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Thank you, Darius, for this informative article on berries. Having just planted 2 plants each of Raspberry `Heritage' and Blueberry `Blue Crop,' I was delighted to read that you also have `Heritage' planted. I haven't grown raspberries before, but blueberries, yes. I wanted to try the currants, but as you stated, they are banned from NC. Great info here.
Hi, I'm a new DG berry lover, from Mathews Co in Va. on the Chesapeake. I just pulled up 12-15 feet of laurels so I can put in blueberries in that sunny spot. Am going to buy from local nursery (am assuming they have varieties that do well here), containered plants, prob 2 yo. My Q: berry literature says to clip of rub off the buds for the first couple of years. Should I do this? Or since plants are 2 years or older, has this debudding been done as a matter of rule? Will buy a pH testing kit too. Is Extension service testing more accurate? Chinasue
Chinasue, I'd ask my local County Agent about de-budding. And, just because a local nursery has blueberry plants, do not assume they are locally grown. My experience is that very few of them propagate their own. Ask questions! You might also post in some of the trading forums here and/or check with local DG members. (There is a Member List on DG where you can put in your zip code to find others nearby.)
I know there is a nursery just outside Charlottesville that only sells stock they grow themselves. A bit expensive, but more likely to do well in your area. They have a website, ediblelandscaping.com and I have actually been there (when I was researching for this article last summer).
As to pH testing... my county agent here is SW Virginia has the soil test kits, but then we mail our samples to the soil lab at VT. I assume a university lab has better equipment than home test kits... but having said that, I always did my own pH tests on my swimming pool when I lived in Atlanta and was satisfied with the results. Perhaps you could do both home and county tests the first time for comparison?