Tools & Supplies
I'm in southwestern PA. Planted 2 blueberry plants last spring, 'Northland,' and 'Jersey.' It's August, 2020, now, and all has worked out great, but it has been difficult.Kristin
Wish I had known that if you have alkaline soil, it's best to prepare the soil a year in advance to give the soil chemistry time to work. Early in 2019, I built a raised bed about 12" above ground, and extending below ground, too. I bought some soil from a local hardware that supposedly was formulated for acid lovers, but I wasn't impressed, as it did not test very acid. I mixed a lot of that with some of my own, rocky, clay, native soil, which is 7.2 pH. I also mixed in lots of peat moss and hemlock bark mulch, which are supposed to be very acidic, plus some sand. I mixed in recommended amounts of Espoma Soil Acidifier, hoping to get the pH down. I received my plants from Nourse later that spring, and planted them. I picked off all the blossoms, as instructed. That summer, all the new growth was yellowish green, so I tested the soil, and it was around 6.5 pH. Not good! I added more soil acidifier, and the plants looked a little greener, but still some yellow. I called Nourse and they suggested I wait until the spring of 2020 to work at getting the pH down. I added some this spring, tested a month or two later, and the pH was falling. The plants were getting greener, too--yay!
Thrilled to say that in spite of all I put these plants through, I got a small, but very tasty crop of blueberries from both plants. I prefer 'Northland.' The berries are tastier than Jersey, I think, and the plant is more compact and bushier. Both plants have much greener leaves, now, and the pH is around 5 or 5.5 the last time I tested. I'll test again next spring and see where I am. My pH is probably still a bit high, but the plants are happy looking and putting out lots of new growth. I'm looking forward to lots of berries next year. It was rough going for a while there, but Nourse customer service was very supportive with their advice about my soil and the plants look great, now.
The 'Jersey' is fine, but I prefer 'Northland'--more vigorous growth than 'Jersey,' bushier plant, and berries a little tastier, too, I think. It's possible that since 'Jersey' is destined to be a much larger plant, it may be lagging behind 'Northland.'
Very pleased with 'Northland!'
Our Northland bushes have been producing well for almost 10 years. They're very winter hardy and yield flavorful, firm, medium sized berries earlier than most. Shortish plants are easy to pick from a stool.Paul A
I just planted these Northland blueberry plants in June, so I had no harvest this year. They are growing well -- even through a very hot, humid Missouri summer.Kathleen K