This year’s blueberry crop as sweet as can be

WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The weather this spring has been up, it’s been down, but surprisingly, it hasn’t affected this year’s blueberry crop too much.

A late freeze this April did cause some early concerns, but the crop rebounded nicely.

“Luckily, the blueberries bloom over a longer period of time and we have lots of nice blueberries right now,” said Andy McLawhorn of Renston Garden Market.

In fact, blueberries thrive in the sandy, acidic soil that’s native to the East.

“Apparently, I planted the blueberries on the right type of soil. There’s a high water table here, it’s sandy. And you can’t over-water blueberries. They love it,” said McLawhorn.

However, people don’t like the rainy weather so much. Last year, rain kept a lot of people away from pick-your-own farms like McLawhorn’s.

This year though, it’s been a different story. The weather has been so sweet, not just for the blueberries, but also for the people who come to pick them.

“The weather that we’ve had this year is great on them. It’s not too hot, plenty of moisture,” said McLawhorn.

The peak of blueberry season is just getting started. McLawhorn expects plenty of fresh delicious berries through mid-July.

It takes about a half an hour to pick a full gallon of blueberries, so it’s best to come out first thing in the morning before the summer heat sets in.

“If you want to grow them at home, they are a wonderful crop to grow. They’re fairly easy to grow. Keeping the birds out of them is a big problem,” McLawhorn mentioned.

McLawhorn says to combat that, plant plenty of bushes so there are enough for you and the birds. He also says the “rabbiteye” variety grows best here and that planting in a sandy, acidic soil with a high water table is best.

Make sure you plant in the fall to give them more time to take root, and pick off all blooms the first spring. You won’t get any fruit the first year, but you will end up with a stronger plant and plenty of blueberries in the years to come.

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