Blueberry Delite

Yes, its spelled wrong, but the plant breeders from the University of North Carolina gave the variety that name. I’ve been growing the variety for a decade and it lives up to its name. I just had some in pancakes. I’m fortunate and cursed with ground good for blueberries. Blueberries thrive with little effort for me. The down side is that coaxing other things to grow in the acidic soil blueberries love requires serious soil amendments.

I mulch my plants with free oak leaves or pine needles. I do a winter pruning. I cover them with a nylon net supported by rebar and PVC before bearing begins. I have a soaker hose ready to water them during the summer. I harvest blueberries from late June to early August. Some go into freezer bags for winter enjoyment. I have had no disease or insect problems. A little effort provides a lot of good eating.

I have two rabbiteye blueberry varieties: Delite and Premier. This provides cross pollination for better yield and a longer harvest season. My Premier berries begin to produce about two weeks before Delite. I pick from both varieties for a couple weeks and then two weeks of picking only from the Delite bushes.

A Georgia ag publication states that Delite is no longer recommended commercially due to susceptibility to rust. Blueberry rust is a fungal disease carried by hemlocks. I am apparently lucky enough to have no hemlocks within a half mile. A trait that I like in the Delite is that it sends out new shoots away from the main trunk. This allows me to cut off the shoot with some root and start a new plant. My Premier plants have sent out fewer new shoots and all from next to the original trunk. Propagating either of these older varieties is permissible; I’ve only been successful with Delite.

When I was a kid in West Michigan, a family outing to a U-pick blueberry farm was an annual event. Today, I am delighted to have some in my yard.

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One thought on “Blueberry Delite

  1. I envy your blueberry soil (a little). Most vegetables grow great in our sandy loam, but it’s very alkaline, and my 2 blueberry bushes have been challenging. They’re young bushes, but they’ve grown at a snails pace. Last year I started amending around them with coffee grounds and organic acidifiers, and that seemed to help a little. But I know what you mean about being fortunate and cursed.

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