lou5191
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:34 pm
Location: southampton

Strawberries and blueberries

I bought some new plants this year. 2 strawberry plants called opal and 2 blueberry plants on called julia and the other called augusta. I have plenty of runners on my strawberry plants but no flowers. One of my blueberry plants has completely died(augusta) and my other has plenty of leaves and had a few flowers but doesnt seem to be doing much else!

Any advice?

Thanks

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Kisal
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

I have only grown strawberries once, and since the neighbor's dog persisted in digging them up every day while I was away at work, I gave up on them. :(

Blueberries I can talk about, however. They need an acidic soil, so it might be a good idea to have your soil tested. They need to be kept evenly moist, which can be a bit tricky growing them in a container. You need to be sure to have a fast-draining soil and plenty of drainage holes in the container.

They should be fertilized in early spring with a fertilizer that helps the soil to stay acidic. I use the same fertilizer that I use on my rhododendrons and azaleas, but that may not be aacceptable if you're concerned about growing organically. I'm sure other members will step in with alternative suggestions for you. :)

The leaves turn reddish and fall off in the fall. But new ones should sprout in the spring. The first 3 to 5 years, there will only be a handful of flowers and berries. After that, there should be berries in abundance, but you may have to use bird netting on the bushes, if you hope to have any berries for yourself. Birds love blueberries, and so do dogs, if you have any 4-footed buddies in your family. ;)

Some varieties need a different cultivar to serve as a pollinator. Without that pollinator, your bushes will not be able to produce much, if any, fruit. There are varieties available that don't need a separate pollinator. The ones I have do not.

The final requirement, of course, is something to do the pollinating. Observe your garden and see how many pollinating insects you see. Small flies, bees are essential. While many plants can be hand-pollinated, I think it would be difficult to do on a blueberry bush, because of the shape and size of the flowers. If you don't see plenty of pollinating insects at the bushes, you should think about planting flowers that specifically attract pollinating insects. There have been a few discussions here about what to plant for that purpose. You could use the search forum function to find them.

Last of all, remember that not every plant you plant is going to grow and thrive. Some just die, through no fault of your own. If you bought your blueberry bushes at a responsible garden store or nursery, they will probably give you a refund or replace the bushes for you. I don't know the policies of the big-box stores, as I only buy very inexpensive plants from them. If they die, I don't bother returning for a refund or replacement.

HTH! :)
"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

JONA878
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Location: SUSSEX

As regards your strawberries Lou,
Strawberries, like all plants, have only one thing in mind.....to propogate.
Most strawberry plants when you buy them have quite small crowns.
That's the head of the plant from where all the leaves grow.
( It always pays to buy plants with as larger crown as you can. They will cost more ..but will come into crop quicker.)
Anyway...
Once you've planted them they do their best to increase in numbers..to propogate.
Two ways they can do this..runners or fruit.
It's easier for a plant with a small crown to do this by runners.
While it's doing this though all the strength of the plant is put into the runner growth and the plants own crown does not increase in size very quickly.
So...on small plants it pays to cut all runners off for the first year so that the plant can build its own reserves up for a good crop on year two, and then let it give you the runners, if that's what you want.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

nasirahc83
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:45 pm
Location: Baltimore

Thanks for advice even though I am not growing strawberries or blueberries.
Hi There!

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