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Harvest and Postharvest Care

A mature blueberry plant will produce 6 to 10 pounds (7 to 10 pints) of fruit per year. Harvest begins in June for varieties such as Earliblue and may continue through mid-September for latest varieties.

Berries turn blue 3 to 4 days before they attain maximum sweetness and flavor. They should be picked every 7 to 10 days. Do not pick berries with a reddish tinge since they are underripe.

Blueberries, like other fruits, should be picked in the morning after the dew has evaporated. If picked in the afternoon, the berries are more likely to be warm, which makes the berry more susceptible to postharvest breakdown.

Cellophane covers reduce water loss from the berries after harvest. Blueberries may be stored for as long as 14 days under the best of conditions; however, this is not usually desirable since off-flavors are often absorbed.

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Harvest and Postharvest Care

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