Blueberries- who doesn’t like them? And there’s nothing better than owning a flourishing blueberry bush. From blueberry pies to tarts to blueberry grunt, there’s no limit to the delicious creations one can make with a garden full of crisp, ripe blueberries.
Jewel blueberries- an abundant blueberry bush that sprouts pleasant, tangy blueberries- are an excellent choice for gardeners with a little more space on their hands. If you’re looking to grow your very own source of fresh, juicy blueberries, jewel blueberries are a great choice.
What Are Jewel Blueberries?
The jewel blueberry is a blueberry bush valued for its exceptionally high yields and large fruits. When grown in the right conditions, the berries will yield little soft fruit tissue and produce huge harvests.
Jewel Blueberries have been planted in California and throughout central Florida because of their durability in these regions and their low chill requirement. Jewel blueberries are best grown between latitudes 28-35.
Jewel blueberries are a licensed blueberry variety, and royalties may apply to companies looking to grow them commercially. If you’re just an amateur grower, though, you can find Jewel blueberry bush seeds on sale across the internet.
History of the Jewel Blueberry
According to Central Florida Ag News, jewel blueberries have their origins in the sunny state of Florida, in the mind of an industrious breeder named Dr. Paul Lyrene. Lyrene now holds more than 30 patented varieties of blueberry, one of which being the Jewel.
The jewel blueberry was part of Lyrene’s master plan to provide growers with better disease resistance, bigger yields, and more valuable fruits- all of which he managed to do. The jewel blueberry has two sister species, both originating from the same creator- the star and emerald blueberries.
To create the jewel blueberry, Lyrene continued the work of his predecessors in developing southern highbush blueberry types that would produce mature fruit in the lucrative early-April timeframe. When his work paid off, it paid off in a big way- giving him a patented breed of high-yield, high-desirability blueberries that would go on to dominate growers’ fields.
What Do Jewel Blueberries Taste Like?
Think Fuji apple- but tune it down a bit and add a little bit of tang. Jewel blueberries aren’t afraid to stand out among their sweeter, simpler blueberry cousins, possessing a tangy zing that you won’t find in most other varieties.
Jewel blueberries also have firm, crunchy skin- so you’ll be getting that earthy, natural texture so many people love in their berries. They explode on contact with your teeth- like overfilled balloons touching the tip of a needle- and coat the entire mouth with a sweet-and-sour juice somewhat near the consistency of raspberry fluid.
But don’t just take our word for it. It’s easy to find jewel blueberry seeds online, so you can find out for yourself what all the rage is about. They’ll grow in full sun and partial shade, so there’s a bit of wiggle room in terms of the kinds of gardens that can grow it- and they’re virtually a shoo-in to produce huge harvests!
How To Use Jewel Blueberries
While possessing a taste and tang like no other, Jewel blueberries are still blueberries like any other. They’ll go great in pies, tarts, and any other baked berry-based baked good you can imagine. Try adding them to scones for an adventurous treat that will drive away the blues.
Blueberry grunt– while having a strange and admittedly unappetizing name- is a less conventional, strangely delicious recipe that will capitalize on the sour-sweetness of the jewel blueberry. Trie blueberry grunt on cold days when using preserved or canned blueberries.
If you’re looking to cut the carbs, throw fats and sugars out the window- even if baked goods just aren’t your thing- jelly is an excellent alternative to the above recipes. With a jar of sweet, aromatic jelly made from garden-fresh blueberries, you can make any meal into a blueberry treat.
Finally, you might try freezing your blueberries, just like you might do for plums. Frozen blueberries make for a great addition to a yogurt smoothie and will really brighten up almost any blended drink. Try mixing cinnamon, sugar, and frozen blueberries into a smoothie base of your choice for a lovely little blueberry pie smoothie.
Health Benefits of Jewel Blueberries
According to the health website healthline.com, blueberries have a host of health benefits. One of these benefits lies in the blueberry’s unique ability to reduce DNA damage, which may result in a reduced risk of cancer. This also helps subvert the effects of aging.
Not only that, but blueberries are low in calories and high in nutrients. So if you’re looking for a snack that won’t go straight to your waist but will still give you a shot of valuable nutrients, blueberries should be your go-to.
Back on the cancer-prevention pill, blueberries are incredibly high in antioxidants, which help your body protect against free radicals- unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and create the conditions for the growth of harmful cancer cells.
Jewel blueberries have all of these benefits in spades, so if you’re looking for a food that may increase longevity and won’t pack on the pounds, jewel blueberries are your go-to. Their bushes are easy to grow and yield huge harvests of large, juicy berries that could last you all year, given the correct preservation techniques.
Where to Buy Jewel Blueberries
Jewel blueberry seeds aren’t hard to find. A quick search for ‘jewel blueberries’ on Google’s shopping tab will reveal a whole litany of reputable nurseries that will sell you oodles of jewel blueberry seeds.
If you’d rather not open an extra tab, though, we’ve got you covered:
Nature Hills Nursery will sell you good, dependable blueberry seeds that, if you put in the work, will give you huge harvests. With time and patience, you’ll be baking blueberry pies and canning blueberry jam with these dependable seed-sources.
How to Grow Jewel Blueberries
A good grow starts with soil. Make sure to grow jewel blueberries in acidic, well-drained soil. These plants prefer porous, drainable soil, so enhancing your clay soil or other non-porous soil may be helpful.
Jewel blueberries, like all blueberry varieties, prefer full sun. That’s not to say they won’t grow anywhere else. It’s just to say you’ll get more cooperation out of them if you’ve got them in a sunny area.
In fact, hotter climates may even warrant light shade, giving them time to cool down and preserve valuable moisture (which will later make a splash in your blueberry pastries),
Finally, keep in mind that jewel blueberries are only partially self-fertile. Mixing them with other southern highbush varieties will increase yield.
If you need to prune, make sure to check out our guide to pruning blueberries.
Similar to Jewel Blueberries
Gardeners who love their jewel blueberry bushes might also want to try similar varieties. Mixing southern highbush varieties can increase yields and, most importantly, increase overall enjoyment on the part of the grower.
Two similar blueberry varieties are the star and emerald blueberries, which were both developed by the same breeder who masterminded the jewel. They possess similar sweetness and tang, both being successful breeds in their own rights.
By now, you may have a lot of questions we may not have touched on. If so, we hope you find this Frequently Asked Questions section helpful.
Are Blueberries Poisonous to Pets?
While we didn’t have time to research every single species and its reaction to blueberries, we can confidently say that blueberries are not poisonous to cats and dogs. Whereas raisins and grapes can be highly toxic to dogs, blueberries can make for a great light snack for your furry friend. In the words of the Fantastic Mr. Fox- “Beagles love blueberries!”
How Long Do Blueberry Bushes Take to Mature?
Blueberry bushes take a rather long time to reach maturity. Your average blueberry bush will take around ten years to bear fruit and may not seem to be growing year-by-year. Stick with it, though, and you’ll eventually see results.
Are Jewel Blueberries Sweet?
Yes! Jewel blueberries don’t only have sweetness, though- they’ve got a delightful tanginess that’s hard to match. Jewel blueberries go great in recipes that call for a tiny bit of tartness and will bring a pleasant sour side to any sweet dish.
All in all, jewel blueberries are a high-yield, high disease resistance variety of blueberry that will work in big gardens with little to no shade. They’re a sweet, tart variety of blueberry that go great in baked goods, jams, jellies, and even smoothies. There’s really no limit to what you can do with a jewel blueberry.
So, what are you waiting for? Buying seeds is fast and easy, and planting them is a blast. Given time, you can transform your backyard from a manicured, sterile surface to a productive and delicious natural supermarket. Get gardening!