Blueberries belong to the Azalea family and require similar growing conditions. The spineless shrubs can be either evergreen or deciduous, vary from I m to 3 m in height, and are long lived (at least 30 years). The fruit has a waxy bloom, borne in clusters on the end of branches, and ripens from early summer to autumn, depending on location and variety.
PREPARATION AND PLANTING
Soil must be acid (pH4.5-5.5), well drained, and have high organic matter (3% +). Clean cultivate, or weedicide, plant oats as a cover crop, and raise beds if necessary. Test soil and bring soil phosphorous up to medium levels.
Blueberries can be used fresh and do store and freeze well. They can be dried, used for jams, pies, sauces, muffins, bread, pancakes, cakes, tarts, ice cream, juice, salads, yoghurt, and wine. Click here to see recipe ideas
Here is the full spiel
“The American Indians, living in areas where blueberries grew wild, would dry them for eating in the winter and for treating upset stomach problems. More recently blueberries have been found to reduce the insulin requirements of diabetics and to help control urinary tract infections. The bilberry, a European relative of the American cultivated blueberry, has improved night vision and has retarded ocular degeneration.
The most exciting find in the fifty years I have been associated with blueberries came from the US Department of Agriculture in 1997. Blueberries were found to have the highest level of antioxidant of any fruit or vegetable tested. Antioxidants combat free radicals in the body. These free radicals come from smoking, air pollution, and the products of normal use of oxygen during respiration. Excess free radicals in the body are thought to cause most of the disorders associated with aging.
Following is a partial list of the changes and disorders of aging that are brought about by damage from free radicals:
The US Department of Agriculture studies went on to see if blueberries would cause a recovery from damage from free radicals of oxygen. Blueberries were found to be very effective. The antioxidant activity in blueberries is not reduced by freezing, the US Department of Agriculture concluded. Eating ½ cup of blueberries daily will provide a large part of the antioxidant activity required to maintain health and delay aging. Who would have ever thought this delicious little blue fruit would have so much health benefit”.
by Professor Mike Mainland in the New Jersey Bulletin.
Blueberries belong to the Azalea family and require similar growing conditions. The spineless shrubs can be either evergreen or deciduous, vary from 1m to 3m in height, and are long lived (30 years). The fruit has a waxy bloom, is borne in clusters on the ends of the branches, and ripens from early summer to autumn, depending on location and variety.
PREPARATION AND PLANTING
it the easy way - azalea fertilizer