If you are starting out with your container garden, you might be wondering if you can have berries in a patio area or container garden. The answer is a definitive YES! Many berry varieties can thrive in containers. Blueberries will do particularly well in a container. Blueberries have specific soil needs, and a container will allow you to provide just the right conditions to get maximum fruit.
Blueberries can be grown in a large container, ideally with more than one bush in the container. Blueberries are self-pollinating but will have larger and more berries if planted in groups. They like slightly acidic soil, and a rich compost.
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In our garden we have a half wine barrel with three blueberry bushes. We get fruit on the bushes every spring, and it is also a great looking plant for the container garden on our patio. Below are the important considerations to have a successful blueberry container in your garden.
1. The best Pots to use for Blueberry Bushes
For Blueberries, a nice large pot is ideal. The roots stay close to the surface, so a pot with a lot of width is better than depth, to let the tots spread out. You can put multiple blueberry bushes in one pot if you wish. We have ours in a half wine barrel and it’s perfect.
We recommend choosing a pot with low evaporation. Avoid terracotta which will pull moisture from the soil. Black plastic may also get hot in the sun. A large pot or barrel with good water retention is ideal.
2. What kind of soil does a Blueberry bush need?
Blueberries like a slightly acidic soil that doesn’t dry out too quickly. We used a fir mulch mix from all green, and we regularly add mulch and foods to increase the acidity in the soil. These include used coffee grounds, pine needles and sulphur.
You want to regularly mulch your blueberry bush, as the roots are close to the surface and can dry out quickly. We mulch 2-3 inches using Kellogg organic Gro Mulch. We top it up whenever we start to see bare soil. But you could also mulch every 1-2 months as it rots in. Home made compost would also make a wonderful mulch for blueberries especially if it has been made with acidic items such as coffee grounds and pine needles.
3. Do you need multiple Blueberry Bushes?
One myth about blueberries is that you have to have multiple bushes in order to get fruit. The truth is you do not, although if you do have multiple bushes you will get a higher yield and better berries.
We have 2 blueberry bushes in one very large container and they produce a lot of fruit.
4. How much water does a Blueberry Bush need?
A blueberry bush needs regular water, about an inch a week will make your plant very happy. During summer drought months in California our blueberries get less and do just fine. But for optimal berry growth a generous regular watering is ideal.
5. How Much sun does a Blueberry Bush need?
Blueberry bushes will like a sunny spot in the garden. Ideally full sun, but a blueberry can tolerate partial shade too. The key word here being tolerate, too much shade may result in less fruit and poorer growth of your plant.
5. How often should you feed your Blueberry Bush?
Feed your blueberry bush at least once a year with an ‘acidic plant fertilizer’ such as Holly tone or Berry tone. I like to feed our blueberry plant three times a year once in the spring, once in the summer and once at the end of the season. You could also use an ericaceous (acidic) compost as mulch throughout the season.
6. Final Thoughts
In a container garden, it is possible to get a wonderful harvest of blueberries every year. Choosing the right container, soil and compost or fertilizer, you will be able to have punnets of berries for you and your family to enjoy!
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