Posts Tagged ‘blueberries’


August 30, 2012

Hope everyone made it through Hurricane Isaac OK. Time to celebrate with some good food, Blueberry style:


Blueberry Planting Articles

August 15, 2012

Here are 11 articles and videos to help you make the right choices when planting blueberries:


New, Fresh-Market Blueberries Available for Southern Production

August 14, 2012

Released August 1, 2012

Growers and consumers alike stand to benefit from Gupton and Pearl, two new southern highbush blueberry cultivars developed by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers in Poplarville, Miss.

In addition to high yields of plump, flavorful berries and vigorous growth, the new cultivars should give southern growers a jump on the lucrative, early-ripening fresh market, which starts in April and May.

According to Stephen Stringer, a geneticist with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), there’s been limited acreage of southern highbush blueberries because their lack of vigor has made them difficult to grow. Gupton and Pearl are different because they were derived from crosses made among southern highbush germplasm with improved adaptation to the southeastern United States, says Stringer. He’s with the Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Research Laboratory, which is operated in Poplarville by ARS, the USDA’s chief intramural scientific research agency.

Stringer collaborated on the cultivars’ development, testing and release with ARS horticulturists Donna Marshall and James Spiers (retired) and ARS small-fruits breeder Arlen Draper (retired).

In Mississippi field trials, Gupton and Pearl flowered in mid to late April and were ready for harvest approximately 21 days before the earliest ripening rabbiteye cultivars, the predominant type grown in the South. The highbush cultivars produce firm, medium-to-large berries with light blue color and a high soluble-solids content, among other desirable traits. The cultivars themselves grow as cone-shaped, upright shrubs and have a chilling requirement (necessary for springtime blooms) of 400 to 500 hours at temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gupton, released in 2006, and Pearl, released in 2010, are finding their way into crop fields and nurseries as more propagative material becomes available from tissue-culture operations and softwood cuttings. Several nurseries have requested Pearl, and some Mississippi growers already have planted Gutpon in small commercial plots, Stringer reports.

Michigan, Maine, New Jersey and other northern states lead U.S. production, but year-round demand for the antioxidant-rich berry has given southern growers a chance to get a bigger piece of the action—especially the early-ripening fresh market, for which southern highbush blueberries are ideally suited.



Browse related News by tag: blueberries

Louisiana Market Maker

July 24, 2012

What is MarketMaker? MarketMaker is a national partnership of land grant institutions and State Departments of Agriculture dedicated to the development of a comprehensive interactive database of food industry marketing and business data. Put simply, MarketMaker is a platform that seeks to foster business relationships between producers and consumers of food industry products and services.

Visit the Louisiana Market Maker here:
Find a Market Maker for your state:

Growing Blueberry Knowledge via Social Networks

July 23, 2012

Attaway, A. D., B. Clark, and N. A. Hummel. 2012. Growing Blueberry Knowledge via Social Networks. International Journal of Fruit Science. Special Issue: Proceedings of the 11th North American Blueberry Workers Conference. 12: 342-349. DOI: 10.1080/15538362.2011.619453


The All About Blueberries Community of Practice (CoP) is being built to guide blueberry producers in the southeastern region of the United States in methods to maximize productivity, decrease production costs, and increase the marketability of their crops. A CoP is defined as blueberry producers—both backyard and commercial—distributors and consumers, both adult and youth. The CoP is incorporating the best existing extension publications and developing new research-based extension recommendations related to blueberry production and consumption. The primary goal is to increase blueberry production and consumption of blueberries. The general public is inundated with information via the World-Wide Web. According to a survey by, 132,469 websites were added each day in 2009. The number of active websites increased by more than 300% between 2005 and 2009. For this project, Google alerts are being used to notify the CoP of blueberry information as it is posted online. The information is then summarized and posted to a WordPress blog. Postings on the blog are automatically posted to the Facebook fan page and then to a Twitter feed. All of these resources are free to use and free to access. The consumer audience prefers to receive information via a variety of channels, and this allows for optimizing the reach of the project. After the launch of the All About Blueberries site on the website, the CoP will transition to sharing the websites posted online as the primary resource of information. The CoP’s goal is to build credibility as expert sources of information via these social networking tools and increase traffic to the website when it is published.

Full text available at:

Mulching Blueberry Bushes

July 20, 2012

Mulching with organic materials, such as pine bark, pine needles, leaves, hay, wood chips, sawdust or other organic materials is very beneficial for soil health. Well-maintained mulch can help control weeds, and keep soil cool, loose and uniformly moist. Mulch should be 4 inches to 6 inches deep and cover a 4-foot band of soil centered on a blueberry plant row. It is important to replenish mulch as it deteriorates. Deteriorating mulch adds organic matter to the soil and creates a favorable environment for root growth. Vigorous root growth can cause root exposure if mulch is not replenished as it deteriorates. The benefits of mulching continue as long as mulch is replenished when necessary.

Sawdust can be used as mulching material, particularly a well composted softwood sawdust. If fresh sawdust is used, an additional 50 percent to 100 percent Nitrogen may be necessary for the first few years to compensate for increased microbial activity. Well-composted sawdust requires less supplemental nitrogen. In addition to its use as mulch, composted sawdust has been found beneficial when applied in the planting hole, particularly in conjunction with the mulch. In these cases fertilizer applications has to be increased threefold to produce vigorous growth. Also, it is possible to overcome the harmful effects of high soil pH by incorporating sawdust into the soil in which rabbiteye blueberries were grown. The incorporation of peat moss in the soil at planting also provides higher yields in following years.

A preplant soil test will help to measure the levels of important nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Some adjustments for these elements are done most effectively if they are incorporated before planting. Organic matter content of the sopil may be increased by incorporating a cover crop with the soil and by adding rotted, peat moss, manure (except poultry), leaf mold, or ground pine bark.

Use of raised beds may increase the acceptability of sites with marginal aeration or drainage. Raised beds may also compensate, in part, for the sinking of plants that occurs as organic matter decays in the planting hole. Such sinking may increase the risk of certain diseases

Skelly, Sonja M. Mulches for the Landscape. Mississippi State University Cooperative Extension Service. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
Perry, George. Blueberry Mulching. Cornell University Extension Service. Retrieved 01 May 2010.


How to Fertilize Blueberry Bushes Organically – Video

July 19, 2012

Organic fertilizers are best for blueberry bushes, as they stay in the ground longer when sprinkled directly over the root line. Feed a blueberry bush every few months using an acidic organic fertilizer with help from a professional landscape designer, James Sheridan, in this free video available here:


Ladybeetles: predators of ‪blueberry‬ pests

July 18, 2012

Several species of ladybeetles are active in blueberry fields. They are generally oval and red to orange with varying numbers of dark spots.

Both adults and larvae are predators, eating aphids and other small insects.

The multicolored Asian ladybeetle, an introduced species, feeds on pests during summer. They may be many colors with several or no spots.

False “eyes” — twin white, football-shaped markings behind the head — show this to be an Asian multicolored lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis. Photo by Scott Bauer, USDA, ARS.

Isaacs, Rufus. Beetles. Michigan State University Cooperative Extension Service. 2009. Retrieved 01 July 2010.



Growing Blueberries from Seeds – Video

July 17, 2012

Want to know how to grow blueberries from seeds? The videos linked below will show you how. Be sure to watch them in order so that you will do everything properly! Children and teens can do this — it’s easy and uses no toxic chemicals! View these videos in order, Video 1 first, then Video 2.

Watch the videos at:

Wild Blueberries may help reduce memory loss…

July 16, 2012

… and something else (I forget).

Released February 28, 2012

Could the antioxidants in Wild Blueberries help protect your brain against memory loss? Today, a growing body of research is focused on the potential of this tasty little superfruit to confer a wide range of possible brain health benefits. Areas of study include memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive impairment—areas of intense interest to the millions of baby boomers who are now reaching retirement age.

Wild Blueberry researchers began seeing positive results with in-vitro and animal studies more than a decade ago and are now conducting human clinical trials to investigate the impacts of a diet rich in this recognized antioxidant powerhouse.

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