Alabama has a silty loam soil that benefits from adding organic matter. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. The rabbiteye blueberry species is native to the southern United States and grows well in Alabama as this variety has few problems with pests. Work 2 to 3 inches of organic compost into the soil to a depth of 10 inches with a tiller. The blueberry bush is a perennial plant with hardy varieties available for most growing areas in North America. Blueberries are one of the easiest fruit crops for home gardeners to grow in Alabama. This will increase the nutrient value and water-draining properties of the soil. Prune to remove 1/3 to 1/2 the branch length. Not only are blueberries easy to grow and packed with health benefits, but they make a great landscape plant. Apply a slow-release, high-acid fertilizer each spring after the first year of growth. Websites UGA-affiliated sites. Harvest season begins early, June 1 in South Mississippi, but continues late. Southern woodlands are often covered with wild rabbiteye blueberries or a close relative. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. The most commonly grown is called rabbiteye and the other less common type is the Northern highbush. This column includes research-based information from land-grant universities around the country, including Alabama A&M University and Auburn University. Most grow upright to 6 feet or more; a few are rather spreading and top out at under 5 feet Most ripen their berries between June and August. Answer: Blueberries are one of the easiest fruit crops for home gardeners to grow in Alabama. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Some thornless blackberry varieties to plant in Alabama are Navaho, Apache and Ouchita. Question: Can you give me some tips on growing blueberries in our area? Growing and gathering berries in Alabama. The blueberries are large and blue with a waxy coat, like you see in the grocery. Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. People have used blueberries as a food source for a very long time, but we are only recently realizing the many health benefits they have. Happy gardening! Blueberry bushes require 1 to 2 inches of water each week for best production. Provide supplemental water to the blueberries plants during the spring and summer growing season. use in South Alabama Beckyblue 4 8 8 9 9 8 8 8 300-400 Florida 1977 Comments: Blooms early, can be mechanically harvested, plant with Climax or similar early ﬂowering cultivars. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. It’s berry season in Alabama and the perfect time to relish the healthy, natural, flavorful qualities of locally grown berries. Add a layer of organic compost into the hole and set the plant on top so the root ball is approximately 1/2 inch below the soil surface. Locate an area in the garden that receives more than six hours of sun each day as … South Alabama only. Add a layer of organic compost into the hole and set the plant on top so the root ball is approximately 1/2 inch below the soil surface. If you want a list of suggested varieties you can contact your County Extension office or go to the following web address: www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1078/. Requires 350 - 400 chill hours. Georgia release 1981. Northern highbush grows best on elevated sites.Being a native of the south, the more common rabbiteye blueberry performs well across the Deep South. Select a growing area in the home garden that has a well-aerated and draining soil. Generally speaking if you can grow azaleas, you can grow blueberries, but blueberries … Answer: Blueberries are one of the easiest fruit crops for home gardeners to grow in Alabama. Answer: Blueberries are one of the easiest fruit crops for home gardeners to grow in Alabama. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. Apply a 2 to 4 inch layer of sawdust or bark mulch over the root ball area of the blueberry bushes. Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/alabamacooperativeextensionsystem and follow us on Twitter @acesedu. Rabbiteye blueberries are available in early, mid and late season ripening varieties. Both azaleas and blueberries do well in our acid soils and they can be fertilized with the same type fertilizer. Growing Blueberries The Best Month to Plant Blueberries in Alabama By Audrey Lynn One way to eat blueberries right from your garden is in fruit salad. The fruit may be harvested mechanically for fresh or frozen. Place netting over the blueberry plants during berry production to prevent loss to birds. After planting, it is a good idea to mulch the plants with about two or three inches of mulch. I think they taste better than blueberries. This will allow the plant to put energy into root establish and stimulate new branch growth. Northern highbush blueberries work well in the Upper and Middle South. Apply water to assist with absorption and let the soil rest for two weeks before planting. For good fruit production water them during any extended drought, especially when newly planted and when the berries are sizing up in June. Dig a planting hole for the blueberry bush that is two times as wide as and slightly deeper than the root ball. The blooms are pretty bell shaped white flowers, the fall color is good and the exfoliating bark looks nice in the winter, not to mention the edible berries. Rabbiteye blueberries are … Work 2 to 3 inches of organic compost into the soil to a depth of 10 inches with a tiller. And, whether you buy them at roadside stands, U-pick operations or farmers markets, harvest them from the wild or plant them in your garden, the options are plentiful. Blueberries make fruit buds in the late summer and early fall, so providing some extra water at that time of year can pay dividends the next year. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Email questions to Bethany at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 205 879-6964 x15.