Berry Forecast for August 2023: An Insight Into Our Backyard Harvest
August has always been a time for joy and anticipation for berry pickers. But this year, due to weather challenges, the blueberry bounty differs from what we hoped. Although a dry spring and an unexpected late frost impacted the potential yield of blueberries in certain regions, timely rainfall allowed the resilient berries to flourish in other areas.
To give you an accurate picture of the current berry situation, I ventured into three distinct environments in our backyard.
Our first location, known for its sandy soil and open terrain, is particularly vulnerable to frost and drought. It’s here that the blueberry harvest has significantly underperformed this season. While the berry outlook seemed less promising, the raspberries and Saskatoon berries have defied the odds. They’ve maintained their growth, yielding a good crop and exhibiting unique clustering characteristics in certain areas.
The second region is a newer one rich in sphagnum moss, making it less susceptible to harsh weather conditions. In this region, the blueberries have fared better, showing average yields. However, it’s important to note that raspberries and Saskatoons are yet to mark their presence here.
Our third zone was a paradox. It was prone to frost but received more rain than the others. This area bore good berries, with the raspberry harvest being quite bountiful and the Saskatoon berries outshining them all.
Lastly, my preferred picking areas, boasting minimal frost risk and superior water retention, look quite promising. The raspberries and Saskatoons in these regions are thriving.
Overall, the blueberry crop of 2023 is less abundant than we’ve seen in previous years. They’re ripening quickly, with some regions ready for harvesting right now.
It appears this season will be short so the berries will “dry” up faster than usual.
For those of you seeking to find the best blueberries, here are some tips:
Don’t get fooled by the dried-up, short, red bushes that are easily accessible and disappear quickly. The real treasure lies beyond these apparent drought victims. I’ve often found the richest harvests in the small, low spaces between ridges, just a few feet away from the “dead” bushes.
Focus your search on the small valleys, along the tree edges, and in places where water is likely to collect. These areas help the plants survive the dry periods.
Keep an eye out for taller plants with more leaves. They often shade the berries underneath, requiring you to look carefully through the branches to find the hidden gems beneath.
Remember, the hunt for the perfect berry can be as delightful as the taste of the fruit itself. So, get your baskets ready, and happy berry picking!on locations, timing as well as tips and tricks.
Need a spot to pick?
Land of Nipigon Adventure Guide has a Berry Pickers guide with maps, information as well as tips and tricks for picking berries in the Nipigon Area. It is available online at https://mybackyard.ca/product/land-of-nipigon-berry-pickers-guide/ As well at the Nipigon River Bait and Tackle Shop at 21 Second Street in Nipigon and the Nipigon Gazette offices at 155b Railway in Nipigon.
myBackyard is for recreational purposes only. Plants, mushrooms and berries cannot be 100% identified through this website alone. It is up to the reader to properly identify plants, fungi and trees. Some wild plants, berries and mushrooms are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. Even those listed as edible may cause adverse reactions in individuals.
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