Nature’s delicious, distinctly-colored fruit, blueberries are a healthy, seasonal treat. While they grow wild across North America, blueberries are also cultivated on farms. These bushes are tall and full of fruit, making for excellent blueberry picking!
Depending on your location, blueberries may be a springtime snack or a summer sweet. In either case, they’re delicious, but it’s important to know the season, as it has a big impact on quality.
Keep reading to find out when blueberry picking season is near you, as well as how to pick blueberries. Best of luck on your blue adventures!
Blueberry Picking Season
If you’re in the deep southern U.S., blueberry season is going to be a spring activity. Generally, Florida blueberries will start to ripen in April with prime picking until late May.
In the mid-South, say north of Atlanta into southern Ohio, blueberry picking season is closer to summer. You’ll probably see blueberry farms opening in mid-June. The best blueberry picking will likely take place in early or mid-July.
In northern locations like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario, don’t expect to see blueberries until mid- or late July. These colder climates mean the season takes a bit longer to get started. Here, you’ll find that blueberry picking season extends well into August, and sometimes even September!
Remember that while these are good estimates, they aren’t perfect. The weather will have a big impact on the season’s start. A late winter storm can delay the season by two weeks or more! To get the latest on your area, call a local blueberry farm to see how their crop is doing.
How to Pick Blueberries
Now that you know when to pick, it’s time to talk about how to pick blueberries. First things first, you’ll need something to hold your berries. Large ice cream pails work well, as do one-gallon milk jugs with the top cut off. A reusable grocery bag is another great option.
Next, you’ll want to find a good bush. Head to the back of a berry farm where fewer people have picked. You’re looking for a bush with lots of berries. Good blueberries should have the following characteristics:
- Very blue
- Smooth skin without cracks
- Large, round, and soft
Remember that blueberries don’t ripen after being picked. As such, leave any berries that are still red, green, or white.
Finally, be sure to wash any blueberries before consuming. Blueberries have a fairly short shelf life, but they freeze very well. Thoroughly dry your blueberries beforehand, freeze them on a cookie sheet with wax paper, and then store them in freezer-safe containers or bags.
If you’re looking to do some blueberry picking, check out Pick Your Own, which lists many blueberry farms across the U.S. Or do a quick web search for blueberry picking in your area. And remember to keep these tips on blueberry picking season in mind!
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