Blueberry update: 3 new plants & spring manure

by Lala

I hope I have reached the limit of my blueberry obsession, so that I can just sit back and watch them grow, instead of hunting out where to get more plants, hahaha. About two weeks ago I bought three more blueberry plants from two varieties that are new to me. I now have 4 varieties so I have more than enough for cross pollination and a long season of berry picking. My trial of growing blueberries in South Africa is going well as the season warms up.

These are the varieties I have growing:
Planted in 2014:
Tifblue x 1
Brigitta x 2
Planted today / spring 2015:
Centurion x 1
Legacy x 2

Legacy according to info available online, consistently ranks amongst the best in USDA taste trials. I can’t wait to taste the berries. One of the plants had a couple of blossoms on when I bought it, so I left them on to cross pollinate my other varieties and of course to taste them.

I decided on a whim to plant the three new varieties together in one fairly large window box. It is a fancy one from Builders Warehouse, with little feet and a complicated looking drainage system. I should have taken pictures before filling it with soil.

For future reference this is the order in which I planted them. Centurion in the middle and Legacy on the outside. Hoping that spread will also contribute to cross pollination.

Legacy and centurion blueberries in container

I think planting varieties of blueberry plants together like this would make a great gift for a friend, or be a wonderful space saver if you live in a flat or complex. If / when we move this will be a lot less hassle than the plants I’ve got in the huge terra cotta pots.

I used my trusted mix of equal parts Acid compost, peat and perlite. I happened to half left over cow manure, so I added that as well towards the end. I didn’t add any ammonium sulphate this time. I will use organic feeds like BounceBack pellets and fish emulsion until I see signs of trouble / too much alkalinity.

Blueberry soil mix

For my older plants, I decided since my hands were already dirty from the digging and manure, I may as well give them a spring feeding. I had give. Them a bit of fish emulsion earlier, but decided to give the. The traditional cow manure as the blueberry farmers do in North America. I shifted a bit of the pine bark mulch and saw their very shallow root systems. I put just over a handful of manure around each plant, watered them well with collected rain water (another good source of acid), and covered them up again.

Feeding blueberry plant manure

Shallow blueberry roots

Something interesting I saw on both the Brigitta plants is that they’ve put out runners / side shoots. I’ve read that if I cover the base with soil and wait a couple of seasons, they’ll develop enough of their own root systems to be cut off from the mother plants to make new plants. Pretty cool.

Brigitta blueberry sucker 2

Brigitta blueberry sucker 1

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