Blueberry splits are caused by excessive water from rainfall or irrigation when ripe or near-ripe fruit are on the plant. These berries of the rabbiteye cultivar ‘Climax’ split following nearly four inches of rain over three days. In blueberries, root absorbed water combined with water absorbed through the skin of ripe berries causes splitting, particularly if the rain follows an extended dry spell. Freeze damage may also increase susceptibility to splitting. The condition is correlated with cultivar, and ‘Climax’ is considered highly susceptible. To reduce the chances of fruit split, maintain even soil moisture in the field via irrigation when possible and harvest ripe and near-ripe fruit prior to a forecasted rainfall. Split fruit in the field should be removed and discarded to reduce potential problems with diseases and insects such as yeast rots and fruit flies.
What Is It? Wednesday – Blueberry Splits
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