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Blueberries in tubs

Looking for some advice on planting 2 young blueberry plants into containers. I got them as bare root plants last autumn and planted them into ericaceous compost in 10” pots. I now want to move them on into their permanent homes in large 20” tubs, with drainage holes drilled in the bottom. Just wondering whether I should be putting something into the bottom of the tubs before I fill them with ericaceous compost? I’ve variously seen that people advocate large stones, small stones, old plant pots, empty plastic milk cartons, but not sure what the best way is to go, so thought I’d ask the experts! Any advice gratefully received. Also, should I just use ericaceous compost on its own, or should I add some topsoil or vermiculite or anything to it? Thanks in advance 


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,670
    I used broken clay flower pots as I had some in the old shed. I just used ericaceous compost as my soil was alkaline. The biggest problem was greedy blackbirds!
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,172
    as @Busy-Lizzie says broken clay parts. We have 2 in big containers and did manage to harvest enough last year before the birds got them but they weren't as plump as they should have been.
    The plants are showing good growth now.
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,673
    I have a friend with over 30 blueberries in large tubs. they drill the holes about 5cm up the sides, blueberries like the wet and this leaves the very bottom of the tub to act as a water reservoir.
    Therefore there is nothing over the holes they are just holes.
  • Thanks very much everyone for the replies, all very helpful. 
    @Skandi, this is a very interesting idea. Approximately how far apart do they drill the holes? 
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,673
    I think there's 4 per tub, but the holes are quite large say 3cm Ø
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,172
    We have 2 in large pots over many years. It is important to keep top dressing them.
    Yes the birds will go for them but as they are in pots and like us you only have a few then you can cover them for the time needed.
    Great to harvest and great to preserve for winter use.
  • I have 2 planted in large tubs with ericaceous last autumn. They've come beck well this spring with lots of white flowers in big bunches and they're not that big. Can't wait for the blueberries! I drilled holes in the bottom filled with compost and put some leaf mould for mulch.
    Happy Gardening
  • UffUff Posts: 3,199
    This all sounds interesting. Might I ask for recommendations for the best sweet flavour, please?
    SW SCOTLAND but born in Derbyshire
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,172
    Have today topped dressed the pots. Flowering not as good as last year. We wait and see.
  • seacrowsseacrows Posts: 230
    We found blueberries to be very greedy plants, the more food the more berries. Top mulch with pine needles as we heard this keeps the soil acidic.
    Now if we could just get to the berries before the local long-tailed tit flock comes by, we'd be overloaded. The only variety we've had trouble with is 'pink lemonade', I think it needs more sun than the others.
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