In our February Greening Up the Inn post, we briefly mentioned our blueberry bushes as part of our edible gardening endeavors. This month we’ll give them their full 15 minutes of fame.
Our blueberry bushes are located near the south lawn, at the edge of our pond, where they get just the right mixture of moisture and drainage (kudos to the person who planted them in the perfect spot!). They are very tall (over 9 feet) and provide a bounty of berries in for Summer and Fall breakfasts, which means no need to buy blueberries at the store.
Currently, our blueberry bushes are coming out of their winter dormancy and we’re clearing the area underneath them to give them their proper growing room. Soon, the bushes will produce what seems like a thousand little clusters of white flowers, and then come the fabulous blueberries in July.
A few quick blueberry facts:
- Blueberries are native to North America
- There are approximately 30 different species of blueberries
- The best time to prune bushes is in late Winter/early Spring, before new growth starts
- An unripe blueberry won’t ripen any more once it’s picked, so blueberries are best left on the bush 5 to 7 days after they turn blue to get the best flavor and ripeness
- July is national Blueberry Month — July is harvest time in most areas
- Blueberries are low in calories and high in antioxidants (ranked #1 in antioxidant activity)
- Birds love blueberries (a lot of people use netting, but we don’t mind sharing)