What containers should I use?

lunar_owl(7a / Long Island)August 18, 2012

I just ordered several berry plants and need some help figuring out what are the best containers for them (size/material/etc) - and which of them I should just plant in the ground.

Here is a list of the plants that I bought and what size the websites said they would be:

- Blueberry (Top Hat): ships as potted (4") two year old; mature 2' spread/height

- Strawberies: ships as potted (4") two year old

* Fragola di Bosco: mature height 8-10", spread 14-16

* Purple Wonder: mature height 8-12", spread 10-12"

* Elan F1: mature height 8-10", spread 14-18"

* White Pineberry: mature height 8-12", spread 10-18"

- Gooseberry (Hinnomaki Red): ships as potted (4") two year old; mature height 3-5', spread 2-4'

- Currant (Perfect Red - Ribes sativum 'Perfection'): ships as a two year old; mature spread 3-4'

- JuneBerry (Owen's Drawf?): ships as 1-2' plant; mature height 3'

Also, any potting/growing tips are greatly appreciated; I'm new to gardening and I am really looking forward to some berries next year.

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Im not sure how well Saskatoons (juneberry) adapt to pot culture. The root system on them is quite massive.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 4:57AM
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lunar_owl(7a / Long Island)

How fast will the roots grow? The currant and juneberry arrived a lot earlier then I thought they would so I just ended up potting them. They were both bare root, one was about a foot long, and the other less than a that. I gave them both about a ten inch pot with this -> http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202288839/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 12:52AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

They will most likely be fine with that into next year.No fertilizer is needed until next Spring. Brady

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 2:21AM
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lunar_owl(7a / Long Island)

When you say next year, do you mean the next spring or the next fall? Also, the container that I used for the Juneberry is actually a 7in, will it still be okay?

Here's a picture of them:

And an upclose look at the currant, which already has some growth:

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 1:16AM
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Are you going to be able, to move them into larger pots as they grow? Why do you not want to plant them in the ground?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 8:26AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

I think they could stay in those containers for a year if needed. Brady

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:05AM
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lunar_owl(7a / Long Island)

I think I'll be able to manage repotting them. Although, I'm new to gardening so no guarantees. :-)

The reason I want to use containers is because I do not have a lot of area available with full, or even partial, sun. Using containers would allow me to rotate them around the prime spots as they need it.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 12:53PM
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I had a regular highbush blueberry(not a tophat) in an 18" pot for years and grew wild strawberries around the base of it. My soil mix wasn't very good and when I put it in the ground today, I realized that it was definately on the decline, because of the soil mix.
Still, it was an overall success, it just needed to be replanted. The biggest problem is always getting the feeding and watering correct.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 4:52PM
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You can plant trees in containers but you have to be careful with the soil as a minimum 1/3 soil 1/3 mos and 1/3 perlite. Also make sure the pot drains good or the root will rot. I have lots of trees in containers but also have lots of trees in containers which I plant the containers in the garden soil after I put 30-40 1/4 inch holes in the containers for the root to travel out of the container to the garden soil. I do that so I can take the containers inside the house during the freezing weather.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 2:07AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Red currants and gooseberries would need a large tub or half barrel to grow well. They do not require full sun, both being native to woodland edges, and I still think you'd have more luck with them in the ground. Especially as you need two or three bushes of each if you are thinking of jamming or canning. Container gardening is actually a lot harder than in ground. BTW a 2 year old gooseberry should be more like 2 feet than 2 inches.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 7:32AM
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lunar_owl(7a / Long Island)

Brady, thanks.

Maplerbirch, how big did your blueberry bush grow and why did you finally choose to put it in the ground?

Foolishpleasure, the plants are going to be outside year round; no room inside.

Flora_uk, what size is a large tub/half barrel? And it that the size that they would need now or when they are full size? Also, where did you see 2 inches for the gooseberry? And, on average, how much growth do they have each year?


    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 1:16PM
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lunar_owl(7a / Long Island)

Oh, and what type of container do I need for the strawberries?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 6:52AM
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The highbush got to be about 2.5 feet tall, and I buried the pot in the ground and mulched for the winter so it was on its normal climate cycle. This past season it appeared to be languishing because it was recieving so much water just to stay alive, that I thought I'd better get it in the ground before it dies.
The strawberries were in the same pot and filled in the understory of the blueberry but still recieved full sun. On their own I've seen them do well in 4 or 6" pots.

When I took the blueberry out there were only about 5 or 6 inches of root depth and the soil below that was heavy and saturated, meaning that the blueberry was getting "Wet Feet", which they hate, so my mixture perhaps should not have included any real mineral soil. I think that the years of irrigation had separated the lighter materials from the heavier materials.
I'm doing my houseplantings now with a mix of spahgnum, perlite, compost and charcoal.

It will be interesting to see how your plants do in the various containers. What sort of potting mixes have you used for long term container plants?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 9:19AM
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lunar_owl(7a / Long Island)

These will be my first long-term container plants. For the two that come earlier, I ended up using a bagged potting soil consisting of "peat moss, bark, perlite, organic wetting agent, organic fertilizer and Long Island compost". I haven't decided what I am going to use for the other plants yet.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 1:51PM
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That sounds like a good mix. I buried my pots for the winter and mulched them over a bit; are you going to do something like that?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 9:47AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Sorry about the 2 inches. You actually said 4 inches. But the size is still tiny for a 2 year old gooseberry plant. Or have I misunderstood? Is that the pot diameter rather than the plant height?

Half barrel.... Something like this:

Here is a link that might be useful: Half barrel

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 11:15AM
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lunar_owl(7a / Long Island)

Maplerbirch, I haven't completely decided what I am going to do with them for the winter. Most of the plants are hardy to a few zones below me so I could just leave them be. However, since we do get a lot of up and downs in the temperature sometimes, I am leaning towards burying them.

Flora_uk, I believe, and hope, that it is the pots diameter. We'll find out for certain at the end of the month, that's when the rest of the plants are scheduled to arrive. I have a 22 inch plastic planter, should I put the gooseberry in there when it arrives or give it something smaller untill next year?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:31PM
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lunar_owl(7a / Long Island)

The plants arrived Thursday all in different size pots. The strawberries pots range from 2 to 4 inches. The blueberry was in a 4in pot and the gooseberry was in a plastic snack bag including the roots its about 5in tall. I don't think I like burpee, their customer service said they would all be two year old in 4in pots. :(

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:54PM
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