CULTIVATION OF THE HIGH-BUSH BLUEBERRY IN POLAND

K. Smolarz, S. Pluta
The highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) cultivation in Poland began in the 1950s. Blueberry plants brought by Prof. S. Pieniążek however grew and yielded not good as expected. In the beginning, blueberries were grown in concrete circles and on foil covered with soil from coniferous forests or acid peat. Plants performed well with these practices but the methods were expensive and not practical for commercial cultivation. After the return of Dr. K. Pliszka (Agricultural University in Warsaw) from the USA in 1965, highbush blueberries were cultivated in light sandy soils or post-forested fields. Interest in blueberry cultivation rose in the later 1970s when Dr. K. Smolarz returned from the USA with a better understanding of the impact of pH and classification of soils. With this information, blueberry cultivar trials commenced at the Institute of Pomology and Floriculture (now Research Institute of Horticulture) in Skierniewice. For many years, the cultivars ‘Earliblue’, ‘Bluecrop’ (the most popular), ‘Darrow’ and ‘Jersey’ have been cultivated. Later, ‘Duke’, ‘Spartan’, ‘Patriot’, ‘Toro’ and ‘Nelson’ and lastly ‘Chandler’, ‘Brigitta Blue’, ‘Draper’, ‘Liberty’, ‘Aurora’ and ‘Chanticleer’ were recommended for commercial cultivation.
Highbush blueberry plantations now cover about 3500 ha. The majority are young plantations with increasing production and economic potential. Poland is the largest producer and exporter of blueberries in Europe (about 15,000 t). This growing industry would not be possible without the propagation of plants and small, well maintained plantations as typified by the success of H. and J. Karwowski. The dynamic Blueberry Grower’s Association (SPBA) in Poland is a driving force. The breeding program at the Research Institute of Horticulture was started in 2008 aimed to develop new cultivars that are well suited to Polish conditions providing health values and economic potential.
Smolarz, K. and Pluta, S. 2014. CULTIVATION OF THE HIGH-BUSH BLUEBERRY IN POLAND. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1017:199-204
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1017.24
high-bush blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum L., growing increase, production development, cultivars
English

Acta Horticulturae