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How To Grow BlueBerries - One Of The Top 10 Super-Foods.


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Organicgrowingpains
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I followed Wallitall's advice last year and put our 3 Blueberry bushes in pots of ericaceous compost and sunk them in the ground. The pots are the largest I could get, bucket size. I thought they were a bit slow coming on but yesterday they were covered in foliage and look healthier than they have at any time previousley. There are two of one type and one of a different one., whether they are varieties or cultivars I am not sure but they do have different names! Will take a photo the next day I am out at the allotment. You can get too hung up on science and specifics my outlook on gardening is 'try it' . Your mix of soil,temperatures etc is probably a bit different to anywhere else and what may not do well down the road could be very successful on your patch. Gardening is about learning as you go. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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walltoall
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Joined: 25 Aug 2008
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Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:23 pm    Post subject: Singing the blue sberries Reply with quote

Hi OGP!
Glad am I to have gotten away with it again! Razz It does not matter whether they are varieties or cultivars or hybrids as long as flowers come out and they pollinate each other or the bees do it for you! Contrary to how it seems I am and always have been a suck-it-and-see gardener too. So, I'm wishing you great good luck with the blueberries now the growing is sorted.

I know figs is off subject, but I hafta share with you that my Brown Turkey (planted in a very large pot four or five years ago) has 73 babies coming on. My mulberry in a buried dustbin is about to break bud. Every year we hope it'll flower but tis early days. Finally on pots, in a desperate attempt to beat the slugs, we moved the hosta to a huge pot on the patio over Winter and its sprouting for Ireland (sorry that should be essex I suppose seeing as how its nearly St. Georges day).

Oh and its bucketing down and has been for three whole days.

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Last edited by walltoall on Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yorky, You need to have more than one variety of blueberries for cross pollination. I planted my blueberries in containers about 2 foot tall 18 inches by 18 inches.

Blueberries thirive in acidic soil. Add some pine needles to the soil when planting.

What I did regarding the birds, I planted 4 bushes. I explained to the bird which 2 bushes are planted for their use. No problem!

( the birds does not have high regard for my rules, eating some of my berries. So to get my own back on them I eat some of their berries as well. Tot for tat!
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Yorky
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I've got two now - a 'Goldtraube' and 'Northland' .I've put them in large pots about 14" diameter. I've read that they should be potted-up as they grow.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Add a layer of pine needles as a mulch to keep weeds down and to supply some of the acidic nutrients.
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Yorky
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.How often would they need watering in the event of no rain and how much? The pots are approx.25 litres compost capacity each.
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:05 am    Post subject: watering stuff in pots and planters Reply with quote

Yorky! Free-standing planters and pots are notorious for drying out which is why I try to bury as many as possible of mine. In an ideal world of free-standing pots use 'synthetic' growing mix which is quite light and also very water-retentive. You can know by lifting the pot (to test its weight) whether it is running out of moisture. I water free-standing pots lightly at least every second (other) day unless it's been raining! Soft fruit swell best when watered frequently and you pretty well can't water a free-standing pot too much if it has a working drain-hole. One trick I've used is to stand a pot on little ceramic legs in it's own tray and keep an eye on the water level in the tray. If the tray is dry I water the pot til the tray shows enough is enough. Does that help?

As regards potting up, I don't. But I have been known to root prune in winter but not blueberries (so far)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I normally put some of the water retaining gel , used in baskets into my pots as well. I water twice a week (at least) during the dry months. I normally give each of the pots 2-3 liter of water. I also give the pots fertilizer during the growing season.
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ian
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

here is my fruit cage blueberries are the main plant and the only ones not thriving more than 2 out of 3 died over last 2 years those left are small and weak , all have been planted with buckets of store bought ericaceous compost but still performing poorly, the red white and black currants planted last november are doing great the wine berry and raspberries are thriving even the kiwi has plenty of new foliage,,, may hve to shop elsewhere for the blue berry stock.


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walltoall
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian, Thre's an outside chance that your blueberries are not getting enough sunshine or too much dampness or both. That netting is a grand idea but cuts down actual sunshine. Redcurrants and white currants need no sunshine and blackcurrants can tolerate reduced sunshine. "buckets of store bought ericaceous compost" also worries me a bit, because it may gild the lily. The birds will only want to get in when the fruit is out. Maybe if you pulled back the netting? I dunno? Maybe someone else has an opinion?
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Yorky
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of these bushes seems to be a lot healthier than the other:

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff250/Kilnadrain/P1070370.jpg
http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff250/Kilnadrain/P1070369.jpg


Does anyone know why this might be?

The bushes were purchased in April last year and potted up with ericaceous compost. Does this need to be changed annually?

Also, do they need a larger pot? The present ones are 13" diameter.

Thanks in advance.
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:19 am    Post subject: How To Grow BlueBerries - One Of The Top 10 Super-Foods Reply with quote

The pots seem adaquate for the time being but if you really must you could knock each plant out of its pot to see whether either or both have a massive root system totally encircling the visible compost. I'll guess they're not anywhere near pot-bound. Ericaceous 'soil' or 'compost' simply mean the soil is 'acidic'. Since you have the plants in isolated pots, this acidity is likely to remain thus. I note the weaker plant is in a corner. Blueberries love sun. Maybe the stronger one got more sun last year than the weak one? I still suggest burying those pots up to their necks so they stay moist. There is a granular 'ericaceous' plant food some people use for camellias, rhododendrons etc. but you can kill plants more easily with kindness than by neglect.

Don't panic yet.

But! PLEASE read all posts since the start of these thread rather than appeal for fresh solutions. We are now well into our third page and you seem to be not paying attention. You were TOLD to bury the pots. You didn't. You were TOLD they need full sun. They seem to me to be not south facing. The posts in the thread AND the external links provided by me (and others) taken as a whole amount to almost as much information as you'll get anywhere on the subject of blueberries.

Now start to panic if you wish.

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scotty
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My blueberries are about 8 years planted in the best connemara acidic soil and have never been pruned. They are doing well though and are productive and have beautiful foilage in Autumn. I read that to propagate them, you need to use the 'layering' technique. What is this and how do I go about it?
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject: layering blueberries Reply with quote

Layering is a beautifully simple way to get baby plants off a shrub.

Consider the strawberry for a moment. It sends out suckers which trail along the ground. At some point usually where a sucker comes into good contact with the ground, the sucker drops roots, establishes, and eventually a new and separate plant develops at that position. OK?

Shrubs are usually careful to keep all the branches clear of the ground. However if you pick a suitable 'branch' near the outside of the shrub and weigh it down once the sap starts rising, it will eventually sag to the ground. You can of course be ever so helpful and MAKE it touch the ground, but be patient as a heavy hand may snap the brittle wood.

Eventually when the branch touches the ground, and about halfway along its length, pin it down with a length of coat-hanger wire shaped like a hairclip. Push the wire clip hard against the ground and cover it with a spadeful of soil.

You have in effect buried the centre part of the chosen branch while allowing it to continue to grow as part of the original shrub. After some months, you should see growth in the spadeful and eventually you should have a baby blueberry. The blueberry will have done with help what the strawberry does by nature.

If at the point of pinning down you had trained the branch over a pot-ful of ericacious compound and staked it into the pot you would have LAYERED the branch. Now if you were to repeat the exercise with a whole ring of potsinstead of just one, you could end up with MANY layered branches and get MANY new plants.

One neat thing about layering is it has absolutely no effect whatever on the ORIGINAL blueberry, which goes on doing its own thing. Sorry I had to use a thousand words instead of one picture, but I'm a writer who gardens not a painter who illustrates.

Best of luck with 2010 blueberries, everybody. The attached picture with this post was taken up in the mountains on Madeira last month. It's the local wild version of blueberry and it is close to fruiting (in Feb!) Loadsa sun, loadsa, moisture (you heard what happened to Madeira just a few weeks ago. And an acid soil. Purrrrfect



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