Wife Mad: Too many blueberries!

pharmachadMarch 22, 2014

Received my 100 liners by UPS late yesterday.
Was up until midnight planting them.

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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Impossible to have too many blueberries:)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 6:23PM
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Most look like sticks now, but they all had
great looking roots. Some of the rabbiteye were
so big they looked like gallon size plants.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 6:53PM
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Let's see, how to get the wife on board with your blueberry ranch... Sorry, you're on your own there. I've got six bushes and that's enough for me.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 7:55PM
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Are you sure you have enough? I think I can spare a few!
I will try to push them once they get established. Weekly dissolved
ammonium sulfate and probably monthly dissolved ferrous sulfate. I know
this started a debate, but I will still use a small amounts of Osmocote
in order to get some trace elements. I have 70 plants and
zero have died and zero have wilted and zero have
been burned by using it.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 11:58PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Yeah sorry about the debate, small amounts appear to be beneficial. Good luck! If you do have problems, seaweed and kelp fertilizers usually have all the trace minerals. Azomite etc.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 9:27AM
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Funny thing how wives get mad about things like this. They complain the whole time and don't help, then when the fruit is ripe she wants to give some of the fruit "we" grew to her family and friends.... or at least I suppose that is what could happen :)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 9:34AM
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...you can always send some my way...not the wife, just the plants...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 10:02AM
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PharmaChad, there's more than one way to grow blueberries. It's important to feel good/comfortable about how you grow stuff. If I ever add another BB plant it will be in an EarthBox because of the ease in watering.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 11:06AM
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Didn't know you could grow 'em in an
Earth box. Does the constant wet soil at
the bottom of the container cause any problems?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 10:03PM
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Earthbox sounds like a good idea, but how would that work if you have a lot of plants? Wouldn't that get expensive quick?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 10:07PM
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PharmaChad, my BB are kept moist all the time, and that's all that an EB does. Water wicks up from the bottom, rather than me watering from the top. It's not soggy if you use the right medium.

Chelsea_2016, I grow a lot of stuff but never a lot of one thing, so I don't know how to answer cost + scale. But you also have to factor cost + time + scale. I can fill EBs once a day and go on my merry way. Again, I would try one BB to make sure that it works as expected. Keeping BB watered in Summer is the only challenge I have with them.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 10:58PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)


You are correct in seeing what Clint missed. There is a HUGE difference between constantly moist and the completely saturated wet soil at the bottom of an earthbox or self watering container. While BB love moist soil, saturated soil could be a death sentence for them. Not saying it is not possible with the right mix and wick material and size. It would just be far easier to have a timer set up to water the plants a couple times during the hot summer days.....bury the pots half way and mulch heavy....many solutions.


Self watering pots or self watering containers don't need to be expensive. You can make them from two 5 gallon buckets for example. I have quite a few of the SWC and I made mine from half 55 gallon plastic barrels. They are on a timer and the reservoir gets refilled once a day. It is an experiment, mine have figs in them.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 8:29AM
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Where'd you order? I haven't been able to find any place that's cheap enough to justify.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 10:50AM
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JoppaRich, the EB startup costs seem pricey in the beginning, but since they can be used here year round for many years the cost levels out. The ease of use and results are remarkable. Some places discount them a bit as well, and the soil medium can be re-used.

With EBs you lose very little water from evaporation or run off, and the soil stays moist without being soggy. EBs work great but you have to be willing to follow their directions as it is an engineered system designed to work a certain way. I can't speak to other self-watering containers as I haven't used them.

I grew tomatoes and zucchini all through Winter in EBs and I'm sold on them. I am trialing EB grown veg against in-ground grown this season.

Here is a link that might be useful: EarthBox Forum Search: growing blueberries

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 11:14AM
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PharmaChad, your title can be taken in two ways: mad as in angry or mad as in crazy.

It wasn't clear to me which you meant ;)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 1:04PM
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LOL. Probably both! She really is ok with it.
My other hobby is fishing which is a lot more
Expensive. So every minute I'm not fishing and
I am gardening we are saving money.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 1:38PM
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Can you share a pic of your experimental
watering system? Maybe you can patent it.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 1:41PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)


Sure will take a picture of it but you won't be able to see much except the pot, fill PVC and the irrigation line connected to it. That is a newly planted Figo Preto fig if you care:) I did not invent it......swc have been around a LONG time. I copied the instructions from Bill's figs and adapted them to my use (see link). The earthbox brand are just over priced junk designed to fool gullible people in to thinking they are the best thing since sliced bread. SWC are very simple to make and cheap. It costs me $10 for a 55 gallon barrel so $5 per 30 gallon pot.....then it is just the bottom PVC rings or whatever your imagination can supply you with for the bottom to hold the screen up off the bottom for the reservoir. Then lath screen on top of the rings. A 3/4 piece of PVC to act as a fill and a hole drilled through the side of the barrel a couple inches below the screen to set your reservoir depth and to create an airspace. You make a couple of holes through the lath the size of your fist so you can pack a couple of soil pillars and those act as your wick. Fill with 5-1-1 mix and you are in business.

Here is one of mine. You see the 3/4 PVC which goes to the bottom. The small black tubing is connected to the irrigation line. Once a day the timer kicks on and delivers water down the PVC to fill the reservoir. The excess drains out the overflow. You could have it water twice a day or 4x a day..whatever. There are 6 of those pots on that line. The rest of my figs are in ground.

I like the SWC don't get me wrong, just don't want people to follow bad advice and waste their money on over priced earthboxes. I like the SWC so much I grew my fig cuttings in them this year. Up to about 150 varieties of figs now:) The mini SWC proved very effective in controlling the water which is the enemy. They are SWC made from 32 oz cups....and a straw for the fill tube. The smaller inverted cup inside acts as the pvc rings and lath screen and make a hole to act as a drain and set the water depth. You pack soil to the bottom in a small inch wide column on one side.

On a side note the earth boxes are so small what good would they be for blueberries? I guess if you have half dead stunted bushes they would fit but a healthy BB is going to quickly out grow an earth box.... The Florida commercial folks use to grow (some still do) in the half barrels so true 30 gallon pots and the bushes would still be root bound in 7 or 8 years.

And because it is a BB thread....here is a shot of a few of mine from a couple of minutes ago.......forgive the crappy cell phone picture.

Here is a link that might be useful: SWC

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 3:31PM
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I was curious where you ordered the blueberries from, not the EBs.

I'm clearly looking at the wrong nurseries online.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 10:31PM
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JoppaRich, I bought all my BB from local nurseries. BB are all over town here during bare root season.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 1:01AM
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I know what you mean about the wife issues! Not only my wife but my whole family thinks Im crazy. I finally cut back to 14 blues from 50 something and she though I was getting my sanity back but then I found out how many figs there are and she thinks Im crazy again;) Plus a few more citrus and tropical has her totally convinced Im nuts! Like I told her, there many other addictions that are a lot worse.

I hope those plants thrive for you and its good to see another blueberry nut! Theres not enough of us out there for some reason so keep up the good work. Are you currently growing rabbiteyes? I ended up getting rid of mine as the SHB are so much better to my taste with the exception of Brightwell. I really enjoyed that variety of Rabbiteye as it was a good berry!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 1:28AM
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Guys in that picture I received 10 varieties
that I didn't have before. Most are SHB, but
A few are low chill rabbiteyes as I live in zone 9.
Misty (which I already have and liked a lot)
New Hanover
Anyone have anything good or bad to
say about these. Let me know. I am trying
to get a feel for what works in my area. Hope
to start a U-pick some day when I retire,but still have
10 plus years to go. I have already ruled out
Jewel in my area as the ones I have get terrible
Leaf spot during the summer and all foliage
Falls out.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 10:18PM
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