Hydroponic blueberry, blackberry and raspberry

tomato_tomApril 23, 2008

Hallo,

has anybody tried black-, blue- or raspberry in hydroponics? What is the optimum pH and ppm for each one?

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grizzman

blackberries grow like weeds around here, so no. I know they only fruit on second year growth, so plan on having them for awhile without seeing the fruits of your labor.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 7:49AM
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daisyd681

I'm not sure if there are smaller versions, but the blackberry bushes I've seen are taller than a house.

I know my grandpa used to have a blueberry plant in a pot (never saw fruit on it, but we only visited once a year) so I assume they have small versions (I'm assuming it wasn't some bansai or anything). Raspberry bushes can get big too.

I'm really new to all of this, but those seem like some unwieldy, not to mention unfriendly plants to try to wrestle in a hydro system.
Just my $.02

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 3:38PM
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rojo_gardener

how did it go? I have just started my berries and found this thread.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 11:34PM
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nourahm

I know I have seen in a lot of places online that raspberries are nearly impossible to grow hydroponically, however, I have never had a problem. I have 4 year old canes still producing year around. I grow blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, cherries, dwarf banana, dwarf apple, dwarf peach, dwarf citrus (orange, lime, lemon), nectarine, fig, kiwi, etc successfully using drip method hydroponics. All of my berries I grow 2 to 4 varieties each.

It's not difficult. The only thing with berries are you have to watch the nutrient solution. For this very reason, I DO Not use a recovery system. I grow everything in those cheap poly-bags and whatever excess that leaves the bags goes straight through my poly-ground cover into the ground. This is much easier than trying to constantly watch the nutrient levels.

Keep strawberries @ 6.5 ph 1400ppm
Keep Blackberries between 5.8 Â 6.5 ph - 1400ppm
Keep Raspberries between 5.8 Â 6.5 ph - 1400ppm
Keep Blueberries between 4.5 Â 4.8 ph - 1300ppm

I set my manual timer for 6am, noon & 6pm. No overnight feedings! I use a 50/50 mix of hydroton clay rocks and coco coir.

Also, you will do well with non-thorny varieties. I chose Anne, Jewel & Mammoth Red Raspberries from Gurneys. They come bare root so just give a quick rinse in clean water and plant them in 5 gallon poly bags. Also, I grow the Everbearing strawberry varieties, Arapaho blackberries & Elizabeth blueberries. I chose Gurneys because for years my mother & grandmother had good results. I also use Burpee for other seed and plants. But, if you want you can use the same canes for years and years, just keep them going year around and they will produce. I live in Memphis, Tn, so adjust your greenhouse heating and cooling accordingly to keep a consistant 74 degrees year around and your canes will live and produce.

I grow these just for my family now, but once the money starts getting better, I plan to erect a 10 acre hydro facility for production.

Also, I know most people buy those expensive hot lamps, but I use cool fluorescent lights to extend the growing season to year around and I have seen great results.

Oh use a q-tip for pollinating or buy mason bees. I hope this helps.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 1:49PM
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verotte

Hi Nourahm, thanks for your posting. It is very informative.

Can I ask how you get started with hydroponic dwarf trees? Do you get a tree at the nursery, shake off the dirt and then plant it in the hydroponic system?

Sounds obvious but since dwarf fruit trees are expensive here in Australia I want to make sure I am doing the right thing.

Cheers

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 10:03PM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

My Web site is back up. Here's a link to a page with other links showing pH and EC values. I couldn't find raspberries anywhere, but blackberries and blueberries are on the first two charts listed.

Here's the link:

http://tengreenthumbs.com/?p=586

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 11:41PM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

On Strawberry Nutrients:

I grow strawberries, Camrerosa mostly, using a nutrient at EC 1.8 to 2.0 and everyone seems very happy.

As the plants set fruit, I maintain the EC using epsom salts, backing off on the nitrogen. If you don't back the nitrogen out of the equation, you'll get really beautiful, green, healthy plants and NO fruit!

My self-buffering nutrient (proprietary) holds the pH at 6.3 to 6.5, so that's one less thing to think about!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 2:26AM
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vivaciouswoman

I stumbled upon this because I'm looking for ideal EC values for lemon, lime, orange, and banana dwarf fruit trees. Unfortunately, the link cited above is dead! Can anyone help??

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 11:54AM
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marklar

Hi nourahm, thank you for your post on growing raspberries hydroponically.
In your post, you mention producing year around on four year old raspberry canes. I am hoping to have the type of success in this growth that you have had. What type of environmental controls to you use to promote such extended production? Is it simply keeping temperature at 74degrees and optimal nutrients, or do you alter lighting?
Thanks so much for your info

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 1:50PM
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nourahm

Sorry, I havent been online for a while. But for anyone interested in the reply to this post.

As far as lighting goes, I set my manual timer for 6am, noon & 6pm. No overnight feedings! At 8 pm til 6 am, it's lights, water, food off in my greenhouse. Another thing, the 74 degree temp is the lowest I allow the temp to fall. I have since implemented a digital thermostat and anytime the temp gets higher than 78 degrees, cooling fans turn on to return the temp to 74 degree. (I'm speaking in farenheit of course). As far as getting the new plants from nurseries, I make sure I wash all soil residue off the root without soaking the roots. I find these canes don't like wet feet. I am currently working on a website which will have all of my successes through trial and error. Hopefully, it will help others save on costly mistakes and make hydroponics a little simpler to master. I will post the url soon. I will also be giving away any available new canes that have only been exposed to hydroponic mediums. I don't plan to make a money off of these, but those interested would have to pay shipping. I promise to keep you posted. I don't have room yet to raise these new shoots, once they get older and able to ship, I'll keep you posted when they are ready. 1st come first served.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 5:07PM
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homehydro

nourahm
Raspberry's are on my list of things I want to grow, as well as blackberries and boysenberries. I haven't grown them before, but have done a lot research on them. I want to start growing some so I can learn the in's and out's, then take what I learn and turn it into a commercial operation. I have a big problem to overcome in order to make it a year round operation, and that is HEAT. I live in the Mojave Desert of AZ, and summers are brutally hot here. Anyhow, one hurdle at a time.

I'm wondering if you grow Primocane and/or Floricane raspberry's, as well as what variety's of them you grow? Also, what kind of yields you get out of each plant. I have read that you can expect anywhere from 8 to 22 1/2 pints from each plant, mostly depending on how old (mature) the plant is. With larger root systems being able to support more canes. Keeping in line with $3.50 a 1/2 pint (what they sell for here at the store), 22 x $3.50 = $77 per plant in a 4 month season. I realize that may be the high end, but from what I have read it is quite possible with a refined, efficient system.

Of coarse that would not be all profit, there would be operating costs to consider. But one thing I particularly like from what I have read about this crop, is that it tolerates low light levels. Even to the point where I wouldn't even need supplemental lighting during winter months. Supplemental lighting may induce flowering earlier, but doesn't seem to increase yields much (not enough to offset the added electric bill). That's a huge cost savings on the electricity I would need for production, not to mention equipment.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 6:32PM
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Customctk_aol_com

Hey, for the wet feet problem try fish tank bubblers in your res roots love o2 if you add it through bubbles the roots will not rot, they actually love it check out deep water culture same concept

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 4:41AM
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homehydro

Customctk
Ya, I use air stones in all my systems. But some plants do better in different types of systems even so. And keeping an eye on how they are doing is an important factor (if you like your plants).

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 5:21AM
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homehydro

P.S.
The roots can still rot. It's just that the action of the water movement, as well as the added oxygen helps keep pathogens and fungus levels down. Helping to keep them from breading out of control, but there still there.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 5:36AM
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chrisbuhler_gmail_com

Nourahm,

I guess you posted your messages several years ago, so you may not be on here anymore. But if you're still around I'm wondering about the dormant period for these crops.

I always assumed that these berry crops required a cold period between crops, but your post made it sound like you kept them warm year round and they all kept producing. Is that correct? How long did this last for, and did you do anything to make your plants dormant between crops?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 11:25PM
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hardclay7a

I Love these Berries.
But they are a lot of work. If you are really serious about growing them you should follow strict guidelines and do it correctly. Here are a few pointers.
Grow them exactly the same way you would grow Kudzu. Only plant them once. If you use any other method they just won't taste quite as sweet. You can build a green house on top of them for extended seasons. This may also assist in containing them until the rhizomes grow under the foundation and pop up on the other side and continue spreading throughout the entire neighborhood. Make sure the G.H. door opens outward or there will come a time when you won't be able to get in. Keep a machete handy. Other than scavengers, (ever wonder why bird droppings are purple?), They only have two known pests; Angora Goats and Yellow caterpillars (earth mover variety). They seem to be immune to most common plant diseases but Napalm can be fatal if allowed to burn for extended periods and followed up with Agent Orange. Now, are you really sure that you want to grow Black,Blue,& Raspberries using Hydroponic methods?
Enjoy,
~Ken~

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 10:00PM
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Napo

Hello everyone,

Where can I get information from. regarding yield per acre for raspberries cultivars (hydroponics method)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 2:49AM
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BlacRabbit

Blueberries need to go through a dormant or cold cycle in order to fruit how is this done with hydroponics?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 12:08AM
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