alkaline water container blueberries.

Asked June 27, 2013, 8:20 PM EDT

Dear Knowledgeable person,
I live in Austin. I'm trying to grow blueberries in containers. I have southern highbush and rabbiteye plants. My growing medium is mostly pine fines, peat with osmicote.
These plants are 1-4 year old plants. I pulled the flowers off the first year. The second year it produced a couple of handfuls of berries. Last year and this year it looked like a good crop but a couple of plants set many berries but only five or six ripened. The others started to grow but stalled out. Now there are only a few shrunken berries left on the bush.
Does it sound like alkaline water is the problem? or ? please help
thank you,
Darleen


Travis County Texas

1 Response

Hi Darleen,
It sounds like your growing media is what it should be for blueberries.
The osmocote should be ok, but low doses are best for blueberries and they prefer urea or ammonia based forms of nitrogen. If the osmocote has nitrate forms, you may want to stop using it.

Containers must be watered frequently in summer if you have high drainage, so they could be stressing from your watering frequency.

Yes, bicarbonates or high calcium in your irrigation water could be a problem. If you haven't had it tested, it would be a good idea to figure that out. Our A&M lab will test water. Their forms and fees are found at http://soiltesting.tamu.edu

If the water is limiting, you would need to try capturing rainwater to make the amount of fruit produced worthwhile.