blueberries - Knowledgebase Question

chandler, Ar
Avatar for jfreade
Question by jfreade
February 15, 2010
can I grow them in Chandler,az? what varieties? where obtain?Cost?when will they produce?

Answer from NGA
February 15, 2010
Blueberries are difficult to grow in the desert southwest. Most need a winter chill and while this past winter would have fulfilled their chilling requirements, most years we get fewer than 150 chilling hours. However, if you want to try, knowing that they won't always produce, choose a Southern Highbush type blueberry. They have the lowest chilling requirement. The second problem you'll face is that our soils are very alkaline (pH 8 or 9) and blueberries require an acidic soil, in the range of 4.0. So planting them in the ground is out of the question. However, you can plant them in planters or containers filled with a mixture of potting soil and peat moss. If you go this route, set the containers where they will get all day sunshine from October through April, then move them to an area that gets full morning sun and then shade from about 2 p.m. on. Some cultivars to consider: Misty -5-6? high, Mid Season, 250 chill hrs., Sharpblue -4-6? high, Mid/Late Season, 150 chill hrs., Sunshine Blue -2-3? high, Mid Season, 150 chill hrs. semi-dwarf evergreen, Southmoon -5-6? high, Mid/Late Season, 400-500 chill hrs. Because blueberries are not very successful here, you may need to order online or through catalogs.

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