Blueberries  

 

After some skepticism, and a bit of patience, we learned you really can have a sizable blueberry crop in your home garden here in Seattle within a few years. With all the evidence of the benefits of these antioxidant-rich berries, we make sure to have a variety of highbush and lowbush blueberry shrubs from which to choose. If the weather allows, you can be harvesting blueberries from summer into October. 

Our favorite of these varieties is Sunshine Blue - a semi-dwarf evergreen variety with showy hot pink flowers, beautiful foliage and large crops of dime-sized, delicious blueberries for up to 9 weeks in the summer.

Blueberries need full sun, regular watering, and at least one other variety of blueberry nearby for pollination.
For more growing tips, see below.
Blueberry Glaze

Unlike any other blueberries, these plants are small in stature with incredibly glossy, dark green leaves. They are reminiscent of a boxwood and can easily be sheared as such. Wild blueberry flavor. Ripens mid season.

Bluecrop Blueberry

A great blueberry plant for colder climates. Produces big clusters of large, all-purpose berries — perfect in salads or pies, or served with cream. Ripens in July. Self-pollinating, but will yield larger crops if pollinated with Jersey or Earliblue. Grows 4-6 feet high and wide. 

Blueray Blueberry

A standby favorite and versatile variety. Performs well in a wide range of climates and produces high quality berries with outstanding flavor and great fall foliage.

- Very large, classic flavored berries

- Ripens mid season (July - August)

- Grows 4 - 6 ft. high and wide

Bountiful Blue Blueberry

Gorgeous blue foliage and delicious berries make this blueberry from Monrovia Growers a must-have. A great companion to Sunshine Blue to help increase yields for both plants. Excellent in containers.

- Medium size, sweet juicy berries

- Ripens mid-late season (August-Sept.)

- Grows 3 - 4 ft high and wide

Chandler Blueberry

Giant Berries! Chandler holds the distinction of being the world's largest blueberry. With a long ripening season, there will be fresh eating for up to 6 weeks.

- Ripens mid-late season (August to Sept.)

- Grows 3 - 5 ft. open spreading habit

Darrow Blueberry

Very large berries, some reaching the size of a quarter. The berries are light blue and have a deliciuosly robust flavor. Excellent for fresh eating and frozen storage.

- Ripens late season (Sept.)

- Grows 4 - 6 ft. high and wide

Draper Blueberry

A compact habit and large yields of easy to pick, delicious fruit make this a great variety for the home garden. Excellent flavor and texture, a favorite for fresh eating.

- Large, sweet berries with crisp skin

- Ripens mid season (July to August)

- Grows 3 - 4 ft. high and wide

Duke Blueberry

A heavy consistent producer with an attractive, firm light blue, high quality berry. It blooms late but ripens early.

- Savory, sweet flavor

- 4 - 6 ft. high and wide

Earliblue Blueberry

A very early ripening berry, producing some of the earliest blueberries. Open and upright plant grows 5 to 7 feet. Excellent sweet and mild flavor. Good for both fresh and frozen berries.

Elliot Blueberry

A zesty tasting variety producing medium to large berries on a mid sized 4 to 6 foot plant. A very late season (September-October) plant producing fruit for both fresh and frozen storage with the added benefit of gorgeous fall foliage.

Jelly Bean Blueberry

A very unique blueberry plant that stays very small and compact yet produces a great little crop of sweet regular sized berries. Foliage stays dense and attractive year round. 

- Medium sized, flavorful and sweet berries

- Ripens mid season (July to August)

- Grows 1 - 2 ft. high and wide

Liberty Blueberry

Liberty is a hot new variety! Its berries are firm, wonderfully flavored, and easy to pick. They ripe later in the summer. Liberty is adaptable to many different growing conditions and grows vigorously once established.

Northcountry Blueberry

Northcountry blueberries are great for patio containers producing good quantities of berries in a small amount of space as it only gets 2'x3'.  It is adaptable to a wide range of soil types so it may produce better than other more particular varieties. A hardy, deciduous Shrub, hardy to zones 3-7.

Northern Highbush

Moderate growing, multi-trunk shrub.

Northland Blueberry

A hgihly adaptable, very cold hardy bush with reliably high yields once mature. Medium sized, sweet berries excellent for baking, jams and eating fresh. 

- Ripens early-mid season (July)

- Grows to 6 ft tall by 5 ft wide

North Sky Blueberry

Half high dwarf blueberry, yields 1 to 3 lbs per plant per season. A compact plant, it is good as a border plant or even in small pots. Gets 1 to 1.5 ft. tall, 2 feet wide. Full sun, zones 3-7.

Patriot Blueberry

An early producer bearing 10 to 20 lbs of fruit per plant. Large sweet berries good for both fresh and freezing growing on a mid sized shrub (to 4 feet and spreading). Showy white blooms and dark green foliage make this an attractive landscape plant as well.

Peach Sorbet Blueberry

One of the new Brazelberries TM. Compact habit and beautiful peach color new leaves in spring (purple in winter) make this a great container plant. Tasty, medium sized, juicy berries, too.

- Ripens mid-late season (August-Sept.)

- Grows 2 ft. high and wide

Pink Icing Blueberry

One of the new Brazelberries TM. with pink edged leaves, makes a good companion to Peach Sorbet blueberries.

- Robust sweet blueberry flavor

- Ripens mid season

- 3 - 4 ft high and wide

Pink Lemonade Blueberry

The berries are bright pink, medium sized and have a mild, delectable flavor. The bush reaches 4-5 feet and wide. This blueberry has color all year long, beginning with pink flowers in spring, fading to green leaves with pink fruit in summer, to brilliant fire tones in autumn and finishing with reddish brown stems in winter. 

Rubel Blueberry

Rubel Blueberry is an example of a true wild blueberry and has been around for over 100 years. It has consistently remained popular due to its adaptable nature and wonderfully tasty berries. Great for all manner of baking including muffins, pies and sauce. A consistent producer, Rubel is hardy in zones 3-7 and is a vigorous grower.

Spartan Blueberry

Huge attractive berries with excellent flavor, easy to pick. A favorite at Farmer's Markets and in home gardens. Requires a light well drained soil, rich in organic matter. Glossy green leaves turn gold and orange in the fall.

- Huge robust and fruity berries

- Ripens early season (mid to late June)

- Grows 5 - 6 ft. high and wide

Sunshine Blue Blueberry

Our favorite blueberry! See below!.

Top Hat Blueberry

A great little dwarf blueberry, excellent for mixed borders or patio containers. A cross of the wild lowland blueberry, it has a delicious tangy flavor and great fall foliage.

- Small wild flavored berries

- Ripens mid season (Jluy)

- Grows 1 - 2 ft high and wide

Toro Blueberry

A mildly sweet berry produced on a stocky mid sized plant (4 - 6 feet).  Easy to pick mid season variety with lots of large berries.

Sunshine Blue

Our favorite blueberry. A beautiful semi-dwarf, evergreen shrub with bluish foliage that turns burgundy in the cold weather. Great in containers with its highly branched compact habit.

 

The showy hot pink flowers in spring yield large crops of dime-sized, delicious blueberries with a unique tangy flavor for up to 9 weeks in the summer. Sunshine Blue tolerates higher pH soils better than other blueberries. It is self pollinating.

- Medium size, rich and sweet berries

- Ripens mid-late season (August - Sept.)

- Grows 3-4 ft. with compact bushy habit

- Needs full sun and regular watering

 

Growing Blueberries

  • Blueberries will produce the most fruit when grown in full sun, ideally 7-8 hours or more in midsummer. Most will tolerate some shade but the production will usually decline in direct proportion to the amount of shade the plant receives during the day. 

  • Blueberries are not drought tolerant, and need plenty of water during the growing season. 

  • Blueberries require acidic soil. For those of us in the rainy Northwest this is often our norm. The soil should have a pH of 5 or less. Adding peat moss, fly ash, elemental sulphur, and using acid-type fertilizers all will help.  

  • Prune in the spring. Remove dead and broken branches first, then cut out the oldest, largest canes. Leave the newest canes to produce the fruit for the next several years. Make sure not to remove more than 20% of the branches. 

  • Harvest the berries when they are ripe to taste, which means you’ll have to do a bit of taste testing when the end of spring starts to roll around! Ripe berries have different looks on different varieties.

  • Relatively few problems plague blueberry farming. One that many of us urban farmers seem to have is competition form birds. You can use bird netting, but that can be a bit troublesome to move each time you have to get to the plants. However, if that is the only alternative it is better than giving much of your harvest to the winged predators.

  • Blueberries need not be limited to the confines of a kitchen garden or orchard. They make an attractive accent in shrub borders as well with great seasonal changes. Ideal against fences and foundations of outbuildings. Well suited to areas around the acidic transitional edges of conifer canopy driplines or openings in natural woodlands. Line them up for a delicious and beautiful hedge for easy picking access. 

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