The Blueray is a blueberry bush variety that ripens early with large berries. The flowers are white and light pink, and are edible for use in salads or sugared for decorating desserts. This variety of blueberry is hardy and low-maintenance, tolerating heat when given adequate moisture during the hot summer months.
The Blueray blueberry bush is a hardy, dense variety that grows in an upright formation to a height of 4 to 5 feet and prefers to grow in an acidic soil. Blueray blueberry bushes produce blossoms in late spring with fruit ripening in mid summer. The berries are tart and grow to a size of a 1/2 inch in diameter.
The Blueray blueberry bush is hardy to plant in U.S. Department of Agriculture growing zones 3 through 7 and prefers a well-draining, acidic soil such as a clay loam. The plant will grow best when given full-sun to part-shade light conditions. To verify the soil has the preferred acidic pH of 4.5 to 6.5, gardeners should test it prior to planting. Ground rock sulfur worked into the soil will lower the soil pH number; however, the soil should rest for two weeks before planting.
Blueray blueberry bushes require a moist soil that does not become over-saturated or create standing water around the stem. The plants have a shallow root system and require supplemental water during the hot summer months and periods of drought. Pine mulch applied over the root ball of the bushes will help with moisture retention. Established blueberry bushes benefit from an application of a balanced fertilizer just before bud-break in spring and again after harvest. Gardeners should avoid high-nitrogen fertilizer because it promotes foliage growth and, therefore, decreases fruit production.
The Blueray blueberry bushes do not require pruning until after the third year of growth. Removing blossoms that appear in the first two years stimulates plant growth. Prune the Blueray blueberry bush in spring before the blossoms appear. Dead and damaged branches should be removed along with branches that cross in the internal areas to increase light in the center of the bush. New growth can be stimulated on older bushes by removing branches older than five years.
Blueray blueberries are ready to harvest from July through September. The harvest month will vary based on the climate and weather conditions during the growing season. The berries are harvested once each week during the ripening season by gently rolling the berries between the thumb and forefinger so they pop off the plant.
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