The Q&A Archives: Blueberries

Question: I live in a high mountain desert in far west Texas. I would like to grow blueberries. Our humidity hardly reaches over 9 to 10% during the growing season. During the summer, we only have temps in the 100's for about two weeks. Then it's high 80's and low 90's. We have a lot of trees and the area I'm contemplating does not get full sun all day. Do you have a blueberry variety that will fit my needs? When should I order and plant? I need fairly established plants because seedlings have trouble in our thinner air. We are at 6000 feet. Thanks for your help.

Answer: Michele,

You would probably be able to do best with the southern highbush types such as O'Neal, Sunshine and Jubilee. However these blueberries are susceptible to spring frosts and may need to be covered to protect them if they start to bloom and a late frost threatens. All blueberries need an acidic soil with plenty of peat moss mixed in, even to a 50:50 mix if practical. They need good quality water and most west Texas sources have high pH or possibly high salts and/or high bicarbonates. Thus rainwater may be needed for watering at least as a supplement. Some shade is okay but for good production you will need quite a bit of sunlight exposure.

As an alternative to the southern highbush, since your winter temps stay pretty cool for a long period of time you may be able to get the regular highbush types to grow there. But I'd still try southern highbush.

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