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What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

Posted by edweather Zone 5a/b upstate NY (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 28, 12 at 17:29

I have several blueberry bushes that are about to outgrow their pots. They are growing well now and putting out new growth. We have several weeks of growing season left. Should I pot-up now or wait until spring? I have the pots and mix available, and I was thinking that since I will be overwintering my northern varieties outdoors, larger pots might protect the roots better during the winter. Thanks. Ed.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

Ed,
I'd wait till spring, when you can unwind any roots and get it fresh out of dormancy. Also, in case there's extra N, you wont flush out new growth. Keep them watered a little bit.

Another school of thought would be focusing on establishing roots this fall in low nitrogen soil, watering them less frequently, letting them slow down and harden off.
I've had 0% loss out of 800 making sure that the soil freezes moist but not wet. Shelter them from drying winds from the North.
Snow accumulation is good.
Attached garages in the cold area is good, but then you need to water them monthly. I prefer them cold outside.
Noogy


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RE: What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

Thanks. Yeah, I tried the attached garage thing last year and we had such a warm winter that they woke up way to early, and I got worn out moving them in and out. I'd like to try the outside this time. Snow accumulation we have...over 100 inches on average. The only question I have is on the "north" side thing. I've read several threads on over wintering, and they all say to put them on a warm wall on the north side of a building. I just assumed it was to keep the sun from hitting the containers. We definitely get a blast from the north and west all winter. My sheltered side would be the east side of our house. I actually have the perfect spot to put them on the east side, but it would get big dose of morning sun. Would that be ok?


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RE: What tiime of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

OK, I read your post again, and I think you mean that the north side is ok, but to make sure the containers don't dry out from the wind, and that snow accumulation is good for that. Right?


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RE: What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

100 inches of snow,Ed?Wow,that's a lot!Yes,snow is actually a good insulator. Brady


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RE: What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

Ed,
It all comes down to the level of snow, as Brady said, not only as an insulator but a reflector. I guess all the sun on the pots could be an issue, but I haven't observed that effect. I suspect that if they have the moisture in the rootzone, they stay relatively frozen.
Also, if they're on the north side of the building it dips to -25, + winds with no snow cover, I suspect you'd have a bunch of dessicated twigs.
Anybody see any factors we may have overlooked?


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RE: What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

Thanks for the responses guys. Let me think about this for a while longer. Still have a couple of months to make a decision. I could always start them on the east side, and if I'm worried about anything, I could always move them, or visa versa. We actually average about 140" of snow per year. We're in the snow belt north of Syracuse. Syracuse averages 110".


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RE: What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

With that much snow, you could leave containers outside buried in it...


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RE: What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

Hey Ed, don't know if it helps you but I just potted up several plants from 2 gallon pots to 7 gallon pots in the last month and have seen no negative effects. It's been 95 degrees + also. As long as the roots don't get torn up in the process I think you can do it any time.


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RE: What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

Thanks blueboy1977. I'll probably do a couple of them also early next week. The two that need it the most, and wait until spring for the rest. I can't see how it would do any harm to give roots some breathing room. We only have a few weeks left of growing season, but the containers won't freeze for several months yet.


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RE: What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

Ed,
I realized I have a sun blocker for my 8" pots. Its the cap used on pole building roofs, where the seam meets, up top. I have some I bent 90degrees in 12' sections, where the pot can sit on it, and the other side shades it.


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RE: What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

Just wanted to share a photo of the Blue Ray blueberry bush in it's final home. Half of a 55 gallon drum.


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RE: What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

Sweet move Ed!!! I've got 3 of those 55 gallon drums that I'm going to cut in half too. I just havent figured out which plants are going into them. Im thinking some rabbit eyes and a few of the bigger SHB varieties.


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RE: What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

Blueboy, thanks. I have 3 drums also, and only cut one so far. I put my 2 oldest plants in the halfs. There's probably a million ways to cut the drums but I used an old hand saw. It went through like butter. They're heavy, but I use a light weight mix, and 2 people can move them fairly easily.


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RE: What time of year is best to 'pot-up' with blueberries?

10-4 Ed, I like the rope handles you put on there too. I didnt even think about doing that.


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