The Exceptional Legacy Blueberry Plant

The Legacy Blueberry: A Fruitful and Flavorful Delight for All Growers

Closeup of cluster of blueberries similar to Legacy Blueberry fruit.

The Legacy Blueberry is a remarkable variety that consistently produces high-quality fruit, making it an excellent choice for both home and commercial growers. While it may take a little longer for this variety to start bearing fruit, the Legacy Blueberry more than compensates for it by delivering abundant yields once established. In fact, it is considered one of the most delicious blueberries in USDA trials. Let’s delve into the captivating world of the Legacy Blueberry.

A Remarkable History

The Legacy Blueberry, known by its scientific name Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Legacy,’ was cultivated by A.D Draper and selected by the Atlantic Blueberry Company on their farm in Weymouth, New Jersey, in 1976. This extraordinary variety was created by crossing “Elizabeth” with “US 75” (“Florida 4B” and “Bluecrop”) at a research farm in Beltsville, Maryland.

Legacy Blueberry – Fruit Characteristics

Legacy Blueberries are vigorous, upright perennial plants that belong to the Northern highbush variety. With glossy green foliage that transforms into a vibrant orange in the fall, these bushes retain most of their leaves throughout the winter. When properly maintained, growers can expect impressive yields ranging from 8 to 20 pounds per bush.

Blueberry foliage turning orange-red in the fall.

Chilling Level

Unlike other blueberry varieties, the Legacy Blueberry is a low-chill variety of the V. darrowi species, which is native to the Southwestern United States. It requires approximately 800 to 1,000+ chill hours and can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ripening Season

The Legacy Blueberry ripens late in the season, boasting a prolonged harvest period of five weeks. These bushes typically start bearing fruit within 1 to 2 years after planting.

Fruit Qualities

Legacy bushes bear medium to large-sized blueberries with firm texture, medium blue flesh, and a small scar. When the berries fully ripen on the bush, they offer a delightful and exceptionally sweet flavor.

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Closeup of cluster of blueberries on bush.

Perfect Planting Zones

The Legacy Blueberry thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 5-8, with zones 7-8 being ideal for optimal growth. For more detailed information on planting zones, visit the USDA Hardiness Zone website. And don’t forget to check out our comprehensive guide titled “How to Grow Blueberries.”

Size and Spacing

A mature Legacy Blueberry bush can reach a height of 4 to 6 feet, with a spread of 3 to 4 feet. It is recommended to space the plants 2 to 3 feet apart.

Nursery pots of blueberry shrubs.

Pollination and Fruitful Companions

While the Legacy Blueberry is partially self-pollinating, it is advisable to plant one or two highbush varieties alongside it, such as Calypso or Osorno. This will result in larger, juicier, and sweeter fruits.

Caring for Your Legacy Blueberry Bushes

The Legacy Blueberry does not demand any special care requirements beyond standard blueberry maintenance best practices. However, these bushes do require ample space for optimal growth and productivity. Discover handy blueberry plant maintenance tips in our comprehensive guide.

Two clusters of blueberries hanging on branch.

Fertilizer

Blueberry bushes, including the Legacy variety, thrive with fertilizer rich in nitrogen. Ammonium-based fertilizers such as cottonseed meal, urea, sulfur-coated urea, and ammonium sulfate work best. Avoid fertilizers containing nitrate as it can be toxic to blueberries. Apply fertilizer once in early spring and again in late spring. Alternatively, organic options like cottonseed and blood meal are excellent alternatives. Ensure you fertilize in early spring using liquid acid or granular fertilizer.

Soil

Legacy Blueberries prefer soil with a pH level between 4.5 and 6.8. Adding organic matter such as aged compost-enriched soil mixed into the top six inches of native soil can greatly benefit the plants. Pine fines and peat moss are also excellent choices for mixing into the soil. A general rule of thumb is to use a bale of peat moss with four bags of pine bark fines for every ten bushes.

Person planting blueberry shrub in the garden.

Sunlight

Legacy Blueberries thrive in sunlight, requiring at least six hours of direct exposure daily for optimal growth in cold, cool, and warm temperatures. However, in warm to hot temperatures, they may benefit from partial shade.

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Watering

Due to their shallow root systems, Legacy Blueberry bushes require deep and regular watering. This is particularly important as Legacy Blueberry roots tend to develop slower than other varieties. Adequate watering ensures maximum production and growth. If using a drip irrigation system, ensure that your soil is receiving even moisture.

Pruning

Annual pruning is crucial to maintain the upright growth habit of Legacy Blueberries, especially considering the weight of the fruit can cause branches to droop. For optimal fruiting, prune the oldest lower branches in late winter. For more comprehensive pruning tips to maximize your blueberry harvest, refer to our dedicated guide on pruning blueberry bushes.

Diseases and Pests

Legacy Blueberry bushes are known for their strong disease resistance. However, it is prudent to take preventive measures to keep your bushes healthy and avoid potential diseases. Refer to our guide on common blueberry diseases for an in-depth understanding of potential threats to your harvest.

Person picking ripe blueberries.

Pests

While Legacy Blueberries are relatively resistant to pests, birds can pose a common threat. To deter birds, consider using Mylar Flash tape or covering your crop with netting. To gain a better understanding of identifying, eliminating, and deterring pests, read our informative blog post on the nine common pests encountered with blueberries.

Harvest Time for Legacy Blueberries

Legacy Blueberries are typically ready for picking in August or September, depending on your location. For a comprehensive guide on picking blueberries, explore our informative harvesting guide.

The Versatile Legacy Blueberry

Legacy blueberries are not only perfect for baking and cooking but are also delicious when eaten fresh. Moreover, their foliage undergoes a stunning transformation, turning shades of red and orange in the fall, making them an excellent choice for landscaping.

The Marvel of Taste

Selected by the USDA for its exceptional flavor, the Legacy Blueberry offers a delightful combination of sweetness, firmness, and crispness. It has become a popular choice among commercial blueberries for its remarkable taste.

Salmon with blueberry sauce.

Culinary Delight

While Legacy Blueberries are perfect for desserts such as pies and cakes, they can also elevate non-dessert dishes. These versatile berries pair wonderfully with various meats, including poultry, beef, fish, and pork.

Fresh and Simple

Legacy Blueberries are a snack that can be enjoyed straight off the bush. They are excellent in salads or simply eaten on their own.

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Preserving the Legacy

Canning is the ideal preservation method for blueberries, allowing you to savor their flavors throughout the year. Additionally, you can create delectable jams and preserves using blueberries. Discover our informative guides on how to make blueberry preserves and jams.

Freezing and Drying

Freezing is the best method for preserving whole blueberries. For drying, a food dehydrator works wonders, but you can also opt to dry them in the oven. Enjoy your preserved blueberries in various recipes, or substitute them for other fruits.

Jar of blueberry preserves.

Legacy Blueberry Recipes

Discover a plethora of exciting recipes on the Minneopa Orchard website. You can even replace other fruits with Legacy blueberries in various recipes. Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • Blueberry Coffee Cake
  • Vanilla Almond Cake
  • Easy Muffins
  • Almond Fruit Cheesecake
  • Easy Crumble Recipe
  • Rustic Fruit Tart (Galette)
  • One-Bowl Fruit Bread

The Health Bounty of Legacy Blueberries

Blueberries are not only a delightful alternative to sugary snacks but are also considered a superfood. Bursting with nutritional value and flavor, blueberries are rich in vitamins K and C, potassium, fiber, and a plethora of antioxidants. Furthermore, they offer numerous health benefits, including controlling high blood pressure, aiding in weight control, supporting stroke recovery, improving cognitive function, and even fighting colon cancer.

Where to Find Legacy Blueberry Bushes

You can easily purchase Legacy Blueberry shrubs online from various nurseries. Alternatively, check your local garden centers for availability.

Where to Find Legacy Blueberries

While Legacy blueberries are grown commercially, many grocery stores do not specify the variety they offer. To ensure access to Legacy blueberries, consider growing your own or visiting local farmers markets, where you can find an abundance of these delicious berries.

Closeup of cluster of blueberries on shrub.

In Conclusion

The Legacy Blueberry is a remarkable variety that delivers exceptional taste and quality, despite ripening a little later than others. With its ability to withstand cold temperatures and generous yields, this blueberry variety is truly exceptional. Share your experiences and insights about growing Legacy Blueberries in the comments section below! And for more enticing blueberry content, be sure to explore our comprehensive page dedicated to growing, caring for, and harvesting this delectable fruit.