Berry

 

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A recent Tweet I made about giving up on blueberries after 3-4 years raised a question by@EdwardMoore  He simply asked "Did your blueberry bushes stop growing, or why are you giving up on them?"

Since I didn't think I could answer that fairly in 140 characters, and since it's a great question and revealed an opportunity for me to explain to UrbanFoodGrower.com readers as well, I decided to outline some of the reasons below.

We laid out our blueberry bushes where all four bushes would be within 25 feet of each other.

In the photo, I've circled the four blueberry plants (for clarity).

The two in the foreground are expected to only grow about as high as the fence.

The two in the background are expected to grow about 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide.

All four plants are encased in chicken-wire, with the top covered with plastic bird-netting.

Both of our 2 thornless blackberry plants (planted from bare-root the previous year, 2009), had their primocane 'pruned' by rabbits or squirrels over the 2009-2010 winter.

The photos below show the spring growth of the "south" blackberry as of May 29.

In one photo, you can see how tall the canes have grown this spring.

In the other photo, you can see how the blackberry has grown through the holes in the chicken-wire (I was lax this spring with respect to blackberries).

Last fall I ordered 2 thornless blackberry plants from Doyle Thornless Blackberry's (fruitsandberries.com) based on the propoganda I'd read about the abundant nature of their fruit production.

The photo below is of one of the blackberry plants the following spring (in April).

I will include links to photos (in this article) after I upload photos of the two blackberry plants as they've grown (they've grown like crazy, but haven't produced (for good reason, I'll explain later)) this year.

April 14, 2010 - When you cross a black currant and a gooseberry you end up with a jostaberry plant.

Pronounced "yostaberry," the jostaberry plants were bred to:

1) not have thorns like gooseberries,

2) to have higher berry yields than currants,

3) be resistant to diseases common to gooseberries and currants, and

4) to provide a plant that produces a berry of good quality.

 

I'd read that these plants are self-fruitful, so they don't need another plant for pollination, so I only ordered one. 

April 14, 2010 - A few days after receiving our seaberry plants (more commonly known as sea buckthorn plants), I dug the holes while the bare-root plants were soaking in a pail of water.

The planting guide that came with these three seabuckthorn plants said to soak the roots for 1-2 hours before planting.

I probably took 1-2 hours to dig the hole, mixing compost with the sandy soil we have in the 1970's era neighborhood, and adding in a handful of peat moss.

April 12, 2010 - The Sea Buckthorn plants I'd ordered early 2010 arrived in early April in a long box that could easily hold a baseball bat.

 

We opened the box and inspected the contents, and saw that the three bare-root trees were well packed, with moist roots wrapped in wet shredded paper.

Sea Buckthorn Plants Ready to Transplant

After adding some water to the shredded paper and closed the box for 2 or 3 more days until we made time to plant them.

 

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