It is currently Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:44 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Blueberries
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:49 am 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Posts: 11840
Our Blueberries are in full swing and it occurred to me that I have never posted on them.

Blueberries are an excellent source of nutrition, easy to grow, easy to harvest, require minimum care and planned properly can supplement a bland diet to feed you for a couple of months in late spring/ early summer. Berries are also easy to can, easy to freeze (frozen are good forever) and can even be dehydrated.

The US and Canada currently account for 85% of blueberry production worldwide.

Nutritional value:

Quote:
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 240 kJ (57 kcal)
Carbohydrates 14.49 g
Sugars 9.96 g
Dietary fiber 2.4 g
Fat 0.33 g
Protein 0.74 g
Vitamins Quantity %DV†
Vitamin A equiv.
beta-Carotene
lutein zeaxanthin
0% 32 μg
80 μg
Vitamin A 54 IU
Thiamine (B1) 3% 0.037 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 3% 0.041 mg
Niacin (B3) 3% 0.418 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) 2% 0.124 mg
Vitamin B6 4% 0.052 mg
Folate (B9) 2% 6 μg
Vitamin C 12% 9.7 mg
Vitamin E 4% 0.57 mg
Vitamin K 18% 19.3 μg

Minerals Quantity %DV†
Calcium 1% 6 mg
Iron 2% 0.28 mg
Magnesium 2% 6 mg
Manganese 16% 0.336 mg
Phosphorus 2% 12 mg
Potassium 2% 77 mg
Sodium


A great source of Vitamin C and K, important in pregnancy, especially for those who don't tolerate vitamins well. Blueberries are also packed with anti-oxidants of anthocyanins, polyphenols and various phytochemicals. High in fiber too so you may want to keep an eye on that. A cup weighs about 6 ounces. Power food.

To grow blueberries you will need soil that is high in acid with a PH from 4.5-5.5. In Eastern forests pine straw tends to make the soil acidic which why you often see them doing well in National Parks and Forrest along the AT. The soil at my current location is very clayey and not particularly high acid. It was easy to fix. I took my auger on my tractor and drilled large deep holes to loosen the soil to about 4' with a diameter of about 18". I then added about 50% peat moss (by volume) to the mix. Peat moss is inexpensive.

The holes were drilled in rows about eight feet apart with ten feet between the rows.

You can also grow them in containers although they will not get as large and the berries will mature faster. We keep two in containers for early berries.

[I have about a three acre bog on my land so if I ever needed more acidic soils without a purchase I could harvest it there.]

Once that was done I purchased at the local big box home center 10 blueberry plants of three different varieties. I planted them in a mostly sunny spot in the garden. I purchased three different varieties due to the different maturation rates. The idea here was to grow a large amount of blueberries through the season and have them fresh through the season with ample left over. The plants were in 1 gallon containers and about 9" high. And so it began.

That was the beginning six years ago. Every year after that I purchased and planted two new plants. For the first few years I poured about a pound of peat moss around each plant to make sure the soil was acidic enough. You can tell if the soil is not acidic enough as the plants will be yellow instead of green and they will not fruit.

For care I mow carefully around the plants and keep grass, weeds, and other invasive plants off and out of them. The berries will spread on their own so you need to be aware of what the plants look like and cut only invaders if you want them to spread. My intention was to get long rows of tall plants. The first year plants you are supposed to pick the unripe berries and throw them away to promote plant growth. This actually works really well. I did not do this the first year but did in subsequent plantings.

Deer take a nibble on the leaves every now and then but don't seem to like them and damage has been minimal. Other pests that will clean out my fruit trees if left unchecked or my garden such as rabbits and groundhogs show no interest. Other than rare sugar ants and fruit flies no bugs seem to bother them either.

Two years after planting I had to spend a good chunk of the summer away on family issues and by the end of the summer the garden was in bad shape. I did controlled burn in the spring then an unexpected wind storm came up and took out three of the mature plants. Everything else fared well.

This year the plants I planted in year one are all about 7'+ tall and have spread about 3' in every direction (with new plants and stalks coming up). They are now very close to touching. Each of the larger bushes provides about 3-4 gallons of berries per season. I expect them to get to be about ten feet tall at full maturity and eventually grow together as a solid row.

Picking is the most labor intensive task of berries. I always pick in morning when it is cooler and the berries have a coating of dew. They seem to be at peak moisture then. To pick lightly grasp the berry with two fingers and roll it. If it does not come right off it is not ripe yet. You can pick unripe berries if you want to and they will mature when put with other berries due to offgassing but they will be larger and better tasting if picked when mature. Berries start as a white, turn yellowish, then reddish, then purplish, till finally turning a nice blue. They will get darker if left on the vine until almost black but there is no need.

Berries that don't mature or are shriveled and not developed I throw in the blackberry vines to get rid of. This is about 1% of the berries or less.

This time of the year I pick 3-5 quarts a day with most berries coming from the oldest plants. What I don't eat fresh or use to cook with I put in a gallon zip lock bag and place in freezer. These can be pulled out for cooking and eating. Do not pull out a whole bag of frozen berries unless you are going to use the whole bag as it will turn in to stew quickly. I am not a big fan of canned or dehydrated berries so we don't prepare them in that way.

I eat about a pint a day fresh. From the local grocer this would be $5-8 a day. I also give away gallon bags to friends, coworkers and neighbors. Never had a single complaint and blueberries are very expensive in the market.

_________________
"Big Thanks - I promise to advance your agenda within the secret and omnipotent councils of the Trilateral Commission"

“No-one likes us, we don’t care.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:39 am 
Offline
ZS Member
ZS Member

Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:20 pm
Posts: 459
About how long to grow until they start yielding berries? From a seed? Are year old starter plants from a store the way to go?

_________________
Batman has a pretty good EDC. - Purple_Mutant


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:49 am 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Posts: 11840
00dlez wrote:
About how long to grow until they start yielding berries? From a seed? Are year old starter plants from a store the way to go?


They will yield as soon as they have leaves. Even tiny plants will make berries. However as noted above; picking premature will spur plant growth.

Starter plants are around $5 and guaranteed for a year. Second year larger plants are $8-10 and IMO totally worth it. They will be in the larger sized containers.

_________________
"Big Thanks - I promise to advance your agenda within the secret and omnipotent councils of the Trilateral Commission"

“No-one likes us, we don’t care.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:31 pm 
Offline
ZS Moderator
ZS Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:18 pm
Posts: 15927
Location: Greater New Orleans Area
The blue berries in my area ...and there are a lot of them...generally take 5 to 7 years to yield a decent harvest per plant. The good news is that they tend to fairly hardy and not too labor intensive to grow.

http://www.blueberryjubilee.org/

You best bet is to find a grower in your area (like at a pick your own type farm) and ask him/her about the best variation of the plant for your area.

I bought some blue berry plants that after 5 years still yield really foul tasting blue berries. The berries were nice sized but due to the taste even the chickens did not like them and chickens will eat damn near anything.

_________________
Duco Ergo Sum

ImageImageImage

Hall of Fame Forum


Forum Rules Link


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:10 pm 
Offline
ZS Member
ZS Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:48 am
Posts: 4025
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Stercutus: Thank you for your article. I found it quite informative. :)

_________________
Matthew Paul Malloy
Veteran: USAR, USA, IAANG.

Dragon Savers!
Golden Dragons!
Tropic Lightning!
Duty! Honor! Country!

"When society is experiencing severe disruptions, or is being completely interrupted, people have the responsibility to handle their own and their nearest relatives' fundamental needs for a while."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:14 pm 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:41 pm
Posts: 3507
Location: Central Cascadia
Great post! Never thought of doing write ups on plants and such. Growing up we had blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries, grapes, kiwis, strawberries, apples, peaches, plumbs, cherries, pears and pear-apples.

One of the things I want to get on my property once I've got the trailer in is an area cleared out for berries, fruit, and nut trees.

_________________
JeeperCreeper wrote:
I like huge dicks, Halfapint, so you are OK in my book.... hahaha
Spazzy wrote:
Tell ya what... If Zombies attack and the world ends I'll hook tandem toddlers to a plow if it means I'll be able to eat...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:34 pm 
Offline
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:10 am
Posts: 381
Location: CRE
I wish...

The woods around here are lousy with blueberries, but just before they get ripe, they're gone! From just starting to turn, to bare bushes, overnight. I don't even see what eats them!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:10 pm 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:30 am
Posts: 2036
Thanks Stercutus, you got me to realize something I wouldn't have thought of without your post. We don't have blueberries, but we do have about 20 mulberry trees. This was another poor year for the mulberry berries. Too dry, so not enough to go to trouble of trying to make jam,. But we could dehydrate some to make trail mix and for baking Just mentioned it to my wife and we will go see what we can gather tomorrow.

_________________
As of now I bet you got me wrong

John Titor was right


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:44 am 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Posts: 11840
raptor wrote:


I bought some blue berry plants that after 5 years still yield really foul tasting blue berries. The berries were nice sized but due to the taste even the chickens did not like them and chickens will eat damn near anything.


I have never heard of a variety that produces bad tasting fruit after a five years. Without seeing the plants I can't really know for sure but some possibilities:

- The plants spread and after five years would easily have spread past whatever ideal soil conditions that you had planted them in. This is why I dump the peat moss around my bushes every year to increase the acid content of the surrounding soil they spread in to. They may still fruit but will not taste right because the acid content is off (too high/ too low). The outer fruit will of course be the worst.

- If the berries have tiny holes in them or are malformed you may have an insect infestation. The good news it that this increases the protein content of the berries. :v: I'd check for ants in the area first and then flying insects like fruit flies that my have gotten in to them. No holes or malformed fruit and this is likely not it.

- Too much sun and/ or not enough water. This tends to dry certain varieties out and make them hard, brittle and unpalatable. If they are growing in full sun without enough water. Some varieties do better in semi-sunny conditions or even shady conditions. If they grew in to the sun the top most berries would present these characteristics.

_________________
"Big Thanks - I promise to advance your agenda within the secret and omnipotent councils of the Trilateral Commission"

“No-one likes us, we don’t care.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:54 am 
Offline
ZS Moderator
ZS Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:18 pm
Posts: 15927
Location: Greater New Orleans Area
Stercutus wrote:
I have never heard of a variety that produces bad tasting fruit after a five years. Without seeing the plants I can't really know for sure but some possibilities:

- The plants spread and after five years would easily have spread past whatever ideal soil conditions that you had planted them in. This is why I dump the peat moss around my bushes every year to increase the acid content of the surrounding soil they spread in to. They may still fruit but will not taste right because the acid content is off (too high/ too low). The outer fruit will of course be the worst.

- If the berries have tiny holes in them or are malformed you may have an insect infestation. The good news it that this increases the protein content of the berries. :v: I'd check for ants in the area first and then flying insects like fruit flies that my have gotten in to them. No holes or malformed fruit and this is likely not it.

- Too much sun and/ or not enough water. This tends to dry certain varieties out and make them hard, brittle and unpalatable. If they are growing in full sun without enough water. Some varieties do better in semi-sunny conditions or even shady conditions. If they grew in to the sun the top most berries would present these characteristics.


Thank you!
Since I live in blueberry land I gave up on these bushes and simply go to my cousin's house and pick them in his orchard. The mechanical pickers always leave enough for me. BTW they freeze very well.

I am confident that it is grower who is doing something wrong and not the plant's fault.
My biggest mistake (which I wanted to share) was that I did not do my homework and source the plants from a local source. I should have simply obtained plants from my cousin who is very good at growing blueberries.

_________________
Duco Ergo Sum

ImageImageImage

Hall of Fame Forum


Forum Rules Link


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:56 am 
Offline
* *
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:14 am
Posts: 157
Location: Central MO
Thanks for the great post! Love the how-to instructions. Considered blueberries this year, but got scared off because.people said they were hard to grow. You've mentioned you grow some in containers. What eoul mixture do you use in that?

Flybynight, I dont know where you live, but I have had a bad year for mulberries as well. Have 3 of them (I live in the middle of the city and so have a lot less room than a lot of you) and they all bore poorly. Last year I had enough from 3 to share with the birds, have my kiddos eat fresh, and make a small batch of syrup. This year, not sure if I'll be able to make much at all.. Not just that the fruit was smaller, but the trees just bore so much less.

_________________
"When you can't run, you crawl, and when you can't crawl..." "You find someone to carry you."

"She's tore up plenty, but she'll fly true."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:11 am 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:30 am
Posts: 2036
Ellywick wrote:
Thanks for the great post! Love the how-to instructions. Considered blueberries this year, but got scared off because.people said they were hard to grow. You've mentioned you grow some in containers. What eoul mixture do you use in that?

Flybynight, I dont know where you live, but I have had a bad year for mulberries as well. Have 3 of them (I live in the middle of the city and so have a lot less room than a lot of you) and they all bore poorly. Last year I had enough from 3 to share with the birds, have my kiddos eat fresh, and make a small batch of syrup. This year, not sure if I'll be able to make much at all.. Not just that the fruit was smaller, but the trees just bore so much less.

Kansas . Wife and I went out and checked the next day and there just isn't enough to bother. There's fruit on the trees but it's all mostly stunted and not ripening.

_________________
As of now I bet you got me wrong

John Titor was right


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:53 am 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Posts: 11840
Quote:
You've mentioned you grow some in containers. What soil mixture do you use in that?


I use larger containers and round out the soil with potting soil/ Peat moss 50/50. Once the bushes get too big I plant them. They can get quite large in a few years.

_________________
"Big Thanks - I promise to advance your agenda within the secret and omnipotent councils of the Trilateral Commission"

“No-one likes us, we don’t care.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:39 pm 
Offline
*
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:29 pm
Posts: 86
Location: SE Michigan
My parents are lucky enough to have quite a few wild blueberry bushes on their property here in Michigan. The y taste about the same as the farmed ones, but they're much smaller (pencil eraser sized), so it takes a long time to pick any appreciable amount. The nice thing about wild ones though, is that they don't require any maintenance!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:38 am 
Offline
* *
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:14 am
Posts: 157
Location: Central MO
flybynight wrote:
Ellywick wrote:
Thanks for the great post! Love the how-to instructions. Considered blueberries this year, but got scared off because.people said they were hard to grow. You've mentioned you grow some in containers. What eoul mixture do you use in that?

Flybynight, I dont know where you live, but I have had a bad year for mulberries as well. Have 3 of them (I live in the middle of the city and so have a lot less room than a lot of you) and they all bore poorly. Last year I had enough from 3 to share with the birds, have my kiddos eat fresh, and make a small batch of syrup. This year, not sure if I'll be able to make much at all.. Not just that the fruit was smaller, but the trees just bore so much less.

Kansas . Wife and I went out and checked the next day and there just isn't enough to bother. There's fruit on the trees but it's all mostly stunted and not ripening.


Ah, I'm Missouri, so it makes sense as we're "neighbors". Yep, that is exactly what I am experiencing. I am really disappointed. I wonder what the reason is.

_________________
"When you can't run, you crawl, and when you can't crawl..." "You find someone to carry you."

"She's tore up plenty, but she'll fly true."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Blueberries
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:40 am 
Offline
* *
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:14 am
Posts: 157
Location: Central MO
Stercutus wrote:
Quote:
You've mentioned you grow some in containers. What soil mixture do you use in that?


I use larger containers and round out the soil with potting soil/ Peat moss 50/50. Once the bushes get too big I plant them. They can get quite large in a few years.

Awesome, thanks for the info. As a crazy plant lady, I would love to see more posts like this about gardening.

_________________
"When you can't run, you crawl, and when you can't crawl..." "You find someone to carry you."

"She's tore up plenty, but she'll fly true."


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group