Thursday, August 21, 2008


Sunshine Blue

I have been having a boon year for blueberries. Last winter, while the plants were dormant, I dug them out of the half barrels I had them in and changed the potting soil. It was Ed Laivo from Dave Wilson Nursery that drove this change.

I was at a fruit tree talk and the subject of blueberries came up. He commented that they are really easy to grow, not like what some garden magazines would have you believe. I have to concur. My plants are in partial sun, just on the edge of the oak shade that predominates my yard. I grow southern highbush varieties that don't need such long chill hours. I grow Duke and Blue Ray. They do alright, but the ones that really seem to flourish are Reveille, O'Neal, Sharpblue, Misty, Sunshine Blue, and Jubilee.

He also said that they're easier to grow in containers because you can control the soil more easily. He mentioned his "magic mix" to make a fantastically acidic soil for them. That's what caught my attention. So the moment they went dormant, I went to work and changed out most of the potting soil in the half barrels. And in the spring, the change was noticeable. Many more clusters of flowers and lots of vigorous new growth. I have had the luxury of going down every Sunday morning and harvesting a basketful or more. I've had over 5 weeks of harvest. Blueberry pancakes, blueberry corn muffins, and blueberry tarts have been some of this summer's joy.


Kevin said...

Blueberries! Reminds me of my childhood trips to Lake Michigan.

I garden in Seaside and have a few green Satsuma Mandarins this year. The plant is south-facing against a warm wall. I'm hoping they'll ripen. Have you tried growing Satsuma Mandarins?

CoastalCAGardener said...

Yes, I was growing Satsuma and Clementine. I had them in pots up on the deck and they were doing well for a time. I think the soil in the pots started to fail and that stressed the plants. The ants brought in scale and mealy bugs and they made quick work of them.

But I think both varieties do well in our area especially if thy have the exposure you're describing (south facing wall). I've seriously considered getting two new plants to replace them.