Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.
Last year I made the mistake of waiting too long to pick them, hoping for the same perfectly ripe berries that the squirrels and birds apparently were too, and they thought it was worth fighting through the netting to get them. This year I picked a tad earlier and have done my best to turn the bushes into Fort Knox once green berries showed up.
Only one of the bushes is producing fruit this year, but that's not surpising given the tough year the other two suffered last year. Before I got savvy to how much bunnies like to munch on blueberry bushes in early fall, they'd suffered a major setback.
So I've only got a small bowlful to show for it so far, but it's a start. Every time I pick them I feel like digging out more of the yard and planting a whole row, with visions of blueberry jam and pie. But the area where I'm considering putting them in is the same area I keep thinking I'll do another blanket of lilies, and so far neither vision has won out.
If you want to start a blueberry patch, keep in mind that many varieties need another compatible plant for cross-pollination, so buying two of the same kind is a good idea.Some high-bush varieties don't require companion plants, but most of them do better with a pollinator near by.
Any fellow blueberry growers out there? What's your season been like? And how long did it take to get your plants established?
Now I've just got to find out what kind a grower at the farmers market has: Best berries ever.
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