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Blueberries

BLUEBERRIES





BLUEBERRIES

Vaccinium spp

Blueberries are the perfect fruit for small yards. They are a small bush and adapt easily to container-culture, allowing you to harvest healthy crops of fresh fruit even if you have only a few plants on your patio. Not only are they delicious, but blueberries are high in anti-oxidants that help prevent cancer and heart disease.

We grow two varieties of blueberry; Southern highbush (Vaccinium ashei X corymbosum) and Rabbiteye ( Vaccinim ashei). Southern highbush varieties do offer several important advantages such as being thinner skinned and the fact that they ripen 1 to 3 weeks earlier than the earliest ripening rabbiteye cultivars. The blueberries from southern highbush are as large as and often larger than rabbiteye blueberries which make it more desirable for fresh and processing markets. The plants are less vigorous, and plants do not become as tall as rabbiteyes (6-20' height) they are usually lower yielding, and are more vulnerable to diseases and insects. The low chilling requirement of the southern highbush promotes very early flowering and much greater danger of late spring frosts damage.

Rabbiteye cultivars, as a group, are easier to grow than southern highbush. They are more drought tolerant and less susceptible to Phytophthora root rot. They flower later in the spring making them less susceptible to late winter/early spring freezes. They require less organic matter and less mulching and are generally more vigorous. Rabbiteye fruit has a slightly tougher skin and slightly larger seed than southern highbush fruit. Their fruit usually stores better than southern highbush fruit. Rabbiteyes require cross-pollination from another rabbiteye cultivar(s). The harvest season for rabbiteye blueberries extends from May to July, depending on the cultivar. Rabbiteyes are best adapted to areas of Florida north of Ocala.

We specialize in the new varieties of blueberries bred by the University of Florida that have made blueberries an important commercial crop in the Southeast. New low-chill cultivars can be grown as far south as southern Florida. These very early crops are the first to market in the spring and bring very high prices, as much as $5-10.00/lb (highest for Organically grown fruit). You can grow these same cultivars successfully in your backyard. Like apples and peaches, blueberries require chilling to produce fruit, so you should plant varieties that match the chilling for your location. The best method for choosing blueberry varieties is to choose ones that are within about 100 chill hours of the averages for your area

Planting

Blueberries grow best in highly acidic soils. In soils with higher pH, they should be fertilized with Nitrogen Sulfate and mulched with pine bark or pine needles to increase soil acidity. Never use mushroom compost or manure.

A standard spacing for rabbiteye blueberries is 5 to 6 feet between plants in a row and 11 to 12 feet between rows.

Standard spacing for highbush blueberries is 4 feet between plants in a row and 10 feet between rows is suggested. If developing individual specimen plants give plants a 25 to 40 feet area each.

Pruning at planting. Remove low, twiggy growth entirely and tip remaining shoots to remove all the flower buds. About 1/2 to 1/3 of the plant top should be removed in this process Mulch 4 inches deep with pine needles or pine bark after planting.

Irrigate with sprinklers or otherwise water regularly if rainfall is insufficient.

Height: 5-20'

Spread: 5-6'

Tree Form: Bush

Pollination: Plant 3 varieties for best production with chill hours that match your plant zone.

Bears: May-June after 1 year

Light requirements: Full sun

Soil type: Well-drained pH 4.5-5.5

Pruning: Routine pruning of blueberries is unnecessary until plants are 3 years old. Cut any leggy growth so the plant will bush up. Make all cuts flush with the limb or the next largest branch. Remove dead, damaged or diseased limbs.

Fertilization: Light frequent fertilizing is best. Fertilize for zones 8-9 three times each year in late February, late May, an late July/early August. Do not fertilize after August. Make sure your fertilizer contains iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, copper and boron.

Maintenance: Easy

Hardiness Zone: 6-10 (select the right varieties for your Zone)


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Products 1-10 of 16
Sharpeblue Blueberry
Availability: Out of Stock
Price: $7.95


Item #: Sharpeblue Blueberry - One of the first low chill commercial southern highbush blueberries for Florida, bred by pioneering breeder Dr. Ralph Sharpe of the University of Florida. Ripens as early as late April/early May....
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    Austin Blueberry
    Availability: Out of Stock
    Price: $7.95


    Item #: Austin Blueberry - A new rabbiteye variety released by the University of Georgia that ripens a few days after Climax. Fruit is medium to large with good color and flavor
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      Farthing Blueberry
      Availability: Pick-up Only
      Price: $7.95


      Item #: Farthing Blueberry - Farthing blueberry is a southern highbush cultivar, vigorous but not a tall-growing plant. It has the somewhat squat bush structure of ‘Windsor’, but with more branchiness. The plant makes numerous...
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        Jewel Blueberries
        Availability: Out of Stock
        Price: $7.95


        Item #: Jewel Blueberries - Jewel Blueberries southern highbush are a patented release from the University of Florida breeding program with a moderately low chilling requirement, very early ripening, and high berry quality....
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          Millennia Blueberry
          Availability: Pick-up Only
          Price: $7.95


          Item #: Millennia Blueberry - Millennia is one of the more widely planted varieties in north-central Florida.Millennia was released as a patented variety by the University of Florida breeding program in 2001 as a southern...
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            Primadonna Blueberry
            Availability: Out of Stock
            Price: $7.95


            Item #: Primadonna Blueberry - Primadonna southern highbush was released in 2005 by the University of Florida. It is a large, high-quality, firm fruit that ripens from mid-April to early May. It's berries are large and have...
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              Tifblue Blueberry
              Availability: Out of Stock
              Price: $7.95


              Item #: Tifblue Blueberry - Tifblue is an older rabbiteye (Vaccinium ashei) variety shrub released from the University of Georgia that has been widely planted in southeastern Georgia and to a lesser extent in northern Florida....
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                Windsor Blueberry
                Availability: Out of Stock
                Price: $7.95


                Item #: Windsor Blueberry - Windsor is a vigorous southern highbush, with stout stems and a semi -spreading growth habit. Windsor berries are very large. Good firmness and excellent sweet flavor. Windsor appears to be best...
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                  Brightwell Blueberry
                  Availability: Out of Stock
                  Price: $7.95


                  Item #: Brightwell Blueberry - Brightwell is a medium chill rabbiteye blueberry for north Florida and the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Deer love blueberries. Brightwell is a medium chill rabbiteye blueberry for north Florida and the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Flowers late, so never damaged by late season frosts. Ripens in June-July,...
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                    Emerald Blueberry
                    Availability: Pick-up Only
                    Price: $7.95


                    Item #: Emerald Blueberry - Patented University of Florida bred southern highbush variety, excellent commercial cultivar and widely planted in central and south Florida south of Orlando. Vigorous growth, high quality berry....
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                      Products 1-10 of 16