Looking to buy healthly blueberry plants in Massachusetts!
April 23, 2009 5:29 AM   Subscribe

Where can I buy established blueberry plants that are ready for transplant in northern Massachusetts?

All I seem to find are those dormant twigs squished into a box (ala BJ's or Home Depot) that will take years to start bearing fruit, if they do at all. I'm looking to pay a little more for a quality, healthy and established plant that's ready to be transplanted and start producing this year or the next.

Anyone know of a place, preferably north of Boston, where I can buy these? Alternatively, anyone have experience with a reputable online dealer that will ship them?
posted by csimpkins to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
I don't have experience with them, but Google just turned up the Willis Orchard Company, which ships plants at several sizes, up to 5 years old.
posted by jon1270 at 5:44 AM on April 23, 2009

Just FYI - my wife and I bought some fancy, established 3-year old plants from a specialty grower near DC. In order to make sure we had several varieties we also bought a couple of the "dormant twigs squished into a box" from Home Despot. The twigs bloomed and produced the first year we stuck them in the ground and have out produced the fancy-pants plants every year since. This year they have wads of blooms the size of my fist and each flower is the size of my thumb. The fruit from the fancy ones is a little better, but the Home Despot cheap-o twigs aren't bad by any stretch.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:51 AM on April 23, 2009

I would think any garden/landscape center (not big box) would have them available. I got some last year right off the truck at the local one. I think I paid $10 a sq ft, but they all had buds and produced well enough to fatten every bird within 2 miles of my place.
posted by lobstah at 5:58 AM on April 23, 2009

I'll second what lobstah said. A local plant nursery will more likely have larger, established plants, though you can expect to pay more for them. One thing to be aware of is that blueberry bushes need acidic soils with a pH of 4.0 to 4.5, so you might want to test that first. The upside is that they thrive in rocky, generally poor soil, so besides the pH they're pretty low-maintenance.

You might already be aware of this, but there are many different varieties of blueberries. Where I live we are surrounded by wild low-grow bushes, which yield smaller berries. To my palate the flavor of these is sweeter and more concentrated than the larger berries from the high bush plants.

And yes, ones the birds discover your bushes you can expect to have purple bird poop all over the place, but it's a small price to pay for a wonderful fruit.
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:55 AM on April 23, 2009

2nding Pollomacho - I bought twigs-in-a-box from Peaceful Valley by mail-order and planted them in early February, and it looks like they are going to produce this year. Yes, the fruit on my more established plant is a lot bigger...but that plant had blossoms on it when I bought it.
posted by crinklebat at 8:54 AM on April 23, 2009

Try these guys. About an hour and a half away. Might be farther than you want to drive but look at the variety and advice you'll get when you visit. Blueberry trees are not maintenance free. It's like owning a dog. Are you prepared for the commitment?
posted by birdwatcher at 9:07 AM on April 23, 2009

Here's a great place right outside of Portsmouth, NH. I see their website has not been updated for the season, but I'm sure you could call and ask when they open. THey really know their blueberries. I haven't gotten blueberry bushes from them, but I got raspberry bushes from them last year and they are coming in strong.
posted by Miko at 10:06 AM on April 23, 2009

Put a notice in Craigslist Wanted or freecycle; somebody might have some you could thin.
posted by theora55 at 2:19 PM on April 23, 2009

For future reference, I found some great plants at Mahoney's in Chelmsford. They had plenty of potted blueberry plants of varying varieties/ages. All of the plants I purchased a month ago are healthy and growing well, with blueberries already forming on the 3 older plants.
posted by csimpkins at 10:14 AM on May 27, 2009

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