• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Acknowledgement
 Title Page
 Main
 Reference














Title: Florida blueberries
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00088976/00001
 Material Information
Title: Florida blueberries
Physical Description: Book
Creator: DeVane, Claude L.
Publisher: State of Florida, Dept. of Agriculture,
Publication Date: 1950
Copyright Date: 1950
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Bibliographic ID: UF00088976
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: amt1037 - LTUF
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Acknowledgement
        Page 1
    Title Page
        Page 2
    Main
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        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
    Reference
        Page 44
        Page 45
Full Text












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Cover:
These luscious Missionary strawberries are grown
throughout the State of Florida, both for commercial
and home use. Photograph by Annette and Rudi Rada.










BULLETIN No. 13-B


NEW SERIES


AUGUST,


STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner
TALLAHASSEE



FLORIDA


BLUEBERRIES

(Reprint)


By
CLAUDE L. DEVANE AND JOHN M. SCOTT

Prepared and Published in Co-operation with the Colli
Agriculture, University of Florida, Gainesville


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1950 .
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Blueberries

With Special Reference to Florida Culture


INTRODUCTION

Blueberries were a favorite food of the North American
Indians who ate them as 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 regarded 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. Huckle-
berry 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 delightful flavor, are gathered
and sold from wild patches, and have been transplanted to
home gardens. But experimentation, extensive cultivation, and
commercial plantations have been concerned with true blue-
berries.
The eighteenth century botanists, John Bartram and his son
William, repeatedly noted in their writings the occurrences 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 transplanting 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
planting were made from wild stock. In some cases only a few
plants, intended to produce fruit for home consumption, were
set out in garden plots. Commercial production was limited for
3








4 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

a number of years, the berries being sold in local markets
where they were in competition with low-priced wild fruit. Trial
shipments made to northern cities during the 1920 and 1921
seasons brought such satisfactory returns that interest in Florida
blueberry cultivation 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 consideration 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 condi-
tion 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
salesmen 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 leading 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 cultiva-
tion has been obtained, and a number of superior varieties
have been propagated. Unfortunately, most of these experi-
ments 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








BLUEBERRIES 5

cultivated blueberries offer possibilities for profit even under
prevalent conditions of unselected plantings, diverse methods
of cultivation, lack of graded fruit, and the absence of super-
vised marketing.
While berries for home consumption may be easy to raise,
and in certain areas of the State bulk commercial production
may be attained without the discovery or observation of im-
proved cultural methods, fruit that will bring premium prices
and successfully meet competition in the leading markets of
'Ite 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 toward im-
provement and stabilization of the blueberry industry mi'lht
be achieve:l through a greater co-operative activity.

IMPORTANT SPECIES
Blueberry cultivation in Florida has been largely confine 1 to
one species. Much of the following mate ial, therefore, is intend-
ed to provide only a general outline of the plant's importance
in the United States, its geographic distribution, the outstand-
ing characteristics of the leading species, and their commercial
value.

Botany
The blueberry is of the genus I'(Icinium, a member of the
Heath (Ericaceae) family,* which includes azaleas, mountain-
laurel, wintergreen, rhododendron, heather, trailing-arbutus and
other acid-soil plants. There are more than one hundred anwl
thirty species of the genus Vacciniim in the northern hemi-
:,phere, 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 mi-
nutely 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

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








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


8 to 10 stamens; the fruit is a true, many-seeded berry, crowned
with the often persistent lobes of the calyx.

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
breeding, for it will cross with the highbush blueberry. It is an
upland species. The fruit is similar to that of the highbush 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 south-
ern 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 propaga-
tion, hybridization, and the selection of named varieties. Ex-
tremely 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 England,
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 in-
sufficiently cold for breaking the rest period of the plant and








BLUEBERRIES


that present varieties are unsuited to Florida cultivation. 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 condition and have borne satis-
factoy crops of fruit.

Rabbiteye Blueberry

The rabbiteve blueberry,* V. cirgatui Ait. (regarded by
certain authorities as a form of V. corynmbosum L.) is native
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 Flor-
ida, 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 recom-
mended as a home garden fruit in the South.
here 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 persistent, being in
some instances widely-flaring and in others almost entirely
closed.

*Rabbiteye blueberries are also given such popular local names as
Arab, Tree, Swamp, Huckleberry, June, Stokes and Highbush.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


While the flavor of the rabbiteye blueberry is generally good,
some plants bear fruit which is somewhat mealy or 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. Fertilizers, soils and cultural
methods might explain some differences 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 highbush
or lowbush species. It is gathered in northeastern Alabama and
northwestern Geoigia northward to Maryland and West Vir-
ginia and westward to western and northwestern Arkansas.
The annual value of the crop may average $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 extensively
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 pur-
poses under the name "evergreen huckleberry," and having
an annual vah ation equal to that of the fruit, are shipped each
. ear to eastern cities.

Mountain Blueberry
The mountain blueber y, 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








BLUEBERRIES


value of the crop may total $200,000. The plant is a native of
the high slopes of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Wash-
ington, 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 varieties, some good
and others relatively worthless.
A few growers, shipper, and nurserymen are endeavoring
to improve Florida fruit through close observation and the


















Mi~t' 4 11 5111a 1 41 I1 1'6 el 7I do i8 H
iT.T1l i i.. illi .i' .. ,"' l i ..1 i l ,,1 m I .I) Il l I rl lll T 1


Showing Variation in Size and Shape of Berries


9








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


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 improve-
ment of commercially cultivated blueberries in the State. Pres-
ent results are apparent in a number of named varieties. The
largest-fruited selections, juicy, firm, and of good flavor, are
probably as valuable for commercial purposes as the best se-
lections of the wild highbush blueberry.

Sapp Early
This fruit bears the family name of one of the first growers
in Florida to attempt the cultivation of blueberries. It is an
early variety, bearing the last week in May and ripening 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 wilds
of 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 susceptible to crushing,
but kept 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 Flor-
ida, 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-growing va-
riety 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.








BLUEBERRIES


Cultivated Varieties of Highbush Species
As stated, the planting in Florida of named varieties and
hybrids of northern highbnsh blueberries has not been recom-
mended. Although they may be regarded as still in an experi-
mental 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 northeastern Florida. Fruit
of the two varieties ripened at about the same time, harvesting
of crops from both being concluded by the last week in July.

Pioneer
Pioneer, so designated because it was the first named variety
as a result of blueberry breeding, was a first generation cross
made in 1912 between two wild highbush varieties. 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 mnm. 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 excessive acidity when they
first turn blue, but much of this disappears 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.

SOIL REQUIREMENTS
Wild blueberries flourish in soils which are quite acid. Re-
peated investigation has shown that this acid soil condition
is a prime requirement in their successful culture. Soil acidity
is measure 1 by hydrogen ion concentration designated 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

*Approximately 25.4 mm. equal one inch.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


7, acidity.* Numerous tests, including ones made around satis-
factory commercial plantings in Florida, indicate that an acidity
of pH 5 to pH 5.5 is desirable for blueberry culture.
Peat and muck soils, poor sandy soils, and swamplands. un-
less surrounded by limestone, are usually acid. A practical
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 sawdust, 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 surface during
the growing season of the plants. Good drainage and aeration
are essential; the subsoil, however, should be of a type to pre-
vent excessive moisture loss during long periods of drought.
A sandy loam soil, well filled with humus, with a clay sub-
soil 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

*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 turn pinkish, depth of color de-
pending upon degree of acidity.








BLUEBERRIES


ihinner, lighter soils. But for maximum growth and berry pro-
duction 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 garden
soils, which are often neutral or alkaline in reaction. Land which
has been lime:l for other crops should not be planted to blue-
berries. For tilw selection of land that has not hitherto been
under cultivation a coo.l indication of its suitability is the wild
growth on the seil, of huckleberries, azaleas, laurels or other
relatives of the blueberry.

PROPAGATION
Blueberries can be piopagated in a number of ways, in-
eluding seeds, cuttings, stumlinLg,, tuberin., budding and graft-
ing, 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 see:'s
were taken. Grafting and budding may be o' value in experi-
mental work and provide a rapid production of wood for cut-
tings, but such methods of propagation are not otherwise recom-
mended 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 quality, flavor, color,
and size of the cultivated fruit, and proper grading for mar-
ket has been generally impossible. This situation can only be
improved for the future through planting 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 ob-
tained also from cultivated plantations, and to some extent








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


from what might be termed nursery plantings. There is varia-
tion 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 culti-
vated 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 preserve
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 clusters 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 be-
coming 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 complete superiority.
An important commercial consideration in the selection of
blueberry plants is the ease with which the fruic can be har-
vested. 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 the upper joints, the
stem remaining attached to the fruit where 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 com-
monly used by Florida growers, providing a relatively simple








BLUEBERRIES


and satisfactory way of obtaining planting stock. Suckers
from parent plants which have been selected and tagged or
otherwise marked for superior qualities are removed 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 trans-
planted 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 season's growth. The cut-
tings, 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 sawdust.
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 cuttings rooted. In
these tests the cutting bed was outdoors, protected from wind
by a surrounding 12-inch frame. Cuttings from 8 to 12 inches
long were inserted approximately two-thirds of their length
into the sand medium; the cuttings tested in the peaty muck
and sand mixtures were only from 4 to 6 inches long. Under the
conditions of these tests it was from 5 to 8 months before root








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


growth started, this being preceded for several weeks by a
heavy callous formation. 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 become
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 cutting should
be transferred to the nursery row, where they are grown to
field planting size.
In New Jersey, the Agricultural Station at New Brunswick
recommends a mixture of half sand and half well-rotted peat
as a rooting medium for cuttings. The cold-fiamne type of cut-
ting bed is placed on porous soil elevated sufficiently for gooa
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 shot shoot at the top. During June this
shoot stops growing and the root growth starts. Until this
time the glass cover has been kept on the cutting frame. Ven-
tilation is begun about the last part of June, and is gradually
increased 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 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 ol' the plant is covered to a depth








BLUEBERRIES


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 develop 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 14-inch to an inch
or more in diameter are placed horizontally in cutting beds
of clean sand and covered to a depth of about '/2-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, sufficient 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 inch.
These cuttings were placed in collframes 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 blueben ies are made from autumn to
early spring, the time varying according to different climatic,
weather and plant conditions. Plants which have been pruned








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


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 set-
ting the plants in the field during December, January and Feb-
ruary. Plantings made in early winter 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 prin-
cipal 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 contact 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 sufficiently
hardy to survive and grow despite adverse conditions and in-
different methods. This attitude is not to be recommended 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, excessive heat and allowing
them to dry out. The necessity of a mycorrhizal root fungus is
discussed in the following paragraphs from Florida Agricultural
Experiment Station Bulletin 194, and a suggestion is given for
its insurance in field planting:

The presence of a mycorrhizal root fungus is commonly
considered necessary to the maximum development 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 cultivated rabbit-
eye blueberry plants have been examined and the fungus
has been found without exception on every specimen. It
would seem that under like environmental conditions,
those plants having the most vigor would normally have








BLUEBERRIES


the greatest amounts of this fungus if it plays as impor-
tant a role as is commonly ascribed to it. This has not
proven to be the case with the specimens examined, there
being no correlation 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
correlated 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 maxi-
mum development of the plants it is quite probable that
the roots of all plants dug from the wild are plentifully
supplied. In the event rooted cuttings are planted, 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
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.








20 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

How to Plant
There exists considerable disagreement as to the proper spac-
ing 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 mini-
mum 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 prac-
ticed in Florida while being more generally the custom in
northern culture. Many Florida growers report that where
plants have been set too close together in the past the resultant
overcrowding as growth occurred has seriously interfered with
cultivation and harvesting. It is also possible that such over-
crowding might tend to lower the fruiting capacity of the
plants.
The following table, which includes only spacing generally
advised for Florida plantings, shows the approximate 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
15 x 15 ft. 175 193 217
15 x 10 ft. 164 290 .........
18 x 18 ft. 122 134 142
20 x 15 ft. 132 145
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 order to obtain necessary
aeration. Such adverse conditions should not prevail in field
culture, and consequently, the plants can be rooted deeper.

*In the hexagonal system only equidistant spacing is applicable








BLUEBERRIES 21

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 sometimes the practice in field planting to leave a
shallow earth basin ai found each plant as it is set in the ground,
providing a natural receptacle for humus and water. Where
practical, 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 hone bee is too short to easily reach the
nectar. (ross pollination is necessary for blueberries 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 weie 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 cutting; 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, cae should be taken that
more than one variety is placed in the field.

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 mois-
ture needed by the blueberries. Clean culture should be em-
plo ed 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 cultivator, must be shallow.
Cover crops, when planted, are seeded between the rows and
turned into the soil by light disking in the fall.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


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. Results are not
available from any possible experiments in pruning Florida
blueberries so that a smaller number of fruit buds may pro-
duce larger and more select berries.
In many instances older plants which were cut back severely
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 permitted to reach approxi-
mately three feet in diameter; thereafter 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 harvesting 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 produce but
little fruit, yet absorb much of the plant's nutrition and mois-
ture, are removed. Fruiting shoots with too many fruit buds
are thinned or cut back, and fruiting is generally 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 before 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








BLUEBERRIES


merely trims out undesirable sprouts and cuts back the highest
limbs of the bushes advises 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 plant-
ers, together with fertilizer formulas and methods found satis-
factory 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.

SOne 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 north-
eastern Florida blueberry plants have flourished and fruited
satisfactorily with regard to size, flavor, color and quantity of
berries with the annual application 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-S (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 increased so that the
formula used was 4-8-6 or 4-8-8. When plants were first placed
in the field they each receive:l fertilizer at the rate of one-half
to a pound per plant. When the plants were two years old each
was given 11/ to 2 pounds of fertilizer. The amount was fur-
ther increased the third year, when each plant received 2% to
3 pounds, according to its size. It has been ,-....,r]1 that








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


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 commercial
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 Culture,
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 superphosphate
up to 670 pounds per acre has given good results. In
New Jersey and North Carolina, in localities where blue-
berries are now planted, nitrogen has seemed most often
the limiting element. It is suggested that one application,
400 to 600 pounds per acre of a complete fertilizer (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 applications.
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 yellowing,
possibly some of the so-called rarer elements may be lack-
ing. Where the leaves are not of the usual green color tests
may be made of iron, tin, copper, boron, zinc, and mag-
nesium to see if one of these is needed.
As a result of nine years of investigation, the New Jersey
Agricultural Experiment Station recommends a fertilizer mix-
ture composed of 450 pounds nitrate of soda, 450 pounds calcium
nitrate, 800 pounds rock phosphate, and 300 pounds su'fate
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 aga!n at the same rate three weeks or more
later. BroaCcast by hand, the mixture is spread evenly over
the area under the branch, of the plant except within six








BLUEBERRIES 25

inches of the crown. Hand raking or other cultivation to mix
the fertilizer into the soil is use l 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 n ed. being applied at
the rate of 200 pounds per acre. Experiments with complete
fertilizers are also being conducted in that State with an ap-
plication of 400 pounds per acre. The Univeisity of New Hamp-
shire Extension Service advises that no fertilizer should be
used the first Tear 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 increased 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 compo-
sition of fertilizer materials used. The following pagraraphs,
from Soils and Mcn. Yearbook of Agriculture (1938) issue
by the United States Department of Agriculture, in icate soil
reaction to different fertilizer materials:
It has been found that materials, such as ammonium
sulphate and sodium nitrate, which chemically are neutral
salts and themselves exhibit no marked alkaline or acid
character have an ultimate effect upon o'l reaction.
Since this is not shown immediately 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 explained as caused by preferential
intake by the plants of certain elements over otheis. Thu;,
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 decreased acidity or increased alkalinity of the soil.
In the case of fertilizer materials the nitrogen of which'
undergoes nit ification, an additional factor is the conver-
sion of this nitrogen into the acidic nitrate ion, which as
it is formed neutralizes bases in the soil. Thus, in the case








26 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


of ammonium sulphate, the basic ammonium ions are con-
verted into acidic nitrate ions, and both these and the
residual acidic sulphate ion neutralize 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 regardless of its form in the fertilizer ma-
terial, whether ammoniacal, nitrate, organic, or amide.
The potash salts customarily used for fertilizer purposes
have been found not to affect soil reaction materially, though
wood ashes and potassium nitrate, neither of which finds
extensive employment as a fertilizer material, cause a de-
crease in soil acidity. The results of long-continued plot tests
have shown that superphosphate has no appreciable effect
on soil reaction.
The foregoing material would suggest the superiority of sul-
fate of ammonia to nitrate of soda as a source of nitrogen
where it is desired to maintain or increase soil acidity. Lime
should never be applied to land selected for blueberry 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 planta-
tions and are recommended for adding nitrogen and organic
matter to the soil, aiding in the retention of adequate moisture,
and preventing the loss of humus through excessive cultivation
and sunshine. Leguminous cover crops are especially desirable
for increasing both organic matter 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 utiliz-
ing 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 leguminous
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 organic matter
which contains the bacterial life necessary for the satisfactory
utilization of the fertilizer materials.
A wide variety of cover crops, including crotalaria, carpet








BLUEBERRIES


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 northwestern 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 damaged by the pickers. Cowpeas, which
can be planted in July, furnish a leguminous cover ciop without
serious interference to the berry harvesting.

Mulching
As mentioned with regard to preserving or increasing soil
acidity, mulching with peat, well-rotted hardwood sawdust, or
oak and pine leaf mould is used by blueberry plante s. 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 serious
insect infestation and disease. A rust, Pucciniastrum amyrtiili,
apparently of but very little economic importance, has been
found in many plantings, and larvae, as yet unidentified, have
been reported as causing slight damage to foliage of a young
plantation in the northeastern part of the State. The blue-
berry 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 considered advisable, however, that planters take
the precaution of preventing the possibility of dangerous infes-
tation 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 several pests and

*Blueberry Culture, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station,
New Brunswick, New Jersey, Circular 229, April, 1937.








28 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

diseases, some of which are no importance in Florida, with
habit-identification and suggestions for control, as follows:

BLUEBERRY FRUIT FLY
The most serious insect pest of blueberries is the blue-
berry fruit fly (Rhagoletis pom.onella Walsh), the larva
of which is active inside the ripe fruit. Infested 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 mature in about
20 da3s 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 auto-
giro. 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 to 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). It tunnels
the stem and if undisturbed will work for three years be-
fore 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
IHemadas nubilipennis Ashm. They become numerous enough








BLUEBERRIES 29

to reduce the fruitfulness of the bush if allowed to repro-
duce 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 possible
insect infestation it may be well for the grower to bear in
mind that despite the many varieties, insects can be divided
broadly into two classifications, each requiring a particular
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 necessary that suffocating or
paralyzing agents such as rotenone base sprays or dusts, nico-
tine sulphate, soaps, oil emulsions or pyrethrum be sprayed so
that they come into direct contact with the insect.

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








30 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

women and children. One picker can usually gather between 20
and 30 quarts of berries a day, although under favorable con-
ditions 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 neces-
sary 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 open container. The ripe
berries roll off easily. Without expert care, this method, while
speedy, increases the possibility 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 eliminated.
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 between 11 and 15
years old which produced as much as 60 quarts of fruit in a








BLUEBERRIES


Harvesting the Blueberry Crop


season. This, however, is exceptional productivity, and such
yields should not be expected in the average field planting.
On one of the oldest plantations 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 sea-
son, but commercial production is not reached until the third
or fourth year. By the fifth or sixth year plants may be pro-
ducing from 4 to 7 quarts of berries. The yield usually increases
annually until the plant reaches maturity at 12 to 15 years of
age. Strong, mature plants under 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 favorably








32 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

with yields from selected plants in New Jersey, as given in the
following excerpt from a bulletin issued by the Maine Agri-
cultural Experiment Station at Orono, Maine:
F irst year ............................................................. no crop
Second year ............................................................no com m ercial crop
Third year ............................................................... 30 crates per acre
F ourth year ......................................................... 80 crates per acre
F ifth 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 containers
which are similar to strawberry cups, except for the wide
corner cracks of the latter. Shipping crates contain either 16
or 24 cups. Retailers ofter prefer pint cups, while hotels and
restaurants generally purchase the quart-size container. A 24-
pint display crate opens at the side to show the fruit in cello-
phane wrapped boxes.
The fruit is packed by shippers at warehouses, or by the
grower who ships direct. Although with careful packing and
prompt handling it can be transported to distant points without
icing, much of the fresh fruit is shipped by refrigerated truck
or railway express.
Florida blueberries are not handled through co-operative as-
sociations, 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 Agricultural Experiment
Station Circular 229, are the standards for graded fruit handled
by the Blueberry Cooperative Association. 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








BLUEBERRIES 33


from mould, decay, dirt, sand or other foreign matter, mois-
ture, disease, insect, mechanical or other injuiy. There shall
not be more than 140 blueberries, reasonably unifoimn in size,
to the 2-gill measure. The cups shall be new. clean, well filled,
securely covered with transparent paper or other similar ma-
terial, and scale .



















Blueberries are Marketed in Crates of Pint or Quart Containers

In order to allow for variations other than size incident to
proper g ading and handling, not more than 5 per cent, by
volume, of the blueberries in any lot may be below the re-
quirements 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 simi-
lar 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 diit, sand or other for-
eign 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 smi!ar material, and sealed.








34 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

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 re-
quirements of this grade, but no part of this tolerance shall
be allowed for decay. One-fifth of a 2-gill measure shall con-
stitute 5 per cent of one quart, by volume.
STAR shall consist of cultivated blueberries of similar varie-
tal characteristics which are well formed, well colored, 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 require-
ments 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 various
parts of the United States, the bulk of the fruit being 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 commercially productive section
of the State-northwestern Florida-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 domestic garden plots, in addition to home
consumption of their crop as fresh fruit or in pastries and the
kitchen canning of berries, jams and jellies, sell to nearby res-
taurants, 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:








BLUEBERRIES 35

The operation of freezing must be done by refrigerator
engineers with highly specialized equipment. Frozen ber-
ries are a new product to the public. While freezing was
originally intended to take care of surplus berries in cen-
ters of production, frozen berries are rapidly becoming a
primary product. While there is probably no section of
Georgia where berries are, or may be, produced in sufficient
quantities to warrant the erection of a freezing plant for
handling them alone, these fruits may be advantageously
used to prolong the operating 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 satisfactory. 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 degrees, at which temperature it will remain frozen
and in good condition indefinitely.

Three hours before serving, the containers are removed
to room temperature and the content allowed to thaw out.
A pound of fruit is sufficient for five servings, which should
reach the consumer just as the last ice crystals are dis-
appearing ...

Efforts aie also being made in Florida toward the utilization
of blueberries through the extraction and preservation 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 sub-
stance, has certain pharmaceutical properties. This industry,
which might at present be termed more or less embryonic, sug-
gests possibilities worthy of .eeper investigation.

Costs and Returns
As with the question of yields, so many elements enter into
the costs an: returns in cultivating and marketing blueberries
that conclusions can only be suggested by a presentation of
various growers' and shippers' estimates concerniiin these con-
tributory factors.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


The cost of locally purchased nursery stock ranges from 2
cents to 25 cents a plant. This expense may be increased fur-
ther 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 preparation and cultivation,
the cost of fertilization and the expense of harvesting, packing,
and shipping may vary greatly in different localities and to
some extent in the same areas from year to year.
One leading Florida grower states that it cost about 10 cents
per quart to place the berries on the market. Another breaks
town 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 qualt 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 Fiorida
disposed of his entire crop to restaurants and hotels at 25 cents
a quart. Canneries in the northwestern part of the S'ate have
been reported as pa ing from 4 cents to 6 cents a quart.
Some growers estimate that they receive a net return of about
3 cents a quart for their fruit while others reduce the e;tima-
tion 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,
.ue 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, be-
cause the total amount of a mineral present does not aiwa.Ns
determine the amount available for use by the body. They do
however provide a general indication of food values and ap-
proximate composition, and the following material, containing
analyses of blueberries (as compared with several other fruits),
is therefore presented.








BLUEBERRIES


According to the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station:
"An examination of several samples of fruit showed that the
fresh fruit was about 80 per cent water. Approximately 35 per
cent of the dried frrit 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 common 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 whlch 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
Cherries ..................................... 0.0 10.0
Strawberries ................-- ......... 6.0 5.0
Raspberries ............................... 2.0 5.0
Gooseberries .............................. 0.0 6.5
Oranges -................. .....- ..... 4.0 4.5
Blueberries ................................ trace? 7.5


Acid
0.7
0.6
1.4
1.6
1.0
0.38*


Other analyses of several fruits produced the following com-
parative 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.

Fruit Nutritional Calories (approx.)
Blueberries 1 pound ..........- ....... --- ----.. ---------- -- 310
4 heaping tablesps. ..................-......... ...... .....- 80
Blackberries 1 pound ................................................... 285
1/2 cup .-..........----------------------... ....... 100
Cherries 1 pound ......................-......-...- .. ..... -- 310
10 large ....... ............ .... .... .. ......-----...... 50
Orange 1 pound ................... .... .. ...........- 235
8 oz. of juice ...... ........... .... .. .... .. ........... 100
Strawberries /2 cup ...................... --..-- .....-- ......... 65


*Calculated from electrometric titration as anhydrous citric acid
without actual identification of the acid."








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


(Percentage) (Parts per Million)
Protein Phosphorus Calcium Iron Copper Manganese
Blueberries ........... 0.6 0.020 0.025 9. .... 44.*
Blackberries ..-....... 1.2 0.034 0.017 9. -
Cherries ....-.......... 1.1 0.030 0.019 4. 1.6
Orange ................. 0.9 0.020 0.026 5.2 1.3 0.3
Strawberries -...... 0.8 0.028 0.038 6.8 ..

Plants, of course, Co 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.

RECIPES

An exhaustive and detaile:l account of the many ways in
which blueberries can be prepared and served would require 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 1/2 teaspoon ground c'namon
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, /2 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

*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 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.









BLUEBERRIES


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)
3/ to 1 quart blueberries /4 teaspoon salt
12 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 '/4 cup milk. Work into a smooth dough, and roll out /4 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 merangue and returned to oven
until merangue has turned golden, or be served with a topping of
whipped cream.
BLUEBERRY CAKE
2 cups blueberries 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar '/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs 1 teaspoon lemon juice
/2 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
% cup sugar 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cups blueberries
21/2 cups flour 3 tablespoons 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 % 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 /2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar French toast
s/8 teaspoon salt
Prepare French toast by making a batter of 1 egg, well beaten; to
which 1/ 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 nutmeg.


39









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


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 1%/ pounds cooking apples
1 heaping tablespoon 1%1 cups sugar
gelatin dissolved in /2 cup cold water
1/2 cup hot water
Core, peel and slice apples and place with blueberries, sugar, and
/2 cup cold water in a sauce pan. Cook slowly until fruit is soft.
Rub through sieve. Add gelatin 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 1/2 cup mixed butter and lard
1 cup sugar 1 heaping teaspoon baking
Biscuit dough made in powder
these proportions: 1/2 teaspoon salt
21/2 cups flour /2 cup milk
Wash blueberries and place in a saucepan with the sugar. Cook
until there is plentiful juice. Prepare dough by sifting dry ingredients
together, mixing in shortening and then milk, working the dough
as little as possible; roll out on floured board to /8 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
1%2 cups flour % cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 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 1/4 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, and
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 /4 teaspoon salt
1%2 cups flour 1 teaspoon ground ci'namon
3 tablespoons lard 1/ cup milk
3 teaspoons baking powder 1 tablespoon egg
2 tablespoons butter 5 tablespoons sugar









BLUEBERRIES


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 1/2 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
11/4 cups flour 1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar '/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder /4 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.
BLUEBERRY ICEBOX COBBLER
1/2 cups blueberries 1 cup cold water
2 teaspoons gelatin 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 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 gelatin in /4 cup of cold water, add enough hot blueberry juice
to fill cup. Stir until gelatin is thoroughly dissolved and add lemon
juice. Stir gelatin 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
1 pint blueberries 2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vinegar 1/2 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
/2 cup sugar '/2 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.








42 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Fill nests with blueberries, sweeten 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 % 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 indefinitely.
It is recommended for ulcerated stomach and duodenum.

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 insect pests in the
plantings that have already been made, the availability of
suitable land in certain areas of the State and climatic condi-
tions which should react advantageously upon early fruiting
varieties and bring to the grower the consequent 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 har-
vesting easier than with some other berries.
Unfavorable aspects in the commercial cultivation of blue-
berries exist in the possibility, however remote, of glutted mar-
kets and their unusual association with depressed prices; ad-
verse weather, either drought or flood which may ruin or curtail
the fruit crop; and unsatisfactory production which may result








BLUEBERRIES 43

when the planter has not used care in his selection of stock,
has set his bushes in land unsuited to blueberries, and has em-
ployed indifferent or erroneous cultural methods. Wild blue-
berries, although the areas of their growth may be gradually
decreasing, offer 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 tile berries. Interesting experiments can be
conducted in such small plantings, the results of which may
prove of value in the general improvement of cultural practices.
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; an 1 their
autumnal crimson, marking the approach of winter dormancy.
is unusually striking.
It is not recommended that the prospective grower of blue-
berries 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, favorable 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, experi-
mental tracts. With relatively little expense and within a com-
paratively short time it can be discovered whether or not the
locality is suited to blueberry cultivation. If the growth be-
havior 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








44 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


that period. The immediate reaction to inevitable failures was
widespread disappointment; the most persistent results are
apparent in much fruit of poor quality with its depressant
effect upon market prices.

Established growers and shippers in Florida, working toward
a general improvement of the situation, stress the need of
further experimental work, governmental aid in better market-
ing facilities, greater co-operation among planters, the selec-
tion and culture of a dependable variety of stock and the grad-
ing of fruit.


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.
Mawry, 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.
Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, The. New York, Macmillan,
1930. 3 vols., illus.









BLUEBERRIES 45


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.
Florida State Department of Agriculture Bulletin No. 46, New
Series. Tallahassee, Fla., March 1939.
United States Department of Agriculture. Food and Life ... Yearbook
of Agriculture 1939. Washington, Govt. Print. Off. 1165 p.
United States Department of Agriculture. Soils and Men ... Yearbook
of Agriculture 1938. Washington, Govt. Print. Off. 1232 p. illus.
map.
United States Department of Agriculture. Yearbook of Agriculture
1937. "Improving the Wild Blueberry," by Frederick V. Coville.
(pp. 559-574) Washington, Govt. Print. Off.
Van Meter, R. A. Bush Fruit Production. New York, Orange Judd
Publishing Co., Inc., 1928. 123p. illus.
Woodruff, J. G. Cultivated Berries. Georgia Experiment Station Bul-
letin 166. Experiment, Ga., January 1931.

CONSULTANTS
Carver, Allan, grower, Crestview, Fla.
Hentz, John, County Agricultural Agent, Crestview, Fla.
Martin, E. A., Seed Company, publishers Martin's Garden News,
Jacksonville, 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.




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