Extra extra! Read all about the hottest, newest varieties of blueberries here at Nature Hills.
Before you elect to decide that these small blue bundles of joy aren’t your forte, read below and don’t miss a beat in your fruit garden!
Wait, There Is More Than One Type Of Blueberry?
Yes! In fact, there are about 5 types that hold the status of most common in the fruit world. Those include Lowbush, Northern Highbush, Southern Highbush, Rabbiteye, and Half-High!
So now your question is most likely along the lines of “Which type do I want?” No need to fret, we’ve got it lined out simple for you.
The Lowbush variety is basically the cousin at family gatherings that no one knows the name of or how they are related to you. But when you get to know them, they are delightful!
Many of this variety is grown wild instead of in gardens; however, that doesn’t mean it can’t grow in yours. They love the cold, acid soil, and sandy grounds. This makes them a tad bit high maintenance.
Their candy-sweet, intense blueberry flavor makes it all worth it in the end! Lowbushes are excellent choices for baking, eating, and freezing. Even enjoy dried blueberries.
These blueberry varieties are native to the northeastern and eastern areas of the United States. You may have seen these around as they are the most popular in several areas for home and commercial gardening.
They can be a little high maintenance as they do require the most consistent pruning compared to the others. But don’t let that scare you away!
They take joy in producing dark indigo fruit that gushes with a sweet fulfilling taste that has a hint of tanginess to it. This taste is unique when baking and cooking!
The Cabernet Splash (Vaccinium corymbosum ‘VacBri1') is an award winning Northern Highbush for its four-season interest and ornamental, but edible stature.
Be sure to plant it next to another Northern Highbush like the Pink Icing Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum 'ZF06-079)' for double the fun and double the fruit as they are self-pollinating.
Or even appreciate this blueberry bush in a container where you can casually pick a berry or two for an afternoon snack! Interested in learning how? Check out our blog on growing blueberries in containers.
This variety is a combination of the Northern Highbush and the Rabbiteye, giving it extreme fruit quality as well as the ability to withstand heat and winters.
Usually the Southern Highbush is grown in the middle, lower, and coastal South of the United States. These areas love the burst of sweet flavor that these berries bring!
Wildly popular in the Southern parts of the United States, Rabbiteye varieties are known for their super power of not attracting any major pests upon them and producing an abundance of berries.
This extraordinary plant requires the proper soil. For solid growth, the pH of the soil needs to be between 4.0 and 5.0 and no higher or lower. However, they don’t require loads of pruning, so enjoy it!
A quick tip from one gardener to another, leave these blueberries on the bush until they are fully ripened or you will be tasting bitter fruit.
Bless Your Heart (Vaccinium ashei ‘Alapaha’) and its partner Takes The Cake (Vaccinium ashei ‘Vernon’) are the powerhouses of Rabbiteye varieties because of their ability to sustain heat.
They taste delicious in early morning blueberry pancakes, a quick fruit salad snack, or even straight off the bush itself! Not to mention their ability to provide a modern ornamental look to a garden as well.
This variety is a cross between highbush and lowbush, so they often get called the ‘natural hybrid’ of blueberries. Its intermediate height sets it apart from the rest; however, it still loves to grow in the same areas as its makers.
They are self-fruitful, but fancy having a friend by their side to encourage them to grow a surplus of yields! If you have the space, why not add to the blueberry production party?
The best of the Half-High is our Perpetua Bush (Vaccinium x “ORUS-61-1’) as it is ornamental, but also produces not one, but TWO yields of fruit a year. Talk about a bonus!
Be ready to enjoy sweet tasting berries in the Summer and Fall. So go ahead, bake that extra blueberry pie, you’ve got plenty of fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Blueberry Glaze (Vaccinium x ‘ZF08-095’) would look impeccable next to the Perpetua with its fragrant, white flowers and deep blue fruits. These two are like peas in a pod!
The Health Benefits You Can Gain
It’s no secret that fruits are very beneficial for a healthy body and mind. Isn’t that what our parents always lectured about when we refused to eat them as kids?
All fruits have their own specialties, but blueberries are the reigning champs as one of the healthiest foods on Earth. They have a little bit of everything packed into them.
From merely eating a bowl of blueberries, you’ll benefit from the following:
They are low in calories, but high in nutrients. With fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Manganese, and more stuffed into one petitie fruit, blueberries are extremely healthy.
Believed to have among one of the highest levels of antioxidant capacities, blueberries are labeled the ‘King.’ This helps protect your body against free radicals like chronic diseases and aging.
They have the ability to lower blood pressure, which limits the risk of heart diseases. Blueberries also help improve memory and brain functions that are essential for intelligence.
What To Do If You Can’t Eat All Your Blueberries
With the above bushes, you’ll have fruit coming out of your nose in no time! So what happens when you pick too many berries and don’t have the appetite to eat them all?
Have no fear, there are multiple ways that you can savor your blueberries to give you more time to prepare for another round.
Popping your batch into an airtight container after a proper wash and complete dry, is an option for keeping them fresh for about a week. Be sure to place them in a spot within the fridge that is circulated well with air.
Need something that is going to last a little longer than a week? Freezing them is a second option for you. We recommend spreading your berries out on a baking sheet to firm up in the freezer for a couple of hours.
After that, feel free to transfer them into a container or plastic bag that fits well into the freezer! They will last for a few months.
Not a fan of refrigerating or freezing? You’re in luck! Canning is a prime way to store a few blueberries here and there. They are one of the easiest to can as well.
It’s your choice to can the berries in syrup, honey, or even just water. Maybe you have a homestyle canning remedy that fits perfectly to this situation. Try it out!
Syrup canning is normally prepared for cobblers and pies, whereas water canning is preparing for muffins, pancakes, and more.
So the next time you take a look at the abundance of blueberries growing on your bush, don’t have a panic attack! They can last you for months at a time with the proper method.
Choose your favorite, grow them all, mix and match! Whichever fuels your inner gardener!
In no time, you will be enjoying some of the best berries on the market. Happy Planting!
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