Blueberries and Huckleberries

Vaccinium species

Blueberries

We have selected blueberry varieties for their flavor, ornamental beauty, disease resistance and a full selection of ripening dates.

Commercial blueberry varieties are selected because the fruit all ripens at the same time and can be machine harvested. Our varieties have been selected with you, the backyard grower, in mind. We have selected for flavor, ornamental beauty, disease resistance and a full selection of ripening dates.

Our varieties will provide you ornamental beauty in all seasons. Several are among the most winter hardy and extend the area in the nation where blueberries can be successfully grown. We offer 2- to 3-year-old bushy plants 18 to 30" tall. The Northsky, Polaris, Chippewa, Top Hat and Maine, although the same age, will be smaller upon arrival because of their dwarf nature.

We also offer too-large-to-ship, bearing bushes at the nursery. Call us at 1-800-391-8892 to find out more.

Huckleberries

Huckleberries are delicious and are rarely available in nurseries, but we have them! Huckleberries and blueberries are closely related Vaccinium species. Generally the wild Pacific Northwest species are called "Huckleberries" and the eastern species are called "Blueberries". All are delicious and are rarely available in nurseries. Each is a great edible landscape plant and can fill a niche in your yard.

Useful Facts

Origin: Blueberries have been part of the American culinary tradition long before the white man came to these shores. This is one berry the Europeans can’t claim!

One can wax poetic over these berries as Robert Frost did in a poem. ‘Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb, Real sky blue, and heavy, and ready to drum In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!’

Pollination: Two varieties are best, however blueberry farmers get large crops in a single variety block.

Hardiness: Depends on variety, some are hardy to -40° F. All hardy in the Pacific Northwest.

Sun or shade: Full sun.

Plant spacing: Spacing, same distance as the height of the plant.

Method of propagation: Softwood cuttings (hard to root)

Life expectancy: 80+ years

Yield: 5-15 pounds per plant.

How to Grow

Soil requirements: Acid soil, pH of 4 to 5, light and well drained, but can tolerate wet feet in winter.

Cultural requirements: Blueberries are shallow rooted.  Do not cultivate deeply around the plants. Peat is an excellent addition to the soil and makes a good mulch too. They need to be well watered the first summer and thereafter will need some moisture in arid summers. Light surface application of organic fertilizer or ammonium sulfate in the spring is beneficial.

Pruning: Pruning is required on older branches.  Renew to new shoots. See owner’s manual provided with each order!

How to Use

In the landscape: Particularly well suited to edible landscaping because of their continuously varied and beautiful appearance.  Bronze new growth in spring is followed by pink-white urn shaped flowers. In summer the green leaves contrast with the blue berries. The leaves turn bright red or yellow in the fall. When the leaves drop, you can see the bright colored yellow or red branches. They can be used for hedges, screens, foundation plantings, accent shrubs, and espaliers. Note: We are offering dwarf selections for gardeners with limited space or a special landscape niche.

In the kitchen: They can be eaten raw or used in pancakes, syrups, muffins, jams, souffles, and pies. (Quiet ... don’t tell anyone ... put them in bags in the freezer. Then pull out a bag when no one is looking and eat the individual berries half frozen. You can polish off a bag in no time. Blueberries, unlike other berries, don’t stick together upon freezing.)

For Your Health: There is evidence that eating lots of blueberries can reduce memory loss and possibly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cooked blueberries have even greater levels of antioxidants than fresh berries. Among varieties testing very high in antioxidants are Bluegold, Chandler, Darrow, Rubel, Elliott and Maine Wild Blueberries.

 

 

 

Blueberry Ripening Order


Early Season

  • Hannah's Choice
  • Spartan
  • Patriot
  • Misty
  • Polaris
  • Bluecrop
  • Bluegold
  • Brunswick Maine
  • Burgundy Maine
  • Top Hat
  • Sharpblue
  • Reka

Mid Season

  • Draper
  • Olympia
  • Elizabeth
  • Sierra
  • Chandler
  • Chippewa
  • Northsky
  • Olympia
  • Reveille
  • Rubel
  • Sierra
  • Michigan Low Bush
  • Toro

Late Season

  • Darrow
  • Jersey
  • Legacy
  • Liberty
  • Brigitta
  • Aurora
  • Emerald