The blueberries started to ripen in June and are continuing on into July.
While blueberries will require more bed preparation in Dallas, you should definitely give them a try.
My blueberry bushes have been
very successful and produced berries in their first year. Now that they
are in their second year, they have set a fair amount of fruit. As the bushes get bigger and more mature, I'm hoping for more in the coming years. I must say that the mockingbirds are tough competition for the blueberries. I keep looking out the front window to see mockingbirds hanging upside from the bushes trying to get at the berries.
In Dallas, plant blueberries like you would an azalea bush. Blueberries like acidic soil, so create a raised bed using azalea planting mix or other type of acidic planting mix (Dallas has alkaline/clay soil, by and large). Blueberries also like a fair amount of water - especially that first year. To help conserve water, put a heavy layer of mulch on top of the azalea mix to retain the moisture. Make sure you don't let the soil dry out that first year. I installed drip lines under the mulch in the flower beds where I planted the azaleas to conserve water. You can keep the soil acidity up by occasionally topping off the beds with acidified mulch from Soil Building Systems or another mulch supplier. Alternatively, you can spread some sulfur to the beds in the winter to boost the acidity.
Remember that blueberries need a pollinator, so you should plant at least two varieties; however, I recommend three. When picking blueberry varieties, try to pick varieties that ripen at different times so you extend the picking season. For the south, many experts recommend southern rabbiteye varieties which do well in the heat. I planted Tifblue, Woodard, and Brightwell. These varieties are deciduous and can grow from 6 to 12 feet tall. A national nursery supplier called Monrovia sells smaller, evergreen varieties called Misty and Sunshine Blue. They claim that these varieties will grow only to 3 to 5 feet. If you speak to your local nursery that you use, they might be able to special order some for you. Raintree Nursery (a mail order nursery) also sells these varieties, but they typically offer smaller, immature plants. I encourage you to plant as many plants as you can to ensure that you get a nice amount of berries at a time. Blueberries ripen over a period of time, and you want to be able to pick a fair amount of berries. Try to plant 6 bushes or more, if you can. The more the merrier.
purchased my blueberry bushes in 2009 from Bob Wells Nursery in
Lindale, Texas: www.bobwellsnursery.com. I purchased 3 gallon
If you want to plant some, Bob Wells Nursery may have some that you can plant in October. Alternatively, wait for next spring. This year in the spring, I noticed that North Haven Gardens, Lowe's, and Home Depot were carrying 3 gallon bushes.
Here are a few photos of how we planted our blueberries in our front yard. As you can see, we made a raised bed, and the blueberry bushes are planted among several crepe myrtles. In front of the blueberries are strawberries. Our bushes are still pretty small around 2.5 feet tall and not filled out; however, they will eventually get to be approximately 6 feet tall. Blueberries like full sun for best berry production. In Texas, our summer sun is so powerful, I think these bushes are getting adequate sun for fruit production even though there is intermittent shade from the crepe myrtles.