The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Fruit => Topic started by: Anke on January 10, 2019, 09:45:31 pm

Title: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: Anke on January 10, 2019, 09:45:31 pm

Any suggestions from someone growing them successfully in the North? They will be going into half-barrels, so plenty of space but need to be hardy as no way of moving when full of compost… Have not grown them before, thinking a couple of varieties suggested in "Fruit&Vegetables for Scotland" - "Chandler" (just because I am 90's girl) and "Duke", possibly "Spartan"?



Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: sandspider on January 10, 2019, 10:19:16 pm
I'm quite a long way south of you, chepstow, but I'm growing earliblue blueberries with quite a bit of success- in a fairly cold, damp Welsh valley. Planted directly into the ground. Earliblues are supposedly hardy, but I don't know how far north they'd do well...
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: Womble on January 10, 2019, 10:47:55 pm
Hi Anke, why don't you give Scotplants a call (https://www.scotplantsdirect.co.uk/fruits/soft-fruit/blueberry-bushes)?  I'm sure they'll be able to recommend the right varieties for your location.

Also, see if you can get a Saskatoon berry bush too. They taste like a cross between a blueberry and a blackcurrant, and are very hardy.
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on January 11, 2019, 12:17:35 am
I have a couple of blueberry plants in large buckets sunk into the garden. They've always produced a decent number of berries but the size of currants. They are in ericaceous compost which increased the quantity but not the quality.
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: Steph Hen on January 11, 2019, 07:55:45 am
Do let us know what you find out please. :-)
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: Anke on January 11, 2019, 10:57:28 am
Hi Anke, why don't you give Scotplants a call (https://www.scotplantsdirect.co.uk/fruits/soft-fruit/blueberry-bushes)?  I'm sure they'll be able to recommend the right varieties for your location.

Also, see if you can get a Saskatoon berry bush too. They taste like a cross between a blueberry and a blackcurrant, and are very hardy.



Thanks Womble, I will do indeed. Never heard of Saskatoon berry before, but sounds interesting...
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: Anke on January 11, 2019, 11:01:10 am
But I guess the Saskatoon also needs netting to protect from birds after flowering?
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: pgkevet on January 11, 2019, 11:11:57 am
Also can't comment on varieties but I bought a few different ones and they all do as well as each other here mid wales.. also in the ground in holes i filled with ericaceous at the time but I spread a little sulphur around them every year now. Some varieties are just small berried and not worth the bother of picking in good years compared to the bigger ones.

For challenging conditions consider honey-berries?
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: sandspider on January 11, 2019, 11:32:22 am
I put coffee grounds on mine. They seem to do well. Though I've not tried growing any without coffee grounds to be fair!
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: Womble on January 11, 2019, 11:35:02 am
Never heard of Saskatoon berry before, but sounds interesting...


They're quite new in this country I believe, but have been eaten wild for hunners of years in Western America. Apparently they're now considered a superfood (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/11736465/Is-it-time-you-started-growing-saskatoons-the-latest-superfood.html), whatever one of those is!  ;)

Yes, you will need to net the berries to deter birds, but then you'll have to do that with blueberries too.

BTW, a top tip for blueberries - buy a few bushes, and then take cuttings and propagate from them. They root really well and before you know it, you'll have loads of bushes at minimal cost. As a result, we now have some growing in our hedge now which we leave mostly unpicked so the birds can have them.
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: Anke on January 11, 2019, 01:35:39 pm
Never heard of Saskatoon berry before, but sounds interesting...


They're quite new in this country I believe, but have been eaten wild for hunners of years in Western America. Apparently they're now considered a superfood (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/11736465/Is-it-time-you-started-growing-saskatoons-the-latest-superfood.html), whatever one of those is!  ;)

Yes, you will need to net the berries to deter birds, but then you'll have to do that with blueberries too.

BTW, a top tip for blueberries - buy a few bushes, and then take cuttings and propagate from them. They root really well and before you know it, you'll have loads of bushes at minimal cost. As a result, we now have some growing in our hedge now which we leave mostly unpicked so the birds can have them.



I was wondering re propagation…. it's what I do with my blackcurrants.
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: pgkevet on January 11, 2019, 10:37:15 pm
I've never succeeded with blueberry cuttings so tips appreciaed. The youtube vids on the subject usually involve green cuttings with leaves and mist spraying until rooted.Having said that I probably have enough bushes now.. couldn't eat them all last year and they are crappy after freezing (still got a few pounds frozen). I bought some of mine as cheapo plants from Wilco.
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: Womble on January 12, 2019, 06:11:43 pm
We just pruned them when in leaf, stuck the cuttings in a jar of water, and they rooted no problem. Perhaps we just got lucky, but it wasn't exactly rocket surgery!
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: clydesdaleclopper on January 12, 2019, 09:28:43 pm
You can get some great varieties of Saskatoon from the agroforestry research trust - Ballerina is my favourite. With Blueberries varieties like Jersey haven't done well up here. Bluecrop and Duke are the best in my opinion (we have about 8 varieties)

Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on January 12, 2019, 11:40:13 pm
I'm tempted by the thought of growing saskatoons. What do they taste like? My jostaberry, which is a cross between blackcurrants and gooseberries, taste like blackcurrants but they are slightly bigger and don't have thorns.
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: Anke on January 13, 2019, 03:54:53 pm
You can get some great varieties of Saskatoon from the agroforestry research trust - Ballerina is my favourite. With Blueberries varieties like Jersey haven't done well up here. Bluecrop and Duke are the best in my opinion (we have about 8 varieties)



Duke has been coming up a couple of times when I have asked people, fellow goatkeeper in Northumbria has also got Northland, Dixi, Goldtraube and Bluegold - all doing well.


Spoke to Scotplants but they are not taking any orders until April and the lady was very quick to get me off the phone, so couldn't ask for advice on varieties.. But I like that they grow them in Scotland, so seem to be the best place to buy.
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: pgkevet on January 15, 2019, 11:02:25 am
I had a look at the scotsplant site.. was interested to see they grow pomegranates too. Hmm.. perhaps I'm not so mad in germinating some seeds recently...
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on January 15, 2019, 11:09:35 pm
I had a look at the scotsplant site.. was interested to see they grow pomegranates too. Hmm.. perhaps I'm not so mad in germinating some seeds recently...


Not mad for germinating seeds though, but mad...?  :innocent:
Title: Re: Blueberries - varieties suitable for Southeast Scotland
Post by: Anke on January 16, 2019, 09:31:42 pm
I had a look at the scotsplant site.. was interested to see they grow pomegranates too. Hmm.. perhaps I'm not so mad in germinating some seeds recently...



I think I pace myself and stick to blueberries…