Adapt and Overcome

There is some interest as of late in the nursery industry to try new or different crops to help out with slumping sales. Some have been talking about blueberry or stone fruits as a possible new crop. The sales of edible nursery items such as citrus, blueberries, vegetable transplants have been doing well with local retailers and have been increasing. The University of Florida/IFAS has had a strong breeding program to help with Florida regionalized, low-chill stone fruits and blueberries. The breeding program works directly with the Florida Foundation Seed Producers to license growers to produce the patented plants. They also look for growers to work with them to produce plants and make them available to the general public. Here is a link to the FFSP: http://ffsp.net/. There are other plants that UF will license such as lisianthus, coleus, caladiums and grapes.

The blueberry cultivars are highbush varieties and they are named: Star, Emerald, Millennia, Jewel, Southern Belle, Blue Crisp, Sebring, Windsor, Sapphire, Santa Fe, Springhigh, Springwide, Abundance, Savory, Floridarose, Primadonna, Snowchaser, Sweetcrisp.

They can be found on the web brochure: http://ffsp.net/resources/$2706Blueberry.pdf

There are nine peaches: UFSun, UFBeauty, UFBlaze, UFSharp, UFO, Gulfking, Gulfcrest, Gulfprince GulfCrimson;

three plums: Gulfbeauty, Gulfblaze, Gulfrose;

three nectarines: Sunmist, Sunbest, UFQueen;

and one apple: 'TropicSweet' (Fla. 90-3)

The brochure for the stone fruits is: http://ffsp.net/resources/UFStonefruit060908.pdf.

If you would like more information about varieties or how to get licensed call me at IFAS extension (813) 744-5519 ext. 147, or FFSP, John Beuttenmuller (352) 392-9446.

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