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berries in sfg

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berries in sfg

Post  cdk71 on 3/24/2011, 1:19 pm

Has anyone tried growing raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries in a SFG? The Ph for blueberries is real low (4.2-5.0). It will take while to get my Ph right if I plant into the soil. Any advice or tips would be helpful.
Thanks

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  herbarium on 3/24/2011, 1:28 pm

I grow strawberries in 4 x 4 boxes all by themselves except for garlic right in the middle as a repellant.
My raspberries and blackberries I grow this way:
I place a layer of heavy duty landscape fabric on the ground, place a 2 x 10 box on top, another layer of the same landscape fabric inside the box and stapled up the sides, fill with Mel's Mix, plant down the center. I then put the supports outside the box so I don't make any holes in the fabric. The purpose of this is to (hopefully) prevent them from escaping all over my yard.

Blueberries do need an acidic soil and in sunnier, hotter climates some shade.
Growing them under spruces, pines, etc can help keep the soil acidic and provide some shade. Using a SFG box filled with Mel's Mix and mulching with pine needles and adding sulfur (for gardens) can help keep the soil acidic.

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  staf74 on 3/24/2011, 1:38 pm

You'll find some info on this post on Blueberries.

We started on apples but it morphed Smile

Myself and Dixie have been bantering back. A few pics also.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5621p15-apple-trees-for-mid-south#49975

Staf !

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  Glendale-gardener on 3/24/2011, 3:49 pm

I'm looking into doing blueberries this year and possibly trying raspberries or blackberries next year so I've been reading a lot about it. I ran across this blog the other day. http://www.gardeningblog.net/2006/10/10/an-easy-raised-bed/ The girl talks about making her own "raised bed" out of a section of culvert pipe. She half buried it in the ground and that keeps the canes from spreading.
I read another by a container blueberry grower that says that when trying to get the right pH for your soil, you can mess it up and go too low pretty easily because the pH doesn't change overnight, it takes a while. He suggested buying a mix intended for acid loving plants, then not ever adding more to the soil. Instead, he says it's better to add it to the water. He puts vinegar into the water he waters with. I can prob find the blog again if I search but I think he said he put like a cup of white vinegar into a 5 gallon bucket of water and uses that every 3rd time he waters the plants. Good luck and keep us posted!

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  Old Hippie on 3/24/2011, 11:14 pm

Rhododendrons and azaleas also love an acid soil so the grower I bought mine from said to dig in peat moss every spring. It did seem to work well for them. I am hoping to get some blueberries this year and planned to do the same thing for them. It seems to work for my daughter in Vancouver so thought I would try it here, just with a variety that is more suited to my growing zone.

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  Josh on 3/25/2011, 8:46 am

I grow strawberries, and blackberries in my SFG and they do very well. The first year for strawberries I grew them in a 4 x 4 SFG and they really multiplied fast! Then we made a strawberry pyramid for them and used Mel's mix in it and it did really good too.



I have 5 blackberry plants in a 4 x 4 SFG, and even though the kind we grew get big, they REALLY grew big in the SFG



I planted some blueberry bushes too last year, and they are still alive this year, I dont know how well they will do yet. I grew the small kind called tophat.

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  staf74 on 3/25/2011, 11:00 am

Josh,

That planter is awesome. I found some plans on the internet that look identical that I should be able to use. Are these the correct plans or too many tiers perhaps?

http://www.runnerduck.com/strawberry_tree.htm

Any tips on the wood cuts?

Also,

Do you plant more plants the further down you go? 1 plant for the top row, 2 in each of the second rows, etc or just leave one or two plants to spread.

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  dizzygardener on 3/25/2011, 11:09 am

That looks awesome! When I get some more space I will definitely have to give that a try!

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  quiltbea on 3/25/2011, 11:55 am

I love berries but didn't want to use up my available veggie space for them, so I put in a raised berm (raised soil without lumber) for strawberries along one side of my garden beds and 5 blueberry bushes on the east side of my garden where I can add acidic peat and pine needles without worrying about the rest of my bed.

The strawberries did great last year until the birds deberried them. This year I will prepare with a 10' long net dome I bought to try out and some row cover to extend it long enough on the two ends to cover the 16' bed.

Here are the new berries planted in 2009, my first SFG year.

The blueberries, hopefully, will give me some nice berries this year. I got only a few last year.

Josh, your strawberry pyramid looks like just the thing for strawberries. Wish I had one but I'll have to make do with my raised row.

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  Goosegirl on 3/25/2011, 12:15 pm

@quiltbea wrote:
The strawberries did great last year until the birds deberried them.

I read somewhere about fooling the birds - with red painted rocks among the leaves, well before the berries are supposed to appear! Supposedly the birds get tired of trying for berries and getting only rocks and by the time the real berries arrive they have already given up on the patch. I have not tried it yet (strawberries aren't going in for another month or so) but it doesn't sound difficult so I am going to try it!

TC

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  herbarium on 3/25/2011, 12:29 pm

Red painted rocks! That could work great. I'll have to try it. The great thing is it will discourage those that are after berries without scaring away the birds that eat slugs and other pests.

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berries in sfg

Post  Goosegirl on 3/25/2011, 12:38 pm

I want to try it because it doesn't involve additional chemicals. Anything I can do that is 1) cheaper and 2) cleaner (not necessarily that order, but you get the idea!) is worth a try for me.

TC

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/25/2011, 12:42 pm

TC, I was just going to share that, but I read that someone used red marbles. Either way I am wanting to try it.

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berries in sfg

Post  Goosegirl on 3/25/2011, 12:45 pm

@FarmerValerie wrote:TC, I was just going to share that, but I read that someone used red marbles. Either way I am wanting to try it.

:idea: As I was typing I was wondering if anyone had tried it with marbles! cherry I am going to be near civilization tomorrow, so I may just grab a few bags of those marbles/rocks that are used in vases.

TC

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/25/2011, 1:14 pm

@staf74 wrote:Josh,

That planter is awesome. I found some plans on the internet that look identical that I should be able to use. Are these the correct plans or too many tiers perhaps?

http://www.runnerduck.com/strawberry_tree.htm

Any tips on the wood cuts?

Also,

Do you plant more plants the further down you go? 1 plant for the top row, 2 in each of the second rows, etc or just leave one or two plants to spread.

Josh, do you have any estimate on how much MM it takes to fill the strawberry tree?

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  staf74 on 3/26/2011, 12:57 am

hmmmm....... I wonder if blue marbles will work for blueberries ?

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  Goosegirl on 3/26/2011, 7:10 am

@staf74 wrote:hmmmm....... I wonder if blue marbles will work for blueberries ?

What would it hurt to try?! sunny

TC

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  Josh on 4/8/2011, 6:57 pm

Thats the plans we used, my dad made the strawberry tree, he said to tell you he is not a carpenter or a woodworker, just the average guy with a saw, it was kinda hard he said to get the boards cut at an angle.

It took right about 4 cubic ft. of Mel's Mix to fill it up.

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  tkdtara84 on 4/8/2011, 7:14 pm

Josh-- what strawberry variety did you use? Those berries look great!

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  NorthWoodsFever on 1/26/2012, 8:07 pm

In regards to Raspberries and Blueberries, do you need a couple different varieties of each for pollination purposes, or can you use the same variety of each? I'm wanting to order some plants, but figured I'd ask before ordering! What a Face

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  quiltbea on 1/26/2012, 10:37 pm

Northwoods Fever......Blueberries don't need another variety and do well with just one but having early, mid- and late varieties means crops all during the growing season.

Raspberries are self-pollinating so they, too, don't need another bush.

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  rod champion on 1/27/2012, 11:09 pm

Beautiful Josh..

What great ideas you guys have.

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Re: berries in sfg

Post  NorthWoodsFever on 1/28/2012, 2:35 pm

Thanks quiltbea. I was just checking, as I was on a website looking at their blueberries and it had noted that for best results to use at least two varieites of blueberries. Perhaps they were meaning what you said about the early, mid and later season. Gotta forgive me on some things as I have blonde moments occassionaly! Razz

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How square feet for a blueberry plant

Post  morganfam7 on 3/17/2012, 10:38 pm

Josh, your strawberry pyramid is wonderful! I hope we can do something like that next year.

Does anyone know how many square feet for a blueberry plant? I think I have to plant the high bush ones due to the Texas heat.

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Re: hard to cut angles

Post  morganfam7 on 3/18/2012, 3:08 pm

I realize this thread is a year old, but for anyone else reading....Would a miter box (we use for cutting trim) help to make those cuts easier? Let me see if I can get a picture...

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Re: berries in sfg

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