Blueberry turning soft too soon

Asked September 6, 2018, 12:30 PM EDT

I have a very old and large 16’ x16’ blueberry bush which used to come in around the end of August to early September. The last few years I have noticed that the bush is coming in July and when it does produce the ripe berries goes to mush quickly. The bush is fertilized with acid in early spring. What has caused the bush to change its production time and why is the fruit going bad so quickly

Cambria County Pennsylvania

1 Response

I'm not sure why the plants would be ripening earlier, unless temperatures were beginning to warm earlier in the spring, so that bushes are beginning their growth earlier.

One thing that could cause mushy berries is the presence of larvae of spotted wing drosophila. Information on this insect can be found here: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-wing-drosophila-part-1-overview-and-identification

Blueberry maggot is another possible culprit for soft berries: https://extension.psu.edu/blueberry-maggot-in-the-home-fruit-planting

For Pennsylvania recommendations for home blueberry fertilization, etc., please see: https://extension.psu.edu/blueberries-in-the-home-fruit-planting

I would also suggest contacting your local Cooperative Extension office (https://extension.psu.edu/cambria-county), as they may have additional information that would be helpful to you.