Blueberries in Pots

bookwyrme(9)March 27, 2012

I have 2 Misty blueberries & 1 Sunshine in one gallon pots. I've read that the best thing for them is to be in half whiskey barrels, but they're pretty small right now. Should they be potted up to smaller pots for the year until they get bigger?

Also, what size half whiskey barrel? That sounds strange, I know, but our local garden store has 2 different sizes. I'm new to this!

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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

I would go from a 1 gallon to a 5 gallon and continue to grow them out another two seasons. After one or two seasons in a 5 gallon you could go up to 15 gallon and they will live in that pot for many years. Once you notice vigour starting to slow, a good root trim and repot with fresh soil will do all the good.

What are you using for your potting media?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:27AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Nope. You can plant them in the 1/2 whiskey barrels right now. Bigger is better if you have the room as blueberries do have pretty extensive root systems. I use 1/2 Azaela/Camellia mix and 1/2 compost. I add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup soil sulfur to help keep the potting mix acidic enough. That will take up to a year to acidify the soil, so you might need a little aluminum sulfate sprinkled on the surface and watered in very well. Use a good pH meter to monitor the pH of the soil. I've included a nice article from DWN about growing blueberries in containers. Mine are in very large terra cotta and decorative plastic pots and are doing very well.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dave Wilson Nursery: Blueberries in Containers

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:32AM
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bookwyrme(9)

I've never used a pH meter. Is there one in particular you'd recommend?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:37PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

blueboy, can you please describe root trim? Is it generally recommended. I've repotted a Blueray and a Bluecrop twice without a root trim. They weren't root bound, I just took them from the old pot, and put them in the bigger pot with more soil around them. They seem to be growing well.

FWIW, I use a mixture of screened (through a 1/2" screen) pine bark mulch and peat moss, in about a 5:2 ratio, with a little gypsum added for calcium. I use vinegar in my water to lower the ph of the water from 8 to about 4, and a little epsom salts for magnesium. This is only my second year growing blueberries in containers, but so far so good.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 1:26PM
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prestons_garden(9B SZ 22 HZ 6 SoCal)

bookwyrme,
I would go for the larger size if you have the room. I grow blueberries in much smaller containers due to limited space and they do fine.

As far as a good Ph meter I use a Kelway which is very accurate. Don't buy the cheap ones you will just waste your money.

As far as root pruning Blueberries, I have never done it to mine, doesn't mean it will not help though. I did prune my Blackberries and Boysenberries last year and noticed a big gain in fruit count and size.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 2:19PM
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