Blueberries in So. Calif coastal

My nursery (Armstrong) advertises 2 blueberry varieties that (I assume) can be grown in this mild Mediterranean climate: Sunshine and Bountiful Blue. $29.99 for 2 gal. Some advertised to bear next summer.
I am a card-carrying blueberry freak, so my interest was piqued. However, it's asking a lot to wait 'n' years for berries that might not be to my taste.
It has taken decades for mild-weather varieties to emerge upon the scene. What's available at Trader Joe and Co-Op is generally from Oregon or Vancouver -- neither of which is exactly mild weather.
So, throwing myself on the mercy of this NG: Does anyone have a clue how these two varieties taste?
TIA
Persephone
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On 11/13/10 12:58 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Blueberries are now an important commercial crop in Ventura County, most of which has a mild-winter climate. You might inquire at the county's agricultural commissioner <http://portal.countyofventura.org/portal/page/portal/AgCommissioner tofind out when they are in season and which certified farmers markets have them.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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I live 1 mile from the pinelands.
http://www.pineypower.com/blueberries.htm
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Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/play/snake-oil-supplements /
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'Sunshine Blue' is probably the most popular blueberry variety we carry at the nursery. In addition to being a smallish, compact plant, it is evergreen and produces prodigious crops even at an early age. Good for container culture. Do the berries taste as good as those grown for commercial purposes? That's pretty much a subjective evaluation but they ARE tasty.
FWIW, any of the Southern highbush or rabbit-eye varieities should do well in SoCal. They tend to have lower chill requirements than other cultivars and do well in warmer, milder winter climates. http://www.fallcreeknursery.com/Nursery/VarietyChart/SouthernHighbush.htm
The hardest part of growing blueberries in SoCal is not the weather but soil conditions. A tendency towards alkaline soils and irrigation water poses challenges for successful growing of acid lovers like blueberries. You will need to amend soils carefully to achieve proper growing conditions or grow in containers.
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On Sun, 14 Nov 2010 10:06:50 -0800 (PST), gardengal

gardenhttp://www.informationisbeautiful.net/play/snake-oil-supplements/- Hide quoted text -

Actually the most difficult thing about growing blueberries are birds.
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OK, I went to this helpful site. While it gives Sunshine Blue a huge rave, it also lists required "150 hours chilling". How do they define chilling? IOW, what temps are meant? We don't get freezing here.

Yes, here in So.Cal we know from adobe! However, the soil in my garden was amended for a long time by the previous owners, and amended by me for many decades, so I trust it's OK. However, when I do new plantings or transplant, I always mix a batch of my compost, the City's compost, worm castings, and a bit of ammonium sulfate. Seems to work OK.
I noted with wry amusement David's comment about the big problem being birds. I can relate! On my late plum tree, only one branch was still bearing, so I determined not to let THEM have the pluns. Since I was going away for some days, I carefully encased each plum in a small paper bag and sealed it with a twist tie.
Hah! Squirrels/birds just laughed and ate.
HB
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r> to

Chilling hours are determined by the cumulative hours between 45F and 32F occuring typically between November and March (end of February) or during the normal period of dormancy. Sunshine Blue has the lowest chilling hour requirements of any blueberry cultivar and is highly recommended for California, thriving as far south as San Diego. It is listed to USDA zone 10, which includes all of coastal SoCal and the Sunset Western Garden book lists it suitable for all zones.....all the way up to 24! It is also more tolerant of 'sweeter' or less acidic soils than most other cultivars, so that too makes it a good choice for your area.
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On 11/16/10 8:24 AM, gardengal wrote [in part]:

There are varying definitions of "chilling hours" , "chilling units", "chilling degree hours", or "chilling accumulation". See, for example, <http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/stonefruit/chillacc.htm by TexasA&M and <http://fruitsandnuts.ucdavis.edu/chillcalc/index1.htm by UC Davis.
Furthermore, I saw a mail-order catelogue for bare-root fruit trees that gave different definitions according to the kind of fruit (e.g., apples vs peaches vs cherries). That is, for some fruits, "chilling hours" involve total number of hours between 40F and 32F while, for other fruits, it's the number of hours between 50F and 32F.
I have also seen a definition that multiplies the number of minutes by the number of degrees below 45F (but not lower than 32F) at that time and then divides by 60. This gives more chilling hours for an hour at 32F than for two hours at 40F. The Utah definition uses temperature bands to simplify such computations.
Because sap contains sugars and other dissolved substances, it doesn't freeze at 32F. Thus, some definitions have the computation extend down to 25F or even 20F; and some definitions do not involve any minimum temperature. Since different plants have different concentrations of dissolved substances in their sap, this could explain why the definition of "chilling hours" might vary for different plants.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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