When is New England blueberry season

Blueberry varieties - or: How do I find the best blueberry varieties for every purpose

How many blueberry varieties, or to put it botanically more correctly, which sub-genera and sections there are in the worldwide growing berries with the Latin name Vaccinium, even the otherwise almost omniscient editors of Wikipedia do not agree in detail. It would have to be between 450 and 500 types of blueberry and even more types of blueberry that we can search for and find today, scattered around the globe, between the Lesser Sunda Islands via Swaziland and India to the American South Carolina.

North America: The origin of cultivated blueberries and most blueberry varieties

However, the majority of the species that have flowed into the so-called cultivated blueberries, into the blueberry varieties cultivated today, come from North America. It is certainly noteworthy that the blueberry is the most recently domesticated species of all berry types: blueberry varieties in the sense of cultivated varieties have only existed since around 1912, i.e. since the beginning of the 20th century (see also separate article on cultivated blueberries). This makes it much easier to choose from our large range of blueberries in the Lubera shop ... We will provide more detailed information on this further down in the article. First of all, we would like to look a little outside the box with you and take a look at where everything actually revolves around the blueberry and we start in the motherland of our beloved fruits.

About farmers, blueberry queens and 'blue farms'

You will get an insight into the commercial cultivation of the most diverse varieties, only in completely different dimensions than usual in this country, when you (unfortunately only fictitious) visit one of the world's largest blueberry farms in Hammonton, New Jersey. Family-owned since 1935, the best tasting blueberries are grown here on 1,300 hectares, which are picked exclusively by hand. The Americans seem to be quite health-conscious, no longer exclusively fixated on greasy hamburgers and their brown sugar water. Blueberries are king. After all, the tasty fruits, especially the blueberries of the late varieties, offer twice as many health-promoting antioxidants as are contained in spinach.

Image: Blueberry Ruble - extremely high levels of antioxidant substances

Things are a bit smaller and a little more modest in Lower Saxony, the state in which at least 70 percent of German blueberry production is picked from the bushes by farmers between June and September. At the 'Blauer Höfe' there are definitely such high-yielding varieties as our blueberry Blueroma or Blautropf, which are grown at our Lubera location in Bad Zwischenahn in Lower Saxony and are delivered from there to our customers in Germany, Austria and England. In Lower Saxony, more precisely in Borstel, the Bund Deutscher Heidelbeeranbauer e. V. has its seat, which, along with many other important tasks, has been crowning the blueberry queen once a year since 2001 (at the summer blueberry festival). In Lower Saxony, around the Lüneburg Heath, many blueberry varieties are grown very successfully today and there are over 40 farms throughout the state that invite you to pick them yourself. So if you are still at odds with yourself as to whether you really want to choose blueberries in the garden, you can visit one of the blue farms in northern Germany and feast your way through the blueberries. We are sure that you will whet your appetite for more and that our blueberries, specially selected for home gardening, will soon be in your garden ... The complete list of the 'Blauen Höfe' can be downloaded here as a flyer.

Which blueberry variety should it be - preliminary considerations when choosing a variety

After this little excursus into the infinitely large world of naturally healthy Vaccinium berries, the next step is to select the right blueberry varieties for your garden

  • Place and location: WHERE would HOW MUCH space be in the garden and is the intended location suitable for the blueberry varieties? Think of the keywords: sunny location, acidic soil, bog bed, culture in pots, which we have already covered in other articles.
  • Pot or bog bed: Always keep in mind: If you don't have acidic garden soil and maybe you don't want to create a bog bed after all, the bucket or pot is always the fastest and easiest way to plant your own blueberries.
  • Yield: Can the expected harvest amount of blueberries be consumed directly or does it have to be processed or frozen or preserved for storage? - Just calculate with 2-5 kg ​​per blueberry bush after 2-3 years of standing ...
  • Harvest time and holidays: When am I usually on vacation? If you go on vacation early in midsummer, an early strain like Duke is hardly an option. If the vacation date is in September, you will not choose very late varieties ...

How many blueberry fruits can and should you eat?

Another consideration that nobody will implement consistently ... Or is it?

With a consumption of 100 grams of blueberry fruits per day recommended by leading nutritionists, you will cover all your healthy vitamins (B, C and E) requirements for 3-6 weeks with just one bush of this blueberry variety and make the immune system cheer! So if you wanted to live absolutely healthy and self-sufficient at least in terms of blueberries for 12 months a year, you would need about 12 blueberry bushes. And this number would then in turn have to be multiplied by the number of their family members ... Markus Kobelt, the founder of Lubera®, says that he had to answer exactly this question a few years ago to a couple of cycling software developers in Seattle: 'How many blueberry bushes do we turn up To live healthy all year round - apart from cycling? ' After two beers and lengthy explanations, Markus had the answer ready: 24 blueberry bushes for two family members ;-) The answer from Microsoft employees: 'What, just so few? We would have thought about 50 to 100 ... 'You can see: Americans think bigger.

Image: Blueberry Blueroma® - the largest berries paired with the best fruit quality

The grading of ripening times for the blueberry varieties

Many of our long-term customers have already told us that those who have tasted these wonderful gourmet fruits during their first own blueberry harvest will soon reach for the spade, plant a bog bed and make space for other blueberry varieties. If the different flowering and harvest dates (we have included them in the respective description of the plants) are taken into account in the subsequent planting, you will avoid that the ripening times of the berries are too close together. So your blueberry season can easily be extended to three months, which in turn enables the frozen or dried fruits to be stored for the winter months with fewer vitamins if they are not consumed immediately.

In the following table you will find a selection of blueberry varieties with a maturing period of a good 3 months:

SurnameBrief descriptionRipening time
DukeEarly cultivated blueberry with upright growth and high yieldsEnd of June to mid-July
Blueroma®Huge fruits with an intense blueberry aromaAugust, also inferring
BluesbrothersThe most compact, bushiest and most productive blueberryLate July to late August
Pink Lemonade®Sweet pink fruits with a firm textureAugust to mid-September
Blue Dessert®Best aroma and resistant to spring frostsMid / end of August
Buddy BlueLight blue fruits in large, dense grapes with more pronounced acidity than summer varietiesLate August to mid October

The most beautiful blueberry varieties

Which is the most beautiful blueberry in the whole country, please? The first answer, which is fairest to the individual varieties, is certain: All blueberries are beautiful! They delight with the beautiful, reddish budding in spring, then with the beige to red flowers, finally with the blue fruits that change color, begin with green-beige, then turn pink and finally hang on the bush for a long time, ripening blue. And finally, autumn with its intense red to orange autumn colors is the proverbial second spring of the blueberry plants! The following table shows the varieties with the most beautiful autumn colors.

SurnamefruitAutumn colors
Blue Dessert®Medium to largeIntense red
Brigitta BlueVery large, light blue, very firm, well suited for freezingIntense red
BluecropMedium to large, long-lasting, spill-proofIntense red
Blueroma®Giant fruits, dark blue, shrinking towards the end of the harvestred
DukeVery large fruitsBrown / red

My personal favorite when it comes to autumn colors is definitely the super compact variety Little Blue Wonder®, which is probably the brightest autumn red of all varieties.

Image: The autumn color of the blueberry 'Little Blue Wonder'

Image: Blossom of the blueberry 'Little Blue Wonder'

Also right at the top of the beauty competition is Little Blue Wonder® with its blossom, which starts in spring before all other blueberry varieties and forms a veritable sea of ​​blossoms. The semi-evergreen blueberry variety Blautropf® also has a very beautiful flower - this time in red, and bell-shaped in dense clusters

Image: Bloom of the blueberry variety Blautropf®

In terms of foliage, in my opinion the Bluedrop variety is the most beautiful one, the shoot tips are red and offer a beautiful view throughout the vegetation, which changes again and again with progressive growth.

Image: The leaves of the blueberry Blautropf®

And beautiful can of course be interpreted in a variety of ways. For me, the Bluesbrothers variety also falls into this category because it grows bushier than many other tall cultivated blueberries and may carry an unbelievable amount of fruit. If that's not nice, I don't know anything either ...

Image: Blueberry Bluesbrothers with a lot of fruits

The compact growing blueberry varieties

For underplanting tall varieties, for plant combinations in pots and bog beds, but also for children and grandchildren, blueberries that grow more compact are of course an exciting topic. Always remember that a cultivated blueberry like Blautropf®, Blueroma® or Duke can easily reach 160 to 200cm high, depending on the cut. And by the way: the less you cut, the higher they become and then at some point only bear fruit in the upper area. In any case, more compact varieties are a welcome addition.

Little Blue Wonder® grows up to approx. 50cm high, Sunshine Blue becomes 100cm high, as does Blautropf®. And the most compact of the tall cultivated blueberries is certainly Bluesbrothers with up to 150cm. In real life and in the film they were more wide than high ;-)

Semi-evergreen blueberry bushes

Most of our blueberry varieties lose their leaves in winter and are therefore absolutely hardy. But Blautropf®, Buddy Blue, Pink Lemonade® and Sunshine Blue are semi-evergreen, which means that the leaves stick to the bush in a milder winter and are then gradually replaced by new leaves in spring. Please note that these varieties should rather be planted in milder regions, on slopes where the cold air flows away, and not necessarily in locations where it can regularly get colder than -16 ° C in winter. The reverse is also true: all other varieties are not threatened by the winter cold, and are left unprotected outside in our tree nurseries throughout the winter. In the case of the semi-evergreen varieties, however, it can be worthwhile to protect them against solar radiation in winter when the ground is frozen for a long time (and thus the water supply is interrupted) by throwing a fleece or cloth over them. To be clear once again: In winter, the sun is more dangerous than the cold for such semi-evergreen varieties, because the leaves and shoots can dry out when the ground is frozen and the sun is strong ...

On the other hand: In a mild microclimate and near a warm house wall, semi-evergreen varieties are also recommended because they remain attractive even in winter!

The best tasting blueberries

In the end, all that remains is the taste, the good and guaranteed the very best. Nothing is more controversial ... and quite honestly: In view of the variety of tasty blueberry varieties with semi-sweet, sweet, intensely sweet, a little sour, large and small but always aromatic power fruits from the Lubera® shop, I proceed with well-intentioned advice for the best blueberry in terms of taste, based on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the old master of European literature and intellectual history, and his saying: 'Taste is the art of understanding little things!'

But we wouldn't be Lubera® if there wasn't a solution for our valued customers. Just sit back and relax for a few minutes and enjoy our two gourmets, the company founder Markus Kobelt and his operations manager Robert Maierhofer, by video while tasting excellent blueberry varieties from our range, because good taste can hardly be described more knowledgeable and competent.

Video: The cultivated blueberries from Lubera®

Video: The Lubera® aromatic blueberries

For readers in a hurry, we can still name the taste favorites in the Lubera® shop: Blueroma®, Blue Dessert® and actually also Pink Lemonade® ... If you want to know more, you have to watch the videos - or even better, plant as many blueberry varieties as possible yourself.

In the Lubera® Shop you will find a large selection of suitable plants in the blueberries category.
5% quantity discount from 3 pieces

author


Fred Luebke
Fred Lübke comes from the "green field" professionally, trained as an agricultural machine fitter, later completed a master's degree in agricultural engineering and has been an author for a number of well-known DIY and garden portals for a good twelve years. Ten years ago he escaped the big city chaos in Berlin, now lives and works in a romantic village on the edge of the Lüneburg Heath and is allowed to enjoy country life with a beautiful garden in the "green living room".

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