Blueberries are a wonderful perennial plant to put in your garden or edible landscape. They produce better, fuller crops if planted with another variety of blueberry. If you choose the right varieties, you can have a blueberry harvest for almost 90 days for Northern Highbush and 60 days for Southern Highbush. Tricia shows you how to plant and care for blueberries in our video Planting and Growing Blueberries
, and this article will show you how to choose varieties that give you the longest harvest season.
For the Chilly Regions - Northern Highbush
The Northern Highbush
or one Lowbush variety, Top Hat
, are the varieties to plant if you live in USDA zones 3-8. If you choose a variety that ripens early, mid and late, then you potentially can have blueberries to eat for 3 months. Check out the handy chart for choosing your varieties. Keep in mind the dates for the Northern Highbush varieties are based on ripening in Western Oregon. The exact time will really depend on your growing conditions, but the sequence of ripening should not change, early first, then mid, followed by late ripening varieties.
For Milder Regions - Southern Highbush
The Southern Highbush
should be selected for USDA zones 5-10, but check the variety for the zones that grow best for the particular variety. The fruiting period is a little shorter than the Northern Highbush but will begin earlier, starting mid-May and ending in late June. Check the ripening chart to choose the right combination to give you up to 5-6 weeks of blueberries. The ripening dates for the Southern Highbush are based on Fresno, California, so the exact time will really depend on your growing conditions, but the sequence of ripening should not change.
When Are the Blueberries Ripe?
Blueberries are ripe when they turn blue on the entire berry and easily come off the bush. Don't rush to pick them. The longer you let them stay on the bush the sweeter and tastier they get. But watch out, birds also love blueberries, so you might want to cover your bushes with bird netting
to keep your fruit safe. Plant a few blueberries for a long harvest and many years of enjoyment!