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Blueberry bush down in Florida

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by BigJimSlade on April 12, 2005 06:14 AM
Hi, Big Jim here:

I have some dwarf top hat blueberry bushes zoned for 4-8. I live in Tampa, FL (zone 9). I figure that it is not the heat of Tampa that will hurt this plant but the lack of freezing temperatures in the Winter.

Question: If this will hurt my plant having no freezes, should I combine a couple of the coldest days here with an overnight stay in my freezer? I figure that would be 10 hours of freezing temperatures and then temperatures in the 50s. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance,

Big Jim
by obywan59 on April 12, 2005 06:33 PM
Unfortunately, chill hours do not accumulate at below freezing temperatures, but at temperatures between 32 and 45 degrees. So, freezing them won't work. Refrigeration might, but I don't know if it's really feasible. You would probably be better off getting some rabbiteye or southern highbush blueberries.

Here's a link with blueberry info for Florida growers. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HS216

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Terry

May the force be with you
by BigJimSlade on April 13, 2005 02:41 AM
Thanks obi!

The link returned an error, but the advice of chill hours is appreciated. We probably get at least 50 hours of temperatures below 45 here at night a year, so maybe my blueberry bush can float it.

I agree though about the Florida types of blueberries as well. Good idea.

Big Jim
by A.T.Hagan on April 13, 2005 04:28 AM
I'm pretty dubious about the Tophats. Tampa is too far south for rabbiteyes to have much chance and may be too far south for even the southern highbush to perform. I seem to recall someone having some luck with them down around Seabring though so they might be worth a shot.

Go to http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu and use the topic menus or the search function and you'll find a lot of info on blueberries in Florida.

.....Alan.
by obywan59 on April 13, 2005 07:23 AM
I can't get any of the links to work either Jim. I even tried going back to my original search page and accessing the site from there, but no luck.

I looked in 2 of my nursery catalogs (Raintree Nursery from Washington and Edible Landscaping not far from me here in Virginia) and both had blueberry varieties reputed to be hardy in zone 9. Edible Landscaping even had 3 varieties they said were hardy to zone 10.

Both nurseries had two varieties of Southern Highbush (Mistyblue and Sunshine Blue) that were low chill. Edible says 200 chill hours and Raintree says 150. They're zone 9 according to Raintree, but zone 10 according to Edible Landscaping.

Try talking to extension agent in your area to see how many chill hours you get.

www.raintreenursery.com

www.ediblelandscaping.com

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Terry

May the force be with you
by BigJimSlade on April 13, 2005 08:12 AM
You guys are great! Thanks for the help, cause I really like Blueberries. Too bad I paid so much for these zoned 4-8. I could have sworn it said zone 9 in the magazine, oh well. [Smile]

Thanks again!

Big Jim

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