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Gary350
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Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Blueberries in Arizona

Will blueberries grow in HOT weather climate?

The soil in AZ is river soil, silt, extremely fine sandy type soil. I can dig a hole with my hand no shovel required. It reminds me of the soil along the banks of the Mississippi river where they grow watermelons.

Wonder if melons would grow here. Hum

I was looking at blueberries in the store yesterday it will cost $10 to make a blueberry pie. I need my own blueberry plants.

Lianne
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:42 pm
Location: Grapevine, TX

I was told by the garden store i bought my blueberry plants from that they do best in pots, where you can control the acidity of the soil. They told me to pot them in a soil mix for azaleas, which is fairly acidic, and to keep an eye on them over time.

In the mean time, if you have discount grocery stores, like Aldi where you live, or produce stands/markets, they are a great option for cheap blueberries. The typical grocery store will sell them for upwards of 4 dollars for 8 oz of blueberries, and i was able to get a pint for 1.99 at Aldi. I also saw a very small farmers market/glorified produce tent in a nearby town to where i live selling pints for the same price. I made a blueberry pie for 4 dollars and we definitely ate our money's worth :) (had the flour and butter at home already).

CharlieBear
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Location: Pacific NW

There are several types of blueberries and the northern highbush type are not likely to do well for you at all. There are however, southern highbush and rabbiteye that may work. I would check the ph of the soil first before anything. The blues need quite acid soil below 6.2 is best. You can modify your soil using sulfer, but add it this year or longer to lower the ph, it takes a while and if you are having to lower it then by all means continue to put slufur on the top of the ground and let the water carry it in the soil twice each spring. Do not fertilze them the first year you plant them. After that add small amounts of azelea type fertilizer 3 times each year and I mean a generous handful per plant no more. I generally say March 1, Apr 15 and May 1 to remind myself. I would plant them in the ground if possible. They tend to dry out very easily in pots and only some types of blues are pot compatable. You have farely cold winters if I recall and blues in pots under those conditions are very iffy.
Note, blues require quite a bit of water especially in the heat. If water supplimentation is a problem then don't bother. General rule of thumb is if it is not raining then once a week in the 70's, twice in the 80's and everyother day in the 90's from spring bloom until the fall rains begin.
Blues are very shallow rooted plants and you will also have to mulch them each spring and after 3 years will have to learn to prune them to keep them bearing properly. So, Arizona with its water restrictions might be a problem.
Last edited by CharlieBear on Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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!potatoes!
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Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

i think he's saying he's not in tn anymore, now he's in arizona.

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ReptileAddiction
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What zone are you in? I am in 10 and I grow them in part shade and they do wonderful!

CharlieBear
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Location: Pacific NW

Let me give you a better answer. Arizona is a big state with several "types" of climate, rain fall etc. If you are talking up around prescot or flag staff then they will probably do well if they are somewhat shaded from the sun during the hottest part of the afternoon in the summer heat. They will still require a lot of watering and attention. If you are down around tucson, scotsdale etc, then that is where the pot idea comes from. It will require moving the pot in the sun in the mornings and out during the heat of the day. You may even have to water 2-3 times a day as pots dry out quickly in the heat. The size of the pot you would need would make it difficult to move the plant without dollies. If it is in the pot it would have to be the rabbiteye and the smaller ones at that. You would need at least 2 varities to have fruit. Note that blues in pots have a high casualty rate even in the more temperate pacific northwest. Note the amount of time, water and attention they would require would make me just buy them in the store for the amount of berries you will ever get. Blues take several years to recover from all the fertilizer the nurseries use to get them going. Then after they take off they require proper pruning to keep them going, mulching in the spring and probably a sulfur regiment as well as azelea type fertilizer 2-3 times each spring in the proper amounts.
If you try it, I wish you well, but be prepared for a lot of hard work to grow them in most parts of Az.

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