There are three species of blueberries: highbush, lowbush and rabbiteye. The best type of blueberry for Texas is the rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) where the humid woodlands are typical of native rabbiteye blueberry habitat. They are an excellent choice for organic or Earthkind® orchards because they have few serious pests, need little fertilization, and are native to the southeastern United States. NOTE: The Earth-Kind program uses research-proven organic and traditional gardening techniques to maximize production while protecting the environment (http://aggiehorticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/).
Click Back to go back to the previous page.
|Rabbiteye Blueberries in our bed||Back to Virtual Tour Start|
|Alapaha Blueberry||Austin Blueberry||Brightwell Blueberry|
|Climax Blueberry||Powderblue Blueberry||Tifblue Blueberry
Bob Mason – CBMG Blueberry Bed-Head
Roger Farr is the CBMG Blueberry Bed-Head. He has been growing blueberries at home for four years and is now developing the CBMG Blueberry bed. In the course of his years growing blueberries and researching the most effective methods for successful growing, he has learned some techniques that can hopefully assist you as you begin (or continue) your own blueberry “farm.”
Planting: When you receive your blueberry bushes, you will note that the branches are probably nice and full. However, when transplanting the blueberry bushes, you will want to prune the branches by about 1/3. This will ensure the roots are able to support the nutrition and water needs of the branches. Look at the bush and select those branches that look the weakest or perhaps are low to the ground and will not be good for berry production. Once you have trimmed back the bush, you are ready to plant it.
Mulching: As with everything else in Texas, mulching is critical for successful growing. The first year, you want to add about 6 inches of mulch around the blueberry bushes. Be careful to pull back the mulch right around where the branches meet the roots, so that this area, called the crown, is not covered with mulch. Each year, the mulch will decompose about 2 inches. This decomposition is great for continued blueberry health, but it is important to add about two inches of mulch each year after the first. This helps with maintaining a moist environment and even ground temperature for blueberries.
Watering: Setting up a watering system is the best way to ensure that blueberries get enough water during the hot summer months. Drip irrigation is one of the easiest ways to set up a system and lines with built-in drip emitters make the job even easier. Use drip lines that put out 0.9 gallons per hour per emitter. If you have sandy soil, use 12-inch spacing on emitters. In clay soil, use 18-inch spacing on emitters. The first year, water twice a week; after plants are firmly established water once a week.
Fertilizing: Sprinkle a 23-0-0 fertilizer (ammonium sulfate) around the plants each year in February, April and July. Fertilize about ½ cup for each inch of total trunk diameter. If your blueberry bush has several canes coming from the ground, just add the diameters together. Fertilizing will encourage vegetative growth appearing after berry season is over and will appear lighter green than the older bush. New growth needs to harden off before the first frost so that it is not damaged, so avoid fertilizing after July. This fertilizing advice is for the sandy soils of east Texas with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. If you do not know your soil type or pH then you will want to take a soil sample and send it to Texas A&M for analysis. Contact the Titus County Extension office to do this.
Propagating: You can propagate new plants from your bushes. To do this, cut about 6 inches of new growth off the plant. This new growth appears on blueberry plants in late July and August. Strip about the bottom 3 inches off the branch. Dip the bottom of the branch in a rooting hormone and plant it in a mixture of 50% sawdust/50% peat moss or 100% sawdust. These cuttings should be planted between 1 – 2 inches apart. Cuttings will require continuous misting – so you will have to set up a watering system that will mist the blueberry branches for about 10 seconds every fifteen minutes. This system can be built outside in a small area and can be used for propagating other plants – such as roses. Plants should root in about 6-8 weeks. Once the cuttings have rooted, about October, they can be transplanted to normal 1 gallon pots filled with regular potting mix soil and watered once per day. They will be ready to plant in your garden two April’s from when you plant them in pots. You can easily produce five to 10 new blueberry plants from every plant now growing in your garden. For photos demonstrating the misting system set up by Roger in his home garden, click here.
Blueberries when full grown will produce five to ten pound of berries per bush.
There are many blueberry cultivars. You will want to visit the demonstration bed at the Titus County Extension office to see how six different cultivars are faring in our east Texas soils and climate or take a look at the discussion on different rabbiteye blueberry varieties in our CBMG bed. Then, choose what suits your location best.
Happy gardening from Roger!
Information on this page is from Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Blueberries, Missouri Botanical Gardens, and/or Alabama Extension Agency Home Gardening Rabbiteye Blueberries
|Information on this page is from Missouri Botanical Gardens,
Dave’s Garden, All things Plants, Texas Superstar or Aggie Horticulture
This page last updated or reviewed