Vaccinium corymbosum 'Jersey'
Vaccinium corymbosum 'Jersey'
How are the heights measured?
All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.
What is a gallon container?
Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.
How does the delivery process work?
All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!
Why are some states excluded from shipping?
The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.
The Jersey Blueberry is a full-sized highbush blueberry, reaching up to 8 feet tall in time, with a spread of about 5 feet. It is excellent for growing at the back of shrubs beds, or in a dedicated fruit-growing part of your garden. It has exceptional fall colors of orange and red, and with the pretty spring blossoms it is a great addition to your shrub beds. It ripens a huge crop of berries late in the season, through August, and it’s the perfect companion for earlier-cropping varieties.
- Taller bush yielding up to 10 pounds of berries
- Ripens in August to keep your home production coming
- Excellent orange and red fall colors
- Dual-purpose bush for looks and fruit
- Needs acidic soil for good growth
The Jersey Blueberry is hardy from zone 4, and it should be grown in full sun for the best results. It will tolerate a little partial shade as well. The soil should be moist and well-drained, and also strongly acidic, with a pH value below 5.0. If you don’t have suitable soil it adapts well to growing in pots, using a lime-free soil mixture. Pests or diseases are rare, and with just a little care you can be harvesting big crops of these delicious berries.
- Plant Hardiness Zones 4-7
- Mature Width 3-5
- Mature Height 5-8
- Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Today we see so many new plant varieties, but that doesn’t always mean that older varieties are now ‘not worth growing’. That certainly isn’t true with the Jersey Blueberry, which is certainly an heirloom – it was created in 1916 – but certainly still very much worth growing. This larger bush, growing up to 8 feet tall, gives a yield of up to 10 pounds of delicious berries. Not only that, the Jersey Blueberry is incredibly valuable because, while most blueberries are ready in June or July, this one takes its time, and only starts to ripen in August. For the perfect crop of large, delicious blueberries with the true taste of wild bushes, nothing can beat it. With such a huge crop there will be plenty for baking, after the smoothies and berry breakfasts, and the rest of the crop can be put in the freezer – don’t even wash them – and pulled out for special occasions when the snow lies deep on the ground – what a treat!
Growing the Jersey Blueberry
Size and Appearance
The Jersey Blueberry is a deciduous shrub that will grow 5 to 8 feet tall, and up to 5 feet wide. The glossy leaves are about 2 inches long, and in fall they turn gorgeous shades of orange, earning this shrub a place in any garden bed. In spring, after the new leaves have grown a little, you will see clusters of small pink and white flowers hanging from the branches. These look like small urns, and they are a charming feature that again makes this an attractive bush for the back of a shrub border. Through the late spring and early summer those flowers become round green berries that ripen by the very end of July, or in August, depending on where you live. Over 2 or 3 weeks they gradually ripen into a deep blue, with that pronounced white ‘bloom’ on them, that makes blueberries look so special. They have the perfect balance between tart and sweet, excellent texture, and the wonderful taste of wild berries – wow!
Using the Jersey Blueberry in Your Garden
You can definitely grow this lovely bush right in your garden beds, or in a dedicated area for fruit production. It is self-pollinating, so just one bush will give you a good crop, but for the biggest harvest another variety is helpful. We recommend the Patriot Blueberry, and each will help the other give their biggest fruit and heaviest harvest. As well, the Patriot Blueberry ripens early, in June, so just as you are finishing the last of those from the fridge, you will be about to start on your Jersey Blueberry crop – the perfect pairing. Blueberry bushes are not fast-growing, but they are long-lived, and you can expect to be harvesting 20 years or more from now.
The Jersey Blueberry is hardy all the way from zone 4 to zone 7, covering most of the country, so there is an excellent chance that you can grow it successfully.
Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions
Plant your Jersey Blueberry bushes in full sun for the best results, but a little shade for a couple of hours a day won’t do any harm. The soil should be well-drained but moist, and most importantly, it should be acidic, with a pH value between 4.0 and 5.0. While it is possible, if your soil is already a little acidic, to lower it to that range, it is often difficult. The solution is easy – grow your bushes in boxes and pots. Blueberries have a small root system, so they live in pots for many years, and fruit very successfully. For the best results, make sure you have drainage holes, and plant in a mixture of 1-part lime-free potting soil, 1-part shredded pine bark, and 1-part sphagnum peat moss (the brown type sometimes called Canadian peat moss). Mulch the top of the pot with more shredded pine bark and stand it on a few stones, so that it drains freely.
Maintenance and Pruning
The secret to growing the Jersey Blueberry well is to use plenty of mulch, to conserve moisture and feed the bush. Any lime-free material is suitable, particularly, pine needles, oak leaves, shredded pine bark, peat moss of any kind, or softwood sawdust. Mulch in late spring, and again in fall. Water regularly during dry weather, as blueberries are not drought tolerant. Generally this bush is free of pests or diseases, but susceptible to rabbit attack. Pruning is not usually needed, at least until your bushes are older. To keep pot-grown plants outdoors all winter you should be in zones 6 or 7. In cooler zones it is best to keep plants in a cold shed or garage for the coldest months (light is not necessary) or bury the pot in the ground in fall, digging it up once the ground thaws.
History and Origin of the Jersey Blueberry
Elizabeth Coleman White was the daughter of a cranberry grower in South Jersey towards the end of the 19th century. She wanted to expand the crops of her family’s farm to blueberries, but at that time little was known about how to grow the bushes in her region, which were the highbush blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum. In 1910 she stumbled upon some research into growing blueberries by Frederick Vernon Coville, the chief botanist at the US Department of Agriculture, and together they pioneered the growing of blueberries. At first they relied on propagating superior plants found in the wild by pickers, and two varieties, ‘Rubel’ and ‘Grover’ were discovered that way. In 1916 these two varieties were crossed together in an early experiment in controlled breeding, and the result was a bush released in 1928 by the USDA with the name ‘Jersey’. Today an heirloom variety, it is still popular and widely grown, even by commercial growers, because it extends the harvesting season by ripening late.
Buying the Jersey Blueberry at the Tree Center
You are going to love that moment when you eat your first home-grown blueberry – there really is no thrill like it. Your children and grandchildren will love it too, but place your order right away, because this popular heirloom variety always sells out fast.