Seasonal variation in leaf nutrient concentration of northern highbush blueberry cultivars

Northern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) cultivars were evaluated for leaf and fruit nutrient concentration at two production sites in 2013–14. The treatments included cultivar (Duke, Bluecrop, Draper, Legacy, Liberty, and Aurora), site [“conventional” (conventionally managed, grower-collaborator site) and “organic” (certified organic research site)], and amendment–mulch [at the organic site only; “organic mulch” (included preplant amendment and a surface mulch of yard debris compost and sawdust); and “weed mat” (no preplant amendments but with a sawdust mulch topped with weed mat)]. Leaf samples were collected every 2 weeks in all treatment plots from late April through early October of each year.

Ripe fruit were subsampled from the second harvest for each cultivar. Fruiting season varied from 22 June to 19 Sept. and the highest yielding cultivar, Legacy, had 114% to 330% greater yield than the lowest, Duke, depending on year and site. Cultivar had a significant effect on all fruit nutrients except for phosphorus (P) at the conventional site.

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