By Sara Drake
For the Farm Carolina
SALISBURY - The Rowan County 4-H Program is selling blueberry, blackberry, muscadine and fig plants to support their activities during the year. Varieties of blueberries available include Brightwell, Climax and Premier. It is recommended that two or more varieties be planted together to assure higher yields and better quality fruit from cross-pollination.
The blueberries are Southern varieties, developed for our growing environment. You should plant your blueberries approximately 3 to 6 feet apart. The closer you plant them, the higher density hedge you will have. Water your plants regularly and keep the roots moist. Only use fertilizer with small amounts of nitrogen, such as ones formulated for use on azaleas and rhododendrons. The ripening season is from mid-June through July. Blueberry plants are well adapted to full sun or full shade, but with more sun you will have higher fruit yields.
The Brightwell blueberry ripens mid-season over a long period. It has large fruit. The growth is vigorous and upright and the plants are very productive. The Climax blueberry ripens early over a short period and has medium-size berries. The growth is upright with an open, spreading crown. The Premier blueberry ripens early to mid-season. It has large fruit that is light blue in color. Plants are upright with good foliage and are highly productive.
Whether you order blueberries, blackberries, muscadines or figs, you will enjoy the sweet yields for many years to come. When you receive your orders, you will also receive a brochure for further information on caring for your plants. Cost for the plants is $9 each, or $8 if five or more of the same variety are ordered. To order plants, please call the Rowan County Cooperative Extension Office at 704-216-8970 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The deadline to place your order is Wednesday, Nov. 7. Not only will these plants beautify your landscape, your purchase helps support the 4-H program and the youth who are striving to make the best better.
Sara Drake is an Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development.