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  • Feedback on growing these in containers, size containers, varieties, etc.

    So I'm in the process of purchasing some plants from an online farm - the prices were extremely reasonable and they had wonderful reviews online. My concern is that in the past I haven't had much success with plants doing well when put into the ground and I'd like to keep them in containers as much as possible. I worked ridiculously hard to save up enough to be able to afford these so I'd really hate to lose them too early. Below is a list of the varieties and items I'm considering purchasing. If anyone has had experience with them, know if they well do well in containers, or have a suggestion as to what size container I should get and from where, I'd really appreciate it.

    Thank you!

    I'm in zone 7b, NC and I know the blueberry bushes are around 2feet tall currently and I think the satsuma and new zealand are perhaps 5feet? The later two are grafted trees and I was told they will really thrive in containers, but the verdict was out on the berry plants.
    Amount Name
    1 Satsuma mandarin tree
    1 Carolina Red Raspberry
    1 New Zealand Lemonade tree
    1 Navajo blackberry
    1 Powder Blue
    1 Britewell Blueberry
    1 Alapaha Blueberry
    1 Oclocknee Blueberry
    1 Premier Blueberry

  • #2
    For your blueberry container size, Gina sums it up in another thread: http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/blueber...wing-preserves
    Originally posted by Gina View Post
    You ask how many berries per plant in containers. I don't know - that sort of depends on the age and health of the plants. I grow all of mine in containers, and for convenience, I've settled on 15 gallons for all of them. Smaller is too small, and IMO, larger doesn't help that much in terms of growth - and makes dealing with the potted plant just plain too difficult.
    Blueberries do great in raised beds which is like growing in a bottomless container.
    Eatonton, GA zone 7b/8a


    • #3
      I grew up eating lots of homegrown Satsuma mandarins and they and Washington navel oranges are just about the best citrus. Chandler pomelos too. A Satsuma mandarin is the last non-fig fruit tree on my wish list to get for the garden.

      You probably already know this, but the blackberries spread in the ground easily if not checked so you might want to keep them in pots or a raised bed if you want to prevent that. I keep my raspberries in the ground for the berry patch, and the blackberries and blackberry crosses are in 5-15 gallon containers with lots of organic matter (compost, chicken manure, etc.) mixed into the potting mix.

      Re. blueberries, Gina among others has dispensed plenty of blueberry growing advice on this blueberry forum. I asked how to pick a second blueberry variety and what potting mix to re-pot them just a few months ago. If you searched for "how to find my blueberry a friend" or something similar, you'll find my own blueberry newbie thread.

      My blueberries grown pretty fast both in size and in number, progressing from 1-gal to 5-gal and now to 15-gal for the older plants very quickly. To save time on potting, you could probably just pot yours to the final pot size if you feel you have a good handle on keeping them thriving. The latest tiny and 1-gal blueberries I bought I just potted up directly to 10 or 15-gallon pots, which will be their final resting size unless I move them to a raised bed later. My blueberry mix that has done very well for me is about 1:1 or 3:2 of peat and pine/forest mulch, with sulfur pellets and sometimes a little compost mixed in. I water with acidic water (hose water adjusted with sulfuric acid and pH strips), and apply Miracle Gro acidic fertilizer when needed. All of this is based on the advice of great people here, and has worked amazing well for me. I just potted up most of my blueberries to 15-gal pots today actually. Going to build rigid PVC pipe and bird netting enclosures around the fruit trees and the blueberries for bird and squirrel protection, since they were all over the fruit last year.

      If you need lots of pots and don't want to spend a fortune on them, others here have told me that you can usually get free or buy very cheap used nursery pots from your local nursery. I *finally* looked into this a couple weeks ago after spending way too much at Home Depot and OSH etc., and my local nursery sells 1-gal pots for 20 cents, 5-gal for $1, and 15-gal pots for $4. Kicking myself for not having done this sooner!
      Last edited by Sarahkt; 02-09-2016, 11:34 PM.
      Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)


      • #4
        Those nursery pots I'm guessing are Black Sarah?

        If they indeed are, how do you keep the plants roots from burning up in the cali. sun
        Garden Pics


        • Sarahkt
          Sarahkt commented
          Editing a comment
          I tried to pick the pots in the stacks that weren't black (mostly a tan, green, or reddish color). Though I had a few black pots in the mix last year and excessive heat wasn't an issue then, either because it didn't get that hot here or because I have most of the pots grouped and the black pots are mixed behind other pots and partially shaded by other plants and trees. If it does become a problem, I'll probably cover the outsides as a shield or paint them a lighter color.

      • #5
        Originally posted by Thepodpiper View Post
        ... how do you keep the plants roots from burning up in the cali. sun

        I've heard about going to Lowes and buying a gallon of their discounted "oops" paint (when they screw up a tint or someone returns a custom made color). I think someone quoted a $5 price. I'm headed there tomorrow to see if that is true or not. If so, maybe I'll get artistic on some of the 15 gallon black pots I just got recently to keep them cool.
        Houston, TX Zone 9a


        • #6
          I have all my berries in plastic nursery pots. I have been using 15 gallons for all my SHB bbs(except for sweetcrisps, they are in 20 gallons and 25 gallons), but all my RE varieties (as they tend to grow bigger than SHB) are in 20 or 25 gallon pots. All my blackberries are in 15 gallons (except for Triple Crown is on the ground), all my raspberries are on 10 gallons and my dwarf mulberry on a 20 gallon nursery pot. After looking everywhere but not finding to buy these nursery pots (local nursery in my area does not have them), uncle Wills suggested me to search on Craigslist. I found all my needs in reasonable price ($1-$4 each) but I had to drive 1-1/2 to 2 hours (from where I live) to get them. 20 gallons nursery pots are hard to find but 10g, 15g, and 25g were available. Most of the pots I got were black and few were green. I painted most of them with latex paint and few wrapped with bubble wrap and taped with aluminum foil (as pictured here) to protect the roots from frying in Texas heat. Hope it will work.

          Click image for larger version

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          Zone 8B, Texas


          • bahamadan
            bahamadan commented
            Editing a comment
            How do they look now ink?

        • #7
          Thank you all for the advice! Lots of great ideas here!


          • #8
            Click image for larger version

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            This is still winter in Texas and the one on the left variety shed the leaves but the one on the right did not. Here is the current picture of those plants above...
            Zone 8B, Texas


            • bahamadan
              bahamadan commented
              Editing a comment
              Decent growth! Are you going to continue to let them grow long and spindly like that or clip them back to bush them out?

            • Inkfin
              Inkfin commented
              Editing a comment
              The one on the right is reknown variety for being very unruly, untamed and spindly, called Sweetcrisp. The one on the left side is Ka-bluey, not spindly at all. (btw, both of them are less than a year old started from when they were barely 4 inches last April-May?). Yes, the sides and lower branches of this one on the picture are listed to be clipped off when bb pruning season begins right after berries harvesting season is over - somewhere between April and July in my area) along with all other bb bush.