The official Minnesota State Muffin is the blueberry muffin. Almost anyone who lives in the north star state can recite this fact. It’s simply because blueberries are awesome.
In fact, all the way back in 2003 (two years before YouTube, even!) the US Department of Agriculture declared that July would be the month of the blueberry. And, why not! These little guys pack tons of flavor in their tiny bodies. They’re also high in vitamins and nutrients a body needs. So, it’s not even that bad when you help yourself to a couple containers.
Aren’t they beautiful?!
They can be finicky things to grow, however. Dave W. has a few tips to help your grow your plants in Minnesota, even over winter.
Dave likes to apply ammonium sulfate to the plants. Blueberry plants love acidic soil, around 4.5-5.0 pH. As the plants naturally occur, they can be found more frequently in sandy, fire dependent pine forests. The pine needles add to the acidity of the soil, which makes for happy blueberries.
If you’re applying the sulfate, make sure to sprinkle a few handfuls around the base of the plant before the “bud break”
Freezing blueberries is a great way to make them last over the seasons.
The majestic blueberry plant.
Topping your ice cream or pancakes with these babies is a summer delight!
Blueberry plants have an incredibly long lifespan, reaching over 30 years if treated well. Dave W. recommends that your blueberry plants be sheltered in the winter from the cold. They will thrive with snow cover, however.
If you want to build a snow fence near your bushes, they will survive more likely. However, don’t use raspberries, as they will take over your blueberry patch if not contained.
Specific care of blueberries in winter is usually not necessary, as fully dormant blueberry plants are generally very cold hardy and rarely suffer any severe blueberry winter damage. There’s the caveat, however, the plants must be fully dormant and Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate and allow the gradual cold hardening necessary to prevent potential winter damage of blueberry plants.
Blueberries are reaching their peak season in mid-July, but can be harvested throughout the summer. So, be sure to stop by your local berry farms or farmers markets to get yours. They are a jewel of summer.