The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

New (and found) blueberries

Potted blueberries

Now is not the time to be planting perennials, but I really wanted to fill up the winterkilled gap in our blueberry patch, so I'll commit to watering these two little guys until they get established.  I also snipped off the flower buds so the plant on the right would put its energy into roots, not fruits.  Hopefully, with a little TLC, they'll survive and thrive despite the late planting.

Mark and I went back on forth about where to get our replacement blueberries.  He had noticed some good-looking plants at a local store, but it turned out that those were rabbiteye blueberries, which I've now learned are a bit of a gamble on our north-facing, zone-6 hillside.  So I looked at online retailers instead.  I was sorely tempted to go with Willis Orchards, who provided us with some awesome-looking rabbiteye blueberries in 2009.  But that southern nursery has a pretty small selection of northern-friendly plants, so I instead ordered from Starks Brothers, where the prices were higher and the plants a bit punier, but where the variety selection more up my alley.  In case you're curious, we settled on Earliblue (a very early-fruiting northern highbush) and Sweetheart (a northern-southern hybrid).

Rooted blueberry

Blueberry sproutWhile digging out the two dead blueberries, I was in for a surprise.  The main Brightwell plant was dead (as evidenced by how easily the roots came out of the ground), but one stem had bent down and been hidden under the mulch.  That stem had rooted and now little leaves were poking out, looking for light.

In a previous life, I would have nursed that little plant along and returned it to the patch, but in this life, I know that if the parent was winterkilled, it's not worth wasting space on the offspring.  Instead, I'll pass this little blueberry plant along to my mother, who lives in a slightly warmer climate and whose winters are mitigated by asphalt and concrete.  A freeze-sensitive blueberry variety should be just the ticket in her city yard.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Edible Landscapes in Nelson County VA is a great place to buy plants, you should check them out next time.
Comment by Ian Nichols Mon May 12 08:42:49 2014
Don't offsprings get further usually than the parents? Maybe adapt to the climate? Love to follow you guys all the way from a chilly May here in Holland! Thanks for all the info! :D
Comment by Clarien Mon May 12 13:41:23 2014

Ian --- I've considered ordering from them before. Can't quite recall why I haven't --- maybe price or varieties available?

Clarien --- In this case, the offspring is reproduced clonally, so it's identical to the parent. As a result, it won't show any adaptation, unfortunately.

Comment by anna Mon May 12 15:22:51 2014
Oh of course! It is a clone not a seed. Thanks!
Comment by Anonymous Tue May 13 17:15:30 2014

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