Blueberries have been grown with a great deal of success for several years in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In extensive trials at the Scottish Crop Research Institute in Scotland they have given excellent results and are becoming more popular than ever in gardens everywhere.
The leaves of the blueberry are bright, dark green with a lighter bloom on the upper surface. In autumn the plant turns to a shimmering mass of tints of red and gold, worthy of every shrub border. They are, in fact often grown at the rear of the shrub border as well as in the conventional fruit garden. The spring flowers are white with a pink tint, long, bell-shaped and produced in large clusters. Three quarters of these flowers will normally set fruit to give heavy crops of quality fruit.
The berries are blue-black with a fine, waxy bloom that gives the appearance of pure light blue all over the bush. Blueberries are hardy, but the fruits will appreciate protection from very strong winds. Thriving in full sun, they fruit very early in life and will crop well for up to 50 year.s They may be grown in containers using an acid rhododendron compost (Arthur Bowers Ericaceous). Planted in the rhododendron border, or in a specially prepared site using peat compost/soil at a half to half bases. In most soils a hole 18" by 18" filled with this mixture for each plant, is usually sufficient. Plant 5' apart and mulch with peat each year. When the time comes to pick your first crop of luscious berries, remember that the fruit is not fully ripe until one week after turning blue. During this week the fruit will increase in size and the flavour becomes sweeter. The berries can be nearly 1/2" in diameter and are superb for pies, jams, crumbles, tarts, freezing etc.
There are very few diseases and pests of blueberries in the UK and these are not normally a problem if a named, selected variety is planted. The best results are obtained from 2 year old container grown plants in good health, which is the type we grow and despatch. Blueberry roots resent drying out in transplanting, so our container grown plants are a must. It is essential for the best results to purchase your plants from a specialist nursery. There are many varieties available in Europe and America, but those that we list are all known to crop well in the Uk. Never plant just a 'blueberry' but always a named, selected variety. Although self fertile and each variety will crop well if planted on its own, by far the best results are obtained if two different varieties are planted to allow for cross-pollination. We would like to acknowledge our appreciation of the extensive work that has been carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture in Scotland, The Scottish Crop Research Institute and East Malling Research Station on blueberry culture for gardens everywhere.
The very statement 'new Blueberries' will doubtless be sufficient to greatly excite most fruit enthusiasts, for the Blueberry is the soft fruit most rapidly growing in popularity and we never seem to have enough of them. New varieties come along seldom, if at all, and that these cultivars manage to emphasise the qualities which have made the Blueberry so sought after in the first place, is a piece of great good fortune for any gardener.
These new varieties, enhancing as they do the Blueberries natural beauty together with greatly increased fruit size and flavour, will be extremely popular. Early ordering advised. They are perfect patio plants giving long season beauty and delicious fruits, or grow them with Rhododendrons and Azaleas in the shrub border.