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in Problem solving
i have a section of the garden, south facing, and with a fence behind, in which i would like to plant blueberry and perhaps raspberries. the section length is around about 4m/13ft or so, and having read that the blueberry plants need around 4ft of space around each to crop best, it looks like i will only have 3 plants worth of space, with a big gap inbetween each plant.
is there any way i can fill that space or work things out better to have more coverage?
Hi djjjuk, blueberries must have acid soil, so if you aren't sure what you have, get a soil testing kit (which aren't expensive.) They a need a pH value between 4 and 5.5.
If your soil pH is higher than 5.5, they won't grow well and will probably die if it is alkali (ie the pH higher than 7.)
Raspberries do like a slightly acid soil but won't grow well at the low pH levels blueberries need so you can't really grow them together.
The alternative is to grow your blueberries in large containers using special ericaceous (acid) compost and they do well when grown like that. You could probably grow at least 6 large pots of blueberries in that space and plant raspberries in the ground behind the pots so you would get the best of both worlds.
thanks for the info. i do actually have the ideal soil acidity for blueberry - i tested it a few months back and it was pH 5 - so i was planning to plant those direct in the ground. is it possible to swap round and have the raspberries in pots instead as the soil might not be workable for them? i'll do whichever combination works really in order to get the maximum , and i hadnt thought of mixing pots and ground planting side by side.
i have heavy clay soil also. if it makes any difference, the area we are talking about here is a long thin border - fence behind it and concrete edging in front of it then grass on the other side of the edging. the length is at least 18ft - possibly bigger - and width about 1ft maximum.
if you see this picture here, it shows where i mean (by the way: this photo was taken just before i did a mega clean at the weekend which included getting all that nasty algae off the walls and patio. it looks great now!)
as you can see, i also have some space behind that bench, currently where those 3 viburnums are sitting in those pots next to the rosemary. once those plants are big enough i will be planting those out at the back fence so they can be moved to accommodate fruit plants in pots.
what size pots do you recommend for these fruits?
I grow blueberries.....4 different varieties....in ericaceous compost in pots plunged in the soil. (slightly higher though than surrounding soil). Well worth growing. In your soil they will be fine directly in the ground.
Bob's advice sounds right to me.
Heck, meant to pop in here just for a moment before my stint at the foodbank so I'd better shoot off without further reading of this most addictive forum
sorry if this is a daft question but why plunge the pots into the ground? to keep them warmer?
I've never grown raspberries in pots but others here have and may be able to give better advice. Personally, I'd think they would need pretty large ones - say 30cm dia.
As for Verdun plunging the pots into the ground, that's probably to help with watering (less required) and to keep frost from getting at the roots I would think.
Perzactly Bob. We Cornish aren't daft y'know
They won't blow over, retain moisture better, can be netted easier, and, yes, roots are protected better.
ok thanks for the tips. what size pots do you use for the blueberries?
Mine are in 50cm ones, dj.