For fert, I've had good results with HollyTone.

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