Planted Blueberries and....

christie_sw_mo(Z6)March 21, 2009

I spent a lot of time outside this week trying to get caught up before the rainy cooler weather got here.

I planted my blueberries yesterday, the last of my Stark Brother's order. I didn't put them in the ground though. I decided to try them in containers. I mixed peat, pine mulch, and potting soil in equal parts to fill the containers. I put a couple handfuls of pine needles and oak leaves in there for good measure and then added a few earthworms. I've been finding quite a few this week when I was digging. Very easy work compared to the digging I did to plant my grape, currant and Balaton Cherry.

Ceresone was it you that planted blueberries in containers last year? Was kind of soil mix did you use?

I managed to find a very rocky spot to plant my Jupiter Grape and it took me forever to dig the hole which had to be large enough to accomodate a fence post as well as the plant. I wasn't sure how much to space the plant from the post but decided to put it five or six inches away. Hope that's enough. I dug a huge hole to get rid of Bermuda grass and did lots of soil amending. My muscles were sore. Those grapes better taste good.

The spot I picked to plant my currant had very little rock. I had to dig almost 18 inches deep and across to fit the roots in the hole so I was relieved to not find much. Only a fellow Ozarker will appreciate this but I swear I only found four rocks and three of them were smaller than a baseball. Isn't that strange. lol When I dug the holes for my grape and cherry tree, I had a BIG pile of rocks with several bigger than a small canteloupe which is more the norm for my yard. I usually find more rocks that dirt it seems.

My husband was home sick all week with the flu and I've been racing to get caught up with everything before I catch it too. I was glad the weather was nice and felt like I got a lot done but still have a list of things to do both outside and in. Wonder what it feels like to be caught up. lol

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Sounds like you were very busy this week. Hope you are not too sore form all the early garden work. I had to laugh about the ozark rocks. The hole w/o many rocks would make me think someone at some time had dug there before. We had a joke about the rocks when we were growing up. If you move one rock two more will grow in its spot. We had moved to a new house and were picking up rocks to plant grass. Finally may parents decided that was a lost cause and had dirt hauled in on top of the rocks. They still have rocks poking through there yard. Hope you don't end up w/flu. I have been potting up dahlia bulbs in the garage. I have to do my EE's today. Want them to get a start before time to plant out. Bonnie

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 1:11PM
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Good work Christie!

We had a similar experience on the farm; one post hole we dug down 3 feet and never found a rock! Bonnie may be right that someone else had been there before us.

We are getting a misty rain today, but not much measurable in the gauge.

I checked my grapes yesterday and can't tell if they are alive or not.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 1:43PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Christie the reason I have so many pots is rocks and tree roots. It is so easy but expensive to just fill a big pot with bagged soil and plant. You may want to eventually put the blueberries in the ground after you have some success with them. They eventually get big but they are slow growers at my house. Sounds like you provided them with the proper ammendments.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 2:53PM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

Yes, Christie, it was me.
My pots are about 3'high, and more than that across, I used rotted (composted?) tree trimmings, mixed with manure that has sat for over 4 years.I used good garden dirt, peat moss, and potting soil--if something is good--try it all, right? I added the sulphur(?) and mulched with pine needles and shredded oak leaves. I don't see any reason to ever replant in the ground, as the 2 I planted in the orchard, and amended the soil alike, aren't doing near as well as the 4 in the pots.
You know, my daughter lives across the road from me, and her soil is extremel;y rocky, while mine is the opposite. When the water lines were dug on both sides, the operator asked me if we had soil hauled in.
Still, I await the day my raised beds are all in-and rocks are screened out.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 3:18PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Ceresone where did you get such big pots? I have been buying 100 gal. tanks at MFA to put under the roof of the barn for water saving. Is that what you have? No I would not move them into the ground if I had that big a pot. I am glad to hear you just used manure, peat, soil etc. That would be a fortune in potting mix and I am getting to the point that the expense is an issue with all my pots.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 6:30PM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

Hwlen, several years ago, the Alco store here got in these huge pots, and a few a size smaller.They only got in 4 of each, and I bought all of them. Some of the pots had wheels you could add to the bottom. first year, while they were on the deck, I used the wheels, but removed them when they went on the ground.
I've never seen such large pots since, in our little town, but perhaps Lowes in Springfield?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:15AM
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I was going to ask about your containers too Ceresone. I'm very jealous. I have supplement containers about as tall as a five gallon bucket or maybe a little taller, but quite a bit wider. I'm guessing they would be about 15 gallons. The blueberries that I got from Stark Brothers were potted in five inch pots so I thought they might be too small to put in large containers. I put them in three gallon pots for now. I think I will put them in my garage the first winter and then pot them up into larger containers next spring if they grow well.

Bonnie - Yes I was sore! lol My arms and back were protesting. I was actually a little creeped out when I was digging that big hole and not hitting any rock wondering why. I thought I might find bones or something. lol
Glenda - I'm sure I've never dug three foot deep without hitting rock. That's even more amazing. You must have been wondering if you were on Candid Camera. Let me know when your grapes start to leaf out.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 10:42AM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

Also, the blue plastic 50 gallon barrels, cut in half are nice. just need to make sure they have had safe materials in them--a cheese plant barrels are nice.
cut in half, drill a few holes--and there you are, dont look bad either.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 12:47PM
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LOL Christie,
I spewed coffee on the screen. Bones. that made me laugh so hard. Thanks I needed that.

You know I wonder if they have an ordanace about not using those 50 gal drums in Joplin. I will have to look an see. I think those would be great for some of the things I want to plant this year.
How big of a hole do you cut into the bottom of your drums before you place them on the ground. Or do you place them up on something instead of directly on the ground. My brother has access to drums like that... I may give him a call after I look up an see I Joplin will allow them.

I hear you on the sore and tired. I'm sure I will be by the end of the day today.

Where I live there are so many people around so I often feel like I'm on camera when I do some thing silly. Then other days I think who cares.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 3:09PM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

I just drilled 3 holes in the bottom--and not real big, at that.I used what i call a spade bit, made holes size of my little finger, or smaller--then put rocks in the botton, so holes would'nt seal up.
First ones I made too big, and water drained out too fast, needs to wet soil good, but not drain too fast--or stand on the surface.
The pots I bought had holes with a drain plug, so I judged the others by the size of those.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 12:14AM
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I think I will also plant my blueberries in tubs. I have plastic 55 gallon drums that I can cut in half and maybe can scare up 2-3 blue cattle lix tubs. I think I can find enough material without having to buy anything to fill them. The ones I wintered over in l gallon pots look great, whereas, the ones in the garden are looking dead! I have one I got from Dorothy's last year that is loaded with blooms ready to pop open. I will just place them under a small apple tree and right at the hydrant so I can water them almost daily when I check the chickens. Next I need to find either some garden sulfur or aluminum sulfate for them.

I wanted to do some gardening today, but don't think I will work out in 50 mph winds.

So far, I haven't gotten sore.....maybe just haven't done enough planting yet.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 7:02AM
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Forgive me! I posted almost the exact same info on another thread. We had company over the weekend and I guess I got was our granddaughter's birthday dinner and also had DH's folks out; a very busy day!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 7:05AM
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Glenda - You're in better shape than I am. I hate to think what my back and knees will be like in 20 years. Your blueberries in pots would warm up quicker, so maybe there's still some hope for the ones in the ground. I'm not sure aluminum sulfate is safe for blueberries.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aluminum Sulfate for Blueberries - Fruit and Orchards forum

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 11:13AM
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