Liv Fruitful with Livi Lou! She is currently breeding strawberries, developing a garden product, trialing plants and researching the history of heirloom fruit varieties. She writes about unique perennials and fruit plants, so that you can grow an ornamental fruit garden. www.livilougarden.com facebook.com/livilougarden
 

Recent Blog Posts

Oct 04
The Ultimate Crop-Cage  

Aug 09
Summer Photos  

Jun 26
New Berry Varieties  

May 28
Honey Bees: The Queen Signal  

May 01
Spring Annuals & Perennials  

Mar 31
What’s the shuck?  

Mar 19
The Emotional Benefit of Trees   (2 comments)

Feb 19
Bushel & Berry: Baby Cakes  

 

 

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Theme Announcement: contain your enthusiasm
by Livi Lou - posted 02/29/16

I’m excited for spring and I can’t contain it any longer!

March Starts the Container Campaign. All about container growing, all month long!

 

Do you ask yourself…

 

What containers should I use?

How can I protect my container crop from critters?

What size container is best?

 

…then this March follow Friday posts!

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Brazelberries Jelly Bean Part 2: Summer 2015
by Livi Lou - posted 02/26/16

As I explained in my previous post, I was eager and excited for Brazelberries Jelly Bean’s Summer 2015 harvest.   The blueberry bush grew in height and developed many buds.  However, I did not receive a harvest.

There could be two main reasons why the buds did not turn into berries.

1.       They flowered too early for pollinating insects or just poor pollination in general.

2.       There was an insect that preyed on the buds.

I believe that an insect is the most likely cause.  About four berries formed, but withered and fell off.  Some of the buds became brown.  There was one small black bug on the plant, along with a leaf in which the underside held small eggs.

I removed the egg-infested leaf and destroyed the bug, but I think the damage was already done.  I still have not positively identified this bug.

While I do not think I had all the signs of blueberry bud mites, I think some kind of insect that feeds on buds is the cause.

Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the bug at the time.

 

Another peculiar event occurred to Jelly Bean.  Below is a photo of Jelly Bean in Early September 2015. Despite its lack of harvest, it was still heathy and thriving.

 

 

Here is a photo of it about a week later.

 

 

 I had been out of town for a week. The brown leaves could be due to drought, but my other pots survived fine in my absence.  Jelly Bean did not revive after watering and I began to wonder if it was a disease.

The only photo I could find with similar looking leaves was from Michigan State University about a new blueberry disease called bronze leaf curl.

 

        

 

If you have a mysterious blueberry disease, you may want to learn more about bronze leaf curl. Here is a link to the university’s website: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/files/7_6_11_MBN.pdf

I am still unsure if it was bronze leaf curl.  Currently, Jelly Bean is fine and overwintering nicely in my garage.  We will find out how it produces this summer.

 

 

~ Thank for reading!

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Brazelberries Jelly Bean: a dwarf sweet blueberry
by Livi Lou - posted 02/19/16

In Summer 2014, I purchased Jelly Bean along with Raspberry Shortcake.  Jelly Bean is another Brazelberries plant and grows to be 1 to 2 ft in height.  It is named for its sweet flavored blueberries.

The below photo is upon first planting Jelly Bean.

 

Jelly Bean produced a few berries in 2014. I enjoyed experiencing how blueberries develop from a flower into a berry.

Below is my first blueberry flower on Jelly Bean.

 

  

 

After the flower is pollinated and the petals drop, the ‘base’ of the flower petals swells and starts to form a blueberry.  The below photo shows several stages of berry formation.

 

 

I did not receive many berries that first summer.  I originally decided to purchase the Jelly Bean variety instead of the other Brazelberries blueberry varieties because of its sweet flavor and extra cold hardiness to Zone 4.

However, after tasting these first blueberries in Summer 2014, I discovered that I don’t care much for ‘sweet.’ I prefer my blueberries to have a more robust flavor.  You always learn something new in the garden, even about yourself.

Jelly Bean grew healthily and I was eager to see how it would produce in Summer 2015.

My story with Jelly Bean does not end here.  I overwintered it in the garage during Winter 2014 and it grew in height and developed A LOT OF LEAF and FLOWER BUDS!

 

But why did the flower buds not turn into berries?  Find out next Friday in Jelly Bean Part 2: Summer 2015.

 

   ~ Thanks for Reading!

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