Monday, June 15, 2009

Blueberries - Good for you and easy to grow!

Blueberry season is here and with Pender County being the second highest blueberry producing county in the state, it’s not hard to find fresh, locally grown blueberries ready to pick yourself or purchase. But did you know that blueberries are relatively easy to grow in most home gardens? And there are many reasons to grow blueberries. First are the fruit, which are delicious and extremely healthy – in fact, blueberries have the highest antioxidant content of any fresh fruit. And blueberry bushes are very productive, producing two to four gallons of berries (12 to 24 lbs) per bush per year, once they are established.

They also make attractive medium to large shrubs. As a landscape plant, blueberries offer delicate white urn-shaped flowers on bare stems in early spring, beautiful fruits that ripen from green to pink to blue and purple, soft blue to dark green foliage that turns vivid shades of red and orange in fall, and attractive red tinted winter stems that show up particularly well against an evergreen background. Even if you are not a blueberry fan, consider planting some for the birds and other wildlife, who relish the ripe berries. Blueberries will thrive in most southeastern NC yards but there are a few factors that must be considered before purchasing and planting blueberry plants.

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