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Soil Recipe for Potted Blueberries

My husband, son, and I picked up our first fruit plants over the weekend. We got a 3 gallon and two 1 galon blueberries (Austin, Premier, and Tifblue). We'd like to plant them in pots because we haven't lived here (Atlanta) long enough to know where we would want them in the ground. Do any of you know if I could just plant each one in a big pot and not deal with repotting later? Also, what dirt mixture should I plant them in?

The simpler the recipe, the better, but I don't want the blueberries to suffer either. I watched a youtube video about potted blueberries which recommended peat moss, pine bark, acidic potting soil, 3 organic fertilizers, and soil sulfur. I called around and could not find the acidic potting soil or the soil sulfur in my area.

Thanks in advance for any advice you all can give!!

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Super Green Thumb
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Any potting soil will be adequate and the sulfur is not necessary. Peat moss will give the plants plenty of acidity. I've grown blue berries in containers for several years. Other than wanting acid soil and needing a fairly steady supply of moisture, the plants are not very picky. If I were you, I would repot the three gallon into a five gallon which should last for several years. I would move the one gallon plants up to three gallon for a year or two, before moving them into the five gallon. Too much soil can cause retention of excess water and can cause root rot.

Here is an easy soil mix similar to what I've used in the past. Approximate ratios and you could toss the pine bark in the mix if you wish.

30% peat moss
50% good quality potting mix
20% perlite

The organic fertilizers are not necessary the first season. Second season use an acid reaction fertilizer, or use the organic fertilizers with a hand full of sulfur tossed in the mix. blueberries don't need much fertilizer, maybe a small amount in late winter each year.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.

Green Thumb
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What to look for in buying quality potting soil?

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Joyfirst wrote:What to look for in buying quality potting soil?
It should be loose and friable ... feel light and fluffy when you handle it. When you wet it and squeeze it in your hand, it should not stick together in a tight ball. It should break apart when you open your hand.

Those are my criteria, anyway. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

The Helpful Gardener
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Location: Colchester, CT

I totally agree with Alex about the stepping up in sizes; good advice...

But Alex, your soil recipe looks like 50% potting soil to...50% potting soil, kind of. I'm joking of course; your ratios are much different, but most potting soils are already peat and perlite. No compost? Shredded pine bark to maintain acidity? I'd at least mulch the tops of the pots with the pine bark mulch or pine straw; my blueberries are just under the drip edge of a big pine and are stellar...

JF, can I ask why pots and not in the ground? You can always dig them if you want to move them, and they'll be way happier and a lot less work... potting soil does not provide the biology that really helps our plants, especially shrubs and trees, grow to their optimal condition...

Scott Reil

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