Blueberries

Blueberry TifblueBlueberries have become renowned for making delicious pies and muffins, and they are a good source of Vitamin A and C. Blueberries are high in iron and low in calories, and are a good energy source.

There are three main types of blueberry:

1. Grows wild in Canada and Europe and is a low bush

2. One is an ornamental shrub growing 2.5 metres high.

3. Rabbiteye blueberry, which also grows 2.5 metres high. It has a small dark fruit, is resistant to heat and grown mainly in Queensland and N.S.W.

Here are two varieties we often have on offer:

NORTHLAND: These are an American variety, with small to medium size berries, which ripen in December. They produce a good crop, have excellent flavour and are highly recommended for the home garden.

BLUE ROSE: This type ripens in the third week of December. They are a vigorous grower with a high yield. The berries are medium to large in size, but must be left on the plant until they are mature to reach their full flavour. The berries store well and can be picked on a 10-14 day rotation.

BLUEBERRIES NOW FOR SALE

PLANTING

The canes can be planted during the winter months, whilst the plant is dormant. Plant at 1.5 metre intervals, if necessary on raised beds to allow drainage, as the canes require well drained soils.

Blueberries require acidic soil and it is a good idea when planting to incorporate two teaspoons of Devotion™ Time Release Fertiliser in the hole. Do not use a mineral fertiliser. The canes need to be watered most frequently in late November to early February to allow the fruit to achieve a good size. But be careful not to overwater. They grow well when planted in an easterly or northeasterly position with plenty of sunshine and shelter from strong wind, and frost.

PRUNING

The canes take seven years to mature properly and during the first two years the flowers and fruit should be removed to provide the plant with more energy to grow. Nip off the ends of branches to encourage bushiness, and after four years cut back the older branches to encourage spreading. Pruning is done during the dormant period of June to July. It should be completed before the new growth in the spring.

HARVESTING

The flowers develop in October and fruit develops in November and ripens from December-February.