The Blueberry is a native American fruit harvested from wild plants since the country was settled. About 1910 the late Dr. F. V. Coville of the United States Department of Agriculture began the domestication of the High-bush Blueberry. A breeding program based on selected wild types has produced through the years a number of varieties vastly superior to their wild ancestors. Considerable research on cultural problems has developed a body of knowledge on which a highly profitable and extensive commercial industry is growing rapidly.
The High-bush Blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum, is the species which has been improved, and the varieties developed from it are those on which the cultivated Blueberry industry is founded. Extensive areas of the Low-bush Blueberry, V. angustifolium, in Maine are managed for commercial production. V. myrtilloides, another Low-bush type, yields considerable fruit.
In the deep South V. Ashei, the Rabbiteye Blueberry, is cultivated to some extent. Several other species are locally important sources of wild fruit.
The cultivated High-bush Blueberry is grown principally in New Jersey, Michigan, North Carolina, and to a lesser extent in the other northern states. It will grow about as far south as it can experience the approximately 700 hours of temperature below 40° needed to break the plant’s winter rest period. Minimum winter temperatures of 20° to 25° F. below zero are about all that the hardier named varieties can stand without killing of the wood.
The soil requirements of the Blueberry are very specialized, being unlike those of the other fruits and farm crops. The wild Blueberries grow on moist, sandy, acid soils and the cultivated varieties require similar soils. Sandy loams, if moist, acid, andRead more on backyardgardener.com