With most common varieties, fruit should begin to ripen in mid to late July and peak production generally occurs from early to mid August. There are varieties that ripen earlier and those that ripen later. Each blueberry cultivar ripens berries over a 2‐ to 5‐week period. A well‐managed, mature northern highbush plant will produce from 13 to 18 lb fruit. Berries occur in clusters of 5 to 10.
Don’t be too anxious to pick the berries when they first turn blue—they are not yet fully ripe. They’ll develop better flavor, become sweeter, and grow about 20 percent larger if you leave them for a few days after they completely turn blue. Pick about once a week or more often in hot weather.
Gently roll berries between your thumb and forefinger, removing fully ripe berries and leaving unripe berries for the next picking. You can collect berries in an open container attached to a belt or cord at waist level. This frees both hands for picking.