Rob Kaiser wrote:
Brody Ekberg wrote:
Very helpful, thank you!
Also, any chance you have experience with chestnuts being in the nursery business? I ask because I’ve got a separate post about them that I’m looking for advice on.
Sure thing, post a link to the other thread and I'd be happy to comment :)
Rob Kaiser wrote:
Brody Ekberg wrote:I just bought a couple potted highbush blueberry plants and both have immature fruit already. We live in Michigan and the weather has been hot and humid for a while now. Here’s my questions:
1. Can I plant these now, or should I wait until fall so they are dormant?
2. Should I prune off any berries/flowers to promote more rooting?
3. If I do prune the fruits, can I use the prunings as softwood cuttings to try to make more plants, or should I let the plants establish for a year or two before taking cuttings?
Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!
Based on my experience:
1. Plant it in the ground. If you can dig a hole, you can plant it. Watch for plants being root bound in containers, if so - score it...though I suspect your blueberries, if newly purchased are not root bound.
2. In my opinion, no need to prune - though often times when we shift up containers here at the nursery we often times head plants back hard. I wouldn't stress it too much on the pruning.
3. I know people that use small tabletop aero cloners with great success with blueberries, azaleas and other plants. After much failure with attempted cuttings of my own blueberries this will be my go-to cloning method in the future.
Don't over think your plants or the ph. Plants are capable of tolerating a lot. Newly planted material won't be heavily affected by ph or anything initially. Don't plant it too low, and remember....plant high, never die - plant low, you never know. Just as many plants suffer from too much water than they do drying out. Leaf color has little to do with ph and more to do with stress of the plants. Many of our container blueberries and serviceberries (at the day job) are various shades of orange/red - simply because they're stressed out in some way, shape, or form.
Just get those plants in the ground, if you want to fertlize, consider Espoma's Holly Tone and keep an eye on the water. Check moisture levels 6 inches below the soil level instead of right at ground level and base your water needs on that. You'll eventually learn to "read" your plants based on how your soil feels. Good luck and keep us posted!
Steve Thorn wrote:1. I would plant them in the ground also if you have a good location for them.
2. I've had good success just picking off the flowers or small blueberries. Pruning it now may cause the plant to lose more water and dry out easier, and blueberries here are most likely to die during the hottest and driest part of the year.
3. Yeah I would let it get established and take cuttings next year, that way it won't stress the plant too much while it will already be experiencing some transplant shock. I've had trouble rooting softwood cuttings and would love to hear how it goes for you if you give it a try. I've heard of people having success with a misting system, but that's a little more than I want to bite off at the moment. I've had excellent results propagating blueberries by new shoots coming up from the ground. It is super easy and the shoots already have some roots and can thrive with little care.
Best of luck!
Christopher Shepherd wrote:Hi Brody, this is what works for us. Like Mk said "the ground is better". The only issue with that is they will need watered for a while to get their roots unbound. They are shallow rooters typicly. We use white pine needles and pine bark as mulch to help keep the soil PH lower. If the leaves start turning red before fall the PH is too high. A quick fix for high PH is ammonium sulfate sprinkled around it then water well. Another slower fix is pure garden sulfur mixed in around the soil. I have never had luck trying to root the stems. I leave the berries on them. In our area the robins eat them as fast as they ripen. We used high tunnel hoops and netting to reduce our losses.
Mk Neal wrote:I think the bushes will do much better in the ground than in a pot, especially in hot w weather. Better to plant them now.
Han Kop wrote:I don't see a reason for replanting them
What is your soil ph.
Chestnuts on clay is a bad idea to start with. If its also basic soil you can forget it. They like acid. They like slopes, well draining soil, fertile sandy loam.
greg mosser wrote:we’ve got a couple acres of chestnuts growing in dense clay soil on what was a badly overgrazed pasture....i don’t recognize the issue you’re describing (delayed leafing out?)...but it’s definitely possible to grow chestnuts in heavier soil. don’t know what to recommend. the main thing that sticks out to me is watering. beyond the initial planting, how much did they get watered? were these potted or bareroot? also, top dressing with compost (under mulch is best) may be better than compost in the hole, especially in clay - you don’t want a super-rich little space that the tree isn’t motivated to reach out from.
the main danger in clay soils is digging a hole that doesn’t drain water well. how big were the holes compared to what was planted? was the soil packed down?
i think an advantage of our planting here was that it was from seed. small holes with original soil packed in on top. there was no way for the holes to become soup pots. they were slow to grow the first couple years but have been picking up steam as the used-to-be-pasture heals. our main danger is deer browse.