Blueberries are perennial plants that are typically transplanted into a field from a nursery at a couple years of age. This is because blueberry plants begin bearing fruit at about three years old. Blueberry bushes are usually planted in the early spring.
Blueberries require a certain amount of time called “chill hours” where the temperature is controlled between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. These chill hours will allow for the bush to produce blossoms and leaves properly, in order to produce fruit.
Blueberry bushes require about one to two inches of water per week, some fertilizer application, and occasional pruning. Blueberry bushes are often netted once they start to produce fruit, in order to prevent birds from eating the crop.
When it is time to harvest blueberries, smaller operations harvest by hand, while mechanical harvesting is becoming more popular for large operations. Blueberries are harvested from late July to mid-August. Once the berries are harvested, either by hand or machine, they are taken to a processing plant where they are chilled and then distributed.