Blueberries

sportsman1March 2, 2014

I am going to try some blueberries in pots.Living in Zone 4,I would bring them in the house during the winter months.Can I put them under grow lights for a couple of months?Do they need cold temps to produce fruit?

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greendumb

If you know the varieties you have then google the chill hours required for yours.
Providing grow lights with the proper spectrum is probably a good idea, especially if it is for a prolong amount of time unless you plan on hauling them out on sunny favorable days.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 8:15PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Yes,they need cold temps(chill hours)between 45f&32f.Your plants will probably be Northern Highbush or Lowbush,being in zone 4.They require considerably more hours than Southern cultivars,about 800 to 1000.
So,it may not be a good thing to bring them in a warm room during the Winter.The pots could be buried in the ground or put in a cool garage or shed.Even freezing the container probably won't hurt them too much as that happened to a grower during the Winter in eastern Washington and they grew fine the next Spring. Brady

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 8:24PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Brady is giving good advice. Let them go dormant outside, and they will not need light in the garage. Many NHB are rated to zone 4. I'm growing some SHB this year and plan to bring them in the garage. My NHB are in ground, it got to -12 degrees F, they look fine! Grow some hot peppers and put those under your lights and harvest all winter. Put them back out the following spring. Some live for years.
One way to use your lights. i plan on overwintering three pepper plants.

This post was edited by Drew51 on Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 22:29

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:25PM
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sportsman1

Brady....I am looking at northern low bush.Tophat and North Country.Or will larger ones like Polaris,Northland,or Chippewa get top heavy.

Drew....interesting about peppers.So do you have them in pots year round?Just move them in or out?Which varieties work best in pots?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 9:23AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Top heavy and do what,tip over?I have a Chippewa that's about 4 feet tall,in a 20'' container with no problems.The weight of the pot plus growing medium provides more than enough of a base. Brady

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 11:11AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

""Drew....interesting about peppers.So do you have them in pots year round?Just move them in or out?Which varieties work best in pots?"

To tell the truth I just discovered that they are perennials myself. So I looked into varieties, and mostly the ornamental hot peppers winter well. As they are smaller, and do better in pots. In general though any hot pepper can work.
Here are some varieties
Black Pearl
Chinese Five Color
Manzano Pepper
Marbles
Medusa
Rocoto
Tricolor Variegata
Also the African or Chinese hot peppers take so long to mature, often it is best to bring them in. They will not grow much during the winter, but will produce like crazy the next spring. Such as Bird's Eye or Uyababa.
Any pepper can be brought in. They need a higher nitrogen fertilizer while inside. Lower when you want to fruit. So you bring them in to finish fruiting, or to go semi-dormant until next year. Also start them in pots, do not remove from in ground. You can keep them going, but if you have low light, you may want to try the "just keep it alive and as dormant as possible approach"

Check Reimer Seeds and Trade Winds Fruits for descriptions.
I plan to grow and overwinter some of the ones I listed above.

Here a photo of a bird's eye type, and Brazilian Starfish that is 4 years old from a user in the pepper forum.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 1:47PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

The pot to the left in above post is the Brazilian Starfish. And yes, it is 4 years old! Here is a closer look at the fruits:

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 1:49PM
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sportsman1

Those look great.I wonder if not so hot peppers will do that.Anaheim,Pablano,Bells.

Back to the blueberries......I live in Zone 4 in ND.I have to figure out a way to overwinter them in pots,but not kill them.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 4:30PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Besides the garage, you could bury the pots, or surround them with leaves and such. Bringing them in could work, as long as you leave them out long enough to get the chill hours, but that would be hard, as you need hundreds of hours. With leaves you could use chicken wire to make a cage around the pot, then stuff it with leaves, maybe even wrap it afterward.
peppers:
You could certainly try to over winter!
I like mild peppers too, I'm growing some mild ones
Leutschauer Paprika Pepper
NuMex Heritage Big Jim
NuMex Heritage 6-4
The Numex ones are killer good!!
Peppadew
Guajillo
Pasilla Bajio
Santa Fe Grande
Trinidad Perfume
Venezuelan Tiger
Criolla De Cocina

With hots I like to make hot sauces and rubs, also chili powder, paprika, and hot pepper powders.
Mild ones are great for tomato sauces, stuffed, pickled, dried etc.

I already started my seeds. i may have to keep them under lights for another 2 months!

This post was edited by Drew51 on Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 17:15

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 4:42PM
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