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Texas Eats: Blueberries

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Texas blueberries have just started showing up at the grocery stores (the one above came from the H.E.B.on 41st), but they don’t often turn up at the farmers’ markets in central Texas. That’s because the state industry is located primarily in east Texas, where the soil tends toward sandy and acidic — just the way blueberries like it. Larry Stein, a professor in horticulture at Texas A&M, says that our blueberry industry is old and steady. The news, he says, is that, “we’re finding out you can grow them as patio plants in containers and do very well.” This works because blueberries are generally shallow-rooted. The key? Filling the pot you grow them in with peat moss, for its high acidity. It’s also key to select the variety called Tifblue — the only one known to produce fruit without another plant nearby to pollinate it. You can expect to harvest around a gallon of fruit per plant once it’s established, says Stein.  For more how-to details, you can check out A&M’s “Blueberries for Texas” website.  It doesn’t get more local than your own backyard.

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