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Blueberries and wind chill???

Posted by blueboy1977 TX9A/B (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 22, 14 at 23:48

Showing 30 degrees tomorrow night with wind chills 20-25 degrees. Is the wind chill a factor in freezing the fruit buds and flowers? If so, I got some shuffling to do!!! I know if the temps get to 28 it will ruin my crop this year but not too sure about wind chill factor


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

Lol, just did a search on here and I asked the same question 2 years ago on this forum. Thanks again Fruitnut and Bam! You came to the rescue yet again!!!!


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

Wow blueboy,I'd never expect it to be colder in Houston than at my place this time of year!


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

BB my blueberries are all currently covered in a layer of ice:) It was a chilly morning here in Florida. The temperature alarm which was set at 31 went off at 3:27 AM so out of a warm bed and turned on the freeze protection system......


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

It does get cold here Brady just not as often as where you are. You are in zone 7 right?

Bam you got it set up right! Ive never even heard of temp alarm letting you know your getting close to dooms day.

They just lowered the wind chill to 15-20!!! Also freezing rain/sleet. I think I should start shuffling;)


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

They have the greater Seattle area listed as zone8,20F down to 10F.I think it was in the single digits once since I've been here,with the similar Arctic air that is happening in other areas of the U.S.Fifteen degrees is rare.


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 23, 14 at 12:38

blueboy:

You've got me wanting to try Snowchaser even though it probably needs bees for pollination. Can't find one now except at FHN and think I'll pass there. Springhigh sets without bees and I like it a lot. At least I think I've got Springhigh, another FHN question mark.

Your bb must be blooming as are mine even though I've been in chill mode for two months. Even Star is swelling big time. Have been eating a few Santa Fe all winter. Ripening in the cold has given them some tartness but it's such a sweet berry that they come out sweet/tart, really pretty good.

Sweetcrisp has been a very shy bearer due to growing/pH issues and lack of pollination. But not giving up on it as what little fruit I had last year was spectacular.

I only need about one each Emerald and Jewel. Several each Sweetcrisp and Springhigh. Would like several Snowchaser since I trust your evaluation. Scintilla was pretty good last year, surprising crispness, so want to try that again. Star is good enough to sell at the market and the plant has been very trouble free. Still have a bunch of unknowns that I'll ditch if they aren't good this year.

Thanks for your evaluations and input!!


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

Yup, I'm just about in full bloom on some of my plants. All have flowers at this point but some much more than others.

I wasn't real impressed with scintilla last season. It was an average berry for my climate and I got rid of it. Actually I got rid most of them this past fall and only kept the best ones for my area. Of all the varieties I had I only kept Emerald, Jewel, Snowchaser, Springhigh, Sweetcrisp and Sunshineblue. Got rid of all my Rabbiteyes as well but wanted to keep Brightwell and another for pollination. Only got rid of that many because we just moved out and will be building another house this year so I had to get rid of some. Also had to make some room for all my fig starts this year;)

You also have to keep in mind that Jewel, Springhigh and Snowchaser came from FHN but with that being said I'm certain that the ones I have kept are true to type. From what I've read about ripening times and pics confirm my belief. I had several other varieties that were questionable from them but I got rid of those any way and my Scintilla may have not been scintilla so I can't say for sure about that one.


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

BB,

The alarm is on my computer which is connected to my weather station. It does take some of the worry out of it on those nights when the weather service screws up.

Steve,

Don't feel bad on the sweetcrisp as they are shy bearers here also. I have been getting about 3 buds per stem but I notice this year on the oldest sweetcrisps which are going on the 4th year in ground that the cluster numbers are rising and the biggest couple bushes are about 6 clusters per branch. I guess maybe they just take awhile.


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 23, 14 at 15:54

There should be a number of Sweetcrisp reports this spring. It will be interesting to see what others experience.


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

So FHN has trouble shipping true to type, that stinks I was looking at their low chill varieties and the price and shipping looked reasonable, should I try elsewhere? Suggestions?


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

All, I'm new to GardenWeb and have been reading through the information on blueberries. I appreciate the information that you all have shared.
I will be planting at least 10 blueberry bushes and have started creating the raised beds. I want to get the soil conditions right and I'm hoping you will comment and provide any suggestions.
I have created three separate beds total approx. 500 sq. ft. I ordered 10 yards of a ground pine bark/compost/sand mixture from Natures Way here in Houston. And just picked up 15 bales of peat moss from Lowes that I am going to mix in. I'm reading that getting some agricultural sulfur to mix in is recommended as well.
Does this seem to be the right approach to you all? Any advice is appreciated.


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

I've noticed the same thing on my Sweetcrisp this year. I had a bunch of small twiggy wood with fruit buds and a lot of 7 to 8 buds branches. I actually went ahead and thinned out buds on Sweetcrisp this year. That's a first for me! I can't help it, y'all know I like to over kill everything;)

On FHN, I have received wrong varieties but the only one I can confirm that was wrong was Sweetcrisp. After that whole cluster mess a few years ago they sent me a bunch of free replacement plants I'm almost 100% certain they were all correct. Can't remember exactly but it was around 12 varieties. I can tell you that the tissue culture plants they sell are small but very healthy and all of them grew great! All were exceptional specimens and 3 to 4 ft tall after one year. Honestly, I would probably order from them again even though they screwed up the Sweetcrisp orders. Like I say all the other plants seemed true to type and they carry some varieties that are hard to find.

Musclehead, cool name by the way, sounds like you are in the right track. If using Houston city water you will have to stay on top of your soil Ph. Rain or pond water is best if you can do it.


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

Cool, I think I will take a chance and order from them. I read the thread from a couple years back, pretty funny how it started out all rosy and then got pretty bleak there at the end. The only issue for me is it will be a couple years until I know if I got what I ordered, but the main goal here is to grow some blueberries so if I get anything I will be happy. Sorry about the temps and wind chill there, here in Peoria, AZ. we only had about 4 nights back in December that dropped below freezing, and right now it is absolutely perfect, but we pay for it in the summer


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

Thanks Blueboy .. appreciate the confirmation. I have a well for the landscape but I suspect it trends towards alkaline. I'll have to put some work into understanding how to counteract its affect.


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RE: Blueberries and wind chill???

When I first started I had to use city water. I would fill up my 55 gallon drums and add sulfuric acid untill the Ph would drop to around 5. You can get the acid at Auto Zone. They carry it in quart plastic bottles. Just ask for battery acid. You will need a good liquid Ph meter. The one I have has a little glass bulb that gets submerged in the water to get the reading. You will also need buffer solution to calibrate the meter as well. I used one of the child cold medicine syringes and took note of how much it took to drop one full drum to Ph 5 and then just replicated it to all my other drums.

Another thing to be carefull with is the sulfer. Its very easy to over due it in pots or a raised bed situation. If you use the sulfuric acid to lower your waters Ph I wouldnt even use sulfer in the beds. Sulfer is a guessing game and takes months to see the full effect. If you do use it, alitte goes along way! I have over acidified with sulfer and its a pain flushing beds and pots trying to leach out and raise the soil Ph if lowered too much. IMO using sulfuric acid in the water is the way to go and leave the sulfer out of the equation. If you can do it, rain water is the ticket! Its a pain getting all the storage available to do it but its well worth it in the long run. These plants can live for 20 or more years with the right care and rain water cuts a lot of rigamaroo out it.


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