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Lordy be! They're growing

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Lordy be! They're growing

Post by BRLAhere on Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:37 am

More than a year ago I reported that my plan was to bring in 9 different species of blueberry bushes from the Southern U.S. and attempt to grow them here.  

After receiving my fair share of warnings about 'smuggling' the plants into Mexico, it was the general feeling from the responses to the posts that blueberries couldn't be grown in the Jalisco area.  Well, I waited in Phoenix for the long anticipated shipment of the plants coming to me.  Once they arrived, all the plants were nearly dead, shriveled up and some were just outright gone.  The nursery I purchased them from in Georgia is highly reputable and ship plants safely, healthy and growing on a daily basis.  But my shipment was overall despicable (to say the least).  They had already spent 5 days in a UPS shipment, then they faced the 2-day drive back to Chapala....then an additional day to get them in the ground.

I am happy to say that 8 (of the 9) plants did survive and all are now producing blueberries!  I have allowed the plants to revive and grow as wildly as they want to.  The birds have free reign of the berries and leave me very little harvest each morning.  So now that the plants have established themselves nicely, I plan to net over the patch to starve my feathered friends so I can enjoy cobblers, pies, jellies & munchies.

Here are photos from just this morning:







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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by lunateak on Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:46 am

Congratulations! Call me for your first cobbler tasting. Thumbs up
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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by Lady Otter Latté on Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:05 am

Wow! You did it! Congratulations.   mariachi
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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by suegarn on Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:33 am

Fantastic! I'd love to buy one or two of your plants, if you're willing to part with them. Please send me a PM with info on how much you would want for them, and your location. Thanks!

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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by BRLAhere on Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:07 pm

As I stated in my original posts (a year ago this past April), I took soil samples of my planned 'patch' to Guadalajara to be tested.  Once the results came back, I had to locate sulfur to add to the soil to drop the Ph to 4.5 to 5....sulfur being necessary for the blue in blueberries.  That process was started months before I had the plants here.  I also took my soil sample results to a fertilizer producer in Guad and they custom mixed a fertilizer especially tailored to my soil condition (and also knowing I was planning a blueberry garden).  The fertilizer was applied 6-weeks before I anticipated the plants to be in Chapala.

Blueberries will not succeed in a 'sweet' soil as we have here in Lakeside.  According to the experts (of which I AM NOT nor do I claim to be any sort of) and the nurseries all instruct blueberries can only thrive in an acidic soil.  Our soils here are rich, and 'sweet' (with a balanced Ph).

No, I won't sell my plants, but I'll certainly offer cuttings.  That's an entirely a different horticultural science in itself of getting cuttings to grow.  Hopefully sometime soon I will learn that process as well.

My gardening skills SUCK....but I learned many years ago, the experts offer their advice and by just doing it their way (and, don't listen to the naysayers), all my gardens have succeeded (especially in areas where the locals told me, "It won't work"....)

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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by ferret on Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:46 pm

Congratulations! Your gardening skills do not suck. You have done all that was necessary to make the soil acidic and that is exceptional knowledge.
I think that with all the pine trees in Mazamitla, it would provide excellent, naturally acidic soil from just the pine needles dropping.
Berry, berry good work!
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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by CanuckBob on Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:59 pm

Congrats. I would love some blueberry bushes too. Would the seeds from any of the local blueberries sprout?
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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by Trailrunner on Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:24 pm

I beg to differ, your gardening skills are excellent!
If you are interested, the Ajijic Organic Veggie Growers meets the second Wed of every month, 10 AM, at Tabarka. Would love for you to join and share your blueberry story. We are a good group with lots of really nice and knowledgeable gardeners. There is also a Facebook page of the same name.
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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by Chapalagringa on Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:57 pm

Why didn't you buy the plants here?
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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by BRLAhere on Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:28 pm

Chapalagringa wrote:Why didn't you buy the plants here?

I don't know anything about blueberries in Mexico.  I know southern U.S. berries are famously sweet and hearty.  The nursery in Georgia (Ison's Nursery) offers many species at one time, and blueberry growers claim it is better to garden with several species pollinating with each other to result in better yields....and the nursery is a good source of assistance and information since they are familiar with the several species they grow. Among my 8 plants are 7 different species.

It's my first attempt with the berries and I just wanted to be able to have connections with experienced sources.  That might not have been available to me with the Mexican plant.  Also, I wouldn't know where to get healthy plants right off in Mexico.

I also have six Muscadine grape vines (Southern variety of a sweet, thick-hulled grape) growing from the same nursery (www.isons.com).  Those were smuggled in as well with the help of a board member here on inside lakeside (thanks, Richard and English teacher!).
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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by Gamina on Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:40 pm

I can't image why someone would tell you that blueberries can't be grown here. They are grown out by Joco, although not as much acreage as in raspberries or strawberries. You have done an excellent job with your soil getting ready for your plants. Make sure you don't have them too crowded cause the plants will get fairly large and you don't want to have to transplant them after they are well established. Good luck and enjoy your very own blueberries on your yogurt in the morning.
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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by Zedinmexico on Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:08 am

Ok you got blueberries now how about russet potatoes??

Z

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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by Nosnow on Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:50 pm

Yes, Russet Potatoes. One of the (many) things we miss. We also tried growing tomatoes,
the big fat flavourful type that we grew in Alberta..Beefsteak.
They all died on the vine.
Congratulations on your success with the blueberries, you went the extra mile, maybe
one day you'll sell little tubs of them at the Tuesday Organic Market.

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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by Zedinmexico on Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:00 am

Somehow we got hold of a small 10lb bag or russets (yes we shared). Wow! So can you change the soil like you did for the blueberries and grow Russets??? Sorry for the drift but everybody wants the secret to growing Russets here. One local produce store I caught putting dirt on white potatoes so they looked like Gringo potatoes. Washed potatoes and they turned white LOL.

Z

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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by BRLAhere on Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:13 am

" />

Second year crop's early harvest yielding HUGE berries this year.  Garden is producing new blossoms daily!
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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by Lady Otter Latté on Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:28 am

They are BEAUTIFUL! Good for you -- and them.
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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by JayBear on Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:58 pm

When Driscoll first proposed growing blueberries out beyond Jocotepec, everyone but everyone said it could not be done. But so far as I know, they have now been doing it for several years. I think they use shade cloth. and of course, they are adjusting their soil. I think they are not posting on the boards or getting space in the local rags, which they probably disdain, so I don't have any real knowledge of what they are doing these days. I remember when I could drive out to Jocotepec and pick up berries (Driscoll also grows strawberries) which were sold at the roadside, possibly without Driscoll approval. Used to be a fun drive. In those days, I had recently moved from New England, where roadside veggie and fruit stands were thick on the ground in the summer, and I missed that. Well, I still miss that. I remember when I was such a newbie that I thought produce at the tianguis was locally produced;)

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Re: Lordy be! They're growing

Post by cypress on Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:47 pm

I bought a Blueberry plant at the Tuesday market once but it didn't survive long. My dogs or the birds ate the few berries.

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