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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Growing Blueberry Varieties

Highbush Blueberry Varieties

Northern Highbush - Vaccinium corymbosum
Northern Highbush varieties are the most commonly grown around the world. They require between 750-1000 chill hours to satisfy dormancy. These high chill plants are tolerant to frost. Bushes vary in height and density and are long lived; up to 30 years. This deciduous shrub has brilliantly coloured fall foliage which is lost over the winter months.
Variety Selection Checklist
  • Does your location experience frost                                                                                                                  
  • Does your location experience between 750-1000 chill hours

Northland *

BushSpreading, vigorous bush to 1.5m.
YieldVery productive with medium size, dark, sweet fruit.
FruitFruit hangs without dropping and gets progressively sweeter.
MarketLarge picking scar makes fruit unsuitable for wholesale market sales, but is an excellent variety for U-pick, local sales, and for processing.
AreaNorthland performs exceptionally well in areas of extreme summer and winter temperatures.

Denise *

BushMedium vigour and height to 1.5m,with slightly spreading growth habit
YieldHeavy yields of big, attractive berries, makes this variety very popular with some growers.
FruitFruit is very large and round, medium blue with red around stem end. Berries usually delicious but can lose flavour once very ripe. Also can tear at picking scar.
MarketGood for fresh sales including U-pick but does not keep well.
AreaSeems to perform best in warm areas.

Bluecrop *

BushModerate vigour, but very productive, height to 2.1m. Bush requires excellent drainage.
YieldHeavy yields of big, attractive berries, makes this variety very popular with some growers.
FruitFruit is light blue, very large and firm with good flavour. Flavour is best with the first few picks and deteriorates over the season. Flavour also better when warn days are followed by cool nights.
MarketSmall picking scar - excellent fresh fruit. Most popular variety world wide. Very easy and cheap to hand pick in relation to other popular varieties. Can have a percentage of fruit that stays red and doesn’t ripen properly, but very consistent yields year to year.

Brigitta *

BushTall vigorous upright bush to 2.4m.
YieldHigh production
FruitVery large, medium blue, firm fruit with good flavour. Excellent picking scar and keeping quality. Clusters can be tight and the bloom damaged easily. Ripens two weeks after Bluecrop with similar size berries. Fruit can drop easily so care when hand harvesting is required. For pollination purposes it is best if planted near another variety.
MarketProbably the best keeping and shipping variety available. A favourite with exporters.
AreaAn Australian developed variety Brigitta is now being widely grown world wide.

Caroline *

BushMedium size plant. Moderate vigour with good bush shape.
FruitFruits a week to 10 days after Brigitta with distinctive aromatic flavoured fruit. Fruit is large with the first few picks best and deteriorating as the season progresses.
AreaAn Australian developed variety.

Elliott *

BushMedium vigour, semi upright bush.
YieldExtremely heavy yields.
FruitSmall to medium, powder blue, firm, slightly tart berries. Berries come off in just a few picks. Berries soften with extreme temperature.
AreaSuits cooler districts.

Reka *

BushUpright vigorous growth.
YieldHigh yields.
FruitMedium sized good flavoured firm berries. Ripening between Earliblue and Bluecrop.
MarketSuitable for the fresh market, U-pick and processing.
AreaIntroduced from N.Z. Reka has displayed exceptional vigour under a wide range of soil conditions overseas, suggesting it should do well in most high chill areas of Australia.

Nui *

BushThe spreading bush is slow to establish. Likes humus rich soils.
YieldModerate yields.
FruitBerries are extremely large, light blue, firm, outstanding flavour and superior keeping quality.

Puru *

BushUpright, sturdy bush of moderate vigour.
FruitFruit is Bluecrop size, light blue, small recessed scar with exceptional highly aromatic flavour.
NotesA favourite variety in Japan.
* The observations made about these plants, have been made at Moondarra in Gippsland, Victoria. Different climatic conditions and soil could show different results. Please use this information as a guide only.

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