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Growing berries in zone 7a  RSS feed

 
Posts: 8
Location: Middle TN Zone 7A
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Hey All.
I am interested in growing blueberries and raspberries somewhere on our lot.  Does anyone have good luck in the 7a zone? 
 
Posts: 944
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Zone 7 (which is specifically a measure of average winter low temperature) isn't the challenge for these plants, its the soil.

There are very few blueberry cultivars that won't survive zone 7.

That being said, because topography and varying mineral  soils, zone 7 is very different in different places.

Oklahoma Zone 7 is very different from Eastern Woodlands zone 7 is very different from Pacific Northwest Zone 7.

If you tell us more about your site we can give better help.

Edit: looks like your location is in your profile. That isn't displayed in mobile view, for me at least.
 
Posts: 1644
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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forest garden solar
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Your raspberries will grow wonderful in you location+zone, even in shade you will still get some berries.

Blueberries
They will fruit the year you get it, because the fruiting bud are already there from last year.
And it might even fruit the next year because most of it's root are still in the acidic potted soil it came in.
After that you will get less/zero fruits if the soil ph is too high. Even that you are on the east coast it is very likely that your soil is acidic enough where you will still get a harvest. But if you add slow release pure sulphur into the hole when you plant it and around the dripline then you be fine for 10yrs.
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 944
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Tennessee could go either way. Get your soil ph tested.

The Raspberries will be happy from 5 to 7.5 or so.

The Blueberries seem to typically prefer 6 or below.

Bear in mind the healthier and more alive your soil is the more wiggle room you have regarding ph.
 
Posts: 131
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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I'm in zone 6B, and as far as blueberries go I've had the best luck with rabbiteye varieties and a few southern highbush types. Northern highbush types are more fickle in these hotter summer climates. The ph does need to be acidic for them as has been mentioned. Hidden Springs Nursery is in your area, I've had good luck with their plants and they aren't too expensive either, they don't have all that wide a selection of varieties but the ones they do have tend to be good for organic growing in our zones.
 
gardener
Posts: 1186
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Hey Ryan, I'm in 7a, and I grow blueberries and raspberries. My plants have only been in the ground about 16 months, so I foresee the second year here being better than the first. My suggestion for growing berries, is get your soil tested! It's important to know what's going on in the soil so accurate adjustments can be made (like pH adjustment) so berry and plant success can be better achieved.
 
Ryan Kennedy
Posts: 8
Location: Middle TN Zone 7A
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What do you all prefer as far as soil testing? Through local ag ext or get your own test kit?  I know quality of test kits vary.
 
James Freyr
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Posts: 1186
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Hey Ryan, I prefer to use Logan Labs for my soil testing needs. I find their soil analysis to be more complete than others that I've paid for in the past. For example, I have gotten some soil tests done by the Ut ag extension, and their test and soil extraction method did not provide Cation Exchange Capacity, which is important to know as it tells the holding capacity of certain nutrients in a soil, and their test also did not provide copper information. I find that Logan Labs test to be easy to interpret and I think the price is fair for the amount of data they provide. While I have never used the home soil test kits, I question the accuracy of some of them, and for me I just would rather send twenty five dollars off in the mail and have my soil analyzed by a lab with million dollar testing equipment that will provide very accurate results.
 
Ryan Kennedy
Posts: 8
Location: Middle TN Zone 7A
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I hear you.
Thank you
 
Ryan Kennedy
Posts: 8
Location: Middle TN Zone 7A
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Hey James which test do you recommend from Logan labs? There is a $25, $30 and $55 test
 
James Freyr
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Posts: 1186
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Hi Ryan- I've always found the standard soil test to be sufficient for my needs and therefore have never tried the other tests, with the exception of the physical test which I got once for my newly purchased land last summer as I wanted to know the sand, clay, silt and organic matter %'s. I find the standard test satisfactory and contains the necessary information to provide guidelines for making accurate mineral amendments, including the all important Cation Exchange Capacity.
 
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