So you want to know more about beloved blueberries? If you’d like to find out how it grows, how to store it to preserve freshness, and ways to eat it, then you’re in for a treat!
Blueberries: A Homesteading Guide To Fresh Backyard Berries
Color me blue with blueberry. It’s a great fruit full of wonderful benefits. From being a great antioxidant to something that may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, what reason is there for you not to eat it? Blueberries are often expensive at the market, so add them to your garden this year and grow your own right on the homestead.
Looking for Blueberry Recipes? You’ll love these!
Here’s a great homesteading guide for blueberries on how you can start planting, how to choose what kind, and what you can do after harvest. Enjoy!
Thanks to Hobby Farms for this great guide!
The Incredible Blueberry
Grow, harvest and enjoy these tasty garden gems!
Requirements for the Perfect Blueberry:
- Full sun
- 3″ to 4″ mulch: wood chips, pine needles, leaves
- Rich soil: acidic (pH 4.5 to 5.2), well-drained, moist, high in humus
How to maintain it:
- For yellow leaves – Add sulfur
Tip on how to fix it: Incorporate 3/4 lb. per 100 sq. ft. until pH tests around 4.5.
- Prune yearly in late winter starting when plants are 3 to 4 years old.
- Cut off weak spindly growth and canes that are over 6 years old.
Extend the Season
Harvest berries from June to September by planting varieties with a range of ripening dates.
- Early: Earliblue, Climax, Patriot
- Early-Mid: Northland, Bluejay, Spartan
- Mid: Bluecrop, Blueray, Berkley
- Mid-Late: Chandler, Rubel, Nelson
- Late: Elliott, Legacy, Aurora
Gather berries a few days after they turn blue. Ripe ones will drop off in your hands.
- Freezer: 10-12 months; store unwashed and rinse before using.
- Refrigerator: up to 2 weeks in 32°F.
How Tall Do Blueberries Grow?
- up to 10 feet
- tolerant of heat and poor soil
- zone 7 – 9
Northern Highbush Blueberries
- up to 8 feet
- most commonly grown
- zones 4 – 7
- up to 6 feet
- hybrid cross between highbush and lowbush
- zones 3 – 7
- up to 4 feet
- classic wild blueberry
- zones 3 – 7
- Lowbush: 1-pint berries per foot of row
- Half-High: 2 to 8 lbs. berries per plant
- Northern Highbush: 5 to 10 lbs. berries per plant
- Rabbiteye: 15 lbs. berries per plant
Now that you’ve grown and harvested your berries, time to find out ways to enjoy it!
A Piece of Pie
Try these tasty blueberry varieties for baking and pie making.
Here’s More: 24 Recipes for Blueberries
1/2 cup blueberries contains:
- 24% DV Vitamin C
- 25% DV Manganese
- 36% DV Vitamin K
- 14% DV Fiber
Blueberry Freezer Jam
Use fresh or frozen berries to make this quick freezer jam. Crush berries and sugar together in a heavy saucepan. Place over a medium burner and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes until thickened, stirring frequently. Spoon into a jar and cover with a lid. Store in the refrigerator for 3 weeks or freezer for 12 months.
Will you start planting blueberries around the homestead now? Let us know below in the comments!
Put those berries to good use! Get ideas here: Amazing Blueberry Recipes
Originally posted on March 19, 2016 @ 8:00 AM