The main difference between harvesting highbush and lowbush blueberry plants is when they need to be harvested. Typically, highbush blueberries are harvested annually and lowbush berries are harvested every other year. With this in mind, here are some tips for spotting ripened blueberries.
Highbush Blueberry Plants
Highbush blueberry plants begin to ripen from middle to late July. They reach their peak harvest season in early to middle August. The best time to pick these blueberries is 1 to 3 days after they turn blue and there is no visible redness left in the berry. Highbush blueberries are very aromatic and run from tart to mildly sweet tasting.
Lowbush Blueberry Plants
During the growing season, lowbush blueberries produce the flower bud by the end of the year. The next season, these flower buds blossom and produce blueberries. Lowbush blueberries are harvested about 2 months after the flowers blossom in the spring.
You will be able to tell the Lowbush blueberry is ripened and ready to be harvested when the branches begin to hang down lower. They will also be a complete blue color. This means the berries are ripe and full of flavor. The other blueberries that are less of a blue or still neutral looking will stay on the bush to be harvested another day. Lowbush blueberries are less aromatic than the highbush variety, but make up for it in sweetness.
In all, a good mix of highbush and lowbush blueberry plants will help produce a variety of blueberries on a continual basis throughout the years.