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  • Gina's blueberry log

    In the interests of keeping track of what I'm doing with my blueberries, I thought I'd start this thread. Please feel free to ask questions or make comments.

    Briefly, I have 60 or 70 plants, including the newer small ones obtained this year. The plan is to keep them in the new bird enclosure and have enough room in there to navigate. There will be no BB ghettos for extra plants as I have had with young fig trees.

    Recently I found on Craig's list some 15 gallon pots, and purchased a good number of them. I'm now in the process of moving up all the young plants from 2 and 5 gallons into the larger ones. They will take up more room in the enclosure, so I'm also having to get rid of some older plants. Once in 15 gallon containers, I won't be able to deny their existence as easily as I can the smaller containers, lol.

    I recently mentioned in another thread that I'm having a nice amount of fall blooming BBs. That continues, and today there were several honey bees working them. A good sight.
    SoCal, zone 10.
    www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

  • #2
    That's great! what varieties are you growing? Are you starting them from cuttings?

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    • #3
      Hi figgrower. A few years ago I started blueberries from cuttings just as a botanical exercise, but almost all of my current plants have been purchased or gifted.

      I'm currently growing all Southern Highbush varieties: Emerald, Jewel, Misty, Sharpeblue, Southmoon, Biloxi, SnowChaser, Springhigh, Scintilla, Raven, SweetCrisp, Abundance, Star - from memory so I might have missed one or two. I've also tried to grow O'Neal, Sunshine Blue, and Ozarkblue, but it's too warm here for a couple of those. We have zero chill hours so I favor those with really low numbers. Am planning on getting rid of Abundance and Star as well. A number of them are still young and I haven't tasted them yet.
      SoCal, zone 10.
      www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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      • #4
        This week's plan is to mulch, mulch, mulch... I've almost finished mulching all the pots and have just begun cardboarding/mulching the bare ground around them. Just picked up a load of free mulch yesterday. I get about a yard at a time. The pickup takes just over an hour including travel, loading and unloading. I want the BB enclosure to be weed free after the rains come.
        SoCal, zone 10.
        www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sounds exciting! You mean to say you get blueberries in an area with no chill hours? I have a sunshine blue that I got since its listed as one of the lowest chill requirements so hoping for some fruit next year.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bahamadan View Post
            Sounds exciting! You mean to say you get blueberries in an area with no chill hours? I have a sunshine blue that I got since its listed as one of the lowest chill requirements so hoping for some fruit next year.
            Yes, lots of them. And the breeders keep developing varieties with even lower chill requirements. I have success with plants with 300 or less chill hours, and they are grown as evergreens. And for those of us in warmer regions (Southern Calif here, no frost area) they can bloom at almost any time, though mostly in early spring.
            SoCal, zone 10.
            www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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            • #7
              Sounds like a worthwhile venture then, what mix do you have yours in the 15 gallons in? I have some pine bark on hand, although I'll probably have to figure out how to break up the pieces without a chipper as they're probably too big for growing medium. I have some potting mix I can add to that, and casuarina leaflets which should function as mulch the same as pine needles.

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              • #8
                I don't use a specific mix. I go by eye and use whatever I can get my hands on for not too much money. (Between the figs and blueberries, I have far too many things in large pots.) Right now I'm using a mix from a local wholesale nursery that they are giving away. It's been used, but is great. And the price is right. It seems to have some pine bark, peat moss, perlite, and a bit of sand in it. I've been using this a couple years and haven't had any problems.

                As for mulch, I don't think it matters that much what you use, as long as you use it. I use shredded 'green waste', free from the landfill. As for using Casuarina (those grow here too), they may look like pine, but I'm not sure their leaves would have the same supposed acidifying effect.
                SoCal, zone 10.
                www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

                Comment


                • #9

                  We had a tiny rain a couple days ago. Not quite a quarter of an inch. When it's 'drought', even that much is a blessing. From 4 downspouts, I was able to harvest almost 200 gallons. Today with the aid of my trusty submersible pond pumps and hoses, I was able to water my blues with 100% rainwater instead of the carbonate-loaded tap water that the local water district is getting from wells. Wretched stuff, but it's better than totally dry.

                  Still lots of opening flowers on the plants, and fortunately a few honeybees working them. Hope other pollinators find them too. Probably the wrong time of year however. Fruits seem to be setting.
                  SoCal, zone 10.
                  www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've been trying to save rainwater for the blueberries. Just found out my city and cities nearby offer a rebate incentive for us to buy and install rain barrels, for $100 or the cost of the barrel, whichever is lesser, and we're going to get one in advance of El Nino. Perhaps your city has the same offer?
                    Last edited by Sarahkt; 12-15-2015, 08:12 PM. Reason: typo
                    Sarah
                    Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

                    Comment


                    • Gina
                      Gina commented
                      Editing a comment
                      yes and no. Something like that is in the works, but it has to await funding. I had called about it, and am on a waiting list. We'll see.

                    • Inkfin
                      Inkfin commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Somebody might have posted (or will post) cheaper rain barrels on Craigslist in your area. I bought food grade 50 gallons barrels in my area for $15 each including home delivery :-) The problem: we hardly get that much rain here in Zone 8B Texas, I filled about 100 gallons waiting 6 full months!

                  • #11
                    Hmm....saw the title and expected a yummy desert, I have been misled.
                    Cutting sales start Nov 1 at 9PM eastern time as always at willsfigs.com

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                    • #12
                      Still waiting for El Nino to kick in and drop some significant rain. Not much time left in our rainy season. I have not collected nearly enough rain water yet. A slight chance of rain for mid next week.

                      My Blueberries have more blossoms on them than I've ever seen. If they all set, I may have to strip some fruits. The past week they have been just covered with loud buzzing bees, then today, the bees are just gone even though it's a nice, sunny, still day. I suspect someone moved a hive. There also have been a couple bumble bees working the plants, and occasionally a hummingbird so there should be good enough pollination even if the bees are now gone.
                      SoCal, zone 10.
                      www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Almost a year later....

                        I just picked - and ate - about a cup of ripe blueberries. What a treat. Looks like it's going to be a long season. The plants had good bloom late last year, and now seem to be heading into the main bloom. There are a good number of bees working them, but not as many as last year. There are large bee boxes across the small canyon in an avocado orchard. But because of the drought, they cut back and white-washed the entire hillside. Not sure what's happening with the bees, or if they'll move the hives. I hope not. There are lots of other avos and lemon trees in the area.

                        And the rain holders are almost all full. I had wanted to move one of my rain pools to a more shaded spot, but didn't get the chance. Should have done it in the summer... We got about 5 inches of rain the past couple weeks.

                        I hope I'm not wrong, but it looks like it will be a good berry season this year. The best tasting berries right now in January are Snow Chaser and Kestrel.
                        SoCal, zone 10.
                        www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Wow, congratulations Gina. Let's see, I'm looking at hmmm...6 months before I could pick some.
                          Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
                          Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

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