In 1997, Sunset published the National Garden Book
, meant to be a companion to its Western Garden Book
, now in its 8th edition. There was never even a 2nd ed. of the National.
The entire US and Canada were divided into rather fine climate zones. Chicago and immediate environs are Sunset Zone 39, and then it transitions to Zone 41.
"Highbush blueberries" are recommended for your local growing conditions.
According to Sunset, "Selections of Vaccinium corymbosum
, these are the blueberries found in grocery stores. Most varieties grow upright to 6 feet or more; a few are rather sprawling and under 5 feet. The majority are northern varieties (Zones 4-65, 17, 32, 34-43), requiring definite winter cold and ripening their berries between June and late August. The relatively new [remember, this was 1997] southern highbush varieties were developed for areas of steamy summers and mild winters (Zones 25, 26, 28, 31, 33); they ripen their fruit in April or May, even before rabbiteye blueberries."
And then follows a list of 18 cultivars! So there have got to be successful blueberry gardeners/growers near you.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17