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  • Which blueberies to add?

    I am in Louisiana on the zone 8b/9a line planning ahead for this fall's planting, and would like to add a few more varieties of blueberries, so I am looking for your advice on some potential varieties for my home blueberry patch. I already have 2 mature unknown 25+ year old blueberry bushes, plus Blue Suede, Premier, Legacy, and Pink Lemonade that are 2-4 years of age. I have found a local supplier (Blueberry Farm / Nursery) that sells the following varieties, which I would like your thoughts on:

    Southern Highbush:

    Emerald, Farthing, Stars, Sweetcrisp


    Alapaha, Ausitn, Brightwell, Powder Blue, Savory, and Vernon

    I know I want to try Sweetcrisp given all the talk on the net about this variety, and probably want to mostly stick to Rabbiteye due to higher pH range tolerance, my local native soil pH runs about 5.7

    If anyone has any thoughts on the others, I would like to hear them.

  • #2
    Sweetcrisp and Farthing are the best!
    Zone 8B, Texas


    • #3
      there are advantages and disadvantages to buying locally. Check out the online descriptions of your varieties above vs descriptions of Kestrel, Titan and Brightwell. I ordered mine from Just Fruits and Exotics.
      Bob C.
      Kansas City, MO Z6


      • #4
        I just wanted to bump this back up to the top as I plan on going to buy more blueberry plants in the next week or two.


        • #5
          Just started with my blueberries but did a lot of research on rabbiteyes beforehand.

          If you want an early blueberry but occassionally have spring frosts that will freeze blooms, Alapaha and Vernon might be good for you. They bloom about a week-two weeks later than Climax and produce fruit earlier or at the same time as Climax.

          Brightwell is an earlier berry and many find it one of the best tasting of the rabbiteyes. Ive always heard it praised for flavor.

          Powderblue is a good mid-blueberry. It's a better Tifblue, and while I've never seen it on a list of "best flavor" blueberries I've never seen it on a "bad flavor" list either. It's also a decent pollinator as its blooming times can overlap with both some of the early varieties and some of the late. For example, it can cross pollinate both a Brightwell and my Ochlockonee (a late blueberry.)

          Austin I've heard is a decent blueberry. Can be a little seedy though not badly so. I think most people grow it as a cross-pollinator for early varities, and as a bonus, it also produces decent fruit. But they don't plant it for itself, if that makes any sense.

          And I don't know anything about Savory.

          Titan is one of the newer "big things" in rabbiteyes (both literally and figuratively) but I did not get one myself because I read it could be prone to splitting if there is a lot of rain...and of course spring can be a time for a lot of rain in the South.

          This is just info I compiled from many sources before buying my own plants and is based on what others have told me and not personal experience, but I hope it is able to help you somewhat.


          • #6
            Also, here is a website that may be of benefit to you: http://www.smallfruits.org/blueberri...oc_nov0206.pdf

            it discusses the pros and cons very well of many of the varieties you are looking at.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Inkfin View Post
              Sweetcrisp and Farthing are the best!
              I agree. You are best with at least two different highbush varieties. While the rabbits and highbush can cross, their bloom times don't overlap well so best to have multiples of both varieties.
              Cutting sales will start Tuesday Nov 1 at 9:00 eastern


              • #8
                Well I just went and bought my new blueberrys for fall planting today
                New ones include 2 Sweet Crisp, and 1 each of: Indigo Crisp, Farthing, Brightwell, Savory, Powder Blue and Vernon

                I could not find much on Savory online, but the guy I bought them from thinks highly of them as a very late producing rabbiteye
                If anyone in SE Texas is looking for blueberries, I bought these from Creekwood Farms just off Hwy 12 in Vidor Texas, They are mainly a commercial blueberry farm / commercial nursery, but will sell retail also, suggest call ahead though. the Owner Mike Beard is very knowladgble on blueberries, also teaches people how to grow, and has been growing blueberries for decades (they are the exclusive blueberry supplier for HEB (big texas grocery chain)) They only advertise 7 or 8 variteties online, however he has at least that many more in limited supply / test crops some of which I have never heard of online.
                If you are interested in Sweetcrisp though, get them soon, as he has limited number (maybe a couple of hundred when I was there) and plans to dropping them (putting them in his burn pile) in favor of Indigo Crisp due to poor fruiting performance on Sweetcrisp in our area (he claims Indigocrisp fruit about 4 times the amount of fruit as Sweetcrisp here) Prices were good too, he charged my the 50-100 rate of $6 per 3 gallon plant even though I only bought 8 and the plants look far better than the typical garden center plants, well worth the 70 mile drive for me.
                p.s.if you need to contact them their web page is out of date and published email does not work, you must call on the phone. (I learned that one the hard way)

                also I hope this is not a rules violation, but I cross posted a similar message on another board


                • #9
                  also I hope this is not a rules violation, but I cross posted a similar message on another board
                  Not that I am aware.

                  I'm surprised you were able to get Indigocrisp. Just Fruits and Exotics sold some online earlier this year, so someone out there is selling them to people.

                  Good luck with your berries.
                  SoCal, zone 10.
                  www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.


                  • #10
                    Th Indigocrisp were from from his initial limited size test planting, and not yet generally offered or marketed. Apparently he has a practice to test growing varieties before offering them for sale to see how they perform in the local climate. I still need to get them planted in the ground, but before I do I will try to get a picture posted of them all lined up in pots.


                    • #11
                      I just wanted to post back to this thread, it has been 2 years since the initial planting, all of the 8 bushes planted in Sept 2016 are still alive, though the Indigo Crisp is by far the smallest, the 2 Sweep Crisp are growing well and are about 5 ft tall and are tied for the largest, though the fruit yield has been limited. Though overall the ones I have been most impressed with in terms of growth are the 4 Pink Lemonade blueberry bare root plants that I planted in the spring of 2016, though not yet as large as the 8 nursery grown plants that were in 3 gallon pots planted in Sept 2016, the two largest Pink Lemonades are getting close.

                      In fact out of the about 15 blueberry bushes I have planted in the last 4 or 5 years only one has died, it was either Legacy or Premier, I think Premier though the tags may have been reversed on those two. It slowly declined and then failed to do anything this year. The Blue Suede that I bought as a root bound plant from a nursery having a going out of business sale continues to hang on, and grow a little each year, though it looked a bit touch and go a couple of years ago.


                      • #12
                        Did you ever plant an emerald? I picked up 4 on clearance but I think frost will get them
                        8a/8b = 100 In-ground trees, 10 in 25 Gallon Pots, 20 in 7 gallon sips. Goal = find the top 3 non splitting commercial quality and graft them on every tree. "It isn't over till I'm all figged out"


                        • #13
                          No Emerald here, mine are Sweet Crisp, Farthing, Savory, Vernon, Brightwell, Indigo Crisp, Powder Blue, Blue Suede, the above mentioned either (Premier or Legacy, which ever one did not die), Pink Lemonade as well as two 25+ year old varieties unknown differing of Rabbit Eye blueberries. One of each except for 2 Sweet Crisps, and 4 Pink Lemonades. Most of which are growing well, planted over the last few years, the slowest growing being Indigo Crisp, followed by Savory, and then Farthing which is doing the best of these 3 by far. It should be noted that both Indigo Crisp and Farthing are southern high bush which have a reputation of being less drought tolerant, and needing more care than Rabbit Eye and are planted in a location where limited irrigation is available. Though the 2 Sweet Crisps planted next to them (5 and 10 feet away) at the same time are also SHB and are both thriving.

                          For reference see attached photo taken today (yes I know the grass needs to be cut) showing in a row from left to right BlueSuede (by fence) then large gap, Sweet Crisp, Powder Blue, Indigo Crisp, and Brightwell The larger fruit trees in the background are 2-5 year old Peach trees.

                          p.s. the 2 large 25+ year old rabbit eyes can be seen in the extreme background along the fence line to 20-40 feet the right of the oak tree in the shade, the larger one is obscured by the peach tree behind the Brightwell, these are about 100 feet away

                          Also shown in second photo is the largest of the pencil sized bare root Pink lemonades planted in the spring of 2016 about 6 months before the row of 3 gallon potted blueberries shown in the other photo, it is now a bit over 5 ft tall.
                          You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.
                          Last edited by Isaac-1; 09-07-2018, 04:38 PM.