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Muscadine, blueberry plants available

KEVIN STARR

Cooperative Extension

Lincoln County Cooperative Extension is beginning its annual plant sale.  We’ve had a lot of requests for  muscadine vines and this year.

Muscadines are the best type of grape for our area.  The vines will be two years old in one-gallon containers and will be several feet tall.

We’re pleased to offer three varieties:

‘Ison’ — Black Self-fertile. 19 percent sugar, very productive, ripens uniformly, large clusters, dry scar, early to mid season. Best black pollinator. Patent #5822

‘Late Fry’ — Bronze Self-fertile. 20% sugar.   Very large clusters, good quality, ripens late. Very vigorous and very high yields. Patent # 9224

‘Nesbit’ — Black Self-Fertile. 18% sugar, large clusters, very productive, disease resistant, dry scar, ripens over long period. Mid-late season.

  All three are self-fertile varieties and will produce fruit without another pollinator.  Muscadines should be planted in a good garden soil located in full sun.  While their pests are minimal, they do require pruning and trellising.

Following are the blueberry varieties being offered.  They are among the very best for our area.

‘Climax’ — Early ripening. Medium size berries.  Sweet flavor.  Upright growth with intense green foliage.  One of the very best for harvesting.

‘Powderblue’ — Late season ripening. Medium to large size fruit, darker blue in color, sweet taste.  Upright, highly productive plant.  Good foliage.

‘Premier’ — Early to mid-season ripening.  Large, light blue, good quality fruit; excellent flavor.  Highly productive, upright growth, good foliage.

‘Tifblue’ — Mid-season ripening.  Medium to large light blue, good quality berries.  Vigorous upright plants hold up well until last berries are harvested.  Tifblue rates as the best ornamental for fall leaf color.

The blueberry plants should average about 16 inches tall and will be in one gallon containers.

Although some varieties are self-fertile, we still recommend buying more than one variety to insure pollination and supply some diversity.

Approximate fruit bearing age is three years.  Usually, the plants will come with flower buds on them.

While it’s hard to do, it’s best to remove these bloom buds the first season to encourage the plant to put its energy into growth.

Basically, growing blueberries is like growing azaleas, another member of the Heath family, except blueberries need full sun.  They need a well-drained, acidic soil high in organic matter.

They also benefit from an organic mulch such as pine bark.  While they don’t like wet soil, they will suffer if the soil dries out.

Even if you don’t buy your plants from us, we encourage you to add some blueberries to your garden or landscape.  They are a highly nutritious fruit and have very few pest problems.

Some varieties like ‘Tiflbue’ make good ornamentals and fit very nicely into the “edible landscape” concept.

All the plants are $7 each.  The deadline for ordering from us is February 29.  Plants will be available sometime in March at the James W. Warren Citizens Center in Lincolnton.

Purchasers will be notified in advance of the precise date and time of pick-up.

We will do our best to obtain quality plants from a reputable source.  However, we are unable to provide a guarantee on their performance.

To obtain an order form or for additional information, call Cooperative Extension at 704-736-8452 or e-mail me at Kevin_Starr@ncsu.edu.

 

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