Monday, April 20, 2009

Gardening 101

Have you seen the price of blueberries and strawberries? Wow! Problem is...I love both of these fruit so since I'm really getting into expanding my gardening abilities this year, I thought I would do a little research and see just how difficult it might be to grow them in containers...and you know what...I think I can do this...And just in case you think you might want to try it, here's some tips:


First, you need to know what variety of blueberry is best for a container. A dwarf blueberry plant, such as Tophat, grows very well in containers. The Tophat has small, sweet berries that are similar to a wild blueberry.

It will grow to be about 24 inches tall and will fill most containers.

Next, you have to choose the correct container. Make sure the container is at least 24 inches wide and 16 inches or more deep. This will be a good size container for permanent growth. A larger container, such as a whiskey barrel, will allow your Tophat to grow larger and give more fruit.

So what type of soil do you need? 1 part topsoil and 1 part sphagnum peat moss will give your blueberries the best start.

You will want to make sure you give your soil a good moistening before planting. Place your plant in the middle of the container and about 2 inches deep in the soil. Blueberries are an acid-loving plant, so make sure you get a time-release fertilizer. A 4-inch layer of mulch is also something that will help your blueberries grow, just make sure that you keep the mulch away from the plant itself. This will encourage new canes to develop.

You want to keep the soil moist and the mulch will help do that. Just make sure you don't overdo it, you won't want the soil to be too wet. Place your plant in the sun and that is it!

All you have to do now is pick the blueberries and enjoy them!


You want to make sure your container allows your soil to drain. So hanging baskets and any other container that has a hole in the bottom for drainage will work. If your container comes with a saucer, you will want to make sure that your container doesn't sit directly on the saucer. This can cause too much moister on the roots of your plants.

Your strawberry plant will need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. If you don't have this much actual sunlight, then you might want to check on using a plant light.

Your strawberries need a well-drained soil that contains organic matter. Mixing a 5-10-5 fertilizer or 21-0-0 ammonium sulfate into the soil before planting will give your strawberries a great start. Just make sure to follow the directions on your fertilizer so you know how much to use based on the size of the container.

Basically, as long as the roots of your strawberry plants are covered, you should be okay. If you are planting more than one plant, you will need to make sure the plants are at least 2 feet apart, so planting one plant per container might work best.

Just like blueberries, you will want to water your plants only enough to keep the soil moist. Good drainage is best for your plants.

Believe it or not, being in the dark is just as important to your strawberry plants as having sunlight. So make sure your plants are in the dark from sunset to sunrise.

Enjoy! I know I will...

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