Insulate the pots with bubble wrap or burlap/hessian. Blueberries can be eaten right away, or cooked into pies, puddings or preserves. Remove any dead, dying, damaged or diseased stems, or any that have bent down to touch the ground. After that, mature plants can be pruned to maintain size and shape in late February or March each year. Growing Blueberries in Containers. You may encounter one potential problem – waterlogged or boggy ground. Use a brand name potting mix (not top soil or garden soil). If you are serious about growing blueberries, then consider purchasing this collection of ten different blueberry bush cultivars – including many of those listed above. Adapted from Growing Blueberries the Easy Way--In Pots by Anne DeMarsay, Ph.D. When planting smaller shrubs, start with a smaller container and repot as it grows. Even when they are self fertile, blueberries will usually fruit better when grown with at least one companion. Blueberries love acidic soil and they need moist and well-drained growing medium. She is undertaking ongoing work for NGO Somalia Dryland Solutions and a number of other non governmental organisations, and works as an environmental consultant for several sustainable companies. Blueberries are a great crop to grow. (But the fungi should be the right kind for these ericaceous plants, so you may find it difficult to get your hands on some.). Bear in mind that when growing blueberries in pots, you need to amend the soil on a yearly basis as tap water’s alkalinity will lower soil acidity like there’s no tomorrow. The pH of the soil/ compost in your pots or containers should be at 5.5 or lower in order to avoid any problems. Use a 50-50 mix of potting soil and peat moss as your planting media. Choosing the right container or containers is just as important as choosing the right plants. Cultivars have also been bred to suit the conditions in more southerly states, outwith the blueberry’s original native range. . Consider moving pots into a more sheltered spot out of the winter wind, or even into an undercover area. The are easy to maintain, don't have thorns and won't spread like crazy growing all over the place. In an organic garden, the best way to deal with aphids is by controlling their population. It takes about 5 years for plants to produce a full crop of berries. It does not matter whether you have a large property, a tiny garden, or no garden at all, container gardening is a great solution for growing a range of different plants. Raised beds or patio containers are good options for planting blueberries in areas where the soil is not ideal. Bore, grey or recycled water is therefore unsuitable. 2. Tips for Growing Blueberries in Containers. When growing containerized blueberries, closely monitor growing medium moisture levels. Some popular American blueberry cultivars to consider if you want to grow blueberries in pots are listed below with links to purchase online. We have also been moving potted plants into the greenhouse during the winter forcing early berry production. She graduated from allotment gardening to organically managing 1/3 of an acre of land, including a mature fruit orchard,which she has turned into a productive forest garden. This will provide containment for the high acid soil the blueberry plants need. The best course of action is to measure the soil pH after 3 or 4 seasons and if the soil is no longer acidic, amend it with ammonium sulfate. In an undercover growing structure such as a greenhouse or polytunnel. This will provide blueberries with the best possible start and the right root conditions. We embody the University's land-grant mission with a commitment to eliminate hunger, preserve our natural resources, improve quality of life, and empower the next generation through world-class education. Blueberries need an acidic based fertilizer. Growing blueberries in a pot woks well if you create the soil conditions they like best. Position in full sun and protect from strong winds. Remove pot grown blueberries from their pots and (if they are rather pot bound, tease out the roots around the edges). Those who grow blueberries in pots, however, are likely to find that the most problematic pests are birds. Blueberries will not need to be pruned much, if at all, over their first couple of years. But you will still have to maintain fertility in your containers over time. The yield from the garden is increasing year on year – rapidly approaching an annual weight in produce of almost 1 ton. Avoid dark plastic containers, as this can overheat the roots. Lawn And Garden. Fruit Garden. For the most optimum potting mix for your blueberry, combine 50% coarse pine bark (20 – 25mm in size) with 50% of a premium quality Camellia/Azalea potting mix. A 50/50 mix of potting soil and sphagnum peat moss should provide enough acidity. Article from balconygardenweb.com. Select a pot which is about 40cm wide and deep, and fill with an acidic potting mix – any of the mixes formulated for azaleas and camellias are suitable. To reduce losses to birds you could consider: In colder climates, if you are growing your blueberries in pots outside, plants may need some winter protection. It is important to note that even when blueberries come in the pot in which they were grown, this does not mean that they can be kept in it. Sometimes they require a partner for pollination. Wet it thoroughly before placing it in the container. Look for a pH balance between 4.5 and 5.5. Fortunately, there are plenty of other pots you can choose that are not made of plastic. For example, you could choose: Bear in mind, however, that you do not necessarily have to buy the containers when you want to grow blueberries in pots. Blueberries do not like to have ‘wet feet’, but insufficient moisture can also be a problem. This can be accomplished by pruning off smaller shoots and by heading back the main branches. The leaves of the plants act like an umbrella. These are rarely cultivated commercially, though can also be grown in the right conditions in a small scale/ domestic setting. When deciding a new plant to grow in Georgia, a blueberry bush is a GREAT choice. Blueberries will produce an abundant crop of succulent, juicy berries and will also provide white spring flowers and a dazzling display of red and orange foliage in the autumn. Keep the containers watered and soil evenly moist. You can also consider making your own compost for acid loving plants. Be sure to break up the root ball when planting container-gr… Unless you have acidic soil where you live, or can amend the soil accordingly, growing blueberries in containers is the best way to get a worthwhile crop. Most often, the blueberries chosen for containers are American highbush types. You can be successful planting blueberries in pots, as long as you have a sunny location and use acidic potting soil. Pick a compact variety that fits well in pots. Once you have prepared your containers and growing medium, and sourced your blueberry plants, it is time to plant these up. So growing blueberries in pots can be a great way to enrich your home grown diet and make the use of even the smallest of spaces. In cooler climates, it is also best to place your blueberries in pots in a sheltered position, to protect them from strong winds and colder temperatures. (wild blueberries – which are sometimes also semi-managed or cultivated on a smaller scale). Growing in containers makes this a fairly easy process. When each variety crops should also have a hearing on which varieties you decide to grow. They are incredibly good for you – rich in vitamins and high in antioxidants. Take care to keep the plants at the same depth as they were previously planted. Blueberries can be grown: While certain blueberry varieties can tolerate partial/ dappled shade, most blueberries will do best in full sun. Learn everything about growing blueberries in pots, including best varieties, soil, pests, and more. Frequent, light watering is ideal, with an occasional ‘drench’ to eliminate soil salts. Tap water will raise the pH level and blueberries like acidic conditions. Best Blueberry Varieties for Containers. Since moving to the property she has also rescued many chickens from factory farms, keeping them for their eggs, and moved much closer to self-sufficiency. Central Maryland What is more, blueberries are attractive plants too. Growing blueberries in containers is a great way to harvest fresh, tasty blueberries at home, even if you don’t have space for a garden. Amongst other things, she has designed private gardens in regions as diverse as Canada, Minnesota, Texas, the Arizona/California desert, and the Dominican Republic, commercial aquaponics schemes, food forests and community gardens in a wide range of global locations. To control the aphid population, plant companion plants to attract natural aphid predators, like ladybugs and lacewings. For best results, you could consider adding some mycorrhizal fungi into your containers at this stage, before you fill in around your plants’ roots with your growing medium. You could also consider doing a spot of upcycling. Placing bird netting over the plants a few weeks before the blueberries are ripe. You control the pH by using acid … More and more garden centers carry container-grown blueberry plants. Which option you go for should depend on where you live and the conditions to be found there, not just the characteristics of the variety in question. Pot grown plants often come in pots that are now too small for the plants which have almost outgrown them. It’s also self-pollinating, which means you don’t need to have another bush nearby. Don't expect to harvest blueberries the first year. Mature blueberries need a container at least 24 inches deep and about 24-30 inches wide. Mature blueberries need a container at least 24 inches deep and about 24-30 inches wide. Start with a pot that's at least 20 to 24 inches wide or larger. Elizabeth Waddington is a writer, permaculture designer and green living consultant. Copyright © 2020 Rural Sprout on the Seasoned Pro Theme, How To Grow Ginger No Matter Where You Live, How To Grow Garlic in Pots - Step-By-Step, 10 Reasons Your Seeds Aren't Germinating and How To Fix It, 20 Fruit Canes Or Bushes To Grow In Your Garden, purchasing this collection of ten different blueberry bush cultivars. In a container, it is often easier to achieve the moist yet free-draining conditions that are required. It includes ten blueberry starter plugs, plus 500 seeds and a bonus cranberry starter plant. Planting . In fact, they are one of the easiest berries to grow in containers. Keep the compost or soil moist, but not soaking wet. Rabbiteye blueberry, for example, is a southern type that is produced from the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast States. In particular, blueberries are often grown in pots because of their need for acidic growing conditions. Learn How to Grow Blueberry in Container in limited space! Since blueberries are ericaceous, it is important to use a growing medium with an acid pH. As soon as your plant outgrows the 30cm (12 inch pot), or if you have purchased a larger blueberry bush, 50cm (20 inches) is really the minimum diameter you should consider for your pot or other container. As mentioned earlier in this article, blueberries need moist yet free-draining conditions. For example, you could: Whether you buy or make your containers, make sure that they have good drainage. Tap water can reduce the acidity of the growing conditions, and so when you are growing blueberries, it is very important to use rainwater to water the plants. When she is not gardening, Elizabeth spends a lot of time working remotely on permaculture garden projects around the world. In addition to 12,000 Christmas trees and the U-pick blueberries, the farm includes five acres of pick-your-own blackberries, grown the traditional way. This post may contain affiliate links. It’s probably not common knowledge, but surprisingly, growing blueberries is so easy that you don’t even need to have a garden. To be happy, blueberries need to grow in an acidic pH zone of 4.5 to 5.5. Garden Types. Berries planted in the ground need less care; just add a two to three inch blanket of mulch to keep them warm. Therefore, try to maintain a moist, but not wet/soggy, growing medium. They have smaller (though some say, more flavoursome) berries. Make holes in the bottom of pots, planters and containers to let out the water, and place crocks, rocks etc. Fertilize containers in early spring before leaves expand. Feeding plants with an ericaceous liquid feed/ vinegar solution 2-3 times a year during the growing season. She has created booklets and aided in the design of Food Kits to help gardeners to cool and warm climates to grow their own food, for example. In particular, blueberries are often grown in pots because of their need for acidic growing conditions. Which plants the name refers to largely depends on where you are. The berries are ready to harvest when they change colour from green to a dusky blue. Caring for blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in containers over winter is easy. They do not like to stand with their roots in water. Ensure the soil stays at pH of 5.5 or lower, to avoid problems. REC, Lower Eastern Shore Growing acid-loving blueberries in containers, with an acid potting soil mix or a 50-50 mix of peat and potting soil, is a simple solution to that problem. They can suffer if the growing medium is too rich in nutrients. Blueberries grow best in full sun all year round but will grow in partial shade. Potentially in an unheated and sunny indoors space. They can often be eaten straight from the bush, and can also be cooked up and used in a wide range of recipes. Bare root blueberries can also be chosen and ordered in fall, for planting out during the dormant period. It is important to water sufficiently to keep the soil consistently moist, but not too often or too much. Water plants with rainwater, not tap water, unless you have no alternative in a drought. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Well, blueberries lend themselves to this sort of cultivation because of their needs and requirements. These are very versatile fruits with many uses in the kitchen. For best results, whether you choose pot grown or bare root options, you should purchase your blueberries in either early spring, or in fall, when their transplantation to their new pots or containers will be less stressful. Other types, such as the northern highbush blueberry, do better in the ground but can survive in pots with proper care. Don’t allow it to dry out between waterings. Recently, doctors have started saying that blueberries are among the top most beneficial fruits to feed your body. She has long had an interest in ecology, gardening and sustainability and is fascinated by how thought can generate action, and ideas can generate positive change. Attains a height of 3-7 feet with 3-5 feet spread. Place containers in full sun, but protection from late afternoon sun may be necessary. Plants in containers need more frequent watering than those in the ground. Check the pH of the soil in spring and add sulphur chips if it needs lowering. Some of the most common varieties for pot growing include Top Hat and Sunshine Blue. Repot in late summer - early fall so roots have enough time to grow before winter. They will require at least 6 hours of sunlight a day for best results. Blueberries prefer to grow in low pH soils, so we have been experimenting with different soil mixes and fertilizers to create an acidic environment for the blueberries to grow in. Spacing varies between cultivars, with the larger-growing varieties reaching up to 2m high and growing to about 1.5m wide. 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