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Old 08-19-2010, 09:45 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,393 times
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I live in the valleys of Cali and I currently have a blueberry bush and a coming-to-be summer yellow squash. I have no Idea what I am doing, I am trying my best by looking online for help but I cannot seem to find any novice friendly gardening websites, so if any of you guys happen to know some please let me know!
Now, my 2 year old blueberry bush was doing great! I've been giving it full sun, plenty of water and it even gave me about 10 blueberries. After I picked the berries, they never bothered to produce another. Another Odd thing is that it is not really a bush... its more like 3 long stalks with a bunch of leaves! I am not sure if it is due to its age or because I am doing something wrong. I know blueberry bushes are supposed to have high acidic soil so I feed it miracle Grow for high acidic plants (once a week). I also have my bush in a 13 inch tall pot and the stalks are about a foot and a half tall. So I am not sure if it is because it does not have enough space.
This links into my final question, since I live in the valley, I do not feel it is a good idea to plant both my squash and blueberry bush into my nice, hard, dry dirt. The times that I have tried to dig a hole, put both good fertilizer and my plant, the ants here have attacked everything (even the plant food that was in the fertilizer). SO I place my plants in pots. So knowing this, what should I do? I do not know wether to keep using pots or change my method.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:57 AM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 12,227,595 times
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Blueberries are not a great choice for areas with long hot summers. And they prefer a very acid soil which you probably don't have. Putting them in a pot isn't going to help much as perennial fruit bearing plants are not usually very happy in pots.

Here's a decent link for growing blueberries in California.
SFP: Extended Season Blueberries (http://sfp.ucdavis.edu/research/blueberryupdate.html - broken link)


And if your 'garden' is an area of "nice, hard, dry dirt" you're going to have trouble growing anything in it.

First step for a good garden: soil preparation.

"Your First Garden. Lesson 1: preparing the soil"
Your First Garden - free Suite101 course (http://www.suite101.com/lesson.cfm/16654/136 - broken link)
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:36 AM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 5,740,243 times
Reputation: 1215
I agree about the blueberries info provided, I am in the NE and we have winters, acidic soil in my area, you need to add something to the soil in the berry pot to make it more acidic, I can't think of what it is right now.

A pot isn't a good idea, and blueberries need pruned.

I know you're trying, hang in there, sent you a PM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:18 AM
 
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Thank you guys very much for the links and information! I am going to continue to adjust my methods so I can have a decent little garden of my own in the future (:
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Destrehan, Louisiana
2,192 posts, read 6,778,857 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post
Blueberries are not a great choice for areas with long hot summers.
Better tell all the blueberry farmers that in South Louisiana.

busta
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:29 AM
 
Location: The mountians of Northern California.
1,354 posts, read 6,125,999 times
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There are mini blueberry bushes made for pots. If the bush is not a mini bush, then it might be stressed in a pot. If a plant is stressed, it will not give you much fruit. Getting advice at the big box stores is a waste of time. Find a good nursery and talk to them. Most local nurseries have great gardening classes, see if you can attend those.

I grew up in the Sacramento valley and our yards were always full of clay and hardpan. If you really want to garden, try working the soil this fall. We never had a rototiller, my folks had us kids get out there with shovels and work the ground until we could plant in it. Collecing leaves from neighbors is a great way to get some added nutreints into the ground. Rototill those in and let it sit over the winter.

Raised beds are an easy way to get a garden going when you have bad soil. You can get a truckload of good dirt delievered for about $150. Making the beds is super easy. Depending on where you are, you can grow veggies in the valley year round. I know several people that have salad gardens that will grow all eyar long. They made little plastic hoop houses for them, thick clear plastic and curved pvc pipe frame.
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:41 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 7,358,782 times
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Blueberries like more acidic soil, but they also need soil that is not packed down. My neighbor used lots of compost, good soil and a huge layer of pine straw for mulch. To be honest hot roots, from sitting in a pot, are probably not the best way to grow shrubs like blueberries, so leaving one to be cooked and root bound is likely to cause it to either just barely survive or eventually die. I'll have to disagree on the inability to grow blueberries in the south, though. One can buy blueberries from the supermarket throughout the year and you'll notice that they grow from Florida (and more recently from California) to Canada as the season progresses. There's even a full fledged growers association in Florida: Florida Berry Facts (http://www.floridablueberrygrowers.com/blueberry-lovers/florida-berry-facts.html - broken link) Since there are also wild blueberries growing in many southern locations heat all by itself should not be an issue. The best blueberries I've had were fresh from a farm out in coastal NC, just outside of New Bern and from my neighbors bushes right here in TN!! The distinction of course is that you can't grow northern blueberries from Michigan in places like California or Florida; there are varieties for cold areas and for warm areas.

Blueberries usually have a 'season' and then stop bearing fruit so this is likely the reason you haven't seen any since your harvest of 10 berries. My neighbor and a local native plant grower both told me that you have to remove the blooms in the first year, and sometimes the second, before they set fruit so the plant will put its energy into making roots and branches first and then you should have a more bountiful crop in the following years. Sounds reasonable from growing other plants.

Since I don't grow them myself (just try and eat them for as long as they are in season in the USA) I figured a few sites with tips might set you on the right path.

The first has instructions for acidifying for blueberries beyond plain miracid fertilizer: Blueberry Bushes -- Growing Blueberries

The following actually mentions that you can grow them in a half-barrel:
Blueberry Thrills | Garden Guides

The last shows all the varieties that can grow and produce in warmer areas. It may list the one you have so you can get more detailed info for it:
Varieties of Blueberry Plants, Southern Highbush Blueberries

Good luck... may you have tons of berries next year!

Last edited by J&Em; 08-20-2010 at 02:42 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:26 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,393 times
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Thank you all for the great advice and the links! I took my bush out of its pot and stuck it into the ground. So far its been doing okay (except for the occasional bugs who chew on its leaves) we'll see how it goes (:
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:21 PM
 
29,984 posts, read 41,074,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceBandit View Post
Thank you all for the great advice and the links! I took my bush out of its pot and stuck it into the ground. So far its been doing okay (except for the occasional bugs who chew on its leaves) we'll see how it goes (:
Two words for blueberry bush acidity needs: peat moss

Surround the root ball with peat moss instead of soil.
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:07 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
433 posts, read 1,091,803 times
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LifeloneMOgal, thanks for that info.
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