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Poland risks losing blueberry harvest – flowering began 4 weeks earlier than usual

Exceptionally warm weather in March and early April 2024 in Poland has significantly accelerated vegetation of the plants. Jagodnik.pl says that some blueberry varieties began flowering as much as 4 weeks earlier than usually. Such situations have never happened before in the history of blueberry growing in Poland. Does this mean an exceptionally early season for Polish blueberries?

“This is a unique case in my 25 years of experience in growing blueberries! I don’t remember such early flowering of early varieties,” says Mirosław Garlinska, a blueberry grower from Dolecko (Mazovia). To prove this, he cites historical data related to the beginning of flowering of several blueberry varieties from his records.

Year

Patriot

Duke and Earlyblue

2018

3 May

8 May

2019

6 May

10 May

2020

30 April

6 May

2021

1 May

5 May

2022

4 May

9 May

2023

3 May

6 May

2024

7 April

8 April*

*applicable only to Earlyblue variety

One of the earliest blueberry varieties is “Patriot”. In normal years, it usually began to bloom in early May, but this year – as early as on April 7!! Earlyblue and Duke varieties of blueberries usually bloom immediately after Patriot. According to historical data collected by Mr. Miroslav, in normal years this happened between 5 May and 10 May. This year, the Earlyblue variety began flowering on April 8th. The Duke is not blooming yet, but will begin to bloom in a few days.

Flowering blueberry variety Patriot – April 8, 2024 (photo https://jagodnik.pl/)

This situation can be considered an anomaly caused by the temperature regime in March and April. However, this does not benefit either the plants or the producers. The more advanced a plant’s stage of development, the more susceptible it is to low temperatures. Meanwhile, there are already forecasts about potential frosts that could happen at the end of April this year.

Flowering blueberry variety Earlyblue – April 8, 2024 (photo https://jagodnik.pl/)

“Blooming blueberries this early does not mean the harvest season will start early. We’ve already had years of early flowering, but fruiting started at the usual time. Therefore, I would not be optimistic about an exceptionally early blueberry harvest on our plantations,” says Miroslav Garlinsky.

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