Blueberries

Food, Nutrition and Agriculture
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diamond lil
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Blueberries

Post by diamond lil » Thu May 07, 2020 6:12 pm

I'm not mad on fruit at all but can tolerate blueberries, and dry them to add into biscuits etc. How do you grow them? Would they survive up here at 1000ft?

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diamond lil
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Re: Blueberries

Post by diamond lil » Thu May 07, 2020 6:14 pm

Above the natural tree line, on a moor.
AGARD1.jpg

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PreppingPingu
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Re: Blueberries

Post by PreppingPingu » Thu May 07, 2020 10:33 pm

I try to grow them in my allotment down south here, (5 bushes.) I have several varieties growing together as you need that for pollination. My problems is that they never ripen enough. They stay pale green/mauve and never ripen to that deep blueberry colour. I think I need to water them more, and maybe give them a feed. Not sure if they tolerate the clay rich soil of my allotment that well. I didn't prepare the ground before I planted them a few years back - I just stuck them in and crossed my fingers hoping for the best. Ooops. I know they need a fair bit of sunlight - partial shade probably isn't going to give the best results. Not sure if that's of any help 'Lil.

I love them in porridge yummmmmm!
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diamond lil
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Re: Blueberries

Post by diamond lil » Fri May 08, 2020 6:21 am

That's very helpful ta PP. The only way to find out is to try them I suppose, but the amount of stuff I've read about on forums that people further south can grow, only to try them up here without success has made me give up on a lot. But as you say, they are lovely so it's worth a try. My soil is very poor but I can bung in compost and feed.

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Decaff
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Re: Blueberries

Post by Decaff » Fri May 08, 2020 9:41 am

Found this for you both:

Blueberries are relatively easy to look after. Keep the compost or soil moist, but not soaking wet. Don’t allow it to dry out between waterings. Water plants with rainwater, not tap water, unless you have no alternative in a drought. Tap water will raise the pH level and blueberries like acidic conditions.
Ensure the soil stays at pH of 5.5 or lower, to avoid problems. Check the pH of the soil in spring and add sulphur chips if it needs lowering. This shouldn’t be necessary with container-grown plants provided ericaceous fertiliser and rainwater are used.
Feed container plants every month using a liquid fertiliser formulated for ericaceous (lime-hating) plants, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
You may find open ground plants don't need feeding apart from the annual ericaceous mulch and a high nitrogen feed such as sulphate of ammonia in late winter. Blueberries are sensitive to overfeeding.

Pruning is rarely needed in the first two years. After that you should prune in late February to early March. Once you start pruning, you should aim to remove a quarter of old wood at the base every year to keep the plant productive.
In colder regions, many cultivars will need winter protection. In spring, flowers may need some fleece protection if frost threatens.
Plant in a moist, well-drained, acidic soil. Blueberries prefer light soils rather than heavy clays. Choose a sunny, sheltered spot. While blueberries are tolerant of shade, better crops (and autumn colour) are obtained in the sun.
Blueberries are very fussy about soil acidity. They will not grow well if planted in alkaline soil. Soil acidity can be measured by a pH testing kit. You can buy these from most garden centres. The pH of your soil needs to be pH 5.5 or lower for blueberries to thrive. If your soil is marginally higher than this, you can try lowering the pH by adding sulphur chips well in advance of planting.
If your pH is higher you’ll be best to plant blueberries in a container. Container cultivation is often best if your soil is a heavy clay too.
If growing blueberries in garden soil, add plenty of bulky, acidic organic matter such as pine needles, leafmould or composted conifer clippings. Avoid well-rotted farmyard manure as this is too rich and alkaline.
While some blueberry cultivars can produce a good crop on their own, all yield much more heavily if planted near another, different cultivar. Check the labels on the plants when you buy.
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ukpreppergrrl
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Re: Blueberries

Post by ukpreppergrrl » Fri May 08, 2020 9:51 am

Now I feel bad. I have three in pots (though one is very small and in a tiny pot) on my patio and I am unbelievably negligent of them. The little one might even have been a Poundland bush. Not actually sure when I last fed them!!! :shock: They're kinda hidden at the back. But...oh I feel so guilty....they crop lovely big, purple blueberries every year!! Not many, but then I absolutely do not give them the love and attention they deserve. Enough for a few blueberry deserts. Probably 1 good sized punnet. Memo to self...love your blueberries more this year!

If I recall when I bought them (about 10 years ago) I put them in ericaceous compost as I think they like more acid soil. They like it quite moist so they are in plastic pots with trays underneath, and as I say, kinda hidden at the back behind the patio fruit trees in pots and a bit hidden by the forsythia in the border. So quite sheltered. They get morning sun but by about 1pm will be in shade. The pots are also overrun with wild strawberries. Don't know if that helps or hinders!

edit: in light of the above post, my three are definitely different cultivars. What those cultivars are I now can't tell you. The first one I bought was self-fertitle and it did produce purple berries that I liked so much I bought another plant the year after. I recall it had a different name from the first one, but as I say, I didn't write them down. The third one I am pretty sure was an addition the following year from Poundland. So I probably never knew its name. They get no protection, other than the plants around them. They all survived The Beast From The East and the following scorcher summer. They get watered via the hose pipe (London's water is very hard so not ideal it seems!) pretty much every day in the summer as do all the patio fruit things as it gets hot on the patio. It's possible the benign neglect actually works for them.
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PreppingPingu
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Re: Blueberries

Post by PreppingPingu » Fri May 08, 2020 12:43 pm

Thanks. Yes I discovered that my soil wasn't that good for them as they aren't happy on clay. Funnily enough after posting, I too researched them a bit more. I'm giving a little bit of tomato rite liquid feed to mine this season and will try to improve the soil in the autumn before I mulch again. Thanks Decaff btw :) Fingers crossed for next year's results.
"Today is the tomorrow that you worrried about yesterday" - unknown
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GillyBee
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Re: Blueberries

Post by GillyBee » Fri May 08, 2020 1:16 pm

Thankyou. I didn't realise farmyard marine is alkaline. That explains my sulking tea camellia.

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diamond lil
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Re: Blueberries

Post by diamond lil » Fri May 08, 2020 2:15 pm

Well if they are sensitive to cold then I won't bother, too much hassle. I only grow fully hardy stuff here, saves me stress.
We've got snow forecast for Sat night :mrgreen:

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Decaff
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Re: Blueberries

Post by Decaff » Sat May 09, 2020 10:21 am

I love blueberries in baked goods but for some reason I can't stand to eat them just as berries. No idea why either :oops: I do however love redcurrants and blackcurrants and have one of each in huge pots on my lottie plot. Fingers crossed for a good harvest this year! the berry drawer in the freezer is starting to get low. :cry: Lil, if you have a greenhouse or conservatory you could keep them inside in pots when it gets really cold?
Behind every great man is an even greater woman. She carried you, raised you and made you who you are.

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