Just about ripe blueberry drop? #658067 - Ask Extension


Just about ripe blueberry drop? #658067

Asked June 30, 2020, 12:08 PM EDT

Picking Our blueberries the ones that are almost ripe are falling off as we are picking them. This has never happened before when we picked the berries from past years.

Cowlitz County Washington

Expert Response

What variety is this? It is unusual for blueberries to retain fruit up until harvest and then for it to fall off. Are you waiting to long to harvest? Draper suffers from a green berry drop. http://whatcom.wsu.edu/wam/mar15_s1.html

Mark Longstroth Replied July 03, 2020, 3:08 PM EDT
I picked today and I saw I lost about 15-20% to the ground . I don’t know the name but we have 5 varieties and they all dropped berries at all stages of ripening. They are about 5 years old. I think it is because they are so loaded with berries. Could that happen?
The Question Asker Replied July 03, 2020, 11:10 PM EDT
No it is not normal for berries to drop just before harvest. Some varieties will drop their berries as they become over ripe but that trait is usually one that will cause a breeder to toss them out. There is a drop of green fruit soon after bloom, but after that the fruit is usually retained. You might cut some of the fruit to see if they lack seeds but often seedless fruit are still retained and very small. Mummy berry causes fruit to drop before harvest but that fruit appears soft and brown and when cut open is white inside from a fungus. Since you say all  of your varieties are doing this and you have not had this problem in the past I am at a loss to explain it.
Mark Longstroth Replied July 07, 2020, 12:28 PM EDT

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