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Blueberry patch is planted!
The blueberries arrived on Saturday afternoon! I was excited to see the box on the front steps, but surprised at how small and lightweight it was... I had really been wondering what these plants would be like since all the plants I'd seen in the nurseries were at least 2 or 3x the price of those I ordered from the grower. So I expected them to be small, but I was alittle taken aback. They are younger than I thought they would be so ... maybe no fruit this year. But they look happy and healthy and I like them.
The tiny blueberry plants ( photo / image / picture from daisybeans's Garden )
Now, I've only bought one other plant through the mail and it was a more mature rhodie in a pot... This was so different! It kind of scared me to see them looking so vulnerable and fragile!!! I had alredy prepared the bed for them with lots of peat so I got right to planting them.
Following the instructions that I had been given by our blueberry guru here on GS (that would be Sjoerd), first I dug a hole about a foot deep and two feet wide with loose soil in the bottom. I added peat to the bottom and mixed it up and watered it in. To the soil I removed from the hole, I added about the same amount of peat, maybe a little more so it was really peaty. Here I would have added some bone meal, except I didn't have any... (oops).
pretty good hole! ( photo / image / picture from daisybeans's Garden )
ground soil and peat mix ( photo / image / picture from daisybeans's Garden )
Each plant arrived with its little root ball rinsed of soil and packed with some of that jelly-like stuff that holds a lot of water, then wrapped in a plastic bag and held closed with a rubber band.
in the bag ( photo / image / picture from daisybeans's Garden )
the root ball with the jelly-like stuff ( photo / image / picture from daisybeans's Garden )
I gave the roots a little drink and gently spread them out. I was thinking they looked OK... but I was also thinking "What do I know????"
root ball ready to plant ( photo / image / picture from daisybeans's Garden )
I had to take a deep breath.... they'll be fine I said to myself. No worry, the neighbors are used to me talking to myself and the plants....
Then, I filled the hole most of the way with the soil/peat mix. I made a mound of soil in the middle and placed the plant on top, spreading out the roots and checking to make sure the base of the plant where the roots meet the stems was level with the top of the hole. I snugged in so that it won't sink too much and then packed around the roots with moist soil mix. Then filled in the rest of the hole with that mix.
Did I mention that talked to them at several points? At least I can say we've become "friends" and hopefully I did OK planting them!
all snugged into its new home ( photo / image / picture from daisybeans's Garden )
The next day, I pressed down the soil around the plants and filled in the low spots with more soil/peat mix. At this point, I had some bone meal so I top dressed the soil with about 1/2 of a trowel of bone meal around each plant and about the same amount of berry fertilizer about 6-8 inches out from the plant. I worked that into the soil, gave them a drink, and then I put about 2-3 inches of peat moss around each plant. I moved the soil away from the base so that they are still level with the top of the soil.
Then, I finished the whole thing with a few inches of shredded pine bark mulch.
And here is the finished blueberry patch. There are six plants in there, believe it or not. Five were from the grower and one I bought at a nursery. That one is a little bigger than the others.
(Don't mind my falling down fence. It's being replaced shortly.)
the finished blueberry patch ( photo / image / picture from daisybeans's Garden )
Next I have to figure out the watering issue. We had a little rain this a.m. so not a problem yet... Think I will collect rain like I did last year and use that along with dehumidifier water when needed... Let's see how it all goes.
Thanks for all the support GS friends, espcially Sjoerd and Jewell for the tips! And especially thanks to Sjoerd for patiently describing the soil prep and planting process to me (more than) a few times (and STILL I forgot the bone meal... duh.)
Last edited: Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:54 am
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I think they'll grow just fine DB. Please post updates.
Looking good! Keep us posted as they settle in.
You did a great job Daisybeans!
The finished plot foto looks absolutely gorgeous. I just sat here grinning like one of those north american marsupials as I read and looked at the report of the stages of planting. It was fun to see and read how things progressed.
Thanks for the comments! Sjeord, they have good looking buds and now today some tiny leaves. They were grown in the ground and hand dug before shipping, according to the grower. The one that I bought around here is leafing out too, a bit ahead of the others.
This is supurb news, Daisy! I have great hopes for them.
Thanks, Sjoerd, me too.
They look great and sure they will do fine Keep us posted on them:)
What inspiration I get from this post. I planted my blueberries today as well. I dont have anywhere near the right soil yet so I bought LARGE 4 cubic foot pots and put them in with potting soil that has water rettention crystals and some fertilizer. I plan on picking up some rhodadendran sp? fertalizer tomorrow and work that in around the plant. Is pine bark mulch necessary or will any mulch work? Goo dlooking plot though daisy.
I'm so excited for you! I'm sure they will take off marvellously. I also mail ordered mine, and it arrived just like yours, about a month ago. I was surprised to see how small and vulnerable, but prepared soil with lots of peat, leaf mulch, sheep poo, lucerne and mushroom compost and he's looking happy. We have long hot summers here so I chose a more heat suited variety but I hope it gets old enough in winter. I've drip irrigated him under about 4" of mulch (coir and lucerne) to keep the roots cool-they have shallow roots systems. Still under a foot tall, with 5 small shoots, it has started to fruit but I think I'll be strong and prune out the fruiting tips to give a head start and also the best preparation foe it's first summer. Well done you! Keep us all posted,I'll be keeping an eye on it. Good luck!
Mary ann I feel like if you followed SJored'.instructions
I have a couple that I put in the ground with a ph of 5 (most of that soil is a ground tree stump) I think they will do well. The Dwarf Tophat's that will go in large pots I'll have to find something to bring the ph down.