I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of North Texas. I've been interested in planting some southern highbush blueberries here. Many of the southern highbush blueberries seem to match my zone 7b, but I'm just wondering if anyone has had any success with them and what varieties did you grow? I plan on growing them in large containers so I can control the acidity of the soil.
I grow a number of southern highbush. O'Neal, Jewel, Powderblue, and Brightwell--all are planted in ground. I think I have a couple of others, but it is raining cats and dogs right now so I'm staying inside. I got my blueberry bushes from Legg Creek Farms and Berries Unlimited:
The Berries Unlimited website also has sections telling you everything you need to know about growing blueberries. I'm just a newbie with fruits but found the info there to be very good. They need watering on a regular basis (I use drip irrigation), mulch, and some fertilizer in the spring. I add iron sulfate from the farm co-op as well. Other than that I've found them to be very easy and, for me, fun to grow.
I want to watch this thread. I got a couple of blueberry bushes from Home Depot last year, and they did live, but not thrive. I'm in Fort Worth. Alkaline water, but should be fairly acidic over by my pine trees I put in 10 years ago? Will berries grow in part shade?
I've had 3 blueberry bushes growing in blue, 18 gallon containers from HD for the past three years and have had blue berries on them every year. Last year was an extremely good one for fruit production and I got to enjoy quite a lot of them after building a cover using PVC pipe covered with bird netting. I bought one additional bush this year (Navaho variety) and will plant it along with the other three in a raised bed as soon as I'm able to build it, but after the harvesting period. Last year, my first one to use bird netting, it caught 3 determined Mockingbirds that somehow found a hole to get under it but couldn't get out. Two survived and I let them go but one was so badly injured from struggling so hard that he didn't make it. Just last week I discovered the large lizard (7" long, 3" wide) that hangs out in my garden caught in the netting. I'd been wondering if he survived the winter and his predators as I hadn't spotted him this spring. He laid very still for the thirty minutes it took me to cut away all of the netting that was around his neck so tightly it's a wonder he was able to breathe. When I finished I set him on the ground and he quickly crawled away without any sign that he was grateful for me saving his life. I figure that his payback to me will be eating a lot of bad bugs this season.
I had considered bird netting. I think I may go with the plastic hardware cloth instead, to keep from snarling birds and my 11 inch lizard that wanders around eating bugs. Even bees get tangled in bird netting, while the plastic hardware cloth is big enough for bees to get through to pollinate the plants, and get back out.