How do I pot a bare root blueberry bush?

edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)March 28, 2012

I just received a 2 year old bare root blueberry bush, and I'm looking for suggestions, hints, tricks, etc. about potting it. It was originally in a one gallon pot, and it was bare rooted for shipping. I've got a good mix to plant it in, but my main concern is the stability of the bush once it's planted. I've never planted a bare root one before. Thanks.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)


    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 7:09AM
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DaMonkey007(10b - Miami)

The best tip for potting a bare root plant, for me anyways, is the mound method. Makes it a snap. Mound up the soil in the center of your pot, up to the level where you want the root mass directly under the stem to sit. Allow the roots to lay naturally down the slope. Fill in around the sides and underneath slowly, taking care to ensure that your mix is getting in between all of the roots. I just use my fingers for this, but you could employ the services of a dowel or the like, if you are so inclined. Then just keep moving upwards in lifts. Water in well. Easy Peasy.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:01AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

OK, thanks. The mound method sounds good, along with anchoring the plant temporarily with strings, and possibly a stake or two. I am concerned about the wind initally loosening up the plant. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 1:19PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

So actually I have 3 to plant and I just took a look at the roots of each. One was so root bound that the roots were a solid mass of very fine hairs. The plant looked like it came out of a pot 4" wide and about 10" deep, almost like a tube of roots. I had to break up the mass a little and chunks of the stuff came off in my hand. I'm assuming that's a good thing. So I broke off a bunch of the stuff and reduced the mass of roots to about 1/2. I've got them soaking in water now and will go back out and pot them in a little while. It's amazing how few real looking roots there are on a small blueberry bush.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 7:48PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Well....all three are potted. We shall see.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 9:55PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Best luck, Ed. Remember to use a fertilizer that doesn't get its N from nitrate sources - use something like MG or Peter's - something that gets its N from urea.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 10:01PM
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skycopp(Maryland -7a)

Could you explain more your advice about N from nitrate sources?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 5:57PM
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