Sunday, 27 September 2009

Autumn Blueberries

I had a great crop from my blueberry plants this year. I have two plants, one which was bought as a young plant two years ago, which didn't crop at all last year, and one which was bought as a slightly older plant at the back end of last year. This year they both cropped really well. Apparently, blueberries will crop if you only have one plant, but they will crop much better if you have two or more. They don't have to be the same variety. I love the colour of the blueberry plant's leaves in autumn. They turn a gorgeous reddish colour.

After the review of my allotment in my last post, I thought I would do a garden review in this post. Firstly, the small wildlife pond which I installed at the beginning of the year has been a huge success. The plants have thrived, although I was a little disappointed not have had any seed heads on the Typha Minima - Mini Bulrush. The pond went in a little too late for any frogspawn, but I've seen frogs hopping in and out so I'm hopeful for next year.

The plants in the wildlife border were all new plants this year, and they all seem to have done well, some too well so they will have to be moved. They have attracted lots of bees and hoverflies, but the butterflies still seem to be thin on the ground.

This year was the first that I have succeeded with aubergines. I gave the plants a help with pollination by tickling the insides of the flowers with a paintbrush. This seems to have worked and I got three aubergines off the plant. I'm not a huge fan of aubergines, so now that I have finally managed to grow them, I think I'll give them a miss next year.

I've been inundated with tomatoes this year. I have grown three cherry varieties and a salad variety. Next year I am going to have a go at some different heirloom varieties, but will probably still grow Gardener's Delight as they are so prolific and very tasty.

I had problems with my peppers early on in the season, when I kept finding holes bored into them. I moved the plant out of the greenhouse and this seemed to remedy the problem. They have taken all summer to ripen, and are only just doing so now. There are still some green peppers on the plant. Again, I'm not hugely fond of peppers so this will be another thing I won't bother with next year.

I grow my spring onions in a wooden trough, and they have done really well this year. I will probably grow them the same way next year, but will also sow some at the allotment to see how they do down there.

The courgette plant which I grew in a container succumbed to powdery mildew very early on in the season, so next year I will only plant courgettes at the allotment. The plant at the allotment is still producing now, without any sign of powdery mildew.

At the back end of last year I bought a Stella cherry tree which I planted in a half barrel. This year it produced the total amount of one cherry. I'm hoping that this was just because it is young, and next year will go on to produce many more.

All in all, I think the garden has worked hard for me this year. Next year, the greenhouse will be used for tomatoes and cucumbers only. Now that I have my allotment I'm going to cut down on the things I grow at home, so the things I'm not too bothered about are going to go in favour of those which I can't get enough of.


  1. Sounds like a lot of work,wonderfully worth it though. Your blueberry leaves are lovely. I have never grown them so I did not realize they could be so pretty too. Good luck with the cherry tree. Mom's neighbors had a huge old cherry tree that produced more than enough for both families so I have fond memories of cherries.

  2. sounds like a good plan...I have had a mixed bunch of failures this year but not to be beaten I will definitely try again next year...I love the fact that you grow stuff your not very keen on just to prove you can!!

  3. The colour of your blueberry plant's leaves is very striking. I think your cherry tree will probably go from strength to strength - I may just try one myself - does it grow very big though?

    Gardener's Delight - love them!

    Good luck with the pond next year.


  4. Funnily enough I also planted a cherry Stella in a half barrel, last year. This year the total number of cherries produced was four, but of those the birds ate one, ants another, with only one left for me! I ate it before it was properly ripe to stop anything else getting to it first!

  5. I love blueberry muffins and for this soul purpose wanted to grow blueberries but then read somewhere that it is really have you found growing the bushes??? Do you think it's worth me giving it a go????

  6. I love blueberries and tried growing some in pots a few years ago, I didn't have a great deal of success especially as I didn't think to net them and the birds had the few berries before they even ripened. Oh well at least someone enjoyed them!

  7. I love the leaves of the blueberry plant in autumn, Kat. They're such lovely plants, producing delicious berries in summer, and then pretty leaves in autumn.

    I do enjoy growing things even if I'm not so keen on them, Tanya. I've tried growing aubergines for the past three years, but have only managed to harvest any this year. Regarding the blueberries, I would definitely recommend growing them. I grow them in containers though where I can control the acidity of the soil. Blueberries are acid lovers, so I plant them in ericaceous compost. I haven't found them difficult at all, but you should have more than one plant to produce a good crop.

    My cherry tree is grown on dwarfing rootstock, Jeanne. This controls the eventual height of the tree. I believe that planting it in a container will also stunt it's growth somewhat. I'm hoping for a much better crop next year.

    You did better than me then, Rachael. The one cherry which the tree did produce tasted delicious though. I made sure I ate it before my daughter saw it.

    The birds took a liking to my blueberries too, Re. I don't think they noticed them at first and I got a really good harvest from them, but just before I went on holiday I noticed a blackbird sitting on the bush and pecking at the berries. When I came home from holiday there wasn't a berry to be seen.

  8. Hi Jo! Congratulations on your blueberry harvest! I read that blueberry plants like cottonseed fertilizer. I never used it. Actually, I've never seen it in stores. My plants (I have 4) reacted very well on composted horse manure this year. Before that, they used to give not so many berries.
    Thanks for your comments on my blog! Yes, that little poem was written by one of my twins.

  9. I've never heard of cottonseed fertilizer, Tatyana. I gave my blueberry plants a mulch with spent coffee grounds, they seemed to like it. I thought the poem may have been written my one of your boys.


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