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Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

Posted by blueboy1977 9 (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 5, 12 at 19:12

Seem to be struggling with sweetcrisp here in houston for some reason. Does anyone growing sweetcrisp have problems with wilting when plants are in full sun with 95 degree plus temps? Off all my varieties of SHB this is the only variety that has to be put in partial shade for me. If not the new shoots and branches wilt so badly I wonder if the plants are going to make this season for me. They seem to have pretty thin shoots and braches compaired to other varieties and maybe thats why they cant take the heat like my other varieties. Im watering them 2 times a day in this heat to try to overcome the stress. Once in the morning and again in the evening. Sometimes I will give them a drink in the middle of the day aswell if Im home. Any thoughts or suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

I've had the same issue with some of my new Sweetcrisp. I've been watering every other day. Two to three waterings a day could be causing issues with water logged soil. I'd give them some shade until they get established and water no more than once a day.


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RE: Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

10-4 Fruitnut! Sounds like a good plan of attack. I will put up some shade cloth for them in the morning. Ive just been putting them up next to the house where they get full sun only 6 hours or so a day. As soon as the sun hits them they wilt big time. Doesnt matter how much water I give them. Do you think a shade cloth will be enough in full sun or full shade all day?


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RE: Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

Some varieties are known to struggle in the heat. It's funny how we get to know individual plants and what they like and don't like with each growing season.

RM


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RE: Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

Its all part of the learning curve RM!


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RE: Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

Well, I put up some shade cloth in full sun and slid those babies under it and it worked like a charm. Very little wilting if any was present at 3:30 in the afternoon. I only watered them once this morning also. I will keep my fingers crossed! With all the hype about this variety I really hope I can sample them next spring. Sweet Crisp and Southmoon are the only two varieties Im really pumped about for next spring. Ive read nothing but great reviews about both varieties.

Fruitnut, did you get any berries on Bluecrisp yet? How about your rabbiteye? I believe you said you had climax? Whats your verdict?


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RE: Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

blueboy:

Just a few berries on Bluecrisp. They weren't very crisp and not sweet at all. But they deserve another year at least to see what they'll do. Climax is just getting ripe. They are sweet but that's all the good I can muster. Not crisp at all and not much flavor.

Sweetcrisp weren't as good as last year. But they were sweeter and crisper than anything else. Yield was pretty good and they are very easy to pick and clean up. Some of my other varieties this year had remnant flower parts hanging on almost every berry. That's a pain to clean up. Not so with Sweetcrisp.

The other berry I liked this year was the unknown from FHN. Very large berries with a nice mild sweet flavor. We'll see how it does next year but I liked it better than Star, Emerald, or Jewel this year.

I had a few really tasty berries from water deficit plants. But some went too far and tasted cooked, which is probably about the true situation. Overall I'm not sure that's a workable program.


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RE: Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

Nice report. I have also noticed that the rabbiteyes are a little more soft than the SHB. Honestly, I wasnt really impressed with rabbiteyes this year other than Brightwell. For some reason that variety is sweet as soon as it colors up good. Also its crisp because it doesnt have to hang on the bush for 2 weeks like the other rabbiteyes. Ive read that its also partial self fertile.

Hopefully, if things go my way, I will be able to give a good report on many varieties next spring. So far they have all put on good growth. I had to trim all of them back alittle bit because they were getting very lanky. Now they are coming back strong!

One note about Emerald, that plant is a BEAST here in Houston. Its 5ft tall and 5ft around with canes 1 1/2 inches thick now. I thought the plant was stunned last year after planting. It didnt take off untill last Sept and it never stopped. Ive trimmed it back 3 times now and it will be over 7ft tall by fall. Its a very strong variety for the Houston area if anyones interested.

Another interesting note about Blueberries in Houston. Ive read on several web sites that Rabbiteyes are much eaiser to grow than SHB. Im finding that not so true! Ive had one SHB get some stem blight but it already had it from the nursery and Emerald had a touch of blossom blight but thats it. The Rabbiteyes have had a tuff time this year with leaf fungus and early leaf defoliation. So far the SHB are eaisier for me here in Houston.


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RE: Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

Blueboy,

Yes the Sweetcrisps new growth wilts in the sun but it does not seem to hurt the plants one bit. They perk back up as it cools off and they keep right on growing. I would not worry about it in the least.

Fruitnut,

What I do with the BB that retain the flowers is use them as the frozen berries. After you freeze them on cookie sheets but them in a plastic bag and shake them. The flowers come off slick as slick and go right to the bottom of the bag.


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RE: Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

For what its worth, we have been having a week of around 100F temps and my Sweetcrisp are all looking fine (if you ignore how badly the june bugs munched on them).

Scott


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RE: Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

Bam, I have noticed that they do perk right back up as soon as it cools and I have not noticed any leaf tip burn. They have been wilting like this for about 3 weeks and you would think some leaf tip burn would show its self by now. I just cant stand seeing those new shoots fold in half but I cant see any harm at all to the plants so far. So you think no shade cloth at all?


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RE: Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

Is it possible that the top of the plant has outgrown the bottom? You might find if you take off some of the top of the plants that the roots will now be able to keep up with the water demands. You may also find that next summer they do much better, again because the roots catch up. Just an idea.

RM


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RE: Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

I did tip some of the branches and they quit wilting so bad but still bent pretty good. The new canes coming from the bottom of the plant are the ones wilting badly. There only about a foot long so I dont want to tip them yet. I like them to at least get to half the plants height before I tip the canes. What you are saying is true though. Tipping slowes them down and gives the canes/branches time to harden up alittle before new growth starts again.


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RE: Sweetcrisp Blueberry Wilt

My three year old sweetcrisps wilt just the same as the sweetcrisps I planted this spring so not sure it is a root issue. I do find it interesting that Scott is not seeing the same thing. On mine it is about the top 3 inches of the new growth that droops and it has been going on for weeks with zero damage.


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