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What are your blueberry plant recommendations?

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  • What are your blueberry plant recommendations?

    I'm browsing blueberry plants at the moment and am at a loss as to which ones to go for, having seen some comments in the past that some varieties are great and some quite tasteless. What would you recommend? I'd like as wide a spread across the season as possible. I'm thinking of going for 2-2.5 ft spacing to create a hedge, rather than the wider spacing. Does anyone have experience of whether this was a good or bad idea? My PH isn't currently right for plants so I am planning to start them off in 30cm pots as per the RHS advice and then move them next season once I have got my soil PH sorted. My kids eat blueberries like there is no tomorrow so am thinking of going for 7 plants in total. Is that too few or too many? Of these 3 were going to be the Pink Lemonade variety - has anyone tried these? they look fabulous but am not sure whether they taste as good as they look! Sorry for so many questions. Any and all advice apprecaited

  • #2
    Can you add a location to your profile data, where you are will be relevant to planting blueberries in the ground. Thinking here that even if you acidify the ground that the subsoil and geology will steadily return the area to what it is now. You could have what transpires to an annual acidification. No problem but something to take into account.

    Varieties I find difficult, I was simply looking at the varieties in supermarkets with regard size etc, then check online for other aspects like size and cropping.

    Pink Lemonade seems reasonable, but search the variety here and elsewhere - not on sellers websites as they will say how good they are as they want to sell them primarily. If you are thinking of health benefits are they as good? Blue as a fruit colouring has certain chemicals and benefits (supposidly).

    How big do they start out? 30cm is not big, I used about 50's and they were never entirely happy, now have a walled bed several times bigger so hoping they improve.

    By the way the birds love them and they start eating them at about 4:00AM so you could end up with very happy wildlife rather then happy kids. I have blackbirds that basically poo blue for a few weeks.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by AllotmentMummy View Post
      I'm browsing blueberry plants at the moment and am at a loss as to which ones to go for, having seen some comments in the past that some varieties are great and some quite tasteless.
      Likewise, AllotmentMummy. At my friend's south Edinburgh allotment site I've seen bushes groaning with giant blueberries, but she says some of them are pretty tasteless. She has suggested Herbert as one she knows does well at her site and has good flavour.

      I'd be interested to see other folks' recommendations too.

      I know they are bird magnets, so maybe a hedge of bushes might be easier to cover with fleece when they're cropping? I don't like netting because I've seen daft birds injured when they get trapped, so I think fleece might be a better bet.
      Last edited by bario1; 02-01-2019, 07:30 PM. Reason: Fixed quote

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      • #4
        Hi,

        I tried to grow them in pots but got very little fruit. So I made an ericaceous bed, using old pavers to line the sides. The two varities that I have are Herbert and Blucrop - they are about 15 years old and produce very well every year. I pick buckets and fill the freezer, make jam, muffins, cakes, compote for yogurt, and eat them out of hand. One of my best investments for garden space, as they are very expensive to buy. There are more varities now, but check how big they grow (some are quite a bit larger than others). And always grow for flavour.

        I have a make-shift cage (tree stakes with netting) that I put the netting on when the fruit form and take it off after I harvest. Birds like them but wasps seem to love them, so I put a waspinator in the cage wehen I cover it and it works a treat. Top dress with bonemeal and erricaceous compost or pine needles, water with water butt water and that is it. Oh, and they are lovely in the autumn when the leaves turn red.

        Good luck!

        Comment


        • #5
          I have Pink Lemonade as well as several blue varieties, Chandler, Elizabeth, Patriot, Rubel and Bluecrop, planted in a very sunny ericaceous bed at my allotment. I havenít been disappointed in any of them, I would certainly recommend the Pink Lemonade as itís a bit different, slightly sweeter than the blue varieties and evergreen, also very prolific although the berries arenít huge. The only variety I havenít had success with was Northland, which I think might be suited to a cooler climate, it died over the summer when I was on holiday. All suffered in the summer heat last year, I didnít get much of a crop. I second the advice about bird protection, mine are in a fruit cage and before I constructed that the birds thieved the lot.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kirk View Post
            Can you add a location to your profile data, where you are will be relevant to planting blueberries in the ground. Thinking here that even if you acidify the ground that the subsoil and geology will steadily return the area to what it is now. You could have what transpires to an annual acidification. No problem but something to take into account.

            Varieties I find difficult, I was simply looking at the varieties in supermarkets with regard size etc, then check online for other aspects like size and cropping.

            Pink Lemonade seems reasonable, but search the variety here and elsewhere - not on sellers websites as they will say how good they are as they want to sell them primarily. If you are thinking of health benefits are they as good? Blue as a fruit colouring has certain chemicals and benefits (supposidly).

            How big do they start out? 30cm is not big, I used about 50's and they were never entirely happy, now have a walled bed several times bigger so hoping they improve.

            By the way the birds love them and they start eating them at about 4:00AM so you could end up with very happy wildlife rather then happy kids. I have blackbirds that basically poo blue for a few weeks.
            Hey Kirk - have added my location, didn't realise people could look that up to help with recommendations so thanks for that. I'm near Banbury. I'd prefer not to have to do an annual acidification but can do if necessary. Am wondering about constructing a suitable bed out of something like an old metal bath tub, rather than using large pots, if you haven't found the yield so great in containers. Plan was to start in 30s and move to 50s but the bath tub idea may be better. I don't know if Pink Lemonade is as health as blue blueberries but thought it might be a bit of fun with the children. Will let you know if I find out more about the relative health benefits.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by B Porcupine View Post
              Hi,

              I tried to grow them in pots but got very little fruit. So I made an ericaceous bed, using old pavers to line the sides. The two varities that I have are Herbert and Blucrop - they are about 15 years old and produce very well every year. I pick buckets and fill the freezer, make jam, muffins, cakes, compote for yogurt, and eat them out of hand. One of my best investments for garden space, as they are very expensive to buy. There are more varities now, but check how big they grow (some are quite a bit larger than others). And always grow for flavour.

              I have a make-shift cage (tree stakes with netting) that I put the netting on when the fruit form and take it off after I harvest. Birds like them but wasps seem to love them, so I put a waspinator in the cage wehen I cover it and it works a treat. Top dress with bonemeal and erricaceous compost or pine needles, water with water butt water and that is it. Oh, and they are lovely in the autumn when the leaves turn red.

              Good luck!
              Fab advice thanks Porcupine! Hadn't thought about wasps so that is really useful to know and to have a strategy for!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TrixC View Post
                I have Pink Lemonade as well as several blue varieties, Chandler, Elizabeth, Patriot, Rubel and Bluecrop, planted in a very sunny ericaceous bed at my allotment. I haven’t been disappointed in any of them, I would certainly recommend the Pink Lemonade as it’s a bit different, slightly sweeter than the blue varieties and evergreen, also very prolific although the berries aren’t huge. The only variety I haven’t had success with was Northland, which I think might be suited to a cooler climate, it died over the summer when I was on holiday. All suffered in the summer heat last year, I didn’t get much of a crop. I second the advice about bird protection, mine are in a fruit cage and before I constructed that the birds thieved the lot.
                Thanks TrixC, will look those varieties and those mentioned by others later tonight. There is a definitely a theme here on bird protection!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have 3 varieties of blueberry.

                  Grown in big pots in ericaceous compost.

                  Best of the 3 by far is called Polaris. Loads of tasty sweet berries and pretty foliage in autumn.

                  One other blue blueberry variety bought from a garden centre but I donít know the variety. Berries smaller and sharper but nice in cereal.

                  We have a pink lemonade which for us has been rubbish. We have had a total of about 3 berries over 5 years. Berries on this plant are sour and bland. Seems very different from other peoplesí experience. Tried moving from pot to garden and still no berries.

                  Polaris is tasty though.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The two that produce here came with the house so cant say variety, however they looked sick at first, pretty sure issue was ph , tested at 5.5 to 6.0 back then. Good doses of sulphur and now are romping away with new growth from the base. Birds only eat the blueberries here, leave raspberry, strawberry, black currant, etc alone

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by It never rains..it pours View Post
                      The two that produce here came with the house so cant say variety, however they looked sick at first, pretty sure issue was ph , tested at 5.5 to 6.0 back then. Good doses of sulphur and now are romping away with new growth from the base. Birds only eat the blueberries here, leave raspberry, strawberry, black currant, etc alone
                      How long did it take for your soil PH to come down? Great the birds leave your other fruit alone!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thank you everyone for really helpful suggestions. Think I am going to go for Blue Crop, Herbert, Polaris and Chandler for the blue blueberries, and see if I can find a space for more varieties next year.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AllotmentMummy View Post
                          How long did it take for your soil PH to come down? Great the birds leave your other fruit alone!

                          According to my scribblings, on the established used first 30g m2 sulphur on 14/1/18 and did similar each month as read on established it safest to spread large applications, till got to roughly 200 gm2 sulphur that read needed to drop ph 1 point on my clay soil (need to test it to confirm sometime but they look good now). On the new planting added 200g m2 to soil, mixed in and then planted them 2 months after, and they seemed to grow well this summer. Unlike one I had in a pot with b&q ericaceous compost that died. Like you I like to have different varities rather than just one, half the fun in my book and lengthens harvest window. Hope they grow and produce well for you.

                          Shame the slugs, raspberry beetle, etc arent as fussy as the birds

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by It never rains..it pours View Post
                            According to my scribblings, on the established used first 30g m2 sulphur on 14/1/18 and did similar each month as read on established it safest to spread large applications, till got to roughly 200 gm2 sulphur that read needed to drop ph 1 point on my clay soil (need to test it to confirm sometime but they look good now). On the new planting added 200g m2 to soil, mixed in and then planted them 2 months after, and they seemed to grow well this summer. Unlike one I had in a pot with b&q ericaceous compost that died. Like you I like to have different varities rather than just one, half the fun in my book and lengthens harvest window. Hope they grow and produce well for you.

                            Shame the slugs, raspberry beetle, etc arent as fussy as the birds
                            That is super useful info thanks, hope yours go from strength to strength this season!

                            Comment

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