Blueberries have seeds. Both highbush and lowbush blueberries both contain small pips for propagation. Blueberries bear seeds inside. In order to cultivate the seeds, you will have to extract them from the berries.
Characteristics of Blueberries
Considered as one of the healthiest fruits, blueberries belong to the genus family of Vaccinium. Other members include cranberries, huckleberries, and bilberries — all of which are native to North America.
Blueberries are also classified as prostrate shrubs whose sizes can vary from 4 inches to 13 feet high.
Blueberries come in two types: the highbush and lowbush blueberries. Highbush blueberries are commercially grown, usually available in supermarkets or grocery stores.
On the other hand, lowbush berries are mostly seen in farms or in the wild meadows of Canadian provinces and the United States.
Wild berries or Andean blueberries are available in most areas of the Southern Hemisphere, specifically Australia. These berries have a flared crown at the bottom.
Blueberries appear in pale greenish colors and later turn reddish-purple to dark purple hues as the fruit matures.
Covered in a powdery protective coating, blueberries have outer epicuticular wax called the ‘bloom’.
Blueberries offer a wide range of benefits including health and food perks.
Are There Seedless Blueberries?
Seedless blueberries do not exist. Although in some variations, the seeds can appear smaller than usual and become unnoticeable.
On a separate note, a blueberry is not a seed. All seeds are found inside the fruit.
Taking the seeds out from the flesh of blueberries is a strenuous job. The pulp has a delicate structure and can make it difficult to separate the seeds.
Although blueberries do not self-pollinate, you can still start your own nursery with purchasable seeds or start from scratch and prepare blueberry seeds for propagation following a set of easy methods.
Different Methods of Extracting Blueberry Seeds
Mash the berries
Extract the seeds of blueberries by my mashing the fruits. You can find tools fit for the procedure, yet mashing it by hand also works.
Prepare the thawed blueberries of about 3-quarter cup and place the berries into a bowl. Adjust the quantity if you think it will match your needs.
Using a potato or pedestal masher, crush the blueberries rigorously. Try your best to avoid juice spills as it will definitely stain your clothes and kitchen floor, giving you a difficult cleaning task.
Store the mashed blueberries in a jar. Add water and swirl the bottle in a gentle motion and remove the pulp and seeds.
Inside the jar, put the cap on and let the seeds set to the bottom. Perform the procedure again and again until the pulp is completely separated from the seeds.
Grab a towel and dry the seeds. The time duration for mashing the berries takes about 5 to10 minutes
The mashed berries can still be used as an ingredient for dessert or beverages. But safety and cleanliness must be considered. Wash the blueberries thoroughly after mashing them.
If you have a good functioning blender, separating the seeds will not be troublesome for you.
With a 3-quarter cup of defrosted blueberries, start the procedure by adding water to the machine.
Stir the seeds and try to blend the fruit with the water. Wait for 10 minutes to achieve the exact results.
Allow the seeds to set in the bottom and wait until they slowly separate from the pulp. Within 5 minutes, pour the rest of the pulp and put more water in the blender.
Ensure that the remaining are all separated from the pulp. Execute the procedure again and again until the pulp separates from the seeds.
After extracting, get the seeds out of the blender immediately and dry them out using a paper towel.
Secure the seeds and place them in an area where the paper towel will not be blown by the wind. The last thing you want is for your seeds to be blown away, scattered, and unrecovered.
Compared to the mashing method, the blender reduces your time spent in the process and is less messy. Do not forget to clean your blender after use to avoid the seed residue from cluttering the machine.
A food grinder is also a great alternative for separating seeds from the pulp of blueberries.
Similar to the previous extracting methods, you have to fill the grinder with 3-quarter cups of freshly thawed blueberries.
Grind the berries until the overall texture becomes pulverized. It should not leave any sticky soluble and must be purely broken down into minute pieces.
Transfer the ground blueberries into a jar. Pour water into the container and chum the jar to reveal the pulp and seeds.
Add water to the jar, position the cap, and wait for the seeds to settle at the bottom. When the seeds are easy enough to extract from the pulp, you can now take them from the jar and leave them on a paper towel to dry.
Tips for Growing Blueberry Seeds
Look For A Sunny Spot
Observe your garden area and try to look for a spot where there is adequate exposure to sunlight.
Blueberries thrive best in sunny places. Although they are naturally grown in a semi-shade set up, blueberries produce heavy fruiting when they have more sunshine absorption.
The leaves also develop into evergreen foliage under good lighting.
Test the acidic level
The pH or acid level of the soil where you plan to plant your blueberries is another thing to consider.
If there is no available pH test tool you can use at home, you can get it from the nearest market or hardware store.
After the test, you may add pelleted sulfur if the pH level of the soil needs to be adjusted to a very acidic range of 4 to 5.
Pelleted sulfur is an organic element suitable for soil cultivation. It is a lot safer compared to commercial dusty powders.
Add Peat Moss
You can also use peat moss for the planting hole to aid in leveling acidity if you think it would work better than pelleted sulfur.
Peat moss is a soil component perfect for seed starting mediums and potting soils. It can hold enough amounts of moisture and release it to the plants’ roots.
Peat moss can also prevent the soil from dripping out when watered.
A routine that is essential to any plant, you must water your blueberry plant well.
The critical phase of growing a blueberry plant is when it’s in its maximum fruiting phase. It must be watered with regular water or you can install a well-functioning drip system.
Your water routine must be consistent, especially during the first two years of growing a blueberry plant.
With a depth of 3 inches, mulch your blueberry plant with pine needles, chips, sawdust, wood shavings, or shredded autumn leaves.
Mulch is an organic material layered on top of the soil to reduce weed growth, improve the health and fertility of the soil, and conserve soil moisture.
You may apply mulch to bare soil or around the existing plants in your garden.
Net The Plants
Birds are attracted to any fruit, especially delicious-looking berries. Protect your blueberry plants by covering them with a net during the fruiting and harvesting seasons.
A netted gazebo, for example, can shield highbush blueberry shrubs and 190-quart fruits. Choose a net with strong nylon to successfully outsmart the birds.
Do Not Prune Until The Plant Is Four Or Five Years On The Ground
Avoid trimming your blueberry plant during its early growing years. A blueberry plant’s stems can age up to 6 years and even older, but they do not produce in the most favorable way.
Old stems are the ones you need to cut off during the winter. Keep the middle-aged and younger stems for sustainable production.
Replenish The Mulch
Monitor the mulch you applied on the first day you planted the blueberry and see if it needs replenishment.
If your plant is constantly manifesting a leaf-drop, then it’s better to add a little nitrogen to the base using soybean meals. Apply 1 pound of soybean meal per 100 square feet.
Blueberries have seeds that can be extracted to cultivate another plant. Not all seeds are good for propagation, so you will have to at least prepare a spare and observe the growth of your plant.
Blueberries are a good source of vitamin C, K1, and manganese. They can also provide a couple of boosters for your immune systems such as B6, vitamin E, and copper.
So it does benefit you a lot to grow blueberry plants in your garden.