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growing organic raspberries or blueberries in florida

i am toying with the idea of trying to grow raspberries or blueberries on the central west coast of florida. does anyone have any helpful hints or suggestions?

may god bless america
terri
 
Terri,
I know it can be done with blueberries. There are farms just east of Sarasota and another north of Tampa that grow blueberries.

As to raspberries, it is very tricky in Florida. Dr. Bob Knight of the University of Florida (Homestead research location) has done extensive research on this subject. He recommends growing them as annuals - you order the canes from "up north" at about this time but special order that they be pruned to 52" long instead of the usual 12". They are then given the required dormancy by the grower, about 1 month of chill time, at which point they are shipped to you. Upon planting the old canes break dormancy and start to flower in about a month, I think. In the meantime new canes start to develop. You essentially get two crops from the planting then need to find a way to give the plants their one month of chill time or order new plants for the following growing season.. Depending on how far north you are you might have to worry about freezes.
 
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I just got seeds for SUN BERRY(SOLANUM BURBANKII) i HEAR THESE TASTE BETTER THAAN BLUE BERRIES AND WILL GROW HERE,PEOPLE DOWM THE ROAD ARE GROWING THEIR BLUE BERRY BUSHES IN THOSE BLUE BARRELS ,THEY SAY THEY CAN AJUST THE DIRT FOR THEM THAT WAY AND THEY GET WONDERFUL CROPS,WE;RE IN LITHIA FLORIDA
 
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I decided against raspberries for here in North Carolina. They really don't like hot and humid. Stick with blue, black or strawberries for Florida. You could also try Surinam cherries – they did quite well in Orlando where I lived.
 
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This is what you University of Florida people have to say about growing Raspberries in Florida, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HS104 and this is what they have to say about growing Blueberries in Florida, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/MG359
Contact your local office of the University of Florida USDA Cooperative Extension Service, http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/map/
for even more advice.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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From the link provided by Kimm:

quote:
Raspberries are not generally recommended for the southeastern United States... 'Dorman Red' is the only raspberry cultivar recommended for trial in Florida when grown as a perennial crop; however, berry flavor is poor to fair. 'Heritage' raspberry has been grown as an annual crop during the winter in the southern parts of the state after it receives its chilling requirement.
 
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I grew the Dorman Red raspberries and was very disappointed with the bitter taste. After 2 years they didnt get any sweeter and I pulled them out this fall to use the spot for something else. Let us know how yours turn out and what varieties you like.
 
It's not easy being green - Kermit E. Frog
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The folks at the county extension office dashed my hopes of growing raspberries right off the bat. "The heat will kill them" Frowner

I do love them though and I'm afraid this will always be the one fruit I'm destined to buy no matter where it has to be trucked in from.
 

~~~To plant is to believe in tomorrow~~~

Mobile, Alabama   Zone 8b

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