Legacy Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Legacy’) growers can enjoy delicious fruit while decorating their landscape with this stunning shrub. As an upright, unique bush, this plant keeps its golden-colored, attractive leaves throughout the winter. And if you’re reading this piece, it means you want to join the league of growers who continues to enjoy the abundant crops of flavorful, sweet, light blue, and large berries that Legacy Blueberry produces.
Before we move on to discovering this highly adaptable plant, you need to know that Legacy Blueberry can be a bit slower to produce in the first few years. But, the good news is you can expect high yields when it becomes established.
What is Legacy Blueberry?
Legacy Blueberry is a productive and vigorous grower. As a cross of ‘Elizabeth’ x US 75, A.D. experts at Oregon State University discussed differences in fruit and yield qualities, and the USDA Research Center introduced it. Experts also rate Legacy Blueberry as the highest flavor fruit overall. The plant has firm fruit with a superior sweetness and flavor. They are medium blue, large-sized, and medium fruit.
When growers plant Legacy Blueberry with other varieties, they can extend this plant season since it ripens in August. With that, they can enjoy high-quality berries for dehydrated or frozen for winter use, in jams or preserves, baked goods, and fresh eating.
Legacy Blueberry has a regularly large or medium size, and the fruit is quite attractive. The fruit’s appearance, firmness, and outstanding flavor make it a great eat while exhibiting a long shelf life for storage.
Legacy Blueberry has an upright spreading habit of growth as a deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub. As a result, your landscape will enjoy its blend of average texture. If you want an effective composition, you can balance it with one or two coarser or finer shrubs or trees.
Legacy Blueberry requires low maintenance, and you will have a beautiful shrub even without pruning, even though it tolerates it. The plant has no significant negative characteristics, and it a perfect if you want to attract birds to your yard.
These landscapes are best for Legacy Blueberry:
- Edible/Orchard landscaping
- General garden use
Several growers plant Legacy Blueberry because of its highly ornamental fruit. The mid-summer always has this plant having magnificent blue berries abundance. It has pink bell-shaped flowers dainty clusters.
In addition, the mid-spring features pink shell overtones dangling beneath the branches, appearing from unique red flowers. The plant boasts bluish-green foliage throughout the season. You will have a delicious orange from the glossy oval leaves during the fall. Your landscape will love the exciting dimension of the smooth tanbark.
Many people plant Legacy Blueberry as an ornamental. However, they also value it for its edible qualities. Thus, people always use the round sweet berries for:
- Fresh eating
Planting a Legacy Blueberry: A Step-By-Step Guide
Legacy Blueberry are high in vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients, and they are as delicious as they are juicy and plump. Fortunately, the plant tends to be pretty easy to grow when you use the right soil conditions. You can plant Legacy Blueberry when:
- It is one to three years old. You can bring these plants in bare-root or containers. Whatever the case, ensure to purchase from a reputable website or nursery.
- During late fall in the coldest regions or spring. Growers can wait till early or mid-spring before planting Legacy Blueberry.
Preparing or Choosing a Planting Site
- Prepare a sheltered, sunny space. Though this plant can tolerate shade, you can obtain better crops when grown in the sun. Even with that, it can be dangerous to expose the plant to drying, harsh winds.
- Your Legacy Blueberry is not good planted too close to trees because the tree can suck the soil moisture or even block out sunlight.
- Plant in a patch if planting multiple bushes instead of scattering them all over your garden. Doing so can bolster berry quality and production.
- This plant is shallow-rooted. As such, soil that can hold moisture will be suitable for it. However, ensure the soil does not stay wet and can drain well. Clay or heavy soils are not ideal for planting Legacy Blueberry.
- The plant will grow well in acidic soil. As such, it requires about 4.0 and 5.0 soil pH. You can mix a small amount of granulated sulfur into the soil months before planting your Legacy Blueberry to acidify the soil. Other perfect conditions that will help acidify the soil are pine back or needles and peat moss.
- Don’t forget to mix your soil with organic matter before setting your Legacy Blueberry.
Planting From Seed
Essentially, the Legacy Blueberry is a seed, and you will find the seeds inside the fruit. Thus, it could take a bit of effort to separate these seeds from the pulp. Use fruit from those purchased grocers or an existing bush. However, the outcomes can be non-existent or poor.
No Legacy Blueberry can self-pollinate. Therefore, their offspring don’t duplicate the parent, and they are somewhat unpredictable. Essentially, getting viable Legacy Blueberry seeds from a reputable place is essential. If you want to experiment, here is how to prepare the seeds for planting.
You will need to macerate the seeds when preparing them for planting. Mash them in a bowl or use a blender or food processor. Water the berries a bit with this process. Eliminate the floating pulp when you have finished mashing the fruit. You will notice the seeds sinking to the bottom. Getting rid of the pulp ultimately may need adding more water many times.
It is crucial to scarify your Legacy Blueberry bush seeds when you have gathered them. Put these seeds in your freezer for 90 days after wrapping them in damp paper towels. The seeds will be ready for planting after the cold stratification breaks their rest period.
Legacy Blueberry Seed Planting
Growers can use the Legacy Blueberry seeds immediately after the 90 days have elapsed. You can also keep them in your freezer till when you are ready to plant them. Start the planting during spring in more motherly climates or the fall in warm climes.
Use seed trays with dampened sphagnum peat moss to plant the seeds. Then, prepare a ¼ of soil to cover them. Ensure that the medium is constantly moist. Essentially, the next phase is to be patient. It may take your plant about six to eight weeks to germinate. The low wild bush tends to grow reliably than their hybrid high bush relatives.
Prepare a sunny, warm spot of about 60 to 70 degrees F to keep the seeds. You can also suspend a fluorescent light about 14-inches above the seedlings. The growing Legacy Blueberry resulting seedling seeds will have a few tiny leaves atop and resemble grass. Your plant’s seedlings will not be more than five to six inches in height during the first year of seed planting.
When it is time to transplant your plant since it is big enough, put them in pots and prepare a warm, sunny spot. Ensure to keep them moist. You can fertilize the growing Legacy Blueberry seed plants with a liquid fertilizer after around two to three weeks in their containers. When the plant is one or two feet tall by the second year, it can bear fruit.
Legacy Blueberry can take many years to produce any substantial amount of fruit when growing from seed. Therefore, you need to be patient. However, expect your Legacy Blueberry to keep supplying you with superfood for several years to come once established.
Planting From Stem
When planting Legacy Blueberry from the stem, growers typically grow them from hardwood or softwood cuttings by choosing twigs from disease-free, healthy mother plants. Then, they will put the cuttings in propagation beds, using a medium that can allow sufficient aeration or hold moisture well enough.
You can take hardwood cuttings after adequate chilling has happened after the end of the dormant season, typically from late January to February. Collect 12-inches to 36-inches of whips or healthy, vigorous shoots grown the previous summer. Ensure that the whips are about five to six inches long using a bench saw or a sharp knife when you divide them. Discard the tip or remove the flower buds if the shoot terminal has flower buds.
Ensure to insert the cuttings’ one-half or two-thirds length into the propagation medium and expose one shoot bud. The propagation beds must be moist. However, don’t overwater it. Instead, use a sprinkler to water hardwood until you notice leaves growing from them. After that, mist-water them until they begin to root.
When your cuttings begin to root, use a dilute complete liquid fertilizer every week. Your Legacy blueberry can be in the propagation bed till winter. By then, you can transplant them into nursery beds or pots. Then, hold them for a year. Your Legacy Blueberry needs to be large enough for the next winter field planting.
Have well-drained propagation beds and must be under about 40 to 70 percent shade with sufficient ventilation. Excessive wind movement can interfere with mist control. As such, try to avoid it.
Get about four to five inches long softwood cuttings from the current season’s growth tips during late spring. You can take these cuttings when you notice woody tissue has developed from the stems, but they still have half-grown terminal leaves and are flexible.
Early cuttings with flexible stems and succulent terminal leaves can wilt quickly. Late cuttings with an initiated second flush of growth and mature leaves can root poorly. Typically, you will have successful rooting when you take cuttings from the first flush of spring growth. However, growers collect cuttings from growth flushing that happens later in the growing season.
Get your cuttings from the mother plant’s upper section. Use clean, sharp pruning knives or shears disinfected in a five parts water and one-part household bleach solution. Leave about two to three terminal leaves after removing lower leaves. Keep your cuttings cool and moist, and never let them dry after collection. Your propagation bed must be under mist, and place these cuttings in it as soon as possible at a one-half to two-thirds depth.
The media will not be soggy but uniformly moist with the mist system. The system will have the correct amount of moisture when it is possible to squeeze a few drops of water from a handful of media. There will be a need for an intermittent mist system to keep the humidity near the cutting to about 100 percent.
With that, it can keep the medium moist while preventing wilting. Start the process with a porous medium that can hold moisture adequately. Then, maintain high humidity and non-wilted, turgid leaves by changing the moist intervals. Two to ten seconds breaks and two to ten minutes of frequent short misting is perfect.
You need a propagation medium that allows aeration and retains moisture. Media with several propagation mixtures of peat moss, sawdust, perlite, ground pine bark, and coarse sand have proven adequate.
Legacy Blueberry Growing Guide: What Does This Plant Need?
Legacy Blueberry can spread to about six feet and grow about six feet tall when it matures. The plant will have a typical one-foot clearance from the ground and can be a bit leggy. It is suitable to plant it under power lines. While Legacy Blueberry can live for around 30 years under perfect conditions, it can also grow at a medium rate.
Other favorite cultivars suitable for various spaces and climates are:
- Top Hat
- Sunshine Blue
- Powder Blue
- Pink Popcorn
- Pink Icing
Prepare a spot in your yard without overhanging trees. Trees will compete for water and soil nutrients and provide excessive shade to your Legacy Blueberry. When you have many trees, you can expect birds around your Legacy Blueberry, and they can eat all the berries you work so hard to grow. When trees hinder air circulation, the plant could also develop the disease. A wide-open area with full sunlight is the best location for the plant.
Ensure that your Legacy Blueberry can get at least ¾ of the day’s full sun. Late in the day’s partial shade can also be appropriate for Legacy Blueberry. However, it also needs full sun, about six or more hours of direct sunlight per day. Consider the amount a garden area receives in the summertime if you are not sure your plant receives full sun or not. Don’t make a mistake many gardeners make by planting Legacy Blueberry in shady areas.
You can grow other varieties in pots or containers if your garden doesn’t have good light. A perfect option is a container-grown plant if you live in an apartment or your patio or deck is in full sun all summer long. Ensure that the pot or container is large enough to hold the plant when it matures.
Test your soil for pH readings when you have settled with a sunny spot for your Legacy Blueberry. Compacted soil will not work well for the plant as it requires loose, acidic, and well-drained soil. Also, standing water can damage the plant. Therefore, make sure to have well-drained soil. Legacy Blueberry roots cannot absorb nutrients through compacted soil as they grow to about 12-inches into the soil.
A 4.5 to 5.2 pH soil level is suitable for Legacy Blueberry. However, your plant can have discolored leaves and stunt growth if you have too high a pH soil level. Eventually, the plant can die. You can then supplement the soil with the needed nutrients to meet the pH requirements based on your soil test results. A perfect means of adjusting your soil pH is to apply about four to six inches of peat moss to the soil.
The soil pH type is the most critical consideration when planting Legacy Blueberry. It will measure the alkaline, neutral, or acidic substances in the soil. The scale is from pure acid (0) to pure alkaline (14), with the neutral point being seven. The soil pH is not the same in some locations and varies from one place to another in the backyard based on what you grew there before.
Essentially, Legacy Blueberry has a high tolerance for poor soil, making them popular among growers. They can grow in poor soil and rocky places in the wild.
Legacy Blueberry has no root hairs but a thread-like root mass. Therefore, the plant can be sensitive to fluctuating soil moisture since it has no root hairs. Low pH, deep mulch like well-aged sawdust, pine needles, or peat moss can minimize soil water fluctuations and conserve water.
Water your plant during the day and ensure the soil is not soggy but moist. One inch per week is enough for your berries during the growing season and when the fruit is ripening, increase to about four inches per week.
The soil moist must be one inch deep and water evenly on all parts of the plant. Your plant can have smaller berries with insufficient water when fruit starts developing the following summer or when the bud grows in late summer. On the other hand, you can have bland, large fruit with too much water.
Therefore, balance is the name of the game.
Don’t overwater your plant if you are in the midst of a brown-lawn drought. Watering once every ten days or two weeks can be too much. Drowning, waterlogged roots is worse than thirsty, dry roots.
Give your Legacy Blueberry a thorough, good soaking when it gets pretty dry. The reliable means of doing this is to allow your garden hose to trickle slowly. With that, you can let the water soak in instead of running off from the plant. You can even water several plants at once by using a soaker hose.
The first year of Legacy Blueberry may not require any fertilizer. However, fertilize with a complete 10-10-10 fertilizer in spring during the following years. It is also recommended to fertilize in early spring before the leaves grow, as the plant’s roots will have the time to absorb the fertilizer before getting to the active growth stage in the summer.
Fertilize once in early spring or late spring when you have a new plant. Then, when you have established healthy plants, you can feed them once a year.
Legacy Blueberry responds best to acid fertilizers like azaleas or rhododendrons. However, professional growers have long used holly-tone as Legacy Blueberry’s best food source. Mulching is vital for berries as they also go hand-in-hand with fertilizing, whether conserving water or blocking weeds. Feed mulch as compost as it will help to maintain soil acidity. Pine barks, pine straw, and oak leaves are the best mulch options and ensure to spread it in a three to four inches thick layer.
Apply one cupful of holly-tone per foot of branch spread for established Legacy Blueberry. You can have two times the amount when the branch spread is around three inches or larger.
Remove as much mulch as possible if you have mulched the area to be fed. Feed the plant and apply enough mulch on top of the plant food. You can double the recommended feeding rates if you find it hard to eliminate the mulch. Also, use a soil acidifier to lower the soil pH for optimal growth since Legacy Blueberry is an acid-loving plant. Finally, ensure to water the plant after fertilizing.
Harvesting Your Legacy Blueberry
Suited to USDA hardiness zones three to seven, you should not rush to harvest your Legacy Blueberry too soon. So make a move when you see the berries turning blue. These berries will fall off into your garden without any tugging on the required delicate berry. Based on your local climate or the varieties, harvesting Legacy Blueberry can be anywhere in mid-August from late May.
Consider planting two or more varieties for a more bountiful harvest. Plant many varietals will induce the plants to produce more prominent and more berries and prolong the harvest season since Legacy Blueberry is partially self-fertile. However, remember that the full productions can take about six years.
How to Harvest Legacy Blueberry
Harvesting your Legacy Blueberry is not rocket science. The plant is easier to prepare and serve apart from picking the berries. There is no need for peeling, pitting, cutting, or freezing them. The berries are suitable for long-term storage if not making short work of them as a snack, cobbler, or pie.
Choose blueberries when harvesting Legacy Blueberry. When you pick green and white berries, they will not ripen. Likewise, berries with red blush are not ripe. However, they may ripen when you picked them and store them at room temperature. Ripe gray-blue berries are those you want to harvest. The berries will become sweeter when they stay longer on the bush to ripen.
Use your thumb to roll the berry off the stem into your palm gently. Typically, you may want to put the berries in your basket or bucket when you pick them. You may want to continue to do this with the rest of the harvest. However, you will want to ensure that your berries are indeed ripe by taking the first taste. If you do this, you will find that your regular tasting will last throughout the harvesting process.
You can freeze your berries for later use or start using them immediately after harvesting them. Many people claim to throw them straight from the freezer into their smoothies. However you want to use your berries, you can have a fantastic afternoon with the nutritional properties of your berries.
Legacy Blueberry: Common Pests and Diseases
As a Legacy Blueberry grower, you need to identify and control fungal and bacterial diseases to ensure the highest yields possible. You can prevent foliar and fruit diseases when you have proper fungicides, cultural practices, and cultivar selection in place. It tends to be quite hard to control root and stem diseases.
However, eliminate their severity by selecting well-drained field soil. You can also carefully remove and destroy infected plant parts, promote good plant growth, and use disease-free planting stock. Use all these techniques except synthetic pesticides as an organic grower.
Here are some common Legacy Blueberry pests and diseases in detail.
Minor Fungal Diseases
Generally, these are not significant issues but be aware that they can be troublesome in specific situations.
Botryosphaeria cortices causes this disease. While it has been found in Oregon, the Pacific Northwest has had it worse. Growers can see reddish conical swellings in fall and summer on current-year canes. The lesions will become fissured and enlarge during the second year, leading to a blistered, rough appearance. Eliminate the infected branches by pruning.
Microsphaera alni caused the powdery mildew. This disease has little effect on production since it typically develops after harvesting most of the fruit. However, it can be a big problem when severity and disease incidence is pretty high.
When you see roughly circular leaf spots on your plant in early summer that are gray or light brown with a dark brown ring outline, the fungus Dothichiza caroliniana is the cause. There is no recommendation for controlling it, except you have a high disease incident. Fruit rot fungicides can reduce double spots when applied.
Above Ground Fungal Diseases
Alternaria Fruit Rot
Some Pacific Northwest fields have experienced severe losses caused by the fungus Alternaria tenuissima. It does not have the same popularity as ripe rot – the fungus spores in dead twigs, dried-up, old ripe berries after winter as mycelium. Infections happen in fruit maturity from late bloom.
Infections will be latent until berries ripen. It is when taken to market or in storage that the disease often develops. With that, there will be a dark greenish or blackish load of spores with a dull cast on the berries as it covers the damaged fruit. The rot will be watery when you store the harvested fruit, even though berries can dry in the field.
- Ensure to clean debris from inspection belts, packing lines, and picking buckets frequently.
- Cool your berries quickly after harvesting.
- Avoid bruising or wounding fruit during harvest.
- You will have fewer rot results with hand-harvesting than machine harvesting.
- Avoid handling or picking fruit when it is wet.
- Prevent overripe fruit by harvesting promptly.
Many growers recommend various synthetic fungicides after full bloom when berries start developing. However, other organic growers have complained of the ineffectiveness of bloom applications.
Where to Find Legacy Blueberry Seeds
You must be ready to start planting your Legacy Blueberry by now. A few places you can find the plant seeds are:
- Fast Growing Trees
- Blue Grass Blueberry
- One Green World
- Nature Hills
- Territorial Seed
- Seeds & Plants
Answer: Legacy Blueberry is believed to be one of Northern Highbush’s best-tasting Blueberries. These types boast a crimson color leaf during the fall with super sweet, large blueberries. Legacy Blueberry can grow over six feet tall as a full-size vigorous plant.
Answer: Legacy Blueberry is a self-fertile plant, and one plant can produce plenty of fruit.
Answer: Legacy Blueberry can grow in well-drained, acidic soil. You can plant it outdoors when you don’t have a frozen ground. The plant can tolerate light shade as it also prefers full sun. The plant can benefit from light shade in scorching climates.
Answer: Legacy Blueberry has rated the best flavored blueberry varieties as it produces medium, perfect-sized blueberries that are exceptionally delicious and firm. Legacy Blueberry can exhibit brilliant crimson foliage and grace the landscape as an open-habited plant, reaching a spreading four to six feet tall.