With my small garden in San Jose (Northern California, South Bay Area), I found blueberries to be quite easy to maintain in the containers and good for the kids. I’ve been harvesting 20lbs since early May 2011. I’m collecting blueberry varieties and these are the ones I have with my comments and sources. I will update these yearly as well.
- Abundance – Recommended. Sweet, big, thick skin (from Half-Moon Bay Nursery, $13/#1)
- Berkeley – Recommended. Excellent, sweet (from Alamaden Valley Nursery, $15/#1). 2012: dying, don’t know why yet
- Bountiful Blue Blueberry – likely similar to Sunshine Blue, very bushy, great color, likely created for landscaping (from Payless Nursery, $20/#3). 2012: very early, already flowering in mid-Jan this year, maybe winter is too mild. Sweet and really bountiful as its name implied. Recommended
- Bluecrop – (from Lowes, $7/4″). 2011: Not too impressive, fruits were small and not tasteful. +1 Feb 2012 Lowes $7/plant-in-a-cup
- Blueray – (+1 no record, +1 Feb 2012 Lowes $7/plant-in-a-cup)
- Bluegold – 2011: Not sure if it’s still young or it’s like this but it’s quite tart and not very tasty (from Lowes, $8/4″)
- Camelia – (from Lowes, $7/4″) 2011: no fruits yet
- Chandler (Feb 2012 x2, from GrowOrganic.com, $7.5/4″+s/h)
- Duke x2 – Good size, sweet (from Lowes and Summerwinds). $6/4″ Lowes (23 May 2012)
- Earliblue – Indeed early, good size, few fruits but likely because it’s still young (got from Alamaden Valley Nursery)
- Elliot – (from Payless Nursery)
- Emerald (Feb 2012, GrowOrganic $7.5/4″+s/h)
- Jersey (+1 no record, +1 Feb 2012 Lowes $7/plant-in-a-cup)
- Jewel (OSH, $17, #2, Sep 2011). 2012 – Big and sweet. Good!
- Jubilee – Small, not so good, cling to branches
- Legacy – (from Lowes, $25/#2), 2011: no fruits yet
- Misty x2 – (from HomeDepot, $5 bareroot)
- Northcountry – (from Lowes, $7/4″)
- O’neal – 2012: very early, big and sweet
- Ozark Blue – Recommended. 2011: Sweet, big (from Payless Nursery, $10/#2, clearance)
- Patriot (Feb 2012 – GrowOrganic $7.5/4″+s/h)
- Pearl – $6/4″ from Lowes May 23, 2012
- Pink Lemonade Blueberry – (from OSH, $14/#2 promo), 2011: no fruits yet
- Powderblue – Recommended. Very late, extend all the way to Sep, distinct, sweet berries (from Alamaden Valley Nursery, $15/#1)
- Rebel – (from Lowes June 2011, $7/4″)
- Reka – A bit small, maybe it’s still young, also for some reason, this season has very bad taste, really bad. Maybe next year (from Lowes)
- Reveille x2 – Recommended. 2011: Early, good size, sweet, green bushy and not show too much branches (from Payless Nursery, $10/#2, clearance)
- Sharpblue x2 (from HomeDepot, $5 bareroot)
- Southmoon – Recommended. Payless Nursery
2011: Excellent, shape is definitely different from other blueberries, good size, sweet , long season
+1 Feb 2012: Groworganic $7.5/4″+s/h
- Spartan – Excellent, really big, sweet (from Summerwinds)
- Star – Good, a bit tough, cling to branch and tougher skin (from Payless Nursery). 2012 – It’s good, diff from 2011, big and sweet, maybe it need time to mature. Fruit is distinctive with star-shaped bottom
- Sunshine Blue – Recommended. Good, heavy bearing, compact plant, bigger fruits after 3rd year (from Payless Nursery)
- Top Hat – Small, low bush but good fruit size and sweet. Bush/Plant is a bit too small for a decent fruit yield (from Payless Nursery)
I want to buy in-store since it’s much better to judge the quality than buying it online/mail order. Thus, there are varieties that are not available in stores in my area. These are the one I’m looking for: Chandler (got it!), Darrow.
The best place for blueberry variety descriptions is from Fall Creek. Too bad they don’t sell retails and don’t even list those retails/nurseries/stores they ship to so I can find and buy. Maybe will buy from Raintree. Heard good things about Nourse but they require phytosanitary cert. for Calif, which make it more expensive.
2012 Update (May, June)
Favorites for this season so far are Star, Abundance, Early Blue (early varieties), Bekerley and Bountiful Blue. Powder Blue died, don’t know why. Reveille aren’t doing so well, maybe irregular watering during my house painting project.