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Hi Verdun, Robbie was also asking about runner beans - ericaceous won't do runners any good at all, hence the advice about planting near the fence and using canes! 

Once you start this gardening lark, you find yourself being given all manner of strange things.  I've given away plug plants, jiffy pellets, and copper tape to name but a few.  I've also gone skip diving (with owners' permission) for plant pots and planters!

You're right about the compost, with blueberries, cranberries, azeleas, rhododendrons etc needing proper ericaceous stuff.  Are there any other berries that need ericaceous?  I know strawberries and rasperries don't, what about all varieies of currant - asking as I've recently bought a blackcurrant and it looks as it's doing OK in ordinary clover MPC.

Hi Verdun and MMP - used JI as had already bought it, neighbour gave us some fertilizer and dug a trench and in went the prepared soil, which apparently the neighbour said he has no trouble growing his beans!!, and we planted runners and used canes and twine.  If i manage to get a couple that take i shall be chuffed for a first attempt. MMP I have ordered the book thanks.

Oops! MMP. Forgot all about the runner beans.......I'll get my coat

Blackcurramts need good rich comditions.  They are greedy.  After fruiting mine are given a good,feed,of fish blood and bone to encourage plenty,of new growth and then a potash feed in late spring.  Not too sure if they will like growing in a pot though.  Red currants,gooseberries etc are not so hungry I think.  Are you growing all your currants in pots then MMP?

Only got one blackcurrant at the mo, Verd, was an Aldi special buy, nearly managed to kill it by keeping it in the kitchen whilst we had the snow, repotted and put out when nicer weather came, it dropped most of it's leaves but is recovering well now, in ordinary MPC.  OH has put the pot in a jerrycan holder that he took off his trailer.  Think he's waved goodbye to them now, as there are 4 hanging on the fence, one has the blackcurrant in, 4 are empty......for now!

As we're meant to be moving later on in the year, most of my stuff is in pots, including fruit trees - very big pots, those!  Will be keeping and using next year for carrots.  Will have to remember to give the blackcurrant a drink of the flower power once a week when I do the strawberries.


I have to say being a total novice when my Mum decided to buy a tiny blueberry bush from Aldi some 2 years ago I just chucked it in a pot of MPC.

It has grown fine producing fruit last year and this year AND I use tap water on it

(Maybe Our tap water is Acidic? )



I collect rain water for blueberry watering but you can use tap water. Depending where you live, tap water can be hard or soft, I don't know what makes water hard or soft, it's possible lime, I'm sure someone will be along shortly to tell us though, but blueberries prefer one to the other although neither is harmful to us.

Rain water is the same where ever you live and blueberries are happy being watered with it. As most do not know whether they have hard or soft tap water, or to what degree, the best advise is to use rain water but if your blueberries are happy with tap water no need to fix something which isn't broken, carry on watering.

Hard water contains calcium carbonate, the stuff that furs up your kettle with white stuff (and will do the same to your washing machine too, when it's solid it's called limescale).  Soft water doesn't contain as much, sometimes no calcuim carbonate.  This makes your water a little more alkaline, not much, but some blueberries seem to be more tolerant of alkali than others.  The ones I have, the pink ones, do seem to be very sensitive, so will be using black tea if I need to water - I don't have room or funds at the moment for a water butt.

Mattbeer, it may be that you have very soft water - how often, if ever, do you need to de-scale your water?  Maybe you have a very tolerant plant, I do find if you get them before the staff have time to neglect them, plants from aldi do seem to be very robust.

Thanks MMP, I must live in a soft water area


I've never seen any Limescale in my Kettle or any other appliance in the house, I guess our water must be very soft

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