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09/06/2013 at 11:00

Hi -  this is my 2nd year of trying to grow blueberries.  My plant has been in the same pot and it is yet to grow any fruit.  In fact now the leaves are beginning to go brown and doesn't look too good at all.  My daughter, who bought the plant for me, has also the same type of blueberry and it is amazing.  Can anyone please give me any hints as to what I may be doing or not dong wrong.....

Many thanks Rubina

09/06/2013 at 11:08

Hi Rubina, what type of compost have you used in the pot?  They need acid conditions so it should be ericaceous.  Blueberries mustn't be allowed to dry out, but like any plant, overwatering can kill them too.  They should only be watered with rainwater as tap water is often alkaline and will do them no good.

Does any of the above help?

16/06/2013 at 18:31

Hi Bob- many thanks for your reply and I think that you may have answered my question. Think I repotted it and used John Innes compost!!! (probably not a good idea) and have been using tap water. The plant has now completely died.  So Bob if I buy another one from our local garden centre, shall I leave it in the original pot as they would have planted it in the correct soil as  you suggested? Hopefully I will have more luck.  I would also like to grow Raspberries do they need special soil also? Many thanks for your help. Rubina

16/06/2013 at 19:57

Robbie, blueberries MUST have an axis soil, an ericaceous compost.  I think I would keep it in the pot if it's reasonably big.  If in doubt, pot it up.  Bobs advice is spot on.  It was the compost that wot did it!!  

Mine grow in pots of ericaceous soil plunged in the garden....stops it drying out and keeps it stable.  

16/06/2013 at 20:01

Agree, blueberries need acid compost and rainwater.

On the other hand, raspberries prefer a slightly limey soil, enriched with plenty of organic matter - compost, FYM etc. 

16/06/2013 at 20:58

Oops, forgot the raspberries.....however, agree with the dove

18/06/2013 at 20:26

Hi Verdun - thanks so much I feel more confident now and will replace my plant this weekend and take your advice. As you may have guessed this growing fruit is all new to me - i'm fine with tomatoes and potatoes.!!!

Thanks a lot.

18/06/2013 at 20:30

Hi Dovefromabove - many thanks for your advice and I will now replace plant with confidence.  All new to me this growing fruit. I'm ok with tomatoes/potatoes.

 

Thanks a lot.

18/06/2013 at 20:32

If you only have one plant it may need another variety as a pollinator.

 If it flowers but has no fruit, then that might be it.  Your daughters might be being cross pollinated by a neighbours plant.

18/06/2013 at 20:44

Ah goodness all these things to think of - thanks fidgetbones. Will give that a go and see how what happens. Thanks.

18/06/2013 at 20:48

Agreed, try to get two different varieties if you can

18/06/2013 at 21:15

I have just dug in - in eron. soil two blueberry plants, raspberry and i have a growing blackberry.

I threw in some nice manure, sand/pebbles for drainage /  seaweed power / fish,blood n bone / blood /  potash and covered up with a nice mulch.

I wait and I wonder if anything materialises.

20/06/2013 at 11:38

wow garjobo - should think you will get a bumper crop - good luck.

21/06/2013 at 18:49

HELP!!!! A very kind neighbour has delivered to my doorstep 6 'runner bean' plants. They are established but I have no idea how to grow them.  There is no room in my garden so am I able to put them into grow bags 2 to each bag? do they need a lot of tending?

Please any advice is welcomed.

Robbie.

21/06/2013 at 23:50

Robbie, if you can't plant them in the ground then use decent size pots.  Grow bags not deep enough.  And I would use John innis compost .  And regular weekly or twice weekly feeding.  I would erect a wigwam of canes over them.  Sure you can't find space in the garden or on a fence?  

22/06/2013 at 13:31

many thanks. see your point about the depth.  we have managed to find a fenced area so will put the 6 plants in there.  how far apart do they have to be and can i just put canes behind them and garden string for them to grow against? have also bought J I compost to dig in first as soul is heavy. does that sound about right? thanks.

22/06/2013 at 13:58

Robbie, if the soil is heavy and clay-like, then sharp sand (from a builders merchants, or somewhere like wickes) is good to start, as it will help with drainage, and any organic matter, like well-rotted farm yard manure, or compost, or cheapish grow-bags is great.  With JI, what number did you buy?  As a rule this is how it should be used:

JI number 1 seeds and cuttings

JI number 2 potting on seedlings

JI number 3 mature established plants.

When I first started out I bought John Harrison's veg growing month-by-month, it was about a fiver from Amazon, and worth every penny.  It explains stuff that I complete beginner (like I was a couple of years ago) can understand, and tells you what you should be doing in your veg plot every month (although this will vary from area to area, and in years like this year, everything is about a month behind because of the awful winter we had).  You can sit and read cover-to-cover, dip into it at will, or look stuff up.  Is the best gardening book I've bought yet.  It explains about plants that like acid or alkaline soil, how to test your soil, adding lime to increase it's alkalinity for things like cabbages, caulis and sprouts that like it that way.

A good tip for blueberries (and anything else that likes acid soil, like azleas and camellias) is to water with cold black tea if no rainwater available - tea is acidic and does contain other nutrients that they will appreciate.  Next time you make a cuppa, either empty the teapot (when it's cooled down!), or if you're a heathen like me, put the used tea-bag in another cup, and pour hot water over it and let it stew.  Make sure you explain to your OH that it's for blueberries - I've had him drink it before and ask why there were 2 teabags in the bottom and it tasted stewed!!

22/06/2013 at 14:18

Hi M M P - thanks so much for all those tips like the idea of the tea - our dog drinks our left over tea at the mo with a drop of milk !!!

We have actually bought J I multi purpose compost.. any good!!!  Will also check out Amazon.sounds as if its what i need as I love the idea of growing as much fresh fruit/veg as i can but obviously its not as straight forward as I thought!!

 

22/06/2013 at 14:33

Compost is a hotly debated subject on the forum, as there's so much rubbish about!  JI should be good, but people have had mixed results with the JI compost.  I very recently found a garden centre tucked away in the area (so many have shut down), very basic with one big greenhouse and compost stacked on pallets, but full of healthy plants at affordable prices, and none of the tat you usually find at the big chains.  This forum is full of people that are passionate about gardening and know loads.  If I've ever had a question (and I have had lots), somone on here always knows the answer.  The only daft question on here is do you want a cup of tea?!!

 

22/06/2013 at 15:56

Robbie not mpc..you want ericaceous compost.  Before ??ou plant have you tested your soil?  Blueberries need very acid soil....prob 5.5 or so.  Alkaline soil will kill them as will the mpc.  They need to spaced well apart, at least 4', not too near your fence but  dont need supports.  If your soil is not right...a soil tester is cheap and easy to use....then put in decent size pots and use ericaceous compost.  You can get ericaceous compost or ericaceous soil....the "soil" is best as,it will sustain your plant better and longer.  Sorry, but best to,get it right start the start

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