It’s Red, White and Blueberry Time – in the NC Piedmont!

English:

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Time to beat the birds and deer to the bushes… to harvest the sweet baubles in varying shades of green, purple, mauve and blue – victory. Yes, it’s Red, White & Blueberry Time in the NC Piedmont!

At Entwined Gardens we grow Premiere, Onslow, Garden Blue, & Yadkin blueberry varieties in our heavy clay soils.

I attended a lecture a few years ago by NCSU’s Jim Ballington

And here Dr. Ballington’s notes* for fool proof Blueberries – But for us I would rather be tasting so here are a few recipes and more information below.

Premiere is our earliest Blueberry – about 3 mm round  Blue pearls of sweetness.

Our first pick yielded about ½ cup…perhaps a Blueberry Tart for dessert.

Simply use premade tart shells, a dollop of Lemon Curd and top with Berries can’t be any easier!

When I get a cup we’ll grill up some wild salmon and top with fresh Blueberry salsa.

Blueberry/Kiwi Salsa

1 cup blueberries or more for color

4 Kiwifuit, peeled & chopped

½ cup thinly sliced red onion,

2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 Teaspoon honey

  • Green Pepper Tabasco (jalapeno) to taste or cut up a jalapeno!

Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and set aside.  Great with chips or grilled salmon

Summer Fruit Salad in Glasses                                                 

  • Mango – diced
  • fresh ginger shredded
  • Avacado – diced
  • Vidallia onion siced – Or Green onions sliced
  • Green Seedless grapes cut in half
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries (sliced) or Blackberries
  • Cilantro – chopped
  • Poppy seed dressing – drizzled to coat
  • Arugula
  • Cracker bread or bread sticks

–         Ahead – Combine everything together except Arugula & cracker bread.

–         Serving time – but arugula in botton of glass, add fruit mixture add a little more arugula

–         Garnish with bread.

–         Fruit keeps for a couple of days in Tupperware.

–         I like to mix in a few other textures and colors of lettuce for color… the arugula gives it a nice spicy flavor to balance the sweetness!

–         Serves 8-10

Enjoy!

Jayme B

Entwined Life

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

Some of my notes:

Check with your local extension agent for your area.   Blueberries provide great fall color too, so tuck one into a sunny border!

*Note: For Zone 7 – all recommendations  are Rabbit eye

A. Large Fruit, high quality

Premier (2) – early, self-pollinating (last week June)

Columbus – midseason, not self-pollinating

Onslow – Late, self-pollinating (3rd week July)

B. The very best quality

Yadkin (2) – midseason, self pollinating, medium size, medium to dark blue color

C. The Toughest Plants for red clay

Premier – early, self-pollinating (last week June)

Ira – early-midseason, not self-pollinating

Garden Blue (2) – midseason, not self pollinating – sweet

Tifblue – midseason, not self pollinating

Powderblue – late, not self – pollinating

– Full sun is preferred, but performance will be satisfactory with 50% sun.

– Soil -Acidic (pH 4.0 – 5.5) well drained soils

– Recommends roto tilling in 3 cu. ft of pine bark at the site where each plant is to be established.

– Surface mulch recommended pine bark, pine straw, aged pine sawdust or rye straw.

-Supplemental irrigation will be needed when rainfall is less than 1″ / week.

-Two year old nursery plants are the preferred planting stock.

-Pruning is required to maintain vigor and production of high quality fruit

-Young plants sensitive to fertilizers

-On young plants application of one TBSP of 10-10-10, or one handful of cottonseed meal spread thinly over the root zone several times during the first growing season will usually be beneficial.

-Double the amount the second growing season

-Pests – Japanese Beetles (treat with Sevin), climbing cutworms, fruit armyworms,

-Birds – Netting

-Deer – Wire cages

Now is not the recommended time to plant…. Make a note to plant in Feb./March.

2 thoughts on “It’s Red, White and Blueberry Time – in the NC Piedmont!

  1. […] to think about Blueberries.  A welcome addition to any garden zone 3-10.  What’s not to love… three […]

  2. […] is the time to check your blueberries as recommended by NC State integrated pest management […]

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