X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How do you grow BB in pots?

    A member here who lives in CA can't post as his computer is too old but asked me my recommendations for growing BB in pots. That is not something I have done so would like to ask a favor of those that do if you could give the guy a hand? Gina, Steve? or anyone that is experienced with this. Try to be specific in potting mixes that you use, fertilizer regime that sort of thing?

    Wills
    Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

  • #2
    DWN has good recommendations for potted blueberry: http://www.davewilson.com:8080/home-...ies-containers
    Alpine, Texas 4500ft elevation Zone 7
    http://growingfruit.org/

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's my own personal mix, I just mix all the following ingredients together in a wheelbarrow.

      Main ingredients:
      peat moss
      fine pine bark
      perlite
      compost

      Add some:
      Orgainic fertilizer (I'm using plant tone, holly-tone is probably better, I'm just using whatever I have)
      Azomite rock dust
      Mycorrhizae and worm castings (around the root zone)

      I'm using this mix for all my potted BB plants since March, and so far, everything seems good, they're healthy and growing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Here's a previous thread on growing blueberries in pots from early last year. It has a lot of good information. Some of what I now do has changed a bit from then. I now only will plant into 15 gallon containers though there are still a few growing in larger pots. I also now have collected rainwater and water with a mix of that. lf there are more questions, please feel free to ask.

        http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/blueber...erries-in-pots

        SoCal, zone 10.
        www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

        Comment


        • #5
          I grow in pots and my mix is similar to The Gardener mix except I use diatomaceous earth (perlite size pebbles) instead of perlite. I don't add compost, well at least not any manure, which has nitrates. I have used Mycorrhizae in the past but you need a specific type which is not in any common products. At one time it was sold at Territorial Seed Co, but they no longer carry it. Now I just take some soil around my current blueberries and hope for the best. I take it from the root zone and put some down before I transplant.
          I use rainwater, and Holly-Tone fertilizer with an occasional boost from Ammonium sulfate.

          Comment


          • #6
            There has been a lot of great, detailed advice on growing in pots on this forum. I combined a lot of what I read here. Space is getting limited so most are in 15-gallon pots now but I'm still keeping a few of the smaller ones in 5-gallon pots for now to save on space, potting mix, and watering until they get a bit bigger. My mix is peat mixed about 1:1 with forest bark mulch from Home Depot, plus a handful of sulfur per pot, maybe a little azomite too if I remembered to drag it out of the garage. I top each pot to the brim heavily with the forest bark mulch (at least a few inches) and it has really reduced the need to water to maybe once a week in this cool weather, twice if it's hot. I might actually be overwatering since the mix is always damp when I test it, but I haven't wanted to take the risk of letting them dry out and they seem more durable against overwatering than figs are.

            I usually use concentrated sulfuric acid and pH strips to pH my water in a bucket if not using rainwater, and add a low dose of fertilizer once every week or two. I previously always just used Miracle Grow for acid-loving plants, but after all the hype on ammonium sulfate here I recently switched to AS (1/2 tsp per gallon per week) which was available from OSH. I have heard that the MG formulation for acid-loving plants contains bad things for blueberries, but mine seemed to be doing just fine on it so I will continue to add it maybe once every month or two instead of ammonium sulfate whenever I feel like they might want a broader feeding than just nitrogen.

            With the severe drought, we've been trying to careful with water so we put a bucket under the shower faucet to collect the water until it heats up enough and use it to help water the many potted trees. That bucket of water usually sits overnight and lets chlorine off-gas, so it's convenient for the blueberries.

            Sometimes I just water directly with regular water from the hose if they look a little dry and I don't want to break out the acid and pH strips, and it has not seemed to harm them.

            The plants are still young and only two or three feet tall but are growing very fast now in 15-gallon pots and all the bigger plants are LOADED with blueberries. I'd been worried about my ability to keep pH-finicky plants alive but it's been confidence-building so far.
            Sarah
            Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

            Comment


            • #7
              When I said I planted into 15 gallon containers, I meant that is the largest size I go now. When plants are tiny, I'll put them into smaller, with 5 gallon being most common.

              In the past, when it was hot and dry and I needed to water immediately, I also would just turn on the hose and go.. but my plants suffered because our tap water has become so bad in the drought. Not sure if it was from those fast waterings, or that even the treated tap water (sulfuric, AS) was no longer up to snuff.

              Now, since I'm not sure my rainwater will last through the entire summer (till next oct/nov and the first rain), I'm filling my 2 trash cans (from which I water) about 2/3 full with rain water, and fill to the top with tap water. I let that sit for a day or two and the heavy chlorine dissapates, and then add any acid to bring down the pH, and any fert desired. Usually AS, sometimes with MiracleGro. Sometimes chelated iron. Not much acid is needed compared to the days of only tap water of a year ago. I then water with a hose on a pond pump so that goes about as fast as water from the tap. When I am done, I refill the two cans so they are ready. I generally do not use all the water from the cans, maybe 3/4 of it, sometimes close to all.

              Add; Compared to the past few years using only treated tap water, my plants are looking wonderful. Using the rainwater has made a major improvement.
              Last edited by Gina; 04-12-2016, 10:27 PM.
              SoCal, zone 10.
              www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

              Comment


              • Sarahkt
                Sarahkt commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for clarifying, Gina!

                What I meant about going into 15-gal directly came from reading in some thread or other that blueberries were fine with being potted in a large container while still young and small unlike some other plants (like figs) which are best transitioned from 1-gal to 5-gal to 15-gal and so on. While being put in 15-gal pots would immediately take up more space, reserves, etc., I can see the benefit side of why one might want to do this -- watering less frequently and only having to pot them ONCE. I only potted a few small plants up into 15-gallons directly when I was feeling lazy about the future and wanted to delay having to root prune or repot.

            • #8
              Sarah,

              To make your life somewhat easier you don't have to check the PH of every batch of water you acidify really. If you always use x volume of water a y acid brings it to the correct PH it will be the same each time you water. Bicarbonates are always steady, though I guess if in CA they use multiple water sources maybe the bicarbonate load could change. Had never thought about that. I simply use 4 cups of 96% sulfuric acid (you probably use the 33% acid though) to 55 gallons of water. Add in 8 cups of AS and I am good to go. It makes a PH 2 mix that is applied to the water stream through a venturi which dilutes the acid and produces PH 5.8 water.
              Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by WillsC View Post

                To make your life somewhat easier you don't have to check the PH of every batch of water you acidify really.
                Ah, it's helpful in both directions to lay out your blueberry growing protocol here, since you get good feedback!

                I don't pH my water every time, maybe once out of three or four times when watering once or twice a week. The amount of acid needed (tiny amounts each time) does seem to change, it's not always the same amount each time. I use 96% acid stock too, and making it in small batches of one or two 3-gal buckets it's easy to overdo it. I thought about making up a huge garbage can that would last longer the way Gina does, but haven't bothered to do it yet. I don't have that many plants and it's really not a big deal whenever I do adjust pH.
                Last edited by Sarahkt; 04-13-2016, 01:12 PM. Reason: typos
                Sarah
                Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

                Comment


                • #10
                  To make your life somewhat easier you don't have to check the PH of every batch of water you acidify really. If you always use x volume of water a y acid brings it to the correct PH it will be the same each time you water. Bicarbonates are always steady, though I guess if in CA they use multiple water sources maybe the bicarbonate load could change.
                  I think that would work in most places, and it (following a consistent recipe for adding acid, etc) worked for me for several years. Until the extreme drought kicked in and readings went all over the map. We now buy water from rice farmers in the north (who make more $ selling H2O to us than growing their crops), regular state water, local reservoir water, and several major wells. A few weeks ago we were getting some better water - it smelled less, tasted better and had far less chlorine in it. But that quickly changed. The good part? We are still getting water... and thus far no further restrictions have been implemented.
                  SoCal, zone 10.
                  www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    After I wrote it I thought better of it. My ph and bicarbonates never change as it is well water but you silly CA folks and your water issues I don't know how you cope with it. I was talking to a Tilapia farmer in Australia recently and he asked me what I do with the 500 or so gallons from water changes twice a week and I said I just pump it out between the rows of figs. He was horrified that I was being so wasteful with water. I tried to explain that water here is like air.......it is everywhere, never ending. That there is no waste, it simply soaks in to the sand. Heck the water table is just 6 feet underground. He just could not understand it.
                    Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

                    Comment


                    • drew51
                      drew51 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Same here in Michigan we have water where ever we look! I live 8 miles from trillions of gallons of fresh water. I had to divert my rainwater to the grass as my barrels are full to the brim. I wish we could send it to CA as we all benefit from the food grown there.
                      Last edited by drew51; 04-14-2016, 09:03 AM.

                  • #12
                    Send it our way! We need more water!

                    I mean, when I'm switching out the old water in our pets' water bowls with fresh water, I don't even pour that small amount down the drain. No, I usually do it from the bathroom and pour it into the shower bucket and even add the rinsings to that bucket to water the garden with. Why? Maybe I'm being overzealous but the drought is only going to get worse. And it helps rationalize and balance (at least in my twisted mind) the growing of 200+ potted figs and other fruit trees.
                    Sarah
                    Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

                    Comment


                    • Harborseal
                      Harborseal commented
                      Editing a comment
                      All of the proteins, carbohydrates and minerals from the dog slobber are good fertilizer for your plants. Keep up the good work!

                  • #13
                    It is raining here now You are just being responsible, I know Gina does the same thing. Do any of your neighbors give you grief over using water on plants?
                    Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

                    Comment


                    • Sarahkt
                      Sarahkt commented
                      Editing a comment
                      No, all of those are in the backyard safely hidden from view. The front yard is just like everyone else' on the block -- unwatered lawn slowly being replaced by weeds that are drought-resistant and stay greener (even weeds can look nice if they stay green and are mowed regularly!).

                      Anyway, the closest neighbors who would give me grief are a guy and his son next door who both lovingly water and wax their cars several times a week each. We all have our priorities, I guess.

                  • #14
                    I have about 80 BB in pots in my front yard along with other vegetables. My neighbors actually love along with interested walkers that usually ask a lot of questions. this is my first year with BB and I am thrilled with the progress. Have been using rain water most of the winter even though we have only gotten 6.5 inches this year. Average would be about 14.5 inches. I am using mostly Al's 5:1:1 mix with AS and some micronutes occasionally. Mixing 33% sulfuric acid in trash cans for watering and watering by hand. Hoping to get everything on a drip system before summer. Love growing these plants, they are very nice looking and the few berries I let grow are awesome. Wills, would love to hear more about your tilapia sometime, have tilapia in totes in garage 3,000 gal never done a water change in 2 years, have used some to water tomatoes.

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X