If you are searching for that “just right” shrub for your property, be sure to explore the potentials of planting blueberry bushes. They provide great ornamental beauty, with delicate white blossoms in the spring, turning to brilliant red foliage in the fall.
Then, there are the berries themselves. Did you know that blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits, packed with beneficial nutrients like phytonutrients and anti-oxidants.
There are many benefits from eating blueberries reported, from improved blood circulation, anti-aging effects, and improved night vision, to helping relieve symptoms related to digestion, arthritis and water retention. Some studies also indicate that including blueberries in your diet may help prevent cancer. And, can you imagine being able to simply walk into your backyard and pick beautiful ripened berries for an anytime snack. Or perhaps memories of grandmother’s freshly baked blueberry pie will tempt you to consider planting your own blueberry bushes. Planting a blueberry bush is an investment that pays off. These plants can stay productive for 20 years or more, and a mature bush can yield 5 to 8 pounds of berries, from just one bush.
Blueberry Plant Varieties
You will want to plant more than one bush and variety, for cross pollination. Depending on the varieties you choose, you can also extend the berry picking season. You should check with your local nursery to see which types will do best in your area, and there are sources like Mother Earth News on line that can give you information about what varieties are recommended in different parts of the country.
Low bush blueberry types are more tolerant of cold, but less productive. These are low spreading bushes that often grow in the wild, and they produce small to medium sized tasty fruit. You can choose high bush varieties that you can be planted from zones 5 to 10. Just to get you started, here are descriptions of only a few of the varieties available.
• Bluecrop: This is a productive variety that ripens midseason with berries that are light blue, large, firm and having a somewhat tart flavor.
• Jersey: This is a productive late midseason shrub that produces medium blue firm berries with a fair flavor.
• Northland: This variety has good ornamental value, and is very productive mid-season with dark blue good tasting berries.
There are many more varieties, and all their descriptions are just as mouth-watering. Be sure that you properly prepare your planting site before you purchase your blueberry stock from a reputable nursery.