Monday, February 3, 2014

Strawberry and Blueberry Plants Recommended for Putnam County

Strawberry and Blueberry Plants Recommended for Putnam County

Strawberry Plants 

 One of the earliest June-bearing strawberries, 'Earliglow' offers firm, sweet, exceptionally tasty mid-sized fruit on cold-hardy plants adaptable from the northeast all the way to the deep South! Among the best-flavored varieties, it is very versatile -- delicious fresh and also one of the finest for freezing or making into preserves. Trouble-free plants are resistant to leaf scorch, red stele, and Verticillium wilt. A trusted favorite that never disappoints, 'Earliglow' is the strawberry of choice for gardeners across the U.S.! Zones 5-9.
 -All Star –
Exceptionally sweet berries are medium-sized, deep red and very flavorful. Plants are well-adapted to southern gardens, vigorous and highly productive. Plants are also lovely grown in containers and edible landscapes. June-bearing, zone 5-8. Allstar produces high yields of very large, sweet, extra juicy berries in late mid-season, which is usually late spring and early summer, depending on when summer arrives in your area. As a June bearer, the harvest season is concentrated over a few weeks, making it a good choice if you want to freeze or cook with a lot of berries at one time. Vigorous plants are resistant to verticillium wilt and red stele, and moderately resistant to leaf scorch and powdery mildew. Plant so that crown is just above soil level.
These early mid-season June-bearing strawberries are a good choice for fresh pickings of homegrown, bright red, flavorful fruit. Firm, large and beautifully shaped, these berries are especially appealing in fresh fruit trays. A high Yielding Mid-season Cultivar.Produces large fruit.Excellent Flavor.Appears to be well adapted to southern regions.Zone 5-8 .Full sun is greatly beneficial to Chandler strawberry plants, just like all other strawberries.  Chandler strawberries, however, are susceptible to root rot and absolutely must have well-drained soil and be planted properly.  The preferred soil pH is about 6, and additional watering is needed when rainfall is not sufficient. Chandler strawberry plants are June-bearers and can be grown well in matted rows (although they will likely perform better with commercial plasticulture systems).  When they are healthy, the mature plants will grow to be about 8 inches tall and spread 1 foot across, but their roots are shallow.

-Sweet Charlie –
Exceptionally sweet berries are medium-sized, deep red and very flavorful. Plants are well-adapted to southern gardens, vigorous and highly productive. Plants are also lovely grown in containers and edible landscapes. June-bearing, Zone 5-8

Blueberry Bushes 

Rabbiteye blueberries (Vaccinium ashei) are a good choice for those living in the lower elevations of southern Tennessee. They are more drought and heat tolerant then northern highbush, but also more susceptible to frosts. Rabbiteye produces a smaller, sweeter berry then highbush. For best results, the University of Tennessee suggests mulching around rabbiteye bushes in order to maintain a consistent moisture level. Early season varieties that are good for Tennessee include Garden Blue, Austin, Brighwell, Premier and Woodward. Early-mid season varieties that are good include Climax, Southland and Tifblue. Midseason varieties that are suitable include Bluebelle, Brightblue (Briteblue), Chaucer and Powderblue. The descriptions of some of these are listed below.  You can use the link here to get description of the others.

Read more: The Best Blueberry Bushes for Tennessee | Garden Guides

-Tifblue -
Tifblue Blueberries is a rabbiteye blueberry wich are more cold hardy than most blueberry varieties, with a 550-600 chill hour requirement. The plant is vigorous and productive, with the berries ripening late June through July. The berries, large in size and light blue in color, can be used for eating or for ornamentation in your yard or garden. Tifblue Blueberries pollinate well with Brightwell or Powder Blue Blueberries. USDA ZONES: Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9.

-Climax -
Climax blueberries are a medium-sized, dark blue berry which ripen in late spring and early summer. These rabbiteye berries are perfect for eating fresh, cooking, baking, drying, or freezing. They can be used in juices, jams, and jellies. The plant has an upright form and tolerates the heat and humidity of the southeast. It grows 3-15 feet tall and 3-10 feet wide and should be planted in full sun with sandy to loamy soil. It needs a pollinator such as Tifblue or Austin. Climax blueberries require 400-450 chill hours. USDA ZONES: Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9.

-Southland -
Southland blueberry ripens in late June and is a wonderful mid-season selection. Known for ripening over a long period. These compact bushes tend to be sweeter than other mid-season rabbiteye blueberry varieties. During the winter Southland blueberry bushes rarely lose all their leaves. Southland blueberry plants produce very large quantities of huge blueberries, many of the berries found on the interior of the plant. Planting Zones: 7b – 9a

-Blue Bell -
 -Early to mid-season ripening. -Large dark berries recommend for home plantings; excellent flavor. -Upright growth; produces over a relatively long period of time. - ZONE 6-9 (-10º to 20º)

-Brite Blue –
The Briteblue blueberry bush consistently produces medium to large sized blueberries with a sweet, violet colored center and an almost translucent skin. This blueberry plant, with its upright, vigorous growth habits, make it an ideal variety for the constrained home gardener. Briteblue blueberries typically form grape-like clusters of fruit, yielding a bountiful crop that is easily picked for an early to mid-season harvest. Ripe fruit tends to hang on the bush giving pick-your-own operations an extended picking time. Planting Zones: 6, 7, 8, 9

-Garden Blue -
Garden Blue produces a very small, lightly blue colored mid-season fruit. The bush is moderately large compared to other Rabbit Eye Blueberry bushes, but like all small fruits, it benefits from yearly pruning to thin dead canes and to open up the bush to increase fruit sizes. Another new variety for us at Rabbit Ridge Nursery, but it comes very highly recommended and is sure to become a southern classic Blueberry. Best to plant with another variety to increase individual fruit size and overall quantity of fruits. Shallow rooted so do not till around any Blueberry deep enough to disturb the roots. USDA Zone 6 to USDA Zone 9

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February Gardening Chores


-        If soil test has not been completed within the last 4 years, collect soil from 2 or 3 areas of the lawn, about 6 inches deep.  Make sure soil dries out on newspaper, then place in zip-lock sandwich bag and take to UT Extension to be boxed and tested.  Results should be sent to home about 2 – 3 weeks later.
-        Look for water blockage and low wet areas.
-        Remove fallen branches and twigs.
-        Look for vole damage and mole tunnels.  Place bait as needed.
-        Have mowers tuned up and blades sharpened.

Flower Gardens

-        Prune ornamental grasses, liriope, Knockout roses (as needed), old-fashioned butterfly bushes, Russian Sage, and Crape Myrtles (if desired).
-        Add packaged soil to flowerbeds and work around plants.
-        Plan new plants for garden areas.
-        Use a pre-emergent weed killer such as Preen mid-to-late February.
-        Mulch flowerbeds.

Kitchen Gardens

-        Add package soil or compost and 10-10-10 fertilizer as needed.
-        Some cool season crops can be planted in raised beds (lettuce, peas, onions, radishes, spinach – see UT Extension publication SP-291-0)
-        Spray dormant oil on fruit and nut trees if needed.
-        Bare root fruit trees can be planted in the garden. For specific fruit tree information, go online to UT Extension publications and download SP307-D, which will give all aspects of fruit tree management.


-        Remove leaf debris from pond surface.
-        Check that surface opening for gases is free of ice.