Posts Tagged ‘edible landscape’


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:


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:

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.

–continued on, 

How to pick best blueberry variety for spring planting

July 13, 2012

The type of blueberry bush you plant depends on where you live. David Himelrick from the LSU AgCenter discusses the four types of blueberry bushes: Wild or Lowbush Blueberries, Highbush Blueberries, Rabbiteye Blueberries and Southern Highbush Blueberries. According to Himelrick, it’s important to know the correct type of blueberry bush to plant in your area.

Watch the video at:


Blueberry Wine Has More Antioxidants Than Many Grape-based Wines

July 12, 2012

Released February 1, 2012

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Blueberry wine can provide more potentially healthy compounds than white wines and many red wines, according to a new University of Florida study.

Researchers with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences measured antioxidant content in a Florida-produced blueberry wine and compared it to published reports of antioxidant content in white and red wines made from grapes. Antioxidants are compounds that may offer cells protection from damaging molecules called free radicals.

The researchers found the Florida wine, produced from southern highbush blueberries, had more antioxidants than all of the reported white wine values and all but 20 percent of the reported values for red wines, which are considered high in antioxidants.

Wade Yang, a food science and human nutrition assistant professor with IFAS, led the research.

“For people seeking the potential health benefits of a glass of wine, blueberry wine is a comparable, and, in many instances, better alternative to grape wines,” Yang said.

Good news for producers

Blueberry production in Florida was valued at more than $70 million in 2009 and is unique because the state’s warm climate allows it to provide some of the first fresh blueberries on U.S. store shelves in the spring.

Wine production offers blueberry producers a market for extra berries they might not be able to sell due to slight imperfections or late ripening, said Jeff Williamson, an IFAS professor in horticultural sciences and fruit crop specialist.

“Growers are always looking for value-added products and ways to utilize all of their crop rather than just the part that might in this case, ripen at the right time and be of the right standards for fresh fruit,” Williamson said.

Florida’s blueberry wine industry is relatively small, Williamson said.

Yang’s team tested the antioxidant activity of the blueberry wine using a method known as oxygen radical absorbance capacity.

This was the first study that looked at antioxidants in wine from southern highbush blueberries, a variety commonly grown in Florida. Previous studies have examined the antioxidant content of wine from northern varieties, and found the values comparable to southern blueberry wine.

Dark fruit, such as blueberries, often indicates the presence of antioxidants. Many of these antioxidants are transferred from the juice, fruit and skins of the blueberries when they are fermented into wine.

A local blueberry wine producing company contributed $5,000 to help fund the study. The research is published in this month’s issue of Sustainable Agriculture Research.

University of Florida,

Sources: Wade Yang,, 352-392-1991
Jeff Williamson, , 352-392-1928

Writer: Robert H. Wells,, 352-273-3569