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? on growing blueberries in greenhouse

Posted by rad7 7 (rog7@earthlink.net) on
Wed, Feb 28, 07 at 9:01

My question is when starting blueberries from sprouts can you put them in a greenhouse over the winter so they will not go dormant.

I know blueberries have chill times but for the first two or three years could you over winter them in a greenhouse to get more growth out of them.


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RE: ? on growing blueberries in greenhouse

rad:

Like many other plants, blueberries grow in flushes, not continuously, and not all year round. Keeping them in a greenhouse over winter is not going to induce more or faster growth. On the contrary, if you keep them very warm over the winter it could interrupt their normal life cycle, although they will try to enter dormancy regardless of conditions.

The best way to start blueberry plants with maximum growth is to give them an outdoor location with well prepared soil, good drainage, and full sunlight.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA


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RE: ? on growing blueberries in greenhouse

Rad: It depends on what bb cultivars you are growing and what the conditions are like in your gh. I am overwintering three cultivars in my gh. They are southern highbush with low chilling requirement: Star, Santa Fe, and Southmoon. They are evergreen types, at least the way I'm growing them. But they do have a chilling requirement of about 200-400hrs. Mine had plenty of chill this past winter even while budding and flowering and while retaining all their leaves. They have now finished flowering and I've harvested the first fruit off Southmoon. It started blooming quite a bit in the fall, bloomed all winter and I just pulled the last of the bloom off because it has too much fruit already.

So, if you have low chill types, you could likely get enough chilling in most gh. But I won't try it with any of the northern highbush. I did and some were covered with fruit but had few leaves due to insufficent chill. Much fruit and few leaves equals very poor fruit quality.

I will add that the fruit quality of the three cultivars I mentioned is outstanding. By far the best bb I've ever eaten. But i leave them on the bush until some of the fruit begins to shrivel. They really sweeten up with two extra wks on the bush. These cultivars are worth trying. Of the three Santa Fe had the best fruit last yr. But Star has really big easy to pick fruit. And Southmoon is very low chilling with excellent fruit. I've read that the southern highbush have the best fruit quality of any bb but this is very subjective and your mileage many vary.

The Fruitnut


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