2010-04-12

Life in the Garden Part 39: Planting Blueberries

I planted my first Blueberry bushes today -- two varieties, both of which should do well in containers.  I also came up with a new (to me) transplanting tip to make things easier.

The process always takes longer than I expect, and this exercise was no exception.  The first thing I needed to do was get some dirt.  I used a mixed of roughly 1/4 new Miracle Gro soil to 3/4 of soil left over from last year's plants.



I emptied a couple of older pots and window boxes into a couple tubs.  We've had a bit of rain over the past few weeks, but I still found it surprising just how much mud was in the bottom of those pots.  If only they retained that moisture in August...

Then I added fresh soil into the tubs, and healthy amount of perlite, to help with drainage and to generally keep it from getting too dense.  I also added moisture absorbing granules to address the previously mentioned August challenge (it's a lot easier to add them BEFORE there are plants involved -- a lesson it took me several years to learn, it seems).

Then I strirred.

And stirred

And stirred some more.

I all, I probably spent a good hour just mixing various batches of soil and giving my arm quite a workout in the process.

Finally it was time to add my plants.

Then I decided I needed more dirt.

It's hard to get the amount just right. This time, I used the plant still in its nursery pot, as a guide instead of my normal method "guessing."  Shockingly, measuring turned out to me more accurate.


Once I had the level right, I was about the pull the plant out and balance it in there.  Then it occurred to me -- that's stupid.

NEW TIP DISCOVERED:

Why take the plant out to fill in the sides of the pot?  I decided to essentially bury the nursery pot.


Once I had all that filled in, I could pull the pot out and have a lovely hole to work with.



After that, I simply pulled the plant out of its nursery pot, massaged the root ball to break it up a little bit, put it in the hole, and filled in the remaining soil.  Using the nursery pot as a temporary form made the process much easier.


After the plant and supports were in place, I added a couple of Plant Nanny sleeves because it's much easier to do that before the plant has an extensive root network.  Now I just have to drink enough wine in the coming months so I have the empty bottles to use.

The final step was the easiest one.  And it's the most essential to proper garden care.  I added the Gnomes.


Good luck with your own plants this year!



You can find more of my garden posts here.

2 comments:

MarcM said...

Great post. Need to get planting here too. I really like the tip on burying the nursery pot. So simple. Why didn't I think of that??

nipsy said...

I cannot wait till I am in my own place again so I can plant.. I miss it.

I will definitely come refer here when the time comes just so I can use your tips...