Blueberry plant is one of the most popular fruits grown in Florida. There are many varieties of blueberries and they vary greatly in size, shape, color and flavor. They are easy to grow from seed and produce fruit year round. However, it takes time to get them established into productive plants so they will remain attractive long after the last frost.
The first step in growing blueberries is selecting a location where you want your new plant to thrive. You need to choose a spot with good drainage and plenty of sun.
A sunny window sill or porch would be ideal because it’s out in full sunlight all day long.
Once you have selected a site, there are several things you’ll need to do before planting your blueberry bush. First, dig a hole big enough for the plant to stand up straight without bending over too much.
Then fill the hole with soil so that it sits level around the base of the plant. Next, water the soil well. Finally, plant the plant in the ground and make sure it gets lots of light during its early growth stage.
When you’re ready to harvest your blueberry crop, cut off any dead branches or leaves that may be blocking your view of what’s going on outside. If you don’t like the look of some of the berries on your bush right now, just leave them alone until next season when they’ll start turning red and starting to ripen.
For large container plants, you will need to prune the plant less severely. If, however, you have any diseased or dead branches, cut them off as close to the main branch as possible.
If you have any other kinds of berry bushes such as raspberry bushes or blackberry bushes, they are usually much more vigorous and will need more attention than the blueberry bush. Raspberries and blackberries grow outward and need more space to spread out their canes.
Either plant them in their own holes about three feet apart or, if you want to keep them closer together, you can plant them in a mound with about six canes per mound. Spread the roots out as they grow and mound additional soil around the base as they grow.
Water your new plants every couple of days if there is no rain. If it hasn’t rained for awhile, water them daily until it does.
Make sure to mulch around the plants (about three inches thick) to help keep the soil moist and prevent weeds.
In a few months, you should be harvesting your delicious blueberries!
More Blueberry Growing Tips…
How to Prune Blueberry Bushes
In this article we talk about pruning blueberry bushes in florida. I was actually going to write about pruning blueberry bushes in other states but it seems as though the same rules apply for every state so I’m not going to go into that level of detail.
That being said, lets take a look at how to prune blueberry bushes in florida. The first thing to know is that you shouldn’t prune your blueberry bushes in the middle of summer. You should wait until the cold days of early spring before you begin.
When you do prune your bushes, cut them back by about a third. This will encourage the bush to put out new shoots and create a bushier healthier plant.
Don’t worry, it will grow back! It is also a good idea to mulch around the base of the bush to keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from growing. We use pine needles but I’m sure that grass clippings or even shredded paper would work just as well.
Before you harvest your berries, it is also a good idea to spray the bushes with a hose to wash off any insects or mold on the leaves that may have fallen during pruning. This will ensure you get the best quality berries possible!
I hope this information on blueberry bush pruning in florida was helpful. Now get out there and enjoy your blueberry harvest!
There are over 13,000 known varieties of berries in the world so it’s very unlikely you’ll grow every single kind. I haven’t even come close!
However, there are a few berries that are very easy to find and grow just about anywhere. One of these is the ever-popular blueberry.
Of course, here in the United States, blueberries are a very popular berry thanks to the abundance of them in Florida and other states in the Southeast region. Other parts of the country also grow them but due to climate restrictions they don’t grow as well.
When picking berries it’s always best to pick them locally so you know they’re going to be ripe!
Blueberries grow on bushes and range in color from white, green, yellow to blue and even a purple-blue. Some people say the darker the berry the more nutritious it is though this isn’t always the case.
Blueberries are one of the most popular berries in desserts and muffins but they also make jams, wine (fermented of course!) and even pie fillings!
The History of the Blueberry
Ever wonder how something as “simple” as a blueberry could have such a fascinating history?
Well so did I so I looked it up! Take a peek at this interesting article.
The Composition of a Blueberry
Not to brag or anything but blueberries have what is arguably the most powerful antioxidant in the world: Vitamin C. They also have a very high amount of fiber, especially if you leave the skin on!
Every little bit helps!
Blueberries for Wildlife
While wildlife don’t necessarily go “WOOOW” at blueberries they are one of the main food sources for many small mammals, birds and some larger mammals in the wild. Bees and other insects also love them so if you’re looking to attract wildlife to your backyard then planting a few blueberry bushes is a great way to do it!
What State Has the Most Blueberries?
The answer to this question may surprise you! According to Wikipedia (so it must be true!) the state of New Jersey is the largest producer of blueberries in the nation due mostly in part to the fertile soil and climate.
Blueberries are a Super Food
If you haven’t eaten a blueberry before then you’re missing out! They’re delicious and extremely healthy for you.
Blueberries (specifically the skins) are packed with antioxidants, Vitamin C AND they have anti-inflammatory properties too! Now if that isn’t a super food then I don’t know what is!
Blueberries are Edible…and Other Fun Facts!
You may have heard that some people eat the flower of the blueberry plant but this isn’t true. The berries are actually the fruit of the plant and there is no flower.
It’s still not a good idea to eat the berries though as they’ll make you sick due to the toxic levels of hydrogen cyanide within. (Don’t worry, your plants aren’t going to kill you! They don’t produce enough to be toxic!) It’s also a myth that the blue color comes from the fact that they are poisonous, in fact the bluish-purple hue is due to it having a high anthocyanin content.
What Do You Do With a Blueberry Plant?
There are so many things you can do with blueberry plants! Growing them is a lot of fun and if you follow the steps listed in this article it should work out just fine. However you can do a lot more than just grow them!
Harvesting Your Blueberries
When your blueberry bush first starts producing berries you’re going to have more than you know what to do with so it’s best to either give some away, store them in the fridge or freezer or make preserves or yummy blueberry recipes.
When it comes time to harvest your blueberries you’ll notice that they become softer and a bit squishier to the touch. At this point they should be picked if you want to use them for anything other than compost.
(If you’re a vegan or just an all around healthy person then you probably already do this! (: )
Even after they’ve turned soft you can still use them in recipes that call for cooking them but you probably shouldn’t try to eat them raw. (But if you do, don’t blame me if you get sick!)
If you’re a real beginner grower then it’s best to wait until your blueberries become ripe as this means they’re ready to be picked and eaten!
Are Blueberries Edible? What is the Best Way to Eat Them?
Yes, blueberries are edible! In fact they’re extremely delicious and nutritious too! There are so many foods you can make with blueberries that it would be nearly impossible to list them all but some of the more common ones include: pancakes, waffles, muffins, scones, shortcake, cookies, etc.
All of these delicious foods (as well as everything else) taste even better when topped off with some fresh whipped cream! Trust me, you’ll love them!
How to Store Your Blueberries
If you have a lot of blueberry plants and happen to get a bumper crop then you’re going to have more than you know what to do with. It’s best to either give some away, freeze or can them or just eat them as fast as you pick them!
Canning and freezing your blueberries is actually easier than you think! Follow these simple instructions and you’ll be enjoying your home grown blueberries all year round!
Can Your Blueberries:
Wash the blueberries and remove any that are soft or visibly damaged.
Put half a cup of sugar for each quart of berries in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves.
Add the blueberries and heat slowly until the skins burst.
Remove from heat, add ¼ cup of water and allow to cool.
Seal in sterile jars.
Store in a cool dry place.
Your blueberry jam will keep for six months.
Blueberries are extremely nutritious and beneficial to the human body (as well as being extremely delicious!) Blueberries are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals so go ahead and indulge!
Can’t wait for your blueberries to ripen?
You can pick up some fresh blueberries here .
Sources & references used in this article:
Assessment of the V45 blueberry harvester on rabbiteye blueberry and southern highbush blueberry pruned to V-shaped canopy by F Takeda, G Krewer, EL Andrews, B Mullinix… – …, 2008 – journals.ashs.org
Pruning blueberry plants in Florida by JG Williamson, FS Davies, PM Lyrene – 2004 – inquiry7.tripod.com
Pruning severity affects yield, berry weight, and hand harvest efficiency of highbush blueberry by B Strik, G Buller, E Hellman – HortScience, 2003 – journals.ashs.org
Organic production of wild blueberries I. Insects and diseases by F Drummond, S Annis, JM Smagula… – IX International …, 2008 – actahort.org
Blueberries-North and south by RE Gough – Journal of Small Fruit & Viticulture, 1997 – Taylor & Francis