I lived in Florida for about 10 years and had a garden but I didn’t remember when spring came to Port St Lucie. So when I put in my three blueberry bushes this year I had no idea when to expect blossoms. I know in NH and in TN they came in the early spring and then you pray for no late hard frosts. I always put the fertilizer on just before the flowers came so in TN when we went back up the first of March, one of the first jobs was to clean up the blueberry patch and get it ready to put the peat on to shock the bushes, then by mid March put on the sulfur and fertilizer, By then the buds were beginning to swell and the new leaves were all growing good. So here I just watched the buds each day. I thought I knew the difference between the leaf bud which are pointy and the flower buds which are rounded. On the twos plants that are alike there were lots of what I was sure were flower buds but on the other plant that is different I wasn’t sure as the buds never seemed to grow. You need at least two different varieties for cross pollination or you don’t get many berries. Well, the buds were getting bigger , slowly but never to the point I could say they were swelling so I have not fertilized any of them. Besides who would guess that Dec could be called spring!! This Dec has been warmer that most and see what I found today!
This was on one of my bushes. I just could not have been more surprised. There are lots more buds that now I am sure are berry buds as they are much rounder that the leaf buds. Looking closer at the bush I found several that were getting ready to open. I got the acidifier to shock the soil and the sulfur and some regular fertilizer and put a little in each pot before Norman watered them for today. He has done a great job keeping them moist and they plants seem to love it as they are all three doing well and getting new leaves. But in DEC?? I will have to watch the weather very closely for a month or more so if we get a hard frost I can cover the whole plant and save the berries. Now I hope to see more bees around. I have seen a couple but no bubble bees. I don’t know what kinds are around here to do the job. Anyways the one other thing I need is the second variety of blueberries must also bloom at the same time and last time I looked closely I couldn’t even tell for sure if there were going to be any flowers. So I inspected the middle bush closely and see what I found!!
This was hidden down low on the back side of the bush. It is a whole cluster of berries just ready to open. So I will have the two varieties open at the same time so with any luck of any kind I’ll have a few berries this year. Which means I can plan on putting out ten more pots next fall. I feel like a farmer again!!! It isn’t the size of the crop that counts, it is just that you are blessed with a crop that counts and this year I will settle for a small handful of blue berries and the promise of more to come the next spring. These blue berries are a special variety developed for Southern Florida as when my father lived here you could not grown blueberries here, they needed a dormant period in order to grow. These don’t loose all their leaves as they did in NH but I had no idea they would come this early.
I will wait until fall to put in the new plants but I can start getting the pots and some soil so I will be ready when the bushes hit the market. This is as exciting as it is in TN to plant the first garden of the year. Now it is time to finish up the Christmas cooking and shopping and get ready for the big Christmas Eve bash.. I’ll wait until next week to get ready for spring. Have a great day.