Welcome to the beginning of your very own blueberry patch!
Blueberries are a tasty, portable, delicious fruit with a growing list of accolades. Because of its antioxidant properties, the tiny blueberry is considered a superfood—an anti-aging, disease-preventing, brain-boosting, weight-managing, skin-smoothing wonder. Never mind its versatility in the food arena: pies, cobblers, ice cream, jam, muffins, salads, smoothies—even fudge! They taste good and they’re good for you; now that’s a great combination!
So, here’s your guide to planting, nurturing, and harvesting your own blueberry patch—with guidance on choosing the right blueberry bushes for your location and setting reasonable expectations. We’re going to take you beyond the U-Pick variety of blueberries and show you all the growing possibilities. And not to worry—you don’t have to be a super green-thumb gardener to get your blueberry patch going. We’ll guide you through the process, step by step.
First, you’ll get an Introduction to Blueberries that will give you all the background and history of this beautiful fruit. You’ll be amazed to learn how long humans have been enjoying this tasty berry!
Then, in this guide’s Feature Articles, you’ll get the basics about the five main types of blueberries and how to prepare your garden to welcome your new plants. Plus, you’ll get all the practical advice about growing blueberries—from soil and fertilizer to pruning and picking!
In Plant Profiles, we’ll give you a sampling of blueberry plants for a broad range of growing zones—check our Resources section for to see where your location fits in when it comes to USDA Plant Hardiness Zones . But that’s only a taste of all the blueberry plant choices available to you—just enough to whet your appetite to start planning your own blueberry patch. If you know about (or discover!) other blueberry varieties that you really like, please let us know by commenting below.
For the experienced food gardeners among us, some of this may be familiar. But wait until you learn more about the history of the blueberry, both ancient and modern. And we’ve chosen some recipes for you that go beyond pie and jam; we’re sure you’ll want to try them.
Now, I will tell you that growing blueberries does require some planning—and some patience. While you’re waiting for your first harvest, you’ll probably want to head over to your local U-Pick farm just to tide yourself over. While you’re there, ask the farmers about their varieties and see if you can pick up some tips for tending your own patch! You might gain a new perspective on the many benefits of the mighty blueberry.
One of the things that makes Food Gardening Network unique is the assortment of super easy and delicious Recipes, so that you can enjoy the fruits of your gardening labor. Blueberries are no exception! These recipes cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner—with enough inspiration for you to try something new. From salads to slumps, tarts to trifles, pie to pound cake—there’s a blueberry recipe for any meal of the day—or a snack in between.
Next, you’ll learn about Nutrition Facts and Home Remedies & Health Benefits of blueberries—discover why the blueberry has earned a reputation as a superfood. And see how you can use blueberries beyond recipes, including some ways to pamper yourself and come out feeling and looking better!
There’s a lot to navigate when you’re mapping out your first blueberry patch, whether it’s for fresh fruit for you, the local wildlife, or both. We’ve included a list of essential Resources to round out this guide, so you have easy access to solid information about planting, growing, harvesting, and enjoying your own delicious, sweet blueberries.
At the end, you’ll find a short Glossary that recaps the key terms about all things blueberry.
I have to admit: I do enjoy going to the U-Pick farms. But maybe it’s time to move from U-Pick to U-Plant…