• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Foreword
 Table of Contents
 Main
 Reference
 Back Cover














Group Title: Bulletin. New series
Title: Blueberries
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00014994/00001
 Material Information
Title: Blueberries with special reference to Florida culture
Series Title: Bulletin. New series
Physical Description: 52 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- Dept. of Agriculture
Writers' Program (Fla.)
Publisher: Florida State Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Publication Date: 1945
 Subjects
Subject: Blueberries -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Blueberry industry -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 51-52).
General Note: "June 1945."
General Note: "Compiled by workers of the Writer's Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Florida."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00014994
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA7388
ltuf - AME9267
oclc - 41254463
alephbibnum - 002444046

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Foreword
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Main
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    Reference
        Page 51
        Page 52
    Back Cover
        Page 53
        Page 54
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LUEBERRIE

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STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA


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Bulletin No. 33 New Series June 1945


BLUEBERRIES

WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE
TO

FLORIDA CULTURE


STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA


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O.~H~-:H~U:.~~U:H~U~H~):~):H:U~1:~.:W


Bulletin No. 33


New Series


June 1945

















Compiled by workers of the Writers' Program of the
Works Projects Administration
in the State of Florida


FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY
JOHN M. CARMODY, Administrator



WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION
HOWARD 0. HUNTER, Commissioner
FLORENCE KERR, Assistant Commissioner
WILBUR E. HARKNESS, State Administrator


Sponsored by
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Gainesville, Florida



Published by the
Florida State Department of Agriculture
Nathan Mayo, Commissioner
Tallahassee, Florida
1945

















FOREWORD


BLUEBERRIES have been cultivated in Florida for
more than half a century; yet, surprisingly, there
has been little authentic material written and
published about this agricultural activity. The
resultant difficulty in obtaining factual and statis-
tical data led to investigations which in turn dis-
closed the desirability of certain improvements
within the industry. These suggestions for the
betterment of blueberry cultivation, made by ex-
perienced and established growers and shippers,
are included in this bulletin. Comparative studies
of methods practiced in Florida and in other
states also have been presented. Appreciation is
hereby expressed for the services of Mr. Harold
Mowry, Director of the University of Florida Ag-
ricultural Experiment Station, chief consultant for
this manuscript. Especial credit is due Herndon
Cochran who prepared this booklet.

ROLLA A. SOUTHWORTH, CARITA DOGGETT CORSE,
Director Supervisor
Division of Community Service Florida Writers' Program
Programs
Work Projects Administration











A i_


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A Blueberry Plantation in Northwest Florida









CONTENTS


PAGE
INTRODUCTION 9

IMPORTANT SPECIES 11
Botany 11
Lowbush Blueberry 12
Highbush Blueberry 12
Rabbiteye Blueberry 13
Dryland Blueberry 14
Evergreen Blueberry 14
Mountain Blueberry 14

FLORIDA CULTIVATED VARIETIES 15
Sapp Early 16
Stokes 16
Other Named Varieties of Rabbiteye Species .----..- 16
Cultivated Varieties of Highbush Species 17
Pioneer 17
Concord 17

SOIL REQUIREMENTS 18

PROPAGATION 19
Selection of Stock 19
Suckers 21
Stem Cuttings 21
Stumping -------------- --....-- ... 23
Tubering ------ .--- .- -------- - -... ....... 23
Root Cuttings ------..----- 23









CONTENTS
PAGE
FIELD CULTURE 24
Planting Season ----------------- -24
Inclusion of Root Fungus 24
Age of Plants for Field 25
Preparation of Land 25
How to Plant 26
Pollination ----------------------- 27
Cultivation 28
Pruning ------------------------- 28
Fertilizers ---------------------- 29
Cover Crops --------------------- 32
Mulching 33

DISEASES AND PESTS ...... ------------ 33
Blueberry Fruit Fly 34
Stem Borer -- --- --- --- 34
Stem Gall .------. .--------.. -----.- 35

HARVESTING AND MARKETING 36
The Harvest Season 36
Picking the Fruit --..---- -----------. ----- 36
Yields ----------- ------------.- 37
Marketing Methods ----------------------- 38
Berry Markets -----.. ---- -----.--.--- 40
Costs and Returns ....------.. ----------- 42

FOOD VALUES AND RECEIPTS ----- --------- 43
CONCLUSION ------.- ---- --.---------- 49
REFERENCES ----------------------- 51
Bibliography --.- ------------- ----- 51
Consultants ----------------- -----.--- 52








BLUEBERRIES
With Special Reference to Florida Culture


INTRODUCTION
BLUEBERRIES were a favorite food of the North Ameri-
can Indians who ate them as a fresh fruit in summer,
and sun-dried them for winter use. Early white settlers
quickly discovered and appreciated the flavor of the berries,
and in regions where abundant they have since been re-
garded as a staple article of diet.
The name "huckleberry" is commonly used in certain
sections of the country in referring to both blueberries and
huckleberries. Huckleberries, however, belong to a distinct
genus (Gaylussacia), the fruit having ten hard seeds or
nutlets which produce a marked gritty effect in mastication.
Huckleberry leaves have resinous dots or patches which
resemble spots or flecks of varnish. Blueberries have seeds
so small and soft that they are scarcely noticeable when
being eaten. Many varieties of huckleberries have a delight-
ful flavor, are gathered and sold from wild patches, and
have been transplanted to home gardens. But experimen-
tation, extensive cultivation, and commercial plantations
have been concerned with true blueberries.
The eighteenth century botanists, John Bartram and his
son William, repeatedly noted in their writings the occur-
rences of wild blueberries in Florida. A successful attempt
to bring the Florida berries into cultivation was made in the
northeastern part of the State near Whitehouse in 1887.
About five years later the commercial culture of blueberries
in northwestern Florida had its inception in the transplant-
ing of selected wild stock to a farm near Crestview. Both
original plantations still bear satisfactory crops of fruit
annually.
Following the initial efforts at cultivation, a number of
other plantings were made from wild stock. In some cases
only a few plants, intended to produce fruit for home con-
sumption, were set out in garden plots. Commercial pro-
duction was limited for a number of years, the berries be-
ing sold in local markets where they were in competition
with low-priced wild fruit. Trial shipments made to north-
ern cities during the 1920 and 1921 seasons brought such








10 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

satisfactory returns that interest in Florida blueberry cul-
tivation was suddenly intensified. This resulted in the
planting of considerable acreage, especially in northwest
Florida.
An unfortunate feature of the awakened enthusiasm for
blueberry cultivation was that a minor "boom" occurred in
the promotion of blueberry lands and the sale and setting
of stock. Thousands of plants were set out in the eastern,
central and south-central parts of the State, with little con-
sideration for such important factors as soil variation, soil
acidity, and drainage. Stock was removed from wild
growth, often without any attempt at selective care. Many
plants were in poor condition when set out, having been
injured during removal from original place of growth,
through exposure of roots to wind and sun, and through
carelessness in packing and shipping. In some cases, plants
similar to blueberries in appearance when dormant, but
which were neither blueberries nor huckleberries, were dug
and transplanted as blueberry plants. Promoters and sales-
men received lucrative returns, but many planters suffered
losses and disappointments.
There are tracts planted to blueberries in nearly all
counties of north Florida, but commercial production is
centered in northwest Florida, with Okaloosa County lead-
ing in acreage. No recent accurate survey of total acreage
in the State is at present available.
Experiments to improve blueberries through selection
and hybridization were begun in 1906 by Dr. F. V. Coville
of the United States Department of Agriculture, and have
since been continued by various Federal and State agencies
as well as individual planters and nurserymen. As a result
of these efforts much vital information on many phases of
blueberry cultivation has been obtained, and a number of
superior varieties have been propagated. Unfortunately,
most of these experiments have been conducted in northern
areas, under climatic and soil conditions different from
those of Florida, and with northern varieties unsuited to
Florida cultivation.
Commercial planters and shippers in Florida agree that
cultivated blueberries offer possibilities for profit even un-
der prevalent conditions of unselected plantings, diverse
methods of cultivation, lack of graded fruit, and the absence
of supervised marketing.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


While berries for home consumption may be easy to
raise, and in certain areas of the State bulk commercial pro-
duction may be attained without the discovery or observa-
tion of improved cultural methods, fruit that will bring
premium prices and successfully meet competition in the
leading markets of the country cannot, usually, be grown
in a haphazard manner nor from unselected stock.
Individual experiments are being conducted in an effort
to improve Florida fruit and to find methods and varieties
best suited to local conditions, but more rapid strides to-
ward improvement and stabilization of the blueberry in-
dustry might be achieved through a greater co-operative
activity.

IMPORTANT SPECIES
Blueberry cultivation in Florida has been largely confined
to one species. Much of the following material, therefore, is
intended to provide only a general outline of the plant's
importance in the United States, its geographic distribu-
tion, the outstanding characteristics of the leading species,
and their commercial value.

Botany
The blueberry is of the genus Vaccinium, a member of
the Heath (Ericaceae) family,* which includes azaleas,
mountain-laurel, wintergreen, rhododendron, heather, trail-
ing-arbutus and other acid-soil plants. There are more than
one hundred and thirty species of the genus Vaccinium in
the northern hemisphere, ranging from the Arctic Circle
to the summits of tropical mountains; but only a few are
of present interest commercially, this number being even
further restricted in cultivated species. Leaves of the plant
are alternate, short-stalked, and often minutely hairy on the
margins. Included in the genus are both evergreen and
deciduous species. The flowers are generally small, not
showy, and in the blueberry species, urn-shaped. There are
8 to 10 stamens; the fruit is a true, many-seeded berry,
crowned with the often persistent lobes of the calyx.

*Certain botanical listings place the genus Vaccinium in the family
Vacciniaceae.








12 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

Lowbush Blueberry
The lowbush blueberry, the plants of which vary from 6
to 18 inches in height, is of economic importance from
Maine to Minnesota and southward in the Alleghenies to
West Virginia. It is harvested from native, unplanted
fields. Although only a small portion of the entire crop is
harvested, it has an estimated annual value of more than
$5,000,000. Some care is given the fields, especially in
eastern Maine. This includes burning over, mowing and
grubbing as forms of weed control, pruning, and dusting to
control insects. Some selections have been made for breed-
ing, for it will cross with the highbush blueberry. It is
an upland species. The fruit is similar to that of the high-
bush berry in flavor, is smaller, but ripens earlier than the
latter.
Highbush Blueberry
The highbush blueberry, a native of swamps, moist
woods, and also moist open fields at high elevations, ranges
from southern Maine to southern Michigan and southward
to Florida. To some degree throughout its range, but most
extensively in North Carolina, it is gathered from the wild,
the annual value of the crop possibly reaches $1,500,000. It
is with the species V. corymbosum L. that most work has
been done in propagation, hybridization, and the selection
of named varieties. Extremely variable in form, it reaches
heights of from 10 to 15 feet, has yellowish-green branches
which turn to a light gray with age, the bark on old stems
becoming rough, and peeling. It is deciduous, the leaves
narrow, usually egg-shaped and either smooth or downy.
The flowers are large and are borne on the extremities
of the previous season's growth.
Cultivated named varieties are raised commercially from
eastern North Carolina northward to southern New Eng-
land, in New York, southern Michigan, and in western
Oregon and Washington. The estimated acreage in 1939
was 2,000 acres in New Jersey, 200 acres in North Carolina,
200 acres in Michigan, and 100 acres in all other States.
The value of the cultivated crop in 1938 was approximately
$400,000.
It is believed that winters south of central Georgia are
insufficiently cold for breaking the rest period of the plant








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


and that present varieties are unsuited to Florida culti-
vation. One grower in northeastern Florida, however, has
specimens of two named varieties which he has had under
cultivation for several years. They appear in excellent con-
dition and have borne satisfactory crops of fruit.

Rabbiteye Blueberry
The rabbiteye blueberry,* V. virgatum Ait. (regarded by
certain authorities as a form of V. corymbosum L.) is na-
tive in northern Florida, southern Georgia and Alabama.
The United States Department of Agriculture estimates
that there are about 3,500 acres planted commercially,
mostly in northwestern Florida, but also in North and South
Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
The fruit is also harvested to some extent from the wild.
Although its habitat in the areas where it is native is
river valleys, near swamps, and the edges of woods, the
rabbiteye blueberry stands open field culture better than
the highbush blueberry, surviving high temperatures and
droughts of the Southern States. In addition to commercial
planting, it is recommended as a home garden fruit in the
South.
There is much variation within the species in foliage, and
growth, and in the size, shape and appearance of the fruit.
Mature plants attain a maximum of about 15 feet in height
and 17 feet in spread. The leaves, normally deciduous, are
ovate to ovate-oblong or elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate in
shape, from 1 to 3 inches long, usually having serrate or
serrulate margins. The color and general appearance of
the foliage on different plants is greatly varied.
The berries are black or blue-black; some having a heavy
bloom, or white waxy or powdery coating, while others have
no bloom. As with V. corymbosum L. the fruit is borne in
clusters on wood of the previous season's growth, the shape
of the berries being generally globular, but varying from
oblate to ovate, conic, or oblong-conic. The calyx is per-
sistent, being in some instances widely-flaring and in other
almost entirely closed.
While the flavor of the rabbiteye blueberry is generally
good, some plants bear fruit which is somewhat mealy or
*Rabbiteye blueberries are also given such popular local names as
Arab, Tree, Swamp, Huckleberry, June, Stokes and Highbush.








14 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

dry in texture, the juice content being lower than is usually
desirable. This dryness is more marked in the fruit of
younger plants. There is also quite a difference to the
taste in the acidity of fruit from different plants. Fertili-
zers, soils and cultural methods might explain some differ-
ences in fruit flavor, acidity, and texture; but inasmuch as
these differences are also found in wild, uncultivated plants
it is suggested that they are merely further indications of
genetic variation.

Dryland Blueberry
The dryland blueberry, growing from 1 to 2 feet high,
spreads in colonies similar to the lowbush blueberry. It is
commonly called the "low huckleberry" and the "late blue-
berry," the latter because it ripens later than either high-
bush or lowbush species. It is gathered in northeastern
Alabama and northwestern Georgia northward to Mary-
land and West Virginia and westward to western and north-
western Arkansas. The annual value of the crop may aver-
age $300,000. The species does not cross with the highbush
blueberry.
Evergreen Blueberry
The evergreen blueberry, native to the Pacific Coast from
central California to British Columbia, is harvested exten-
sively in northern California and the Puget Sound area.
The annual value of the fruit is between $150,000 and
$200,000. In open woods the plants may reach a height
of 20 feet. The berries, ripening from August to November,
are small, shiny black and with an aroma unlike either the
highbush or lowbush blueberry. Carload lots of branches,
sold for decorative purposes under the name "evergreen
huckleberry," and having an annual valuation equal to that
of the fruit, are shipped each year to eastern cities.

Mountain Blueberry
The mountain blueberry, unlike most blueberries native
in America which produce fruit in clusters, bears fruit
singly or in two's. This prevents individual bushes from
being highly productive. It is considered the best-flavored
and is the largest-fruited of all wild blueberries in the
United States. The annual value of the crop may total








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


$200,000. The plant is a native of the high slopes of the
Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington, ranging
eastward to Wisconsin. Drought resistant, it will mature
fruit in late summer even after several rainless months. In
addition to the value of its fruit, it has importance as a
forage plant for livestock.

FLORIDA CULTIVATED VARIETIES
Commercial plantations of blueberries in Florida consist
largely of plants taken from native growth of the rabbiteye
species. It is variously estimated that there are between 42
and 57 unnamed varieties of this species in the State, each
with one or more differences in growth-habits, appearance,
bearing season, and size, color, shape, flavor, and texture
of fruit. Since many growers planted stock taken from the
wild in late fall and winter without previous selective care,
most Florida plantings contain a mixture of unnamed va-
rieties, some good and others relatively worthless.
A few growers, shippers, and nurserymen are endeavor-
ing to improve Florida fruit through close observation and



















Showing Variation in Size and Shape of Berries

Showing Variation in Size and Shape of Berries








16 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

the selection and tagging of individual plants which through
their performance over a period of several years indicate
superior varieties. These efforts are promising for the
future improvement of commercially cultivated blueberries
in the State. Present results are apparent in a number of
named varieties. The largest-fruited selections, juicy, firm,
and of good flavor, are probably as valuable for commer-
cial purposes as the best selections of the wild highbush
blueberry.
Sapp Early
This fruit bears the family name of one of the first grow-
ers in Florida to attempt the cultivation of blueberries. It
is an early variety, bearing the last week in May and ripen-
ing its berries within a short period of time. Apparently it
needs but a short rest period. In areas subject to late frosts
there is the possibility of its buds being killed or injured
by cold.
Stokes
The Stokes blueberry is a popular local name for select
stock of the rabbiteye species originally transplanted from
the wild in northeastern Florida about 1887. The fruit is
variable in size, dark blue to black in appearance; its flavor
more bland than acid. The berries are somewhat suscept-
ible to crushing, but keep well without refrigeration for a
week or so after picking. The juice content is relatively
medium in comparison to other varieties. Stock has been
supplied to growers in Florida, the Carolinas, Georgia, and
New Jersey.
Other Named Varieties of Rabbiteye Species
The United States Department of Agriculture also lists
the following named varieties of rabbiteye blueberries:
Black Giant, which is early, large, fruits for nearly 60
days, is one of the largest in bush size; Owens, a tall-grow-
ing variety which has a very long season; Ruby, with bluish
berries large in size but possessing grit cells not considered
so well flavored as several other varieties; Locke, which
suckers freely and has rather well-flavored fruit; Hagood,
an early variety with a long season; Okaloosa, which is
very late in bearing; Myers; Scott; Mineola; Anne; Jean;
and Suwannee.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Cultivated Varieties of Highbush Species
As stated, the planting in Florida of named varieties and
hybrids of northern highbush blueberries has not been
recommended. Although they may be regarded as still in
an experimental stage, limited plantings in the State of at
least two of these varieties, are giving indications of healthy
growth and satisfactory productivity. These plants, of the
following named varieties, were set out in 1937 in north-
eastern Florida. Fruit of the two varieties ripened at about
the same time, harvesting of crops from both being con-
cluded by the last week in July.

Pioneer
Pioneer, so designated because it was the first named va-
riety as a result of blueberry breeding, was a first genera-
tion cross made in 1912 between two wild highbush varie-
ties. Its berries are light blue in color, sweet, and of excellent
flavor. When fully ripe they are without acidity to the
taste. The largest berry on the original bush was 18.5 mm.*
in diameter. Leaves of the plant have no teeth on the
margins.
Concord
The Concord blueberry has large clusters of berries,
which, all ripening at the same time, resemble clusters of
Concord grapes. A first-generation hybrid between the
wild highbush blueberries, Brooks and Rubel, it came from
a cross pollination in 1917. Concord berries have an exces-
sive acidity when they first turn blue, but much of this dis-
appears if they are allowed to remain on the bush until
fully ripened. The ripe berries have a delicious flavor. The
berries in field culture sometimes reach a diameter of
20 mm., and occasionally 21 mm.


*Approximately 25.4 mm. equal one inch.








18 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

SOIL REQUIREMENTS
Wild blueberries flourish in soils which are quite acid.
Repeated investigation has shown that this acid soil condi-
tion is a prime requirement in their successful culture. Soil
acidity is measured by hydrogen ion concentration desig-
nated for convenience as pH. The scale used reads from 1
to 14, with 7 as the neutral point. A reading above 7 shows
alkalinity; below 7, acidity.* Numerous tests, including
ones made around satisfactory commercial plantings in
Florida, indicate that an acidity of pH 5 to pH 5.5 is de-
sirable for blueberry culture.
Peat and muck soils, poor sandy soils, and swamplands,
unless surrounded by limestone, are usually acid. A prac-
tical and relatively inexpensive method of retaining or
increasing soil acidity used by many planters, especially of
small tracts, is in mulching with well-rotted hardwood saw-
dust, peat, or oak and pine leaf mould. The oak and pine
leaves should not be permitted to rot too long, as they
finally turn from acid to an alkaline condition.
Various chemical agents, such as tannic acid, sulphur and
aluminum sulphate can also be used to create or increase soil
acidity. These should be used cautiously, however, and are
recommended more for experimental work and small garden
tracts than for extensive plantations. Not more than 5
pounds of aluminum sulphate to 100 square feet, spread and
watered in, should be employed. One experimental gardner
has had success in using approximately only- a heaping
tablespoonful of this agent annually to each plant. Sulphur
is also dangerous in excess and not more than 3 pounds to
100 square feet should be used. Tannic acid can be used
more liberally, the application being made with 1 part of
tannic acid to 50 parts water.
Although blueberries grow wild near swamps and along
the banks of streams, they are not swamp plants. While
they may survive occasional flood by unusually high waters
they will not grow in swamps or other submerged lands.
The water table should be at least 12 inches below the sur-
*A simple, inexpensive test for either soil acidity or alkalinity can
be made with blue litmus paper, obtainable at any drug store. A
piece of this paper inserted into wet soil will remain blue if soil is
alkaline; if soil is acid, paper will turn pinkish, depth of color de-
pending upon degree of acidity.







DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


face during the growing season of the plants. Good drain-
age and aeration are essential; the subsoil, however, should
be of a type to prevent excessive moisture loss during long
periods of drought.
A sandy loam soil, well filled with humus, with a clay
subsoil is considered ideal for growing blueberries. It has
been said that they will grow in almost any kind of soil,
and it is true that they have produced fairly satisfactory
fruit crops in thinner, lighter soils. But for maximum
growth and berry production the more nearly ideal soil
types should be selected.
The soils on which blueberries have been grown with
greatest success in Florida are generally upland soils of the
Norfolk and Tifton series, usually of Norfolk sand and
sandy loams with a clay subsoil at a depth of from 1 to 4
feet.
Blueberries do not usually succeed in ordinary rich gar-
den soils, which are often neutral or alkaline in reaction.
Land which has been limed for other crops should not be
planted to blueberries. For the selection of land that has
not hitherto been under cultivation a good indication of
its suitability is the wild growth on the soil, of huckle-
berries, azaleas, laurels or other relatives of the blueberry.

PROPAGATION
Blueberries can be propagated in a number of ways, in-
cluding seeds, cuttings, stumping, tubering, budding and
grafting, and by suckers which grow up around older plants.
Plants grown from seeds, however, have not proved very
satisfactory, as they are extremely variable and cannot be
depended upon to reproduce the qualities of fruit or plant
from which the seeds were taken. Grafting and budding
may be of value in experimental work and provide a rapid
production of wood for cuttings, but such methods of prop-
agation are not otherwise recommended since blueberry
plants constantly send up new shoots from the base.

Selection of Stock
One of the disadvantages blueberry culture in Florida
has suffered has been due to carelessness, indifference, and
lack of standardization in the selection of stock which has
been planted. The result has been a great variation in qual-








20 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

ity, flavor, color, and size of the cultivated fruit, and proper
grading for market has been generally impossible. This
situation can only be improved for the future through plant-
ing more nearly uniform stock of high quality.
Original plantings were from wild growth, and this still
offers a relatively inexpensive and easily available source
of stock for Florida growers. Now, however, stock can be
obtained also from cultivated plantations, and to some extent
from what might be termed nursery plantings. There is
variation in much of the so-called "nursery" stock of the
rabbiteye species, however, although some of the leading
growers have been making efforts for a number of years to
achieve select and dependable varieties.
In selecting stock, either from wild growth or from cul-
tivated plantings, close observation-for several years, if
possible-and the tagging of superior parent plants are
necessary. Stock should be taken from plants which most
consistently show desirable characteristics both in the plant
itself and in its berry production.
Some plants bear fruit which is an attractive light-blue
in color, due to density of "bloom" on the berries. To pre-
serve uniformity in this color it is necessary that the
branches of the plant possess sufficient stiffness; flexible
branches will sway in the wind and the bloom on the clus-
ters of fruit will be wiped off, leaving the berries darker
on one side than the other.
A heavy production of fruit naturally is desirable; and
for general marketing purposes the berries should be large
in size, rich in flavor, plump and succulent, and not subject
to becoming withered in appearance a few days after being
picked. These qualities make blueberries highly acceptable
as fresh fruits, eaten out of hand, or served with cream and
sugar. Canned fruit and that utilized in making jams,
jellies and pastries, of course, may not demand such com-
plete superiority.
An important commercial consideration in the selection
of blueberry plants is the ease with which the fruit can
be harvested. The scar left on the picked berry should be
small and dry; this indicates ease in picking. If the skin
at the base of the berry tends to remain attached to the
stem and is torn from the fruit, remaining on the stem, the
plant should be rejected. Plants on which the stems of the
individual berries separate more easily at the base than at








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


the upper joints, the stem remaining attached to the fruit
when it is picked, should not be selected. Plants on which
the ripe fruit shows a marked tendency to crack after a
rain are not desirable.
Suckers
Propagation from suckers has been the method most
commonly used by Florida growers, providing a relatively
simple and satisfactory way of obtaining planting stock.
Suckers from parent plants which have been selected and
tagged or otherwise marked for superior qualities are re-
moved during the dormant season. As much of the root as
possible should be dug up with the sucker. The top of the
stock to be transplanted should be cut back to within a few
inches of the root. Experiments have shown that sucker
plants thus cut back make a much better growth and are
more productive than ones which have been transplanted
without having had the tops removed. The plants can be
placed directly in the fields, or in nursery rows. Nursery
planting in a soil mixture of peat, sand, leaf mould or rotted
sawdust helps the plants to develop a sound root system.

Stem Cuttings
Stem cuttings provide another means of propagation.
Winter cuttings, made after the plant becomes dormant,
should be taken from mature wood of the preceding sea-
son's growth. The cuttings, preferably of thin wood with
leaf buds close together, are usually from 3 to 4 inches long,
although fairly successful tests have been made in rooting
cuttings up to 12 inches in length in clean, coarse sand.
Many successful propagators insist that the cutting should
have a leaf bud at each end of the wood. No twigs with
fruit buds should be used. In obtaining the cutting, clean
short cuts with a sharp instrument should be made, and
care taken that the bark is not bruised nor the wood split
or strained.
It is especially important that the wood be prevented
from drying out while the cuttings are being handled or
before they are set in a rooting medium. Immediately after
being cut they should be placed in a wet towel or piece of
burlap or plunged into wet sand, sphagnum moss, or saw-
dust.








22 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

Both clean, coarse sand, and a mixture of half sand and
half peaty muck have been used in certain comparative
tests, with but slight difference in the percentage of cut-
tings rooted. In these tests the cutting bed was outdoors,
protected from wind by a surrounding 12-inch frame. Cut-
tings from 8 to 12 inches long were inserted approximately
two-thirds of their length into the sand medium; the cut-
tings tested in the peaty muck and sand mixture were only
from 4 to 6 inches long. Under the conditions of these tests
it was from 5 to 8 months before root growth started, this
being preceded for several weeks by a heavy callous forma-
tion. Until the weather became quite warm, no shade was
used; then a half shade was provided by placing slats over
the bed.
Adequate moisture is necessary to the successful rooting
of cuttings and at no time should the soil be allowed to be-
come dry; but the cutting bed should be well-drained. The
cuttings should never be forced into the rooting medium, but
should be placed in already-prepared holes, and the soil
tamped lightly but firmly about them. Bruising must be
avoided and the soil must not be packed too hard against
them. In early winter, after a full season in the cutting
bed, the rooted cuttings should be transferred to the nur-
sery row, where they are grown to field planting size.
In New Jersey, the Agricultural Station at New Bruns-
wick recommends a mixture of half sand and half well-
rotted peat as a rooting medium for cuttings. The cold-
frame type of cutting bed is placed on porous soil elevated
sufficiently for good drainage. Cuttings are set about 1
inch apart in rows which are 2 inches apart, watered to
pack in place, and the frames covered with glass. Excessive
watering is avoided, but the soil is kept damp at all times.
Except on cloudy days the cutting beds are shaded from
about 9 o'clock in the morning until about 4 o'clock in the
afternoon. Soon after being set out, the cuttings send up a
short shoot at the top. During June this shoot stops grow-
ing and the root growth starts. Until this time the glass
cover has been kept on the cutting frame. Ventilation is
begun about the last part of June, and is gradually in-
creased until the glass is taken off entirely, late in August.
Successful root growth is indicated by secondary top
growth. The rooted cuttings can be removed from the beds
and placed in nursery rows the last of August. They should








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


be left in the nursery rows for about a year before being
planted in the field.
Stumping
Blueberries are propagated successfully by a method
called "stumping." At any time from late fall to early
spring, but preferably the latter before growth starts, the
parent plant is cut back to the ground. The stems can be
discarded, or used for cuttings. The stump of the plant
is covered to a depth of 2 or 3 inches with sandy soil,
usually a mixture of from 2 to 4 parts sand to 1 part sifted
peat. A crude frame placed around the stump will help in
keeping this mixture at a fairly constant level above the
stump, a condition which is important. The mound thus
formed must be kept moist. Shoots or sprouts grow up from
the stump and in passing through the mixture above it de-
velop roots. The following winter these rooted plants, are
carefully severed from the parent plant, their tops cut back
severely, and placed in a coldframe to further develop their
root system. The coldframe should be shaded, protected
from over-ventilation and heat, and the soil kept fairly
moist. After a season in the coldframe the plants can be
removed to a nursery row.

Tubering
In the method of propagation known as "tubering" hard-
wood cuttings 3 or 4 inches long and from 1/4-inch to an
inch or more in diameter are placed horizontally in cutting
beds of clean sand and covered to a depth of about 1/-inch.
The same principle as that utilized in stumping is involved.
New shoots forced through a layer of soil develop scaly
root-stocks on their basal portions. As in stumping, suffi-
cient moisture, and protection against excessive heat and
light must be provided. When the new shoots have reached
the rooting stage, half an inch of peat and sand is added
to the cutting bed. The plants should receive very little
ventilation until they are well-rooted.

Root Cuttings
Root cuttings also have been used in propagation. Roots
of large plants were cut into lengths of 3 or 4 inches, being
of various sizes in diameter down to less than eighth of an








24 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

inch. These cuttings were placed in coldframes and given
the same treatment as that employed in tubering. By using
the roots as well as the stems for cuttings it is possible to
utilize more completely a parent plant of markedly superior
qualities.

FIELD CULTURE
Planting Season

Field plantings of blueberries are made from autumn to
early spring, the time varying according to different cli-
matic, weather and plant conditions. Plants which have
been pruned to brief stumps can be more safely set out later
than those with the tops left on. In northern States, early
spring planting is generally the practice. In Florida, many
growers prefer setting the plants in the field during Decem-
ber, January and February. Plantings made in early win-
ter provide time for the soil to settle and the roots to make
a better contact before spring droughts and hot weather.
This is considered especially important with young plants
which have been removed from nursery rows or cutting
beds and are transplanted without having the tops removed.
The plants do not send out new roots in the spring until
in full leaf, when flowering is nearly or quite finished, and
principal twig growth has ceased. If excessively hot weather
occurs before newly set plants develop additional roots and
the old root ball thus has not made perfect capillary con-
tact with the soil, it may send up its stored supply of water
to the leaves, contract, and the rootlets remain permanently
out of proper soil contact. Thus the plant might suffer
from drought even when the soil held sufficient moisture.

Inclusion of Root Fungus
Some Florida growers regard the blueberry as sufficient-
ly hardy to survive and grow despite adverse conditions and
indifferent methods. This attitude is not to be recommend-
ed for success in their culture. Precautions in planting
lessen the percentage of failures. Especial care should be
taken to prevent damage to roots through bruising, exces-
sive heat and allowing them to dry out. The necessity of a
mycorrhizal root fungus is discussed in the following para-
graphs from Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Bul-








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


letin 194, and a suggestion is given for its insurance in
field planting:
The presence of a mycorrhizal root fungus is com-
monly considered necessary to the maximum develop-
ment and thrift of blueberry plants. The fungus is
supposed by many to aid in the absorption of nutrients
by the plant while being in turn partially nourished by
the plant. The roots of a large number of wild and cul-
tivated rabbiteye blueberry plants have been exam-
ined and the fungus has been found without exception
on every specimen. It would seem that under like en-
vironmental conditions, those plants having the most
vigor would normally have the greatest amounts of
this fungus if it plays as important a role as is com-
monly ascribed to it. This has not proven to be the
case with the specimens examined, there being no corre-
lation between growth of the plant and the amount of
the fungus. Wide variation was found in the amount
of fungus present but this variation could not be corre-
lated with the condition of the plants; some of the very
thrifty plants had very small amounts of the fungus,
others a great deal, while some very poor plants had as
much of the fungus as any plant examined.
If the presence of this fungus is necessary for the
maximum development of the plants it is quite probable
that the roots of all plants dug from the wild are plen-
tifully supplied. In the event rooted cuttings are plant-
ed, the fungus may be easily introduced by including
some roots from old plants with the roots of the cuttings
at the time of planting in the field. Such roots should
be some of the finer fibrous roots and should not be
allowed to become completely dried out in transferring.
Age of Plants for Field
Nursery stock should be at least two years old when placed
in field plantations. Some growers prefer plants that are
three or four years old. It is evident that no plants should
be placed in the field until they have reached sufficient
strength and root growth to survive field conditions. Where
there is a question of their fitness, it is better to let them
remain in nursery rows for an additional season's growth.
Preparation of Land
In some Florida areas but little preparation of the land
is made before field planting. Any trees or undergrowth, of








26 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

course, should be removed. The soil is broken, disked
lightly, leveled by dragging, and planting distances staked
off. If the field has a relatively deep layer of peat above
sand, the ploughing should have been done deeply enough to
mix at least two inches of the sand with the peat. On the
other hand, if the land is very sandy, leaf mould, peat,
rotted sawdust or hammock soil may be added at the time
of planting, being mixed into the sand in the vicinity of
each plant. Where the water level is very high, or there is
any danger of water standing on the surface, especially
during the growing season, drainage should be provided.

How to Plant
There exists considerable disagreement as to the proper
spacing of plants in the field. Some Florida growers assert
that a distance of 12' in both directions between plants is
adequate; others state that distances should be 18' x 18'.
The Florida Agricultural Experiment Station has suggested
that the minimum spacing between plants probably should
be 15' x 15', and that if desired the rows may be placed 20'
apart, with closer spacing of the plants within the row.
Variation in spacing may have a relation to growth habits
in different species, soil condition and pruning, the latter
having been but little practiced in Florida while being more
generally the custom in northern culture. Many Florida
growers report that where plants have ben set too close
together in the past the resultant overcrowding as growth
occurred has seriously interfered with cultivation and har-
vesting. It is also possible that such overcrowding might
tend to lower the fruiting capacity of the plants.
The following table, which includes only spacing gen-
erally advised for Florida plantings, shows the approxi-
mate number of plants per acre in different systems of
planting:
Distance Apart Triangular Rectangular Hexagonal
10 x 10 ft. 396 436 501
12 x 12 ft. 275 303 348
15x15 ft. 175 193 217
15 x 10 ft. 164 290 ........*
18 x 18 ft. 122 134 142
20 x 15 ft. 132 145
*In the hexagonal system only equidistant spacing is applicable.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Plants are set between 4 and 12 inches deep, but a depth
between 6 and 8 inches is usually advisable. Planting too
shallow should be avoided. In transplanting stock from wild
growth the planter should realize that the shallow rooting
habit of the wild plants commonly noticeable arises from
the fact that they are often found growing on land subject
to overflow and which has a high water table much of the
time. The roots of the plant are close to the surface in or-
der to obtain necessary aeration. Such adverse conditions
should not prevail in field culture, and consequently, the
plants can be rooted deeper. One Florida grower has found
a depth four inches greater than that of its native habit
usually satisfactory in transplanting root stock from the
wild to the field. Nursery plants should be set at least an
inch deeper than they were in the nursery row. It is some-
times the practice in field planting to leave a shallow earth
basin around each plant as it is set in the ground, provid-
ing a natural receptacle for humus and water. Where prac-
tical, and especially during very dry weather, newly-set
plants should be watered three times a week until they
begin to grow.

Pollination
Blueberries are pollinated by bumblebees, and various in-
sects small enough to enter the narrow opening of the
corolla. The tongue of the honeybee is too short to easily
reach the nectar. Cross pollination is necessary for blue-
berries to set a full crop of fruit. Experiments have shown
that some bushes are completely sterile to their own pollen,
while others which were self-pollinated produced berries
that were small, few in number, and late in maturing. This
unfavorable reaction occurs where pollination is between
plants removed from the same parent stock, or between
the parent and plants grown from its cuttings. A plantation,
therefore, should not be made wholly from cuttings taken
from one bush. A field should contain at least two varieties,
preferably set in alternate rows. It has not been important
in the past for Florida growers to give cross pollination
consideration as the plantations have contained a number
of varieties; but if selected plantings are to be made from
blueberries of known parentage, care should be taken that
more than one variety is placed in the field.








28 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

Cultivation
Blueberries should be cultivated frequently enough to
keep down weed growth and supply aeration to the roots of
the plants. A heavy growth of weeds absorbs plant food
and moisture needed by the blueberries. Clean culture
should be employed for a distance of several feet around
each bush. To protect the roots, tillage, whether by hand
hoeing or by use of an acme harrow or other form of culti-
vator, must be shallow. Cover crops, when planted, are
seeded between the rows and turned into the soil by light
disking in the fall.

Pruning
Pruning has not been a universal practice among Florida
planters and what work has been done in this respect has
been confined generally to removing dead wood, cutting
back to control height and promote new growth, and the
removal of suckers from around the base of the bush. Re-
sults are not available from any possible experiments in
pruning Florida blueberries so that a smaller number of
fruit buds may produce larger and more select berries.
In many instances older plants which were cut back se-
verely have yielded a much heavier fruit crop the second
or third year after pruning. It is advisable to prevent the
too extensive growth of suckers springing up around the
base of the bush. Especially if the plants have been set
very closely; together. On some plantations bushes are per-
mitted to reach approximately three feet in diameter; there-
after any additional suckers which spring up around the
bushes are removed, these often being utilized in new
plantings. Cutting back the tops of older plants makes the
fruit accessible from the ground, and thus makes harvest-
ing easier. Opinions as to the best height of bearing bushes
vary, ranging in selection from 3 to 5 feet. Some growers
cut away two-thirds of the bush every few years, while
others, practicing "crown cutting," cut off the entire bush
to one-half inch beneath the surface of the ground every 12
to 15 years.
In northern areas, pruning is regarded as an essential
to commercial success. Older, bushy branches which pro-
duce but little fruit, yet absorb much of the plant's nutri-
tion and moisture, are removed. Fruiting shoots with too








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


many fruit buds are thinned or cut back, and fruiting is gen-
erally confined to the more vigorous and younger shoots. In
some select varieties the number of fruit buds is reduced
as much as one-half or two-thirds to insure the production
of the most desirable fruit.
If experiments in pruning are made by Florida planters,
several points should be remembered. It is the new growth
on the blueberry plant which produces the next season's
fruit. Pruning should be done after the leaves fall and be-
fore new growth starts in the spring; the season's growth
may be greatly retarded if the plants are not pruned before
blossoming time, especially when severe cutting is done.
(One Florida grower who merely trims out undesirable
sprouts and cuts back the highest limbs of the bushes ad-
vises that pruning should not be done later in the year than
February.) New shoots usually need but very little bud
thinning. In "tipping back" sprouts to decrease buds it is
necessary to distinguish between fruit buds and leaf buds;
the former are much plumper than the latter, the leaf buds
being relatively small and narrow.

Fertilizers
In Florida there exists a diversity of opinion among
growers as to fertilizer requirements for the culture of
blueberries. Inasmuch as there is not at this time sufficient
experimental data available to provide exact standards for
Florida soils and plantings, only the varying practices of
different leading planters, together with fertilizer formulas
and methods found satisfactory in other States, can be
presented. Through cautious experiment the grower may
discover from these the type and amount of fertilizer-if it
is needed-for the particular soils which he has under
cultivation.
One blueberry plantation in northeastern Florida has
thrived for many years, the only soil additions being made
through the turning under of weed and grass growth, with
an occasional thin application of poultry fertilizer. It is the
contention of the experienced owner that the application of
fertilizer is otherwise unnecessary. On another and smaller
tract in northeastern Florida blueberry plants have flour-
ished and fruited satisfactorily with regard to size, flavor,
color and quantity of berries with the annual application








30 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

just before the buds break in the spring of one-half to a
pound, to each plant, according to its size, of formula
4-8-8 (4 per cent nitrogen, 8 per cent phosphoric acid, and
8 per cent potash.)
A number of successful blueberry orchards in the State
were fertilized the first four or five years after planting
with 4-8-4. As the plants grew older the potash was in-
creased so that the formula used was 4-8-6 or 4-8-8. When
plants were first placed in the field they each received fer-
tilizer at the rate of one-half to a pound per plant. When
the plants were two years old each was given 11/2 to 2
pounds of fertilizer. The amount was further increased
the third year, when each plant received 21/2 to 3 pounds,
according to its size. It has been suggested that fertilizer
be applied to the fields at the rate of from 500 to 800
pounds per acre, the amount varying according to the age
and size of the plants. The owner of one of the oldest com-
mercial orchards in the State, however, using a formula
of 8-4-6, applies only 100 pounds of fertilizer to the acre
every two or three years. It is a generally accepted practice
to apply fertilizer in the spring, often in March or April.
The following recommendations are from Blueberry Cul-
ture, a bulletin issued by the Bureau of Plant Industry,
United States Department of Agriculture:
On fertile soils very little fertilizer may be required,
while on poor soils large amounts may be necessary to
maintain satisfactory growth. In Michigan superphos-
phate up to 670 pounds per acre has given good results.
In New Jersey and North Carolina, in localities where
blueberries are now planted, nitrogen has seemed most
often the limiting element. It is suggested that one ap-
plication, 400 to 600 pounds per acre of a complete fer-
tilizer (about 5-10-5) be made in the spring at the time
the buds are starting. This should be followed by an
application of 150 pounds of nitrate of soda or calcium
nitrate about 6 weeks later if the soil is quite acid or an
equivalent amount of sulphate of ammonia (110
pounds) if the soil is not very acid, and then one or two
more applications at intervals of 6 weeks. The more
fertile fields should not have the later fertilizer appli-
cations.
If the foliage shows chlorosis or yellowing, sulfate of
ammonia should be used instead of nitrate of soda as a
source of nitrogen. If this does not control the yellow-








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


ing, possibly some of the so-called rarer elements may
be lacking. Where the leaves are not of the usual green
color tests may be made of iron, tin, copper, boron,
zinc, and magnesium to see if one of these is needed.
As a result of nine years of investigation, the New Jer-
sey Agricultural Experiment Station recommends a fertili-
zer mixture composed of 450 pounds nitrate of soda, 450
pounds calcium nitrate, 800 pounds rock phosphate, and
300 pounds sulfate of potash. For plants producing 2 quarts
or more of berries, this fertilizer is applied at the rate of 300
pounds per acre early in May, and again at the same rate
three weeks or more later. Broadcast by hand, the mixture
is spread evenly over the area under the branches of the
plant except within six inches of the crown. Hand raking
or other cultivation to mix the fertilizer into the soil is
used unless a rain follows the application. In fertilizing
newly planted fields the New Jersey Experiment Station
urges caution, limiting the amount of materials applied to
not more than 100 pounds to each acre, with the application
being made only after the plants have shown new growth.
In Maine, cottonseed meal has been used, being applied
at the rate of 200 pounds per acre. Experiments with com-
plete fertilizers are also being conducted in that State with
an application of 400 pounds per acre. The University of
New Hampshire Extension Service advises that no fertilizer
should be used the first year and that none or very little
be applied the second growing season; that the following
season a medium handful may be applied to each plant, and
that after the third year the amount can be gradually in-
creased and broadcast between rows.
Inasmuch as it has been considered of prime importance
in successful blueberry culture that soils be kept acid, this
may be regarded to some extent as a limiting factor in the
composition of fertilizer materials used. The following
paragraphs, from Soils and Men, Yearbook of Agriculture
(1938) issued by the United States Department of Agri-
culture, indicate soil reaction to different fertilizer ma-
terials:
It has been found that . materials, such as am-
monium sulphate and sodium nitrate, which chemically
are neutral salts and themselves exhibit no marked
alkaline or acid character . have an ultimate effect
upon soil reaction. Since this is not shown immediately








32 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

upon application to the soil but develops during the
course of utilization of the nutrient elements by the
crops, it is termed "residual effect." It has been ex-
plained as caused by preferential intake by the plants
of certain elements over others. Thus, in the case of
sodium nitrate the nitrogen as the acidic nitrate ion is
utilized to a greater extent than the basic sodium ion,
which is left to neutralize other acidic ions originally
in the soil, so that the ultimate residual effect is a de-
creased acidity or increased alkalinity of the soil.
In the case of fertilizer materials the nitrogen of
which undergoes nitrification, an additional factor is
the conversion of this nitrogen into the acidic nitrate
ion, which as it is formed neutralizes bases in the soil.
Thus, in the case of ammonium sulphate, the basic am-
monium ions are converted into acidic nitrate ions, and
both these and the residual acidic sulphate ion neutral-
ize bases so that the residual effect is an increased
acidity or decreased alkalinity of the soil. Nitrogen is
therefore to be considered as an acidic element re-
gardless of its form in the fertilizer material, whether
ammoniacal, nitrate, organic, or amide.
The potash salts customarily used for fertilizer pur-
poses have been found not to affect soil reaction ma-
terially, though wood ashes and potassium nitrate,
neither of which finds extensive employment as a ferti-
lizer material, cause a decrease in soil acidity. The
results of long-continued plot tests have shown that
superphosphate has no appreciable effect on soil re-
action.
The foregoing material would suggest the superiority of
sulfate of ammonia to nitrate of soda as a source of nitro-
gen where it is desired to maintain or increase soil acidity.
Lime should never be applied to land selected for blue-
berry culture, nor is the application of ashes advisable. The
use of stable manure is usually satisfactory on most woody
plants.
Cover Crops
Cover crops are grown on many Florida blueberry plan-
tations and are recommended for adding nitrogen and or-
ganic matter to the soil, aiding in the retention of adequate
moisture, and preventing the loss of humus through ex-
cessive cultivation and sunshine. Leguminous cover crops
are especially desirable for increasing both organic matter








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


and nitrogen, often of low content in the sandy soils where
blueberry plantings have been made. Non-leguminous crops,
while adding organic material, in many cases temporarily
reduce nitrogen in the soil by utilizing that already present
in effecting the decay of added soil micro-organisms.
In some plantations the only soil additions made by the
,planter are through the growing and disking in of legumi-
nous cover crops, no commercial fertilizer being used. Even
where the use of commercial fertilizer is practiced, however,
cover crops are important in retaining and increasing or-
ganic matter which contains the bacterial life necessary for
the satisfactory utilization of the fertilizer materials.
A wide variety of cover crops, including crotalaria, car-
pet grass, cowpeas, soy beans, beggarweed, and Austrian
winter peas, are grown by Florida planters. Crotalaria, an
annual legume well suited to sandy soils of low fertility, is
the choice of many leading growers. Although it is usually
planted any time from March to June, one grower in north-
western Florida plants crotalaria as late as the first of
July. A possible objection to the early spring planting of
some cover crops is that they may interfere with harvesting
the fruit and at the same time be trampled upon and dam-
aged by the pickers. Cowpeas, which can be planted in
July, furnish a leguminous cover crop without serious in-
terference to the berry harvesting.

Mulching
As mentioned with regard to preserving or increasing
soil acidity, mulching with,peat, well-rotted hardwood saw-
dust, or oak and pine leaf mould is used by blueberry plant-
ers. Mulches of such materials are especially good in poor
sandy soils and for starting young plants. Where a natural
growth of grasses and weeds has been permitted to take
place in blueberry fields this can be mowed and left spread
over the ground, forming some protection against excessive
moisture loss during dry, hot periods.

DISEASE AND PESTS
Florida blueberries have been remarkably free from se-
rious insect infestation and disease. A rust, Pucciniastrum
myrtilli, apparently of but very little economic importance,
has been found in many plantings, and larvae, as yet un-








34 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

identified, have been reported as causing slight damage to
foliage of a young plantation in the northeastern part of
the State. The blueberry fruit fly, the stem borer, stem
gall, and other injurious diseases and pests which have
attacked blueberry plantations in several States have not
as yet become troublesome to Florida growers. It is con-
sidered advisable, however, that planters take the pre-
caution of preventing the possibility of dangerous infesta-
tion by observing and reporting to State or Federal agri-
cultural agencies the occurrence of disease symptoms or
the appearance of new and unusual insect life in their
plantings. The New Jersey experiment station* lists sev-
eral pests and diseases, some of which are no importance in
Florida, with habit-identification and suggestions for con-
trol, as follows:
BLUEBERRY FRUIT FLY
The most serious insect pest of blueberries is the
blueberry fruit fly (Rhagoletis pomonella Walsh), the
larva of which is active inside the ripe fruit. In-
fested fruit is, of course, unmarketable.
In New Jersey, the flies emerge from overwintering
puparia from June 15 to July 15, mostly between June
20 and July 5. After flying about for 10 to 12 days,
they start to lay eggs in the ripe or ripening fruit. The
eggs hatch in two to five days, and the larvae are ma-
ture in about 20 days when they enter the ground,
pupate, and remain dormant until the next year.
The adult flies can be killed before they lay eggs by
dusting the field with ground derris (5% rotenone)
10-15 pounds to the acre, once'on June 30 and again 10
days later. Usually the treatment is made by airplane
or autogiro. If a hand machine is used, a diluent
should be added in order to get sufficient distribution.

STEM BORER
The young stems of the blueberry plant are often
girdled during late June or July three or six inches
from the tip. Two parallel girdles or rings of punctures
are cut around the stem about a half-inch apart between
which an egg is laid under the bark. The grub hatching
from the egg is the stem borer (Oberea myops. Wald).
*Blueberry Culture, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station,
New Brunswick, New Jersey, Circular 229, April 1937.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


It tunnels the stem and if undisturbed will work for
three years before emerging as an adult. The first
year it tunnels but a few inches. The second year it
may reach the base of the plant, and the third year it
will appear in another stem.
Cutting off the wilted tips well below the girdled
area during July will keep this pest under control. Any
missed at this time may be found while pruning. No
tunneled shoot should be left on the bush. The cut
pieces may be thrown between the rows as the borer
cannot get back to the bush.

STEM GALL
The common insect gall on blueberries is caused by
Hemadas nubilipennis Ashm. They become numerous
enough to reduce the fruitfulness of the bush if al-
lowed to reproduce undisturbed. However, the control
is simple. The galls should be cut from the bushes
and removed from the field and destroyed during the
winter pruning. The flies emerge and reinfest the plant
if the galls are allowed to remain on the damp ground.
With regard to the identification and control of any pos-
sible insect infestation it may be well for the grower to bear
in mind that despite the many varieties, insects can be di-
vided broadly into two classifications, each requiring a par-
ticular method of control. The chewing type of insect shreds
foliage and turns leaves into lacy outlines. Stomach poisons,
such as those of the arsenical group, are used to combat
these pests. The sucking type of insect inserts a probosis
into the plant and draws the plant juices from below the
surface of the foliage. Because of the way in which it feeds,
the sucking type avoids stomach poisons which have been
sprayed on the surface of leaves, and to control it is neces-
sary that suffocating or paralyzing agents such as rotenone.
base sprays or dusts, nicotine sulphate, soaps, oil emulsions
or pyrethrum be sprayed so that they come into direct con-
tact with the insect.








36 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

HARVESTING AND MARKETING

The Harvest Season
In Florida, blueberries begin to ripen as early as the
middle of May, the season of ripe fruit running through
June, July and August, and sometimes extending into the
first part of September. The most intensive harvesting,
however, generally occurs from early in June to the middle
of July.
When the berries first turn blue they are still sour, it
being necessary to leave them on the bush a week or so
longer before they are ready to pick. An under-ripe berry
shows a purplish color around the scar where it is separated
from the stem. In fully ripe fruit the scar has the same
color as the rest of the berry. The clusters do not ripen
evenly, a few berries maturing at a time, usually beginning
with the largest fruit at the tips of the clusters.

Picking the Fruit
Harvesting should begin promptly as soon as the fruit
starts to ripen. In the past, much of this labor has been
done by women and children. One picker can usually gather
between 20 and 30 quarts of berries in a day, although un-
der favorable conditions it is possible for a picker to harvest
as much as 40 quarts daily. By observing the berry color,
which normally is blue or black, and by a sense of touch
from feeling the clusters, the picker readily distinguishes
the fruit which is ready to harvest. To avoid loss through
decay while being shipped, the surface of the fruit should
be free from moisture when it is picked.
The pickers work daily during the season, removing the
fruit from different bushes. Repeated picking from the
same bush is occasionally required every other day, but
more often necessary but once a week; this being governed,
of course, by the speed with which the fruit is ripening.
. In one of the older methods of Florida harvesting the
picker uses a gallon can, or other container, swung at his
waist by a cord or strap around his body. The fruit is
"rolled" off the stem by a movement of the hand. An easy
pulling or wiping motion is used, the curved hand of the
picker lightly grasping the cluster and brushing toward the








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


open container. The ripe berries roll off easily. Without
expert care, this method, while speedy, increases the pos-
sibility of bruised, torn or otherwise damaged berries as
well as the inclusion of twigs, leaves and immature fruit
in the container. It is necessary to cull and repack the
ripe fruit for shipment.
A more desirable method, from several standpoints, is to
pick carefully selected berries from the cluster directly into
shipping "cups." If the picker avoids mixing leaves, stems
or other trash with the fruit, and his work is supervised
and inspected, the necessity of culling and repacking is elim-
inated. It is naturally to the interest of the grower and
shipper that the harvesting be done in such a way as to
avoid as much injury as possible to both immature and
ripe fruit.
Yields
The amount of fruit to be obtained from cultivated blue-
berries is dependent upon so many factors that conclusions
can only be suggested by reported yields from various
plantings. Authentic reports have been made of plants be-


Harvesting the Blueberry Crop








38 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

tween 11 and 15 years old which produced as much as 60
quarts of fruit in a season. This, however, is exceptional
productivity, and such yields should not be expected in
the average field planting. On one of the oldest planta-
tions in northeastern Florida the top production of the
individual bushes has been 25 quarts in a season.
No fruit is produced the first season after the plants are
set. Some berries will be borne by flourishing plants the
second season, but commercial production is not reached
until the third or fourth year. By the fifth or sixth year
plants may be producing from 4 to 7 quarts of berries. The
yield usually increases annually until the plants reach ma-
turity at 12 to 15 years of age. Strong, mature plants un-
der favorable conditions should yield between 12 and 16
quarts of fruit.
From one small Florida planting a yield of 2 quarts from
each bush was received the second season after the plants
were set out. A 1-acre tract containing 462 plants yielded
an average of 5 quarts per plant in the fourth season.
Production records of Florida plantings compare favor-
ably with yields from selected plants in New Jersey, as
given in the following excerpt from a bulletin issued by the
Maine Agricultural Experiment Station at Orono, Maine:
First year .................. ............. ........no crop
Second year ..... .... .......no commercial crop
Third year .............................. ....... 30 crates per acre
Fourth year ...........................-----..... 80 crates per acre
Fifth year .......... .....-.........-............100 crates per acre
Yields of 100 crates may be obtained on the best farms
under good conditions but most growers probably will not
obtain over 80 crates.

Marketing Methods
Blueberries are marketed in both pint and quart con-
tainers which are similar to strawberry cups, except for
the wide corner cracks of the latter. Shipping crates con-
tain either 16 or 24 cups. Retailers often prefer pint cups,
while hotels and restaurants generally purchase the quart-
size containers. A 24-pint display crate opens at the side
to show the fruit in cellophane wrapped boxes.
The fruit is packed by shippers at warehouses, or by the
grower who ships direct. Although with careful packing








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


and prompt handling it can 'be transported to distant points
without icing, much of the fresh fruit is shipped by re-
frigerated truck or railway express.
Florida blueberries are not handled through co-operative
associations, and there is no established grading of the fruit.
In the northern markets, however, the Florida berries are
placed in competition with graded fruit from States which
do have co-operative marketing associations. The following
requirements, for instance, listed in New Jersey Agricul-
tural Experiment Station Circular 229, are the standards
for graded fruit handled by the Blueberry Cooperative As-
sociation. HARVEST MOON is their highest grade;
GREENLEAF is second grade; and STAR is their third
grade. Fruit below the standards set for STAR is sold
ungraded.
HARVEST MOON shall consist of cultivated blueberries
of similar varietal characteristics which are firm, well
formed, well colored, with normal bloom, and not over-ripe,
under-ripe, or shriveled; which are reasonably free from
stems, and free from mould, decay, dirt, sand or other for-
eign matter, moisture, disease, insect, mechanical or other
injury. There shall not be more than 140 blueberries, rea-
sonably uniform in size, to the 2-gill measure. The cups shall
be new, clean, well filled, securely covered with transparent
paper or other similar material, and sealed.


I


j7~


law


Blueberries Are Marketed in Crates of Pint or Quart Containers


I


I


7.








40 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

In order to allow for variations other than size incident
to proper grading and handling, not more than 5 per cent,
by volume, of the blueberries in any lot may be below the
requirements of this grade, but no part of this tolerance
shall be allowed for mold or decay. One-fifth of a 2-gill
measure shall constitute 5 per cent of one quart, by volume.
GREENLEAF shall consist of cultivated blueberries of
similar varietal characteristics which are firm, well formed,
well colored with normal bloom, and not over-ripe, under-
ripe, or shriveled; which are reasonably free from stems,
free from mold or decay and from damage caused by dirt,
sand or other foreign matter, moisture, disease, insects,
mechanical or other means. There shall not be more than
200 blueberries, reasonably uniform in size, to the 2-gill
measure. The cups shall be new, clean, well filled, securely
covered with transparent paper or other similar material,
and sealed.
In order to allow for variations other than size incident
to proper grading and handling, not more than 5 per cent,
by volume, of the blueberries in any lot may be below the
requirements of this grade, but no part of this tolerance
shall be allowed for decay. One-fifth of a 2-gill measure
shall constitute 5 per cent of one quart, by volume.
STAR shall consist of cultivated blueberries of similar
varietal characteristics which are well formed, well col-
ored, and not under-ripe or shriveled; which are reasonably
free from stems, mold, or decay and from damage caused
by dirt, sand or other foreign matter, disease or insects.
There shall be not more than 200 blueberries, reasonably
uniform in size, to the 2-gill measure. The cups shall be
new, clean, well filled, securely covered with transparent
paper, and sealed.
In order to allow for variations other than size incident
to proper grading and handling, not more than 5 per cent,
by volume, of the blueberries in any lot may be below the
requirements of this grade, but no part of this tolerance
shall be allowed for decay. One-fifth of a 2-gill measure
shall constitute 5 per cent of one quart, by volume.

Berry Markets
Florida blueberries are shipped to many markets in va-
rious parts of the United States, the bulk of the fruit being








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


disposed of in such large cities of the East and mid-West
as New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago and Cleveland.
While one leading planter of the most intensive commer-
cially productive section of the State-northwestern Flor-
ida-estimates that 99 per cent of the berry crop is sold
in these distant markets, there is much fruit that is utilized
locally. Planters of small tracts, some no larger than do-
mestic garden plots, in addition to the home consumption
of their crop as fresh fruit or in pastries and the kitchen
canning of berries, jams and jellies, sell to nearby restau-
rants, hotels and retail and wholesale markets.
Experiments are being conducted in Florida with frozen
blueberries as a commercial product, and some frozen fruit
has been shipped. The following conclusions in regard to
frozen berries are from the Georgia Experiment Station
Bulletin 166; the reference to the availability of peach-
freezing plants in that State should be noted:
The operation of freezing must tbe done by refrigera-
tor engineers with highly specialized equipment. Frozen
berries are a new product to the public. While freezing
was originally intended to take care of surplus berries
in centers of production, frozen berries are rapidly be-
coming a primary product. While there is probably no
section of Georgia where berries are, or may be, pro-
duced in sufficient quantities to warrant the erection
of a freezing plant for handling them alone, these
fruits may be advantageously used to prolong the oper-
ating season of plants now freezing peaches.
The most satisfactory frozen product is obtained
when the operation is as follows: Fully ripe, selected
berries are washed and prepared as if for serving.
They are placed in containers of about one pound each,
and covered with a sugar syrup equal in concentration
to the juice within the berries. A thirty-five to thirty-
seven per cent sugar syrup has been found most satis-
factory. The closed containers of berries are subjected
to a temperature of zero F. or lower until frozen, which
requires about one and one-half hours. After freezing
the product may be raised to a temperature of 15 de-
grees, at which temperature it will remain frozen and
in good condition indefinitely.
Three hours before serving, the containers are re-
moved to room temperature and the contents allowed
to thaw out. A pound of fruit is sufficient for five








42 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

servings, which should reach the consumer just as the
last ice crystals are disappearing....
Efforts are also being made in Florida toward the utili-
zation of blueberries through the extraction and preserva-
tion of juice. It is claimed by those interested in this activity
that blueberry juice, in addition to its value as a drink and
a flavoring substance, has certain pharmaceutical proper-
ties. This industry, which might at present be termed more
or less embryonic, suggests possibilities worthy of deeper
investigation.
Costs and Returns
As with the question of yields, so many elements enter
into the costs and returns in cultivating and marketing
blueberries that conclusions can only be suggested by a
presentation of various growers' and shippers' estimates
concerning these contributory factors.
The cost of locally purchased nursery stock ranges from
2 cents to 25 cents a plant. This expense may be increased
further when select varieties are bought from out-of-State
nurseries, or it may be completely eliminated if the planter
takes his stock from wild growth. The original cost of land
on which berries are to be grown, the expense of prepara-
tion and cultivation, the cost of fertilization and the ex-
pense of harvesting, packing, and shipping may vary great-
ly in different localities and to some extent in the same
areas from year to year.
One leading Florida grower states that it costs about 10
cents per quart to place the berries on the market. Another
breaks down the expense per acre of production as follows:
land, $20; clearing and fencing, $20; plants, $100; and
labor $10; total cost $150. A third planter places the cost
of raising blueberries at only $50 an acre.
There is as great a variance in the selling price of the
fruit as in the cost of producing it. One grower states that
in the past he has received as high as 40 cents a quart for
select fruit, but that gross returns from nearby markets
in the past several seasons ranged from 15 cents to 20
cents a quart. During the 1940 season the owner of a small
plantation in northeast Florida disposed of his entire crop
to restaurants and hotels at 25 cents a quart. Canneries in
the northwestern part of the State have been reported as
paying from 4 cents to 6 cents a quart.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Some growers estimate that they receive a net return of
about 3 cents a quart for their fruit while others reduce
the estimation of returns to 2 cents a quart. One planter
states that his season's profit from an acre of blueberries
was $87.

FOOD VALUES AND RECIPES
The analyses of foods, and the resultant food-composition
tables may not be considered absolutely dependable in all
cases, due to the possibility of error in some methods of
analysis, the fact that the amount of certain minerals may
differ in different varieties of fruits, and where regarded
as a dietary study, because the total amount of a mineral
present does not aways determine the amount available for
use by the body. They do however provide a general indi-
cation of food values and approximate composition, and
the following material, containing analyses of blueberries
(as compared with several other fruits), is therefore
presented.
According to the Florida Agricultural Experiment Sta-
tion: "An examination of several samples of fruit showed
that the fresh fruit was about 80 per cent water. Approx-
imately 35 per cent of the dried fruit was reducing sugar
with a trace of non-reducing sugar, probably cane sugar;
indicating that about 7.5 per cent, by weight, of the fresh
fruit was sugar. The fruit examined contained about 0.38
per cent acid calculated as citric acid, though it was not
certain that the acid was entirely citric. A comparison of
the approximate sugar and acid content of some of the com-
mon fruits based on fresh weight is given below.
"An extract of the crushed fruit was approximately pH
3.5 as compared with the pulp of oranges which is about
pH 3.8-4.0. The fruit was mealy in texture and there was
little free juice that could be readily extracted.
Cane Sugar Reducing Sugar Acid
Cherries ....--..............-------------------.................... 0.0 10.0 0.7
Strawberries ................................ 6.0 5.0 0.6
Raspberries ........................--------------------.......... 2.0 5.0 1.4
Gooseberries .............-...........--------------------........ 0.0 6.5 1.6
Oranges .......-------------------------................................ 4.0 4.5 1.0
Blueberries .....-------------.......... ---.........-..... trace? 7.5 0.38*
*Calculated from electrometric titration as anhydrous citric acid
without actual identification of the acid."










44 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

Other analyses of several fruits produced the following
comparative table, showing nutritional calories, mineral
elements and protein content. All percentages, number of
parts and number of calories are in reference to edible
portions of the fruits.


Nutritional Calories (approx.)
1 pound ................................................... .......... ........- 310
4 heaping tablesps .......................-............................. 80
1 pound ...................................................................... 285
1/ cup ....--- -...................................... -.........--..........- 100
1 pound ..........................................._ .........................--- 310
10 large ....................................................................... 50
1 pound ....................................................................... 235
8 oz. of juice ............................................................... 100
S cup .............................................. .................... 65


(Percentage)
Protein Phosphorus Calcium


Blueberries ........--
Blackberries ........
Cherries ................
Orange ..............--
Strawberries ........


0.020
0.034
0.030
0.020
0.028


0.025
0.017
0.019
0.026
0.038


(Parts per Million)
Iron Copper Manganese
9. .... 44.*


Plants, of course, do not actually contain vitamin A, but
they may contain materials which can be converted into
vitamin A in the body. The United States Department of
Agriculture lists blueberries among esculents that are good
sources of pro-vitamin A.

*The particular action of manganese in the human body is not fully
known, but it is apparently necessary in very small quantities in the
diet. A legbone deformity in chickens, known as perosis, accom-
panied by manganese deficiency, suggests the possible need of this
element in normal bone development. When experimental rats were
deprived of manganese the males showed sterility and the females
lack of maternal instinct. Excessive amounts, however, are poison-
ous. As little as one ounce taken over a period of 12 to 15 years is
apparently adequate for children.


Fruit
Blueberries

Blackberries

Cherries

Orange

Strawberries









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


RECIPES

An exhaustive and detailed account of the many ways in
which blueberries can be prepared and served would re-
quire a book unto itself. The following limited number of
recipes is a suggestion as to the wide variety of culinary
uses to which the fruit is adaptable. Blueberry pie, because
of its great popularity at the American dining table, leads
the list.
BLUEBERRY PIE (1)
(Double Crust)
3 cups blueberries /2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons flour 1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix sugar, cinnamon and flour, add blueberries, lemon juice and
salt.
Crust is prepared by mixing 2 cups of flour, 1/ teaspoon salt, cut-
ting in 2/3 cup of lard, or lard substitute, adding water slowly and
mixing with a knife until stiff dough is formed. Cut off 2/3 of
dough, place on floured board and roll on one side of dough only in
circular shape. Roll to size four inches larger than pie pan. Press
dough into pan; do not remove amount extending over edge of pan
until berry mixture and top crust is in place.
Pour berry mixture into prepared lower crust in pan. Roll re-
mainder of dough so that it extends in size one inch beyond edge of
pan. Make slits in upper crust by folding in half and making three
or four more punctures in center of fold. Place top crust over pie,
moistening edge of lower crust with cold water and pinching the two
firmly together. Cut off excess dough with sharp knife. Put pie on
lower shelf of moderate oven for ten minutes, then remove to upper
shelf and bake in slow heat for twenty-five minutes or longer.

BLUEBERRY PIE (2)
(Single Crust)
% to 1 quart blueberries 1 teaspoon salt
1/ to % cup sugar 1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
Pastry can be made as for Blueberry Pie (1), reducing amount of
each ingredient to quantity for one crust instead of two; or pastry
can be made as follows: Mix 1 cup flour, 1/3 teaspoon salt, 1 tea-
spoon baking powder, work in 1 tablespoon butter, stir in 1 egg and
add % cup milk. Work into a smooth dough, and roll out 1 inch
thick.
Line bottom of pan with crust, sprinkle with one or two table-
spoons of sugar and flour mixed. Pour berry filler into crust. Spread
evenly, sprinkle with sugar and flour, dot with butter and bake in a
moderate oven until berries are soft and edge of crust appears nicely
browned. The pie can be topped with meringue and returned to oven
until meringue has turned golden, or be served with a topping of
whipped cream.










46 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

BLUEBERRY CAKE
2 cups blueberries 11/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar % teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1% cup butter (1 extra tablespoon flour)
Cream butter and sugar, add well-beaten egg yolks, and salt. Beat
in alternately the flour mixed with baking powder and the milk. Fold
in stiffly-beaten egg whites, flavor with lemon juice; mix in very
carefully to avoid crushing the blueberries which have been dredged
in the tablespoon of extra flour. Bake in fairly hot oven for first
half hour; then lower temperature and finish baking in moderate
oven. Serve warm with sauce made of mashed berries brought to a
boil with enough sugar to sweeten.
BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
2 tablespoons butter 2 eggs
/4 cup sugar 11% cups milk
1 teaspoon salt 11% cups blueberries
21/2 cups flour 3 teaspoons baking powder
Cream butter and sugar; add slightly beaten eggs, 2 cups of, the
flour mixed with salt alternately with the milk, and then the baking
powder. Roll the berries in 1/ cup of flour, and add them last. Fill
greased muffin pans half full and bake in hot oven 25 minutes.
BLUEBERRY TOAST
1 quart blueberries 1/ teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar French toast
%/ teaspoon salt
Prepare French toast by making a batter of 1 egg, well beaten; to
which % teaspoon salt and 1 scant cup of milk has been added; into
batter dip slices of bread, from which crust has been removed; fry in
buttered frying pan until brown on both sides. Place on platter and
sprinkle with powdered sugar, and cinnamon or nutmeg.
Boil blueberries with sugar, lemon juice and salt. After cooking
ten minutes, pour them into a baking dish. Place enough slices of
French toast to form a layer over the blueberries. Put in quick oven
and brown. Serve hot with hard sauce or whipped cream.
BLUEBERRY JELL
1 % pounds blueberries 11 pounds cooking apples
1 heaping tablespoon 1 % cups sugar
gelatine dissolved in 1% cup cold water
%2 cup hot water
Core, peel and slice apples and place with blueberries, sugar, and
1/% cup cold water in a sauce pan. Cook slowly until fruit is soft.
Rub through sieve. Add gelatine and stir. Pour into wet mold and
let set. Garnish with whole blueberries and serve with sweet, whip-
ped cream.
BLUEBERRY DUMPLINGS
1 quart blueberries 14 cup mixed butter and lard
1 cup sugar 1 heaping teaspoon baking
Biscuit dough made in powder
these proportions: 1%/ teaspoon salt
2 1/ cups flour 1% cup milk
Wash blueberries and place in a saucepan with the sugar. Cook
until there is plentiful juice. Prepare dough by sifting dry ingredients









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


together, mixing in shortening and then milk, working the dough
as little as possible; roll out on floured board to 1% inch thickness,
and cut into small squares. Drop the small squares of dough into
blueberries; let dumplings simmer in the fruit syrup for about 20
minutes. Serve fruit, syrup and dumplings together with rich cream.

BLUEBERRY PUDDING
2 cups blueberries 3 level teaspoons baking
1/ cup sugar powder
1 level teaspoon cinnamon 1 egg
11/ cups flour % cup milk
14 teaspoon salt 1 cup sugar
Mix blueberries, sugar and cinnamon and place in a shallow but-
tered baking dish. Mix and sift flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.
Add beaten egg and milk, and beat for several minutes. Pour mixture
over blueberries and bake in moderate oven for twenty-five minutes.
Serve warm, with cream.
BLUEBERRY COMPOTE
1 pint blueberries % cup water
1/3 cup granulated sugar 1 pint raspberries
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Cook granulated sugar and water for three minutes; add blue-
berries, which have been carefully picked over and washed, and cook
about four minutes. Cool and then chill. The raspberries, which
should have been picked over, washed, drained and chilled, are placed
in a serving dish or arranged in individual bowls and sprinkled with
the brown sugar. Pour blueberries over raspberries, and serve.
BLUEBERRY LOG
1 cup blueberries 1/ teaspoon salt
11% cups flour 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons lard % cup milk
3 teaspoons baking powder 1 tablespoon egg
2 tablespoons butter 5 tablespoons sugar
Mix 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, flour and salt, cut in the
lard, and then add egg and milk. Stir with knife until soft dough is
formed. Place on floured board and roll to 2/3 inch thickness. Spread
the blueberries, mixed with 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cin-
namon evenly over the dough to within about half an inch of outer
edge. Dot with butter, and then roll up similar to a jelly roll. Place
in a greased pan and bake in quick oven for about 15 minutes. Slice
and serve with plain, or whipped cream.
BLUEBERRY CUP CAKES
1 cup blueberries 2 eggs
114 cups flour 1/2 cup evaporated milk
% cup sugar 1% teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder 14 cup butter
Separate egg yolks and whites; cream butter and sugar, add milk
and well beaten egg yolks. Beat thoroughly. Sift baking powder, salt
and flour together; add berries. Combine all ingredients and fold into
beaten egg whites. Pour in buttered muffin pans and bake for
twenty-five or thirty minutes.









48 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

BLUEBERRY ICEBOX COBBLER
11% cups blueberries 1 cup cold water
2 teaspoons gelatine 15 slices bread, trimmed and
1 cup sugar brushed on each side with
2 teaspoons lemon juice melted butter
Place sugar, berries and 3 cup of water in a pan and cook for
about fifteen or twenty minutes, or until the berries are soft but not
shriveled, and a large amount of juice has been boiled from them.
Soak gelatine in 1 cup of cold water, add enough hot blueberry juice
to fill cup. stir until gelatine is thoroughly dissolved and add lemon
juice. Stir gelatine mixture and blueberries together. Completely
line a small loaf pan with buttered bread to form the crust of the
cobbler. Cut remainder of bread into 1-inch squares. Pour one-third
of the berry mixture into pan, place a layer of bread squares on top;
repeat until three layers are formed. The top layer should be pressed
gently into blueberry filler, and pan dipped slightly to mixture mak-
ing a contact with all sections of crust. Place cobbler in refrigerator
for five or six hours. Serve after removing from mold, topping cob-
bler with whipped cream.
BLUEBERRY RELISH
I pint blueberries 2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vinegar % cup brown sugar
Combine carefully washed and picked-over berries with vinegar,
brown sugar and molasses. Pack firmly into earthen dish, cover, and
let stand for several days until mixture has partly liquefied.
BLUEBERRIES IN MERINGUE SHELLS
2 egg whites 4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar 1/ teaspoon cream of tartar
Place whites of eggs at room temperature in a bowl, add cream
of tartar and salt and beat until stiff. Beat in sugar slowly. A bak-
ing sheet should be lined with heavy, ungreased paper. The meringue
mixture is placed on this paper with a large spoon or a pastry tube,
being formed into small nests, individual circles with depressions in
the centers. Bake in a slow oven until meringue is a delicate brown.
If the nests show a tendency to stick in being removed, moisten re-
verse side of paper with water.
Fill nests with blueberries, sweetened to taste, and top with whip-
ped cream.
BLUEBERRY TARTS
Fresh blueberries Tart shells
Powdered sugar Whipped cream
The pastry is made by mixing 1 cup flour, 4 teaspoon baking
powder and 3/8 teaspoon salt, cutting in 6 tablespoons of shortening
and adding enough water to make a soft dough. Place dough on
floured board, work, and roll out to fit tart shells. Bake in a mod-
erate oven for about twenty-five minutes.
After tart shells have been removed from oven, allow to cool, fill
shells with blueberries, sprinkle with powdered sugar and cover with
whipped cream.
MEDICINAL USES
Considerable claims have been made as to the medicinal
uses of the blueberry juice. It can be put up in bottles like
grape juice-nothing added however-and it will keep in-
definitely. It is recommended for ulcerated stomach and
duodenum.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


CONCLUSION

The cultivation of blueberries in Florida presents many
of the same problems found in other agricultural activities,
and to some extent includes the same possibilities for profit
or loss to the grower. Favorable factors for success might
include such points as the absence of disease or serious in-
sect pests in the plantings that have already been made, the
availability of suitable land in certain areas of the State and
climatic conditions which should react advantageously upon
early fruiting varieties and bring to the grower the con-
sequent cash returns usually found in early markets.

Within a few years after being set out blueberry plants
are producing fruit. The berries are almost universally
popular, both as a fresh fruit and in pastries, jams and
jellies. This popularity should be even further increased
with the more extensive production of better berries from
select, cultivated plantings. Blueberry bushes are not
thorny, which makes harvesting easier than with some other
berries.
Unfavorable aspects in the commercial cultivation of
blueberries exist in the possibility, however remote, of
glutted markets and their unusual association with de-
pressed prices; adverse weather, either drought or flood
which may ruin or curtail the fruit crop; and unsatisfac-
tory production which may result when the planter has not
used care in his selection of stock, has set his bushes in
land unsuited to blueberries, and has employed indifferent
or erroneous cultural methods. Wild blueberries, although
the areas of their growth may be gradually decreasing, of-
fer some competition with commercially cultivated berries,
especially in local markets, and when the latter are not of
the best quality.
If those interested in cultivated blueberries have in mind
only the raising of a few bushes in a garden, and the fruit
is intended for home consumption, the financial risk of
course is slight, and the planter may reap a harvest of
pleasure as well as fruit in growing the berries. Interesting
experiments can be conducted in such small plantings, the
results of which may prove of value in the general improve-
ment of cultural practices.








50 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

Blueberry bushes may be used effectively in landscaping
either small lawns or the grounds of large estates. They
may be used to especial advantage as hedges. In springtime
they present an attractive combination of green foliage
and white blossoms; mid-season brings the rich color of
ripening fruit; and their autumnal crimson, marking the
approach of winter dormancy, is unusually striking.
It is not recommended that the prospective grower of
blueberries embark upon an extensive commercial venture
in raising the fruit unless he is completely familiar with all
of the vital phases of their cultivation and is reasonably
sure of success in the basic combination of suitable soil, fav.
orable climatic and weather conditions, dependable stock,
and a profitable marketing situation; that is, unless he can
afford the chances of monetary loss and disappointment.
It may well be advisable, in view of the unsatisfactory
results from plantings in some sections of the State, that
the grower confine his initial efforts to small, experimental
tracts. With relatively little expense and within a compara-
tively short time it can be discovered whether or not the
locality is suited to blueberry cultivation. If the growth
behavior of the bushes in the test tracts is satisfactory, a
larger area can then be more safely planted.
Florida blueberry cultivation has been retarded because
of the misguided or somewhat unscrupulous promotional
activities of the 1920's and the inexperienced enthusiasm
which was the paramount element in many of the plantings
made during that period. The immediate reaction to in-
evitable failures was widespread disappointment; the most
persistent results are apparent in much fruit of poor qual-
ity with its depressant effect upon market prices.
Established growers and shippers in Florida, working to-
ward a general improvement of the situation, stress the
need of further experimental work, governmental aid in
better marketing facilities, greater co-operation among
planters, the selection and culture of a dependable variety
of stock and the grading of fruit.










DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


REFERENCES

Bibliography
Bartram, William. Travels Through North and South Carolina, Geor-
gia, East and West Florida . Philadelphia, James & Johnson,
1791. 520 p., front., plates, map. New edition pub. by Macy-
Masius, New York, 1928. (American Bookshelf.)
Beckwith, Charles S.; Coville, Stanley; and Doehlert, Charles A.
Blueberry Culture. New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
circular 229. New Brunswick, N. J., April 1937.
Coville, Frederick V. Directions for Blueberry Culture, 1916. United
States Department of Agriculture Bulletin 334. (In Bulletins
326-350.)
Card, Fred W. Bush-Fruits. New York, Macmillan, 1917. 409p.
Darrow, George M. Blueberry Culture. Pamphlet issued by United
States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry.
Dickey, R. D. "Grape and Berry Production." Florida Grower, May
1939.
Garden Encyclopedia, The. Edit by E. L. D. Seymour. New York,
Wm. H. Wise and Company, 1939. 1300p. illus.
Latimer, L. P., and Smith, W. W. Improved Blueberries. University
of New Hampshire Extension Circular 215. Durham, N. H.,
June 1938.
Maine Agricultural Experiment Station pamphlet High-Bush Blue-
berries in Maine. Orono, Maine.
Mowry, Harold, and Camp, A. F. Blueberry Culture in Florida. Uni-
versity of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 194.
Gainesville, Fla., February 1928.
Scott, John M. Blueberry Culture in Florida. Florida State Depart-
ment of Agriculture Bulletin No. 33, New Series. Tallahassee,
Fla., September 1929.
Sherman, Henry C. Food and Health. New York, Macmillan, 1934.
296p.
Smith, Roger W. "You Can Pick Pies from This Hedge," Better Homes
& Gardens, November, 1940, Des Moines, Iowa.
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1930. 3 vols., illus.
Stork, William. A Description of East-Florida, with a Journal, Kept
by John Bartram of Philadelphia, Botanist to His Majesty for
the Floridas . With explanatory botanical notes. 3rd ed. Lon-
don. Sold by W. Nicoll, 1769. 40p., maps, plan. First pub. 1766.
Stennis, Mary A. Florida Fruits and Vegetables in the Family Menu.
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Series. Tallahassee, Fla., March 1939.
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Woodruff, J. G. Cultivated Berries. Georgia Experiment Station Bul-
letin 166. Experiment, Ga., January 1931.










52 BLUEBERRIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO FLORIDA CULTURE

CONSULTANTS
Carver, Allan, grower, Crestview, Fla.
Hentz, John, County Agricultural Agent, Crestview, Fla.
Martin, E. A., Seed Company, publishers Martin's Garden News, Jack-
sonville, Florida.
Mowry, Harold, Director, Agricultural Experiment Station, University
of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
Sapp, W. B., grower and shipper, Crestview, Fla.
Sollee, Arthur N., grower, Love Grove Road. South Jacksonville, Fla.
Stanton, Robert, horticulturist, Philadelphia, Penn.
Stokes, C. M., Sr., grower and nurseryman, Whitehouse, Fla.
Sullivan Pecan Company, shippers, Crestview, Fla.
Whittington, J. G., grower and shipper, Florala, Ala.









































































BULKLEY-NEWMAN

TALLAHASSEE. FLORIDA




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