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Final Blueberry Varieties

Posted by blueboy1977 TX9A/B (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 6, 14 at 16:42

This will be my 3rd time cutting varieties from my collection. I've been doing this for several years now and I finally figured out which plants are the tastiest in my corner of the world. I entered this season with Snowchaser, Springhigh, Emerald, Jewel, Sweetcrisp and Sunshine Blue. These were the best ones last season and got rid of all the other varieties I was growing. This season there were a couple more I identified that need to go.

I know I praised Snowchaser last season as the best flavored berry in my collection. This season it was alittle disappointing. I may have left too much fruit on it this season which may have contributed to my disappointment but the fruit was rather bland. Sweet, yes but lacking that strong flavor it had last season. I might give it one more season or I might not. Haven't decided yet.

Jewel was also on the looser list this season. It's an okay berry com paired to my others but not top notch IMO. I have 2 of these and they are nice looking plants that put out LBS of fruit but as these plants get bigger my rain water doesn't go as far so I have to selectively down grade my number of plants to keep up with the demand on my rain storage capacity. That being said Jewel is out the door!

Sweetcrisp stole the show once again! Springhigh was right behind it and my wife's favorite variety. Emerald is good not great but good enough plus it's a beast in the production department. Sunshine is still top notch and it's a late variety which is nice to extend the season for fresh eating. I think I will let Snowchaser and Jewel go but replace them with more Springhigh and Sunshjne blue as I only have one of each of those varieties. Springhigh is a very early and delicious variety. Emerald and Sweetcrisp round out my mid season varieties and Sunshine will be my late season. That's 3 months of top notch blueberry pickin. That's what I need!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 6, 14 at 18:34

I'd agree Sweetcrisp and Springhigh are the real stars. But I'm not ready to throw out everything else. Plus there's all those new varieties to test out. I may get as many as 7 new varieties to test this fall. I've though about later varieties to extend the season and would if they were on par with Sweetcrisp and Springhigh.

Blueboy have you tested Scintilla?


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

Scintilla is delicious. Springwide is also very good.
I had 2 of each of these this year. I must say I am very
Impressed by the amount of fruit Springwide produced.
Blueboy thanks for the article. I have about 10
Sunshine Blue and I also find them pretty good
and very productive. Have any of you tried propagating the
Sunshine Blues?
If so hardwood or softwood?


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

I did try scintilla and if I recall right it was gritty and pretty tastless. I got rid of that one in my first round of cuts. Other than Indigo Crisp I cant seem to get really excited about trialing any other varieties. The only variety that peaks my interest a little is Palmetto.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

I did get 2 cuttings of Sunshine Blue to root last year and they were hardwood cuttings.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

2 out of how many?


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 7, 14 at 11:51

I'm less apt to judge blueberry varieties too harshly on such a small sampling size as mine. There just aren't any bad BB and six plants is enough for me. Flavor and productivity are variable here, and both can sometimes go hand in hand. A low production year for a variety can lead to more intense flavors.

Another consideration is holding ability. Come June I'm actually tired of picking blueberries (got a big colander full of berries in the 'fridge right now) and sometimes I let the plants go for a long period of time. This is another area that I have to crown 'Sunshine Blue' as king. SB is my proven performer.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

Chad, don't remember the exact amount I started but I do know it wasn't very many. I remember thinking to my self they were a easy to root variety. Another option in trying right now and you may consider is airlayering. I believe you will get a bigger plant much quicker with this method as you can layer an established branch.

Mr. Clint, I agree there are not bad blues but there are top notch blues and if I'm going to pour my sweet blood and tears into them I want the best fruit possible. I'm growing all mine in pots to so its nothing to sell the ones I don't care for and just keep up grading.

Fruitnut, what new varieties are you going to try this year?


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 7, 14 at 20:08

blueboy:

My buddy has an in to get the 7 newest releases out of FL. We'll see.

I think the southern blueberry breeders are making real advances in blueberry eating quality. I'll be disappointed if at least two or three don't join or surpass Sweetcrisp and Springhigh for eating quality. Indigocrisp sure sounds like an upgrade on Sweetcrisp but you never know without trying. And I'd bet at least 1-2 others will equal or exceed Springhigh for flavor.

I don't know how anyone could argue that Sweetcrisp by itself isn't a leap forward in blueberry quality. I believe Indigocrisp will be just the first in a long line of superior blueberry varieties. Maybe the northern breeders will even join in and everyone can enjoy.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

If these are that good, you bet some breeder for northerns will see a chance to make something worthwhile. I'm happy though with my NHB cultivars. I'm not a huge blueberry nut anyway. Raspberries are my fav. Luckily they are easy to grow. Extremely hard to grow from seed though. It has been a challenge. I'm excited about the huge crop I see forming. Hundreds and hundreds of berries are coming.
So far all my blueberries are doing OK, growing slower than I would like. Time to hit them up with some ferts.
I'm going to get a decent crop, well maybe 200. Not a lot, but enough to evaluate. My wife loves blueberries, a happy wife is a happy life, else I probably wouldn't even grow them. I like fruit with a strong kick. Berries that are tart is what I would look for in blueberries if for me. The cooking types.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Sat, Jun 7, 14 at 20:32


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

I think I know of the "Buddy" you speak of!;) He is also a Buddy of mine and l forgot about the Raven. I want that one as well and hopefully it all goes through. Im excited for you to get those other FL varieties. Can't wait to hear your opinion on those. I may have to get rid of some to make room for more.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

Blueberries, raspberries that are too variable and yes when you get a good one it is good but most are sweet in bland sort of way.

Blackberries on the other hand are mostly good but can be very seedy, particularly the truly wild varieties.

We have a variety of Cumberland 'Blackcaps' that always have grown wild and spring up along the edging of woods. I have never seen them anywhere else. They are a purple raspberry and taste the best but of course one or two berries from a single stalk along the edge of the woods you barely get a taste of and wish you could get a hand full of them.

I think I will try and transplant the Cumberland Raspberry to a sunny patch in my yard and see if it will produce good in the sun, if it will even grow in the sun.

To my surprise a search of google and of Wikipedia doesn't turn up anything like this plant. It's a bluegreen foliage on the overleaf and stalk with a whitish sheen on the stalk and under the leaf, like a wax. Of course the flower looks like a undernourished blackberry flower and the raspberry like a purple, undernourished raspberry except they have a better taste than other raspberries (which sometimes have a bad taste in my opinion).
Best Regards


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

I am interested to add IndigoCrisp and Raven in my blueberry collection but as a home gardener, does anyone have any idea/suggestion, how can I get a couple of these varieties?


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

Yup, just wait like the rest of us. They will become available some time in the future. Only a hand full of people in the know will have access to these plants any time soon. The masses will have to wait.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

Can any of you advise me on how these favorite SHB's I'm seeing discussed here would adapt to me location (western Piedmont of NC, zone 7)? I'm quite content with rabbiteyes. I just like blueberries a lot in general. I'd be interested in trying some of these highly touted varieties if they'd be anywhere near as easy for me to grow as rabbiteyes. What are the factors that limit these SHBs' adaptability going north from Florida?


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 10:35

Main limiting factor is they bloom very early. They being the low chill, early ripening SHB bred in FL. Freezes during bloom are the main limiting factor in northern FL. In FL they use high volume sprinkles for freeze protection. In TX rabbiteyes are the main cultivars due the spring freezes.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

About the only thing they might need is some Winter protection,cousinfloyd.
Sweetcrisp is rated to 5F.I have two and last Winter,the temps went to 15F a couple times.I left them out in pots and right now,there is very little fruit on them.The buds possibly froze. Brady


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

Some SHB though are rated to even my zone. i have Southmoon and Legacy and both are rated to zone 6. They will not need any protection in zone 7. I know blueboy does not like Southmoon, as it is very different. I know two people whom it is their favorite. Legacy is supposed to be pretty good. So you could try some with no protection. I'm trying sweetcrisp, but without a greenhouse, I doubt I can make it work. I will protect it, but I do not have much confidence in it working.

Some cultivars I'm not even sure what they are like Cara's Choice. Rated to my zone, but I have no idea what it is? I know the breeder said it was his favorite. I guess it is SHB?
Mine is doing well here so far. Interesting color leaves, a blue-green. I have all mentioned in this post, trying them. My dependable producers for my zone are Toro, Liberty, and Chandler NHB, and I'm happy with them, good steady producers every year.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 11:34

No zone rating gets SHB thru a hard freeze when they are in bloom. Z7 NC won't have a winter freeze issue very often but when they bloom in Febr or March there will be an issue some years. In northern FL they have freeze issues most yrs because things like Snowchaser bloom in January. In fact they start blooming in fall.

There are relatively late blooming varieties like Star and Legacy. But these aren't really SHB, they are NHB/SHB crosses. I think Georgia has been breeding and selecting for late bloom because it is an issue anywhere north of FL.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 11:41


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

Both Jewel and Sweetcrisp survived our NYC winter with lows down to 4F, one particular Jewel had more die back than the others due to location but has rebounded well this spring. For me, Jewel starts to flower about the same time as Duke and Northland, Sweetcrisp a week or so later.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

"No zone rating gets SHB thru a hard freeze when they are in bloom:

Same with NHB

"But these aren't really SHB, they are NHB/SHB crosses."

Are not all SHB hybrids? No such thing as a wild SHB, as they are all hybrids, unlike NHB and Rabbiteye. Well all NHB cultivars used are actually hybrids of older NHB and/or wild types.
I bet every SHB has some NHB in it. My guess is here the early bloomers will bloom a lot later, they cannot bloom if frozen.
I know with other fruit for example Reiner cherries are just coming ripe now here. Some not yet, yet you already harvested yours. They do adapt to the conditions. Man those cherries are hard, and flavorful!
It's 20 degrees here in March, how can they possibly bloom? The answer is they won't they will bloom much later.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

For many of the newer cultivars, the lines between NHB, RE, and SHB are being blurred and made obsolete. Cara's Choice in point: A cross between 1) A cross of NHB (primarly) and NLB that is considered a NHB (Darrow X sibling of Bluecrop), and 2) RE, SLB, and a high-bush like species from N. GA (a different form of SHB than the traditional RE X NHB?). In it's lineage includes V. corymbosum, V. angustfolium, V. darrowii, V. vergatum (ashei), and V. constablaei. The cross was made about 1977, even though not introduced until 2000. Imagine what more complex crosses are in the works since 1977. Except for legacy cultivars, I think the NHB, SHB, and RE are mostly useful for classifying, generally, what zones they can be grown in. The usefulness of the classification is being diminished by hybridization.

Fruitnut: I thought I had read somewhere, in relation to peaches, that low-chill varieties grown in high chill areas can escape variable spring weather better than some high-chill varieties. I thought the idea was that it took longer for the low-chill varieties to break bud. Am I misunderstanding that? Would not the same principle (if it even is one) apply to blueberries?

In regards to the question of how to get IndigoCrisp, Raven, etc, there would be a legal route, via formation of a partnership with covenants to abide by non-propagation and non-sale. I have contemplated throwing this out there before, but haven't yet decided it's worth my time to draft up a partnership agreement, form the escrow account, and reship purchased plants. It's the last point that would be the most arduous. Lots of irons in the fire already.


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I would be willing to ship them out if all sent to me. As long as each pay postage. I sell stuff on EBay all the time, so I'm on a first name basis with the postal employees of Sterling Heights. I spent 8 years working for them too.
Yeah the lineage of all blueberries is complex, well many, like Cara!
The problem with low chill is once they meet their hours, and if you have a warm spell, those puppies are coming out. So I think you are incorrect about that. Seems they know when chill is met and assume it is time to grow as soon as the weather cooperates. Here, we rarely have warm spells as even high chills are met lone before the end of winter. I think I have about 1600 chill hours. So it may matter little what chill is for me.
Pluots were the first to grow here, Flavor King, Supreme, DD, FQ didn't mind -14 degrees at all, not even any tip die back. Pluots should grow really well here with our low rainfall.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 15:37

Drew:

Of course they bloom later in MI than FL or TX. And you probably won't have as many spring freeze issues as NC or TX. But the really low chill varieties bloom very early here, 1-2 months before last frost. Eric probably has better weather than I do but I still think that will be an issue for him.

Charina:

Usually low chill varieties bloom early but not always. For species like cherry, apple, peach, and apricot, cold winter fruits, the low chill varieties that have been bred are early bloomers. Those species evolved to use high chill as a means to delay bloom in spring. Take away the high chilling requirement and they don't need much heat to bloom.

Some low chill things like grapes, persimmon, pecan, and figs are southern, mild-winter crops. They can't use chilling to regulate the start of spring growth because there isn't much chilling where they evolved. They start growth late because they have a high heat unit requirement to start growth. Once they start growing they are very freeze sensitive.

Breeders would like to combine high chilling and high heat requirement into things like apricot. But so far haven't had much success. Those genes aren't available in nature. But some day I'd bet you'll see a late blooming transgenic apricot with the high heat gene from another species.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

  • Posted by babyg U10 S20/21 (MtnTop L (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 19:39

You guys are awesome. I will add a sweetcrisp and springwide next year!

I was planning to add Emerald, Jewel, BlueCrisp and Scintilla, but maybe I should wait for IndigoCrisp and Raven instead. Charina & Drew: If you are open to including more people in your buy, I'd love to join in.

Both my Sharpblue and Sunshine are puny little runts. Sharpblue is sad because I rescued it from the alkaline ground and potted it up recently, and sunshine? Well, it came from HD and was shabbily potted. I'm hoping they improve.

I got Misty and Jubilee around the same time (at a better nursery), and both are growing like crazy, but no fruit this year. The only one that gave lots of fruit was Southmoon. We had lots of pancakes.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

  • Posted by babyg U10 S20-23 (MtnTop L (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 23:15

I accidentally got a spring wide instead of a spring high. Has anyone tried it? Is I the same except for shape?
Should I keep it or drive 45 mins back to exchange it?

This post was edited by babyg on Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 2:54


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 9, 14 at 23:48

Springhigh is the variety that most like. I haven't even heard a report on Springwide. Keep what you've got and see how it does for you.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

  • Posted by babyg U10 S20-23 (MtnTop L (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 2:55

ok. thanks. I think I got it backwards. I'm happy to have found one of those anyway. :)


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

Springwide is awesome. Keep it! Very good flavor
IMO and very vigorous. I will post pic of mine soon.


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

I planted this Springwide as a liner exactly 1year
Ago. It put up a bunch of canes in the fall. It made
A good number of mid-season berries this spring.
I trimmed it back really good. It has taken off
since like crazy. Looking forward to next year
to see how much it will make!


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RE: Final Blueberry Varieties

I planted this Springwide as a liner exactly 1year
Ago. It put up a bunch of canes in the fall. It made
A good number of mid-season berries this spring.
I trimmed it back really good. It has taken off
since like crazy. Looking forward to next year
to see how much it will make!


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