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Blueberry growing advice.

BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 2,607
Morning all,

I'm going to make a 2nd attempt at growing blueberries this year. Having foolishly doomed the 1st attempt by planting directly into the ground, I'm now slightly wiser ;) and know my soil won't support them so containers is the way to go.

So my first question is how big will the containers need to be. I'm looking at buying Draper, Aurora and Bluecrop, which come in 2L pots.

Presumably ericaceous compost can be as hit and miss as any other compost but any brands to steer clear of? Recommendations?

Obviously, the source company is trying to sell 'extras'. Would ericoid rootgrow with mycorrhizal funghi be a waste of a tenner or a beneficial investment?

What are your feeding/watering regimes? (rain water, if possible, obviously!).

Any wisdom gratefully received :)
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  • debs64debs64 West Midlands, on the edge of the Black Country Posts: 4,338
    I have now been attempting to grow blueberries for 3 years, lovely healthy plants growing in a raised bed on the allotment with ericaceous compost, fairly sunny spot, well watered with lots of bees to pollinate etc and have yet to harvest a single berry! My variety is pink lemonade so I would avoid that one. 
    If you do succeed please let me know how you did it. Best of luck! 
  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 808
    Hello @Biglad, there's a lot of useful information on the Trehane nursery website. Trehane were the first company to import and grow blueberries - they are experts in ericaceous plants so this was a natural progression. 

    I bought a 5 litre 'Patriot' and 2 litre 'Sunshine Blue' early last spring. I used John Innes ericaceous in large pots (I reckon each pot is at least 50 litres). Trehane's growing advice that came with the plants suggested the addition of slow-release granular ericaceous feed so I bought Miracle Gro for acid lovers.

    Both cropped well. I did not give any additional food during the summer as the Miracle Gro was slowly releasing nutrients all season. I did use tap water as it didn't rain for months, the seasonal pond dried up and I don't have rainwater collection. No obvious effect from using hard water from the tap. I will refresh some of the compost this spring and add more slow-release fertiliser. 

    I cannot rate the quality of the plants, the packaging and the instructions highly enough. Being specialists, they know their onions (blueberries) and I would not hesitate recommending them.  Here's the link https://www.trehanenursery.co.uk/Blueberry_Plants_s/2343.htm
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 2,607
    That's great @rachelQrtJHBjb. Perfect. Thanks.

    Fingers crossed @debs64
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 2,607
    They've arrived early! Three cracking looking plants in 2L pots packaged superbly :)

    @rachelQrtJHBjb did you put them straight into your big pots from the ones that they came in?
  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 808
    I kept them for a few weeks until the weather was better and then yes, I put them straight in the large pots as I didn't fancy potting them on from a decent-sized terracotta one to another. I figured if they went in the ground they would have a similar-sized root run and I didn't want them to dry out in small pots.

    So glad the recommendation worked out. What did you go for?
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 2,607
    Thanks @rachelQrtJHBjb. They weren't due for 10-14 working days so it's caught me on the hop. I haven't bought the pots yet (still mulling over the final size and style) :o

    Last question (hopefully) - should I put them straight outside in this cold snap or mollycoddle in the back porch for a bit?

    Bluecrop, Draper and ? (head like a sieve and would have to go and check!). Tried to get a spread that fruit over a longer period.
  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 808
    Don't worry, my bare-root roses arriving when it's been frozen for days has thrown me. The bag of compost has to come indoors to thaw out before potting up.

    I would pop the pots outdoors but either under cover and/or against the warmest house wall. The weather is going to change in the next 24 hours and by next week it will be around 6-12 degrees.
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 2,607
    I hadn't realised that we were all going to get so much warmer so soon. Happy days! :)
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 2,607
    Just a quick update. Well I've got a lot further than with my previous attempt :) I'm not sure why this makes me so happy, but it does!


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,557

    My OH is very pleased with the way his are growing too 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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