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Blueberry Abundance

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It's fun for children to find and pick blueberries.
Harriette discovered a bush FULL of blueberries and picked them herself.

If you are like me, then you are keeping up with your summer garden right now by keeping an eye on unwanted pests and making sure the weeds don’t overgrow while being patient as you wait to harvest your veggies. We’ve had such cool weather here in Birmingham that I really haven’t had a “burst” of growth from anything in particular in my vegetable beds. Except for my mint…I can always count on mint to grow out of control. Well, and the weeds, too, because of all the rain we’ve been having (trust me, I’m not complaining about the rain!). But I really never mind the weeds much as it gives my girls a task they can easily do.

In the same vicinity of my three raised beds that contain my herbs and veggies, I also planted three blueberry bushes about three years ago. One of them didn’t last through the first year…but two of them did. They produced a few berries here and there, which in the past my little girls feasted on while helping me in the garden. Other than that, I really haven’t given them much attention or thought since they have a water source from our drip system.

So, imagine my surprise when we went out Friday afternoon to do a little weeding and check for pests and eggs when my daughter, Harriette, discovered a bush FULL of blueberries. I think you can tell by the photos how excited my little fruit-eating girl (her nickname is “fruit bat”) was over her discovery.

What a treat! Moments like that in nature still amaze me. Just when I thought those blueberry plants weren’t much of anything because the past years didn’t produce much, I am reminded that nature has a mind of its own…That’s what is fun about perennials, too, mixed in with a summer garden. After a while, there’s not much to do but sit back and enjoy the “fruits” of your labor (literally in this case).

Blueberries are fun to harvest in the garden.
Here’s Harriette after picking a bowl of blueberries. Ready to share!

Harriette collected about a pint off of that one blueberry bush and shared them with our family. I think the real joy for me came not from eating them, but from watching her pick the berries herself and get excited about sharing them with her siblings.

One thing to keep in mind when planting and growing blueberries is to get at least two different varieties that bloom at the same time so they can cross pollinate. I also incorporated bee balm (also a perennial) in my garden to draw bees in to help with the cross-pollination. Bees are so important for pollinating many crops in your garden.

I’m going to get out there and do a bit more weeding now that we have had several days of rain and heat. Just the right conditions to give the veggies a boost. I also realize the need to add more soil conditioner and maybe some straw mulch, which will help block the weeds out after I pull them.

Happy gardening! I hope you have some good surprises waiting for you in your garden, too!