Blueberries in a Container

24 02 2013

I have this wonderfully sized container from my sister and brother in law.  They were nice enough to give me two pots (with dead plants inside of them that required a brief trip to the dump).  I have used one of them to plant an “Endless Summer” hydrangea (excited to see what that looks like).  In the other,  I plan to grow blueberries.  That will bring my “Berry L. Backyard” up to four berry types.

Blueberries present several challenges

1) Soil needs.  They need quite an acid soil.  Plane old garden soil (from my garden anyway) will not do.  I will need to buy a bag of acidic soil which is sold in nurseries.  Luckily, I still have a copious amount of peat moss I can mix in the soil which is said to accompish basically the same thing.

2) Pollinators.  Most blueberries need pollinators. That means they need to have another blueberry plant nearby so the pollen from each plant can germinate each other. The few types that are self pollinators vary from competely self pollinating to getting varied degrees of success with pollinators.  Either way, chances are good that I will be planting more than one specimen of whichever hybrid I go for.

3) Moisture.  As with so many garden questions, again, the answer is MULCH.  Even, and especially in containers they help conserve moisture.  Having a moisture gauge can be useful but really, you can scrape away the mulch to a spot on the soil and push your finger in to check the moisture level.  Just replace everything when your done.

To resolve the moisture problem, design a slow watering system that works for you.  Upside down 2 L pop bottles with drips are a great option.  If it’s just a water bottle, minimally once a week for the first half of the season (very young transplants could use a decent dump about once every three days for their first week or two in the ground).

4) Containers.  This will provide a size limitation, of course.  Even still, I will be planting four plants in the thing.  I have to decide which breeds?   Do I want a short growing one or a larger growing one that will just get crowded?  I think the latter would be better.  It would just need significant pruning year to year but even still…. good idea!

Here are links to some blueberry options from the good people at Millcreek Nurseries.  Some informative links here:

Northsky Blueberry

Northcountry Blueberry

Chippewa Blueberry

They have a few other selections but I think I would look at these first.  Anyone else out there currently growing Blueberries?  Any recommendations for container specimens?






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