Buried Potted Blueberry Plants and Drainage Issues

GhadamesMay 29, 2014

I've read a lot about burying potted blueberry plants, and I think the only thing I'm worried about is having drainage problems. I know it has been suggested to put gravel or rocks underneath the pots, but I think I have a better idea and I'd like your opinion.

How about placing bricks in a square fashion with an empty space in the middle so that water could leak from the pot. This empty space could be at least 4 inches high. I would have to be careful and make sure that native soil doesn't get into it while planting the pot.

Does this sound like a good idea? I've never read anyone suggest this.

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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Well it's the same idea all do for drainage. To keep the area open you put in gravel. That way native dirt cannot get in, but water easily can.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 3:10PM
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Why exactly are you trying to prevent any and all contact with native soil? Is you soil so poorly draining it would imped drainage out of the pot? Arsinic contamination?

I am having a hard time accepting that a few square inches of mix to soil contact on the bottom of a pot would be detrimental to the pH of a pot's mix. Gravitational effects, drainage effect, and limited surface area seem sufficient to prevent significant 'contamination'. The vast majority of the mix would still be in a closed system to prevent latitudinal ion transfer. Plus, you will get better drainage if the mix contacts the soil (presuming it isn't impermeable clay) than if you have it raised on gravel or bricks.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 4:26PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I have experience on an island with limited drainage. We have no water system on the island. No utilities except electricity. No gas, no water. We often have dry wells for our sinks. Even broken glass work if you don't have gravel. It works extremely well. We use a two layer system to run off ground water, a pipe with holes surrounded by gravel then sand. It works so well. The sand keeps roots out of the drain pipes. I dug one up over 35 years old and not one root in the drain line.So using gravel will improve drainage below your pot extremely well. If you want to keep the roots in the pot, put sand on top of the gravel. Then the pot.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 4:45PM
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