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Growing Berries With Container Gardening
Growing berries in a container garden, are a popular option for many gardeners, especially those restricted for space in the backyard and love to grow their own berries, including strawberries and blueberries.
Strawberries are ideal for growing in containers. There is a choice between those that bear fruit all year round and those that provide fruit only once a year. The latter will provide better fresh fruit.
Setting Up Your Container Garden
You must be sure to use a pot with good drainage, at least 8 inches deep or more at any time, and put the soil only as high as the point where the leaves start to grow.
Put the pot where the plants will have 6-8 hours of sunlight every day, and fertilize every 2-3 weeks. A fertilizer for flowers or vegetables, with a ratio of 1:2:1 may be your best option. Also, you need to water regularly to grow healthy berries.
Growing Blueberries Is More Difficult
Blueberries can also be grown in containers, but require more work than strawberries, and you need to ensure you buy a dwarf blueberry bush because the standard shrubs do not thrive in pots.
You will probably need to purchase the facility in advance, and even with dwarf plants, you need a large container, probably at least two feet by two feet by two feet. This means you want to the container to stay in one location, as it will not be easy to move afterward.
Well Drained Soil
Soil should be well-drained but needs to remain consistently moist. If you find a potting mix designed for rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias, then this is your better option. Alternatively, you can buy an acidic soil mix with plenty of organic matter like peat moss or sphagnum moss.
The plant can be set for the root ball to be about 4 inches below the top of the pot. The roots should be near the bottom, but you need the water and then add a light layer of mulch, like pine needles, coarse bark or moss.
You can review your options and fertilize once a month, with the same type of fertilizer used by rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias, but do not fertilize after August.
Surviving Over Winter
For your plants to survive the winter, you can wrap the container with either quilt batting, blankets, or bubble wrap, and berry bush should survive over the winter, but may not survive and provide berries for the third season.
When looking for the better varieties of blueberries for containers at your local garden nursery, you should look for Blue Sunshine (in south), Northsky, which is very good for cold climates, Bluecrop, a drought-resistant type that also can withstand a little cold, and Earliblue, which ripens in June instead of July as the others do.
You can grow other kinds of fruit as well as dwarf citrus, pomegranate plants, figs, and even dwarf cherry trees. But, your easier option, is growing berries.