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Specific blueberry questions

Posted by nico_girl3 9a (nico_girl3@yahoo.com) on
Wed, Apr 4, 12 at 21:17

I just bought my first blueberry bushes and was reading up on them. I cannot find any specific answers to my questions so I thought I'd check here. I bought 2 Southern Highbush-Misty blueberry bushes.

Can these pollinate each other or do I need to find another type for pollination?

I have sulfur in my well water, is this ok or should I water them from my treated house water?

I was also thinking about putting some oak leaves in their soil when I plant them in the garden, is this ok or should I buy some peat moss for them?

Can anyone recommend another type of blueberry for CA? I'm in zone 9a.

Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Specific blueberry questions

Rainwater is best. House water no, especially if it's been treated with salt, NaCl, for soft water. Reverse osmosis water would be OK. Your untreated well water would be OK if the pH is below 7, most isn't.

Spaghnum peat moss would be a better soil amendment than oak leaves. But some composted leaves would work as part of the additional organic matter.

My favorite blueberry is Sweetcrisp. Low chill, very sweet and crunchy. Star is pretty good for an early berry. Southmoon or Legacy for later fruit.


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RE: Specific blueberry questions

Misty will self pollinate but you will have better results if you have a couple more varieties. I would recommend Sunshine Blue in addition to the varieties Fruitnut recommended. Sunshine will tolerate higher ph than most other southern high bush and are very easy to grow. Misty is a finicky variety. You will have to severly thin fruitbuds every winter or the plant will die due to blight.


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RE: Specific blueberry questions

  • Posted by DWD2 10a, Sunset 17 (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 4, 12 at 23:10

nico_girl3, For what it is worth, the Santa Clara Chapter of the CA Master Gardeners did a blueberry test. Here are a few of their links:
http://www.mastergardeners.org/http%3A/%252Fwww.mastergardeners.org/mercury/jan2011column.html
http://www.mastergardeners.org/picks/bluevar.html
http://www.mastergardeners.org/picks/blueberry.html
Most recommendations I have seen for in ground blueberries suggest you need a bit of time to get your soil pH dropped. I grow all mine in pots. So, I do not have any direct experience with getting soil pH down. Here is a great link discussing that:
http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/12202/ec1304.pdf?sequence=1

Good luck with your garden!


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RE: Specific blueberry questions

First, you need to know your current soil pH. The sulphur in the water is fine unless your soil is already very low in pH (<4.0). Sulphur will help lower the soil pH and is the fourth or fifth most important nutrient for growin plants.

Oak leaves are good, but they will decompose very quickly. Ideally, you want a loose, well-drained soil with high organic content for blueberries. If the soil is heavy, addition of sand helps. Peat will lighten the soil and increase the organic content, but will break down much slower than the oak leaves.


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RE: Specific blueberry questions

Thank you for all the info. I'm looking into ordering some peat before I start planting. I'll have to see where to get my soil tested. I'll have to shop around for some other varieties of blueberries. Thanks again.


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