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  • Higher pH growing blueberries?

    I have a few various blueberry bushes that have grown without much attention in the yard for years, this year I decided to add a few more and pay a bit more attention to them as I was down to 2 bushes of unknown variety. I have since added Premier, Legacy and Pink Lemonade. I live in west central Louisiana along the 8b/9a line and we tend to receive a wide range of chill hours, although we are along the 600 chill hour line on the map, records from the nearby (now closed) ag station and other sources show chill hours range from 500 - 1,200 over the last 15 years, with most years in the 750 ballpark, and only 2 years of that under 600 including this year, and 2 years over 1,000. Now back to my question, I would possibly like to add a few more blueberries to my fruiting plant selection next year, but don't want to add much to my gardening work load, so idealy I would like a plant and forget it variety of blueberry, that still has good tasting fruit even if it is not a plentiful producer as I have space. My local unmodified soil pH is around 5.5 - 5.8 so just a little high for the typical blueberry published range, but as can be observed by my 2, 6 ft plus tall bushes that have received no real care in years tolerable at least for some varieties.

    thanks for your thoughts

  • #2
    Hi Ike,

    I don't know what would be good varieties for your area, but I would think with pH in that range you'd be fine as your existing plants show. Perhaps you could see what is available in your area, and then look up which are better tasting.

    In my part of the world (socal), there are a couple varieties that do sort of OK without much messing about (Misty and Sunshine blue). And our local pH tends to be over 7.
    SoCal, zone 10.
    www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.


    • #3

      If your two bushes are happy and healthy just do what you have been doing. PH does not mean as much as the bicarbonates in the irrigation water. Would definitely go with sweetcrisp. It is the BEST BB out there and it is an incredibly strong and healthy variety. They are not super productive though until they are a few years old. If the BB plants need more attention they will let you know. Your PH is close enough that just the addition of ammonium sulfate as a fertilizer will help the plants a great deal and make the soil acidic enough that the plants are not shorted on iron.
      Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies, Sweetcrisp is definately on my short list for next years plantings.


        • #5
          Some of the real experts can chime in here, but I have read and heard from growers that the rabbiteyes are usually much more tolerable of higher pH than southern highbush.