If you are a blueberry plant fan like me, you know that it takes certain lengths of time to ripen and then to preserve the quality of what you harvest. The actual length of ripening varies between bushes and locations. There is no hard and fast rule for figuring out how long it takes for blueberries to ripen in your garden, but there are some guidelines. If you are a backyard gardener or you enjoy planting blueberries in baskets, knowing how long it takes will save you time and keep the bushes healthier for you and the bushes themselves.
Some bushes ripen faster than others depending on the quality of the fruits and the conditions they grow in. However, the amount of ripening time that any berry has is relatively short-lived. If you are just ripening a handful of fresh berries in a month, you are not likely to experience much difference in the ripeness. But if you are growing a bushel of bushes, the ripening can last from two to five months.
Knowing how long blueberries have to ripen also affects the size of the ripened berry when it is picked. This will affect how long it takes for the gardeners to harvest their garden bushes and the quality of the crop. A good rule of thumb is the larger the blueberry bushes in a field, the shorter the time it will take for the berries to ripen. For example, if you are growing six bushes per square foot, then you will have to wait from forty eight to eighty two hours before harvesting your blueberries.
It may be easy for you to understand the concept of how long blueberries have to ripen based on your personal understanding of the berry. However, there are some factors that can affect the ripening of the berries. One of them is sunlight exposure. bushes grow better in areas where there are plenty of natural blueberry bushes. So, try to plant the small bushes close to each other so that they get more sunlight.
Ripening of blueberries can be longer or quicker depending on the conditions. The temperature can affect the ripening process. Hot summers can make the berries hard while freezing temperatures can encourage the growth of fungi that cause spoilage. You may find that the bushes ripen faster during hot summers. It is recommended that you give them fresh air and let them ripen for at least six weeks before harvesting.
If the temperature is just right, you can expect the bushes to ripen within two days. If you are not growing blueberries but you plan to harvest them, then you need to allow the bushes to ripen at their own pace. The best time to pick the berries is when the green shoots are about half way to the top of the soil. That is when they are ready for picking.
You can choose several methods for growing blueberries. You can either plant them in garden soil or in a container. If you are planting in soil, make sure that the soil is very moist but not soupy. If you use potting soil, let the plants get as much as three to four inches of water per week.
When you have decided on the best time to pick the blueberries, start harvesting them a month or two ahead of the recommended time. Once they ripen fully, they will keep for a short time. Ripened blueberries taste better when they are just going into the final stage of ripening. The longer that it takes them, the less delicious they will be. And if you can wait, this is the best time because the flavors improve with time.