Berries need cold!  Right now our blueberry plants have few leaves, and look pretty bare!  They are in their resting stage where they need cold to stay asleep.  They have to have temperatures in the 40's to let them know it is time to rest and prepare to bloom!  The varieties we have planted have been specially developed to need less cold than the ones planted farther north.  We have heard people comment that blueberries can't be grown this far south, but the University of Florida has developed  new varieties that grow in central Florida.  We currently have a number of these cultivars--Emerald, Jewel, Primadonna, Scintilla, Princess, Springhigh, and Abundance.  As long as the blueberry blooms aren't open, they can withstand 28 degrees without a problem.  Right now nearly all the buds are very tight, and can withstand the cold down to 20 degrees.  As the blooms open, and the plants wake from their sleep, they are more cold sensitive.  If there is a freeze after the blooms open, we will take frost protection measures.

The University of Arkansas developed our blackberries to be thorn free and sweet!  The also need cold to bloom well.  They bloom in late spring after the danger of frost is over.  Right now they are in the process of losing their leaves after the frost.  They will lie dormant for several more weeks before fresh white flowers appear.  Blackberry blooms are pretty, white, and look a lot like daisies--waiting is rewarding!