Blueberries are a great summer fruit packed with vitamins and antioxidants and are definitely worth growing, says Gardening Which?
A well as being and glorious in the garden they’re also delicious and versatile in the kitchen.
In order to avoid the expense of shop-bought blueberries, Gardening Which? demonstrates in its latest issue how to produce the delicious fruit yourself.
Pruned in winter for flowering in April, the fruit ripens through the summer and can be picked for your tasting pleasure from July to September.
Planting at least two varieties ensures cross-pollination, and the best yields. ‘Bluecrop’ is a reliable, easy to find variety; ‘Herbert’ and ‘Patriot’ are recommended as tops for flavour and ‘Sunshine Blue’ makes a particularly attractive shrub with blue-green leaves that stay on the plant all winter.
Blueberries contain antioxidants which are claimed to protect against food poisoning, heart disease and signs of ageing.
Originating from eastern North America, the Native Americans have long been aware of their dietary and health values – they would often dry or smoke the blueberries to preserve their goodness in winter.
But it took until the 1970s to establish British plantings and Julia Boulton, Editor of Gardening Which?, says: ‘Blueberries are a great fruit and easy to cultivate in the UK. Gardeners can enjoy their sweet scent and attractive flower, as well as benefit from their delicious taste and healthy properties.’