Saturday, 4 February 2012

Hedging My Bets

I've already got two blueberry bushes but I've hardly had anything off them for the last couple of years. I'm going to repot them in to some fresh ericaceous compost to see if that will rejuvenate them, as well as giving them a mulch of coffee grounds. Whilst I was shopping this morning, I decided to pop in to Wilkinson's to have a look at their gardening section, as you do, and I happened to come across this blueberry plant for the princely sum of £3.18. Many plants which are bought like this look like sticks at first, but this already has some new growth so I won't shock it by putting it outside straight away. After being potted up, it can live in my greenhouse until the weather improves. I'm hoping that now I've got three plants, each will be pollinated better and I'll get more fruit.

My shallots, which I bought from my local nursery last week, are also waiting to be potted up. I've gone for Sante again, they did really well for me last year. I also bought a few red onion sets. I've gone for a variety which I've heard many people mention they grow, Red Baron. I love red onion in a salad, but I've never grown them before.

I wasn't long in Wilkinson's, but when I went in the weather was cold but fine. By the time I came out again, there was already a fine layer of snow on the ground. Since then, the snow has continued to fall and we've got quite a covering now. It wasn't predicted to start snowing until early evening so it came sooner than expected, and there's no indication that it's going to stop anytime soon.


  1. Jo, do you know whether it is possible to propagate Blueberries from cuttings? I have had some for about 5 years now, and they are still in their original pots (about 25cm diameter), and cropping well, but I assume they will run out of steam at some stage.

  2. Haha! It's funny seeing you buy the same brand of soft-fruit as I did this last week. It makes me wonder how many other gardeners across the UK are planting up their bargain Wilco plants :)

  3. We've got no snow here (yet) and sadly don't have a Wilkinsons either! I really must get some blueberries this year.

  4. I took delivery of 3 blueberry plants about a week ago. They are still sitting in our 'cool' snug, didn't have the heart to put them out in the cold, not even in the polytunnel! Good luck with yours.

  5. No snow here, just rain all day. Keep your blueberries snug. No-one should be out in this weather!
    Love from Mum

  6. Our shallots need planting in pots too!

    Hope your blueberry performs for you!

  7. I mentioned to my Husband I wanted to get a few red onions and yesterday he came home from work with bag of Red Baron for me. My onions didn't do well at all last year. Hope to do better this year.

  8. Just stopped by to say hallo. Why are blueberries always at half price in our local shop. The punnets I mean, not the plants. I eat them because I've fallen for the healthy eating dictate. Don't really enjoy the taste. The sugar I add must negate any healthy effects!

  9. How funny this weekend I too brought another blueberry, seduced by the fact it is covered in green berries just waiting to ripen up and be eaten!

  10. Good luck with your Blueberries this year. We don't have any but I might pick some up as "but, mum, everyone else has some!" ;)

  11. I'd never thought about increasing my blueberry plants by taking cuttings, Mark. A quick look on t'internet suggests that hardwood cuttings can be taken around this time of year, but only about 50% of those taken will actually be successful. It's worth a go I would think.

    I've bought similar plants before, Tanya, and they've been successful. They're a bargain at that price.

    You're not missing much with the snow, Su, cold, wet stuff, but I'd certainly miss Wilkinson's if we didn't have one. I get all manner of bargains from there.

    Hope your blueberry plants do well for you, Alison. They always perform best if you've got more than one plant so you've done the right thing starting off with three.

    You can have some of our snow if you like, Mum, I'm not over fond of the stuff, though it does look very pretty when it's newly laid.

    I don't really know if shallots do better when started off in pots or not, Sue, but they did really well last year so I shall pot them up again. I think I'll start my red onions this way too.

    I hope your onions do better for you this year, The Cookie Jar. Mine were really good last year, we're still eating them and there's loads left too.

    I rarely see blueberries at half price, Don't Unplug Your Hub, they're always so expensive in the shops around here. That's one of the reasons why I grow them, as well as the fact that they're one fruit which all the family will eat. I love the taste of them, I've never tried them with sugar.

    Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, Janette. It sounds like your plant will be providing you with lots of delicious blueberries this year. I don't think mine will be mature enough to crop this year, it's tiny.

    Go for it, Mo. Just think of all the delicious blueberry muffins you could bake.

  12. Hi Jo,

    All our snow has gone now although it is icy outside. I didn't have such a good crop from my blueberries last year. I moved them up to the allotment and put them in specially made raised beds but I think the plot is a bit exposed for them. They are too big now really to put in pots and bring home though, so I'll see how they do this year.

  13. Ours seemed to do better too JO - I suppose it could have been a coincidence but we'll do it again. We started some onion sets this way too

  14. You can get some good bargains in wilkinsons Jo and it's a place I often visit.

    We didn't get snow until early evening but it cam with a strong wind. Now it's stopped and seems to be thawing quite quick...I just pray we don't get a frost tonight otherwise the streets will be lethal!!

  15. Our blueberries have been pretty bad too - I think 3 plants is best for poination so fingers crossed for you x

  16. I can't resist Wilkos either Jo and usually pop in at least a couple of times a week. No snow here yesterday but a sleet/frozen rain combo which lasted nearly all day. Everything was covered with icicles which have only just evaporated. Hope that your blueberries do well for you this year.

  17. Good luck with your blueberries!

  18. Good Luck!

    Whenever I buy the cheap fruit bushes from Poundland or the like I never have much luck at all.

    It's nice to see some signs of green on it, so there is definately hope! Good Luck and I wish you bountiful harvests come late summer!!

  19. Both of my blueberry bushes gave up the ghost after performing well for a couple of years - so it looks as though I'll be popping into Wilko's as well.

  20. The blueberry plants sounds great. I don't have much luck with fruit. I manage to get a few apples but struggle with other fruit plants. Hope you get lots of blueberries and let us know if the coffee grounds help. Hope the snow isn't too bad where you are. Kelli

  21. We've still got plenty of snow here, Wellywoman. Try mulching your blueberries with coffee grounds, I did this three years ago and got a great crop.

    It may have been coincidence, Sue, but I'm not chancing it. I'm going to start my red onions off the same way too.

    Wilkinson's is a great place for picking up bargains, Tanya. The snow here is compacted on the roads and as you say, if it freezes it will be lethal.

    I'm sorry to hear that your blueberries aren't doing so good either, Scented Sweetpeas. Let's hope we both do better with them this year.

    It sounds cold there, Anna. We may have had snow, but when I went dog walking this morning, it was quite warm, and the sun's been shining all day. It hasn't melted the snow though.

    Thanks, Damo. I can't do much worse than the last couple of years.

    Thanks, Martin. I had a blackcurrant from Wilkinson's last year, and although I didn't get any fruit off it last year, it's still alive so there's hope yet.

    Hope you manage to find some bargain plants, Elaine. I've seen blueberries sell for high prices in garden centres so this really was a steal.

    The snow's still here, Kelli, but the main roads are clear which is the main thing. I used coffee grounds three years ago and got a great crop so I'm hoping that it will work again this year.

  22. That's a good price for the blueberry. I would love to have some. There were an awful lot planted at the community centre in clay soil and they fruit really well. Hardly watered as well.

  23. Dear Jo, I am anxious to see how the three blueberries I planted last year do this summer. We are having such a weird, mild, unusual winter. I hear yours is extremely cold and you're having more snow than us. Yet you seem busy in the allotment already -- nothing to do here, yet. P. x

  24. I've seen blueberries in garden centres which are really expensive, Lorna, so I had to have one at this price. I'm hoping that I get more fruit this year than I have the last two years.

    I'm not getting very much done at the allotment, Pam. It's a while since I've been, but I'm making plans and the sowing has started. There was more snow for us last night but I'm hoping that's the end of it now.


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