ACCLIMATION OF BLUEBERRY IN ISRAEL
Four cultivars of rabbiteye blueberries were introduced to Israel in 1979. Because of strict phytosanitation regulations, only 3 plants from each cutivar (Woodard, Tifblue, Aliceblue and Beckyblue) were shipped. These plants were used as a source for tissue culture propagation. The foundation of commercial orchards was delayed until a few hundred seedlings were produced and the nutritional requirements of rabbiteye blueberries were studied in a pot culture. Only a limited area of acid soils is available in Israel. These soils are of two different origins: acidic peat, and tuff with pH of 6–6.5. Recently, a few pilot orchards were established and preliminary results have indicated that drip irrigation with nutrient solution can replace native soil conditions. In a pot experiment with a mixture of peat and tuff (1:1), a yield of 2 kg per plant was obtained. Beckyblue seems to be less productive than Woodard under these conditions. The main research efforts are screening for early ripening cultivars, finding correlations between levels of nutrients in leaves and in the fertigation solution, and adopting the best nethod of propagation. New varieties in the process of acclimation are Baldwin, Brightwell, Bluebelle and Climax.
Ben-Porath, A. and Snir, I. (1989). ACCLIMATION OF BLUEBERRY IN ISRAEL. Acta Hortic. 241, 100-100