Blueberry article

Nice article about growing blueberries in my neighbor state. I’m picking from my plants now, starting a few days ago- they used to be my first fruit before I planted a Flavor May peach. Right now I’m having a bowl of peaches, blueberries and steel-cut oats. Also picked my first apricot yesterday.


That was a great article!

1 Like

I grew up in South Jersey and would take the yearly field trip to Whitesbog from about second to sixth grade. We saw those original blueberry plants and the bogs where they grow cranberries. As a child, it was not very exciting, but looking back it was one of the better field trips.

The pine barrens are really a neat place to visit if you are ever driving down the Jersey shore or hitting up AC. We would swim in cedarwater, which were lakes that were red. It just feels different being in all those pine trees.


great article! i miss the years after i got out of the Army, when me and some friends used to camp out in the woods near the blueberry barrens and rake wild low bush blueberries in cherryfield ,me for wyman farms. talk about back breaking work! and i was in shape then! we would stay there for 2 weeks and average $1000/ week tax free! we went to Tunk lake every couple of days to wash up. was hard work but was great times and made some friends with the local indians that all worked there. still go down and fish with them occasionally. I’ve eaten dozens of cultivars of blueberries but none are as sweet and complex flavored as the eastern Maine blueberries! of course im a little biased. :wink:


Excellent Article. Be sure to click on the link in the article for Elizabeth Coleman White for more information about her research with Frederick Coville which took wild blueberries from the forest and turned them into a big commercial crop.

Edit - Here is research paper that started it all “Experiments in Blueberry Cluture” by F Coville in 1910


Seems the average homeowner is picking up a blueberry or two at a big box store…and then losing interest when they die or don’t produce or are not the variety they thought was being described.

One lady, had 4 of 5 die from Lowe’s…planted in a raised bed with farm topsoil and peat moss.
And it rained 72 inches last year, so lack of water wasn’t the problem.

One bought a rabbiteye from one store, and a highbush from another, not having a clue they don’t cross pollinate.

I mostly have a blueberry collection in containers that mostly get neglected. All survived the winter this year. Many may fail to fruit much as I keep them in the shade so I don’t have to water–at least not often.

Where I am in S. NY once you build a bird proof cage with a door, the only real work is the hours and hours they take to pick. I spread mulch over landscape fabric about every two years, lifting the fabric, so there’s some work in that too- but picking them!

Sure, it’s fun the first couple of weeks, but after that it is a tedious chore for me.

However, I still have frozen blueberries in my freezer after eating a generous serving every morning since Nov.

1 Like

a blueberry rake makes fast work of picking them.

1 Like

That’s for the low growing blueberries they have up in Maine, right? I believe that highbush have to be picked by hand. If I tried to rake off the big ripe berries on my bushes they’d be crushed.

1 Like

Plus you just pick the center of the clump until the outer berries get ripe. I have one of those pickers, which I bought to pick lingonberries, except my lingonberries don’t seem to ever produce fruit after many years, so I have never tried out the picker.

1 Like

i think you could get the outside berries with the rake then get the ones in the middle by hand. i don’t think it would crush the berries but bigger branches could be a issue.

I’ve had the same issue with lingonberries. after 3 yrs. I’ve only got a few fruit where as my blueberries right next to them produce well.

1 Like

I’ve had Koralle Lingonberry for a number of years,with no fruit,although they did flower a lot last year.When at Raintree Nursery,I brought that up to their horticulturist and she told me to get another variety for cross pollination.So I did to see what

1 Like

I agree. We tried a rake too. Also a picking frame.

Nothing beats carefully picking blueberries by hand where you choose only the best.

The rake was no faster for us than picking by hand for fresh eating after removing the sticks, green or smashed berries. It worked great for picking fruit for winemaking where fruit quality was less important than quantity.

Nothing beats fresh picked blueberries for breakfast but it takes about 1 hour to pick 12 pints of good quality fruit. (10 pounds).

The thing is, once I have peaches and nectarines, it takes about 5 minutes to do that. My nects are as good out of the freezer as BB’s- in fact, they hold up their texture better. I wish I had frozen more of them and fewer BB’s because I’ve been out of them for over a month. Combined with BB’s they are a perfect addition to oatmeal or waffles.

I have quite a few varieties, so cross-pollination of the lingonberries isn’t the issue. I think it is too dry and sandy of a location, although the plants have grown well and spread.

I’m remembering a summer I spent living in the pine barrens of eastern Long Island. I could walk a few hundred feet from the house and pick all the wild blueberries I wanted. The county bought that land the year after I left and it remains undeveloped. I may revisit that spot to look for those wild blueberries. If they are as good as I remember I’ll take some cuttings for rooting.
Hard to see the blueberry shrubs. They are up the road a bit on the right and left. That private road leads to the bay.


i have mine in peat mixed with composted spruce sawdust with a think layer of wood chips and pine needles.i feed them some jobs plant food and miracid a few times a summer. plus our soil is already has a ph of 6. don’t know what I’m doing wrong with them. i have red pearl, koralle, and magenta.

I read recently,not to feed them much or they will mainly grow

right now mine aren’t even doing that. going to dig them from around my blueberries and plant them in their own bed in a more sunny spot. maybe they’re too shaded from the blueberries. I’ve read if you mulch them regularly, they rarely need a fertilizer.