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  • Someone should kick this off, and I've got just the question.

    I currently grow rabbiteye blueberries, but I want to lengthen my season. I've been thinking about growing some southern highbush so I can get some May/June berries, but I'm not sure how they do here. I live in zone 8a as of now, but that could change shortly, and I may move as far north as 7a within a few months. Would southern highbush still work that far north, or should I consider going for northern highbush and extending my season the other direction (into August/September). I feel like zones 7/8 are right on the border of where you can grow northern or southern highbush, so I don't know if they are worth my effort. My local Lowes/Home Depot do sell southern highbush, though they have more rabbiteyes than anything.

    Thoughts? If you think I should sway one direction or the other (southern vs northern highbush), are there any varieties that you think are better tasting or better adapted than the rest?

    Thanks,
    Brett
    Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

  • #2
    Hi Brett. I have zero information on which berries would do well in the areas you mention. Since I live in zone 10, I need berries with the lowest chill possible.

    Because of hybridization, the line between southern and northern highbush is pretty much blurred. Because of this, I would suggest you find out the number of chill hours from both areas and see which specific varieties (North or southern HB) qualify for where you live.

    Hopefully someone with knowledge of colder areas can give you more specific information.
    SoCal, zone 10.
    www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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    • #3
      Brett,
      Ive used the resources at this website for a few years... http://www.fallcreeknursery.com/nurs...thern-highbush lots of very good info.
      Including their ripening chart, http://www.fallcreeknursery.com/asse...art_poster.pdf
      Many varieties are usually available at Lowes... I was able to purchase O'neal and Misty 2 years ago (on clearance) and they survived the polar vortex and fruited last season in pots. Usually southern highbush don't fare well at my location.
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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      • #4
        No one in their right mind would move to a colder zone

        This place has good info and sells lots of varieties

        http://nursery.degrandchamps.com/home-gardener/
        http://nursery.degrandchamps.com/com...mid-varieties/

        Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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        • #5
          I'll second looking at the info at FallCreek. I've spent much time there learning about various varieties. Unfortunately, they are only wholesale and don;'t sell to the public.
          SoCal, zone 10.
          www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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          • #6
            I have considered southern highbush also. I think that their chill hour requirements are too low for us. I think that they would have a tendency to bloom too early and loose many to late frost. I think that there would be some success, but mostly limited. Rabbiteyes do great here and are plenty good. I would like to add the variety "Ochlockonee". I see that Isons and JF&E (out of stock past two years) carry them). If you want to try a northern highbush, I understand that Elliot is the best choice this far south.
            PPP
            Eatonton, GA zone 7b/8a

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            • #7
              Everyone:
              Thanks! That info from fall creek was outstanding. Dunno how I've never come across it before. Looks like I can grow a couple northern and southern highbush varieties (and likely I will, shortly!)

              pppldj:
              I grow Ochlockonee as one of my four rabbiteyes. Great variety. It didn't do much the first year I had it, but year 2 the dang thing took off. Awesome contrast to my other big producer "delite", which is much more tart in flavor. I'd offer to try to air layer one for you, but there's a good chance I'll be moving soon, so I don't know I'd be able to get it to you, and it might be a bit late for soft-wood cuttings, since mine are starting to bud out already.

              We do have a place in Athens that sells Ochlockonee (Cofer's Nursery). I'm always looking for an excuse to go there, so if you'd like I can see if they've got any in stock and get back to you. They carry a good selection of blueberries (8-10 different rabbiteyes, and the occasional northern/southern highbush) and figs (LSU gold, celeste, LSU purple, brown turkey, black mission...occasionally something else), in addition to a bunch of other fruits. As a bonus, if you go to their website, you can print a 20% off any one item coupon :-D good through the end of the month. Just sayin...since you're Eatonton is only an hour south.
              Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

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              • #8
                Brettjm, Yes, please let me know. I would like to pick some up. What size do they sell?
                PPP
                Eatonton, GA zone 7b/8a

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                • #9
                  PPP

                  Typically 1 and 3 gallon, if I recall. When you find the 1 gallons, they're only 9-10 bucks, but the 3 gallon are like...25ish. I'll stop by there tomorrow and PM you if they've got any in stock...they're pretty bad about keeping their web site updated, so I wouldn't trust that.
                  Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

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                  • #10

                    There are some SHB that will do well in your zone. I know Sunshine Blue is rated for northern zones and its a great little plant with excellent fruit. Alittle tart when they first turn blue so you have to let them hang at least a week or two and they are delicious. If I was at work I could send you some links to others that would probably be good in that area but cant recall the site links. I believe its a breeding program in Georgia if recall right or maybe North Carolina....I cant recall right now. If your growing Rabbiteyes and want to add another Brightwell is a top notch cultivar. Its was my favorite Rabbiteye by far when I used to grow them a few years ago. Ive resorted to only growing SHB now. Good luck and keep us posted.

                    Rob

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