See Also, Blueberry Sal
Relevant sections include
Vision + Design
The front yard of the Forest House gets a lovely amount of sun, and is in need of some natural barrier protection between myself and my westward neighbors. How about some edible landscaping?
There will eventually be a front porch in this yard, so there's some footprint space already being taken up by that. However! Luck would have it that the sunniest patch of yard is also where I want to put all these yummy things.
Blueberries are the main motivator here. I also have an interest in elderberries, black berries, figs, and perhaps some apples 1)
Indigenous Fruit Options
Especially relevant background information from theNC State Extension Office chapter on tree fruit and nuts and this section on small fruits.
From “tree fruit and nuts”:
Recommended fruit and nut tree crops for central North Carolina include apples, chestnuts, figs, pears (Asian and European), pecans, persimmons (American and Asian), and plums. ‘Lovell’ and ‘Halford’ rootstocks work well for peaches in the NC piedmont.
From that list, let's consider
- Figs - already have 2 of these
- Pecans - further reading suggests this is not a plant that can live in isolation; you need 2-3 plants in order to achieve pollination
Not mentioned on the list, but I would love a pawpaw.
A table is provided in small fruits with specific varieties of blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, grape, and strawberry.
We already have a thornless blackberry and can transplant it to the berry patch. NC State recommends Highbush and Rabbiteye blueberries. The only other fruit on that list that I have interest in are grapes - NC State recommends Muscadine, which is one of my favorites!
Rabbiteye blueberries get their name from the immature fruit; the light color and pink blush on the blossom end look like a rabbit's eye. The rabbiteye blueberry is a southern species native to the Gulf Coast states. Rabbiteye blueberries are well-known for their vigor and productivity. They ripen later and over a longer period than highbush berries. The fruit has a slightly tougher skin and better storage life than highbush. Rabbiteyes are more tolerant of drought, heat, and a wider range of soil types than highbush.
Highbush blueberries, sometimes called “northern highbush blueberries,” were first selected from the wild in New Jersey They are well-adapted to colder climates and are the best species for the western North Carolina mountains at higher elevations (> 2,500 ft). Highbush cultivars often do not grow well in the North Carolina piedmont and North Carolina coastal plain because highbush blueberries are not adapted to those soils. Often the North Carolina coastal plain does not receive enough winter chilling to allow highbush plants to leaf and flower normally the following spring.
Alright, so, highbush is out. Rabbiteye is in.
New plants needed
- Pawpaw (try to find one near the Tot Lot to transplant)
- 4 rabbiteye blueberry bushes
- Transplant the figs from Temple
- Transplant the blackberry from Temple
The blackberry will also need to be encouraged to propagate more lil babies.
- Choose species for planting ✓
- Determine best planting times ✓
- Draw garden design
- Determine best planting conditions for species; modify soil as needed
- Dig 5 holes for figs, blackberry, and blueberries before winter comes
- Transplant figs; blackberry
- Move blueberries to new location
- Water the bejesus out of everything