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When to plant berries, and Q about trees

 
Posts: 5
Location: Richmond VA
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Hi!
We bought some blueberry plants in the spring, when we were still living at our rental home.  
Now we live in our own home, and I've started to change the existing yard/garden into a more sustainable, edible version.  Still in the planning stages, though I've started to put down a thick layer of wood chips, to restore/improve the soil where I intend to plant.
Eventually, the will be fruit tree guilds and vegis and flowers and such :)

To get to the point: should I wait for spring to plant the blueberries in the ground? I live in central VA, zone 7a, I believe, and our house is at the top of a small hill, surrounded by woods.
Honestly, if they can wait for spring, I'd prefer having the extra time to plan, observe, e.t.c before putting stuff in the ground.  

Also: bare root trees or potted?? I don't the trees to die in a few years because the roots grew in a circle in the pot...
There's a cool place not too far from here called Edible Landscaping that I thought I'd order from, but they only sell potted trees, I believe.  

And when do you buy and plant your trees, if you're in my area or similar weather?


Thanks in advance!  So happy I found this forum; I much appreciate this format for learning than Facebook groups  ;-)
 
gardener
Posts: 716
Location: Western Washington
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Hello,
Welcome to Permies! Potted trees are perfectly fine. It's important to break up the roots when you plant. I've planted hundreds of trees both bareroot and in pots and they both work well, though some people have very strong opinions on the issue. As far as planting time I would lean towards planting now so they don't overwinter in pots. If you do overwinter in pots water them occasionally. If they're frozen solid for long periods they can actually die of dehydration.

I've ordered yuzu from edible landscaping and liked their plants. I have a good impression of them overall, though customer service was hard to reach for a while.
 
gardener
Posts: 6341
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I'd go ahead and plant the blueberries now if you know where you want them to live.
Fall is the perfect time for planting, that way when the bushes or trees wakeup in the spring, they can get to work establishing their root systems in their new home soil.

If you don't know where you want your plantings to be, simply keep them in the containers where the soil won't freeze and keep them watered.
In the spring you can make your decisions and plant away.

Since you are using wood chips in thick layers (the ideal situation) just give the winter time to nature so she can start the breakdown phase and that will begin building your soil microbiome.
Then, when you plant out in the spring, happy days.

Redhawk
 
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Posts: 1026
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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Hi Noi, welcome to Permies!

Noi Szefler wrote:To get to the point: should I wait for spring to plant the blueberries in the ground? I live in central VA, zone 7a, I believe, and our house is at the top of a small hill, surrounded by woods.
Honestly, if they can wait for spring, I'd prefer having the extra time to plan, observe, e.t.c before putting stuff in the ground.



I'm in zone 7b/8a, and I prefer to plant mine in the fall if I can, since our winters don't get too cold, and that way the blueberries have more time to get established before the growing season. I transplanted a few blueberries closer to the spring this year though, and they still did fine, just not as much new growth as the ones planted in the fall.

Also: bare root trees or potted?? I don't the trees to die in a few years because the roots grew in a circle in the pot...
There's a cool place not too far from here called Edible Landscaping that I thought I'd order from, but they only sell potted trees, I believe.



I prefer bare root if possible. It seems like the trees usually have a better developed root system and are generally more vigorous growers, having already been adapted to growing outside in tougher conditions most of the time. I've purchased plants in pots if I'm looking for a specific type that's not available elsewhere, but I much prefer bare root if I can get it.

And when do you buy and plant your trees, if you're in my area or similar weather?  



I like to buy and plant in the fall, and have had the best results from that.
 
Posts: 36
Location: Zone 6a
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The best 7.50 that you'll spend all week (maybe all year, lol) would be spent downloading Stefan Sobkowiak's "The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic."  film.  He talks about fruit tree guilds (although, I don't believe he uses that actual word).  He also addresses the best time to plant fruit trees and why and also his opinion on bare root verses potted trees... all that and much more.  I don't think you'd be disappointed.  :)
 
Noi Szefler
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Location: Richmond VA
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Thank you all very much for the welcome and replies!
I don't yet know where I want the berries to go... maybe I'll start a new thread and y'all can help me plan it  😊

I'll check out that orchard video, thanks.  

And I will see if I can make good progress on planning so that I can get these plants in the ground soon...

Thanks!
 
Noi Szefler
Posts: 5
Location: Richmond VA
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A couple of follow up comments/Qs, if you please.

I'm new to the area as well as the house :-)  Spent the last 11 years in Israel (where it's rare for anything to freeze!) and before that lived in NY but didn't garden much at our rental homes.

Would a screened deck (floor to ceiling scree, solid roof and floor, off the ground - 2nd story level) that is on the west side of the house provide any advantage over leaving the potted plants in the garden?  Right now they're along the eastern side of the house, where they get some direct sun for a few hours (4ish), until the trees hide it.

Should I stick the pots in a very thick layer of mulch for the winter? Would that keep the soil in the pots from freezing?  I have a huge pile of woodchips and can easily get more, so I can practically bury them in chips if I want to.
Is there anothe/better way to protect the plants in the winter?  I'm afraid I don't have much sun around here, as we have lots of tall oaks and only one area that is clear and gets direct sun (and that is where they will eventually get planted, but it's not ready yet).
Either way, I'll be sure to give them water as needed. Thanks for that tip!

You guys are the best.

I now understand the benefits of planting now vs. the spring (thank you), however, I don't have a fence yet to protect the little bushes and (not bought yet) fruit trees from deer! So far the dear deer have not ventured so close to our front door as to destroy the plants there. But I'm afraid that if I plant them without fencing them or the area they are going to be in (which is farther from the house, and in clear Deer Territory, as far as the deer are concerned) I will have nothing left of them by spring. Heck, these hungry deer will probably make them disappear in days... if not hours.

Thanks for clarifying regarding buying potted trees vs. bare root. I feel more comfortable now with both options, so I'll place that variable lower on the priority list when shopping for plants, though I still prefer bare root.
Y'all have a good evening and I will look forward to your responses tomorrow.
Noi

 
Bryant RedHawk
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Posts: 6341
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Noi,  The screened in area would be great for overwintering plants as long as you are able to insulate the containers to keep the soil from freezing.
(this can be done with; wood chips or any other mulching material, foam boards cut to fit and taped around and under the container, even blankets would work as long as they don't get wet).

Yes, deer can be a big issue, and I agree with your thoughts on the fence.
 
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