Planting Tips

Plants for Your Garden

If you wish to grow blueberries, there are three different varieties to choose from. Selecting a variety and cultivar should be based on the climate and soil at your own specific location. In Australia there are three types of blueberry varieties; Southern Highbush, Northern Highbush and Rabbiteye.

Southern Highbush varieties are mostly grown in the warmer parts of Australia such as Queensland and Northern NSW while Northern Highbush varieties are found predominately in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Southern NSW where it is cooler. Rabbiteye varieties are also grown in these areas and can survive in a wider range of climate conditions.

 

Northern Highbush Varieties

Northern Highbush or High Chill varieties are the most commonly grown blueberries around the world. They thrive in areas where the winter months are long and cold. These varieties are deciduous and require a high chilling winter with between 750 to 1000 hours of below 7 degree Celsius temperatures. For pollination purposes, the plants perform best when planted with other Northern Highbush varieties.

Mountain Blue Farms is located in Northern New South Wales where Northern Highbush varieties do not receive enough chill hours to perform to their best ability. For this reason, Mountain Blue Farms specialises in Southern Highbush and Rabbiteye varieties where the chilling requirements are lower.

 

Southern Highbush Varieties

Southern Highbush varieties produce quality fruit. These varieties have good soil adaptability, heat tolerance and a requirement for low winter chilling. This makes them predominantly suitable for areas in Northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland where the winters are not as cold as other areas and where the summers can be quite hot.

Southern Highbush varieties are Evergreen or Semi-Evergreen which means that they retain their leaves for all or most of the year. Low chill varieties can be self-fertile however greater yields will result from cross pollination.

 

Rabbiteye Varieties

Rabbiteye Varieties provide growers with a late season variety which will help to extend the harvest. Rabbiteyes have fewer chilling requirements than Northern Highbush and are more tolerant of a wider range of climates than Southern Highbush. With firmer berries and thicker skin, the Rabbiteye variety is a resilient option to plant.

 

Landscaping

Blueberries are a popular choice to perfect the landscape in a backyard. The plants are compact, attractive and provide a colourful fruit that is delicious to eat! Along with ensuring the plants are spaced appropriately in the proper soil and in a sun filled spot in the garden, it is helpful to grow different varieties close enough to one another for pollination. While certain varieties are self-pollinating, cross pollination can help produce a higher quality of fruit.

 

Hedges and Border Plantings

Blueberries make excellent hedges if planted correctly and if the right cultivars are used. To form solid hedges or screens, place plants 10cm apart. If uniform shape and texture is desired use the same variety in the row.  When selecting varieties for hedges and borders, look for those which are described as 'upright' in their bush characteristics. A couple of Southern Highbush cultivars that are attractive when landscaped are Misty and Legacy while Powder Blue and Brightwell are two Rabbiteye cultivars that would work well.