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Posts Tagged ‘blueberry bushes’

Automated Water Irrigation System

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

I had hoped to plant-out my tomatoe plants today, but I spent much of the hot afternoon installing my Hozelock automatic water irrigation system, now that the frosts have gone (fingers crossed), I don’t leave them out all year, and store them in the shed, after October to protect from frosts.

 

Hozelock AC4 and AC1+ Garden Water Timers

Hozelock AC4 and AC1+ Garden Water Timers

The Hozelock AC4 and AC1+ have since been discontinued, (probably available new and used from eBay.), but newer models are available which do the same thing. I have two different models which automatically water the plants at the top and bottom (greenhouse), early morning at 7am and late evening 8pm for an hour. It takes me a while to setup, because I have to drape the water dripper pipe around the base of the blue berry and goji berry bushes. I use two drippers per 18″ pot for my blueberry bushes, I’ve noticed that blueberry bushes “drink” alot, and it’s very important to keep the plants moist in this hot weather to avoid crop loss.

 

Hozelock 4mm pipe around the base of blueberry bush

Hozelock 4mm pipe around the base of blueberry bush

The new style Hozelock, quick water irrigation system is much easier to install with potted plants, I also have three of them. I’ll post some pictures, when I set them up, in the greenhouse.

 

Hozelock 4mm pipe around the base of blueberry bush

Hozelock 4mm pipe around the base of blueberry bush

You can see the drippers in this photograph.

 

Hozelock 4mm pipe around the base of tomatoe plants

Hozelock 4mm pipe around the base of tomatoe plants

I’ve used a John Guest on/off ball valve (yes, John Guest fittings work on this pipe as well!), to turn off the water if I need to. Oh I think these tomatoe plants have had it, I planted them out early under glass cloches, only problem is over the last two days, with the heat, I think it’s killed them!

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Time to fertilise the Blueberry Bushes

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

It’s that time of year to feed my Blueberry Bushes, they will also need feeding again in early July, (do not feed well rotted manure). I’ve never fed them before, blueberry bushes must be given a ericaceous, fertiliser (rhododendron / azalea fertiliser). It’s taken me a few years to research what to feed them with. They are plenty of commerical dry and liquid feeds available for acid loving plants e.g. Miracle Gro Ericaceous Plant or pelleted chicken manure but both of these contain the incorrect balance of Nitrogen (N), Phosphates (P) and Potassium (K) for use with Blueberry Bushes. So I’m going to use Vitax Conifer & Shrub fertiliser at 1/2 recommended dose.  This recommendation came from David Trehane, The Dorset Blueberry Company   which is where my bushes came from five years ago.  It’s not that easy to find Vitax Conifer & Shrub fertiliser in the garden centres, most seem to favour other brands of  ericaceous plant fertiliser, although I have seen garden centres selling other products by Vitax , so you may be able to raise a special order for some.

So this is what the pack looks like should you need to find it.

 Vitax Conifer & Shrub fertiliser

Vitax Conifer & Shrub fertiliser

 

For my size plants, that are in 18″ pots, I’m using about two teaspoons around the plant base. Vitax Conifer & Shrub fertiliser is organic but not certificated! It comes in pelleted form, so I’m going to measure out the 12 teaspoons,  because I have 6 plants, and then using a pestal and mortor, crush the pellets into a powder and sprinkle around the plant base.

 I had a teacher at schools who’s nickname was FERTILISER, I never found out why! But’ that’s another story…

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Warning Frost Alert!!!

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

and because Jack Frost is coming to visit this evening (so says the weather forecast), I thought I better wrap up the potatoes, Blue-berry and goji-berry bushes. The problems with late frosts this time of year, is it damages the flowers on the Blue-berry bushes, and no flowers, no berries! It’s the moisture in the air around the plants that causes the problem when the temperature drops, and frost appears, so if you cover up the plants before darkness falls, this traps in the warm air - well that’s the theory!

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Blueberry and Goji-berry bushes

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Blue and Goji berry bushes

Blue and Goji berry bushes

I’ve been neglecting my blueberry bushes over the past few years, and just reaping the benefits, lots of fruit from May through until September. Last year, the first time in five years, the crop wasn’t as good, I’m not too sure if this was seasonal, birds eating the fruit, or time to prune, top dress and fertilise the bushes. In the five years I’ve had them, apart from potting them up and investing in an automated water irrigation system - I’ve just eaten the fruit! So in the last couple of days, I’ve weeded, and top dressed, and washed all the hydroleca on top of the pots. I’ve also purchased some fertiliser to feed them in May.

Blue and Goji berry bushes

Blue and Goji berry bushes

The other plants in the smaller pots, are my Goji Berry bushes, and hopefully I’ll have some fruit this year from them. In the background, is my potatoe farm, covered with frost protction fleece! 

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