Monday, February 22, 2016

Planting Blackberry Bush in Denim Bag



About two weeks ago, I purchased a blackberry Apache thornless bush from Walmart. 

My plan was to plant it in a home-made grow-bag, but I got the wrong material and so I improvised.

Two days ago I planted it and here’s what I did.

I got one of my husband’s old jeans and cut out one of the legs. Then I stitched the bigger end to form a tall bag.

 
Soil Mixture

I mixed equal parts peat moss and steer manure then I added about a half cup of 10/10/10 fertilizer.

Before putting the mixture into the bag, I put a piece of pine in the bag, a stick about two inches in diameter and about a foot long. I have heard that by putting a stick of wood in with the planting soil, the stick can act as a wick to draw water to the surface.

I placed the blackberry inside of an old popcorn tin (temporary) and watered it from the top until it ran through the bottom of the bag. I added a couple of inches of water to the bottom tin and put some rocks in it. I set the unit in the south side of my house where it gets the most sun.


Today I noticed that it seems to be thriving. The bud at the top got fatter and the leaves look healthy. This is good news because it’s been cold outside 30’s to 50’s. Even though it has not rained, the bottom of the bag is moist, the middle is damp, and the top is dry. I could see that the roots are getting plenty of moisture but probably not too much.

TWO DAY-COMPARISON

I remembered that I forgot to put Epson salt in the potting mix that I used for the plant, so I put about a ¼ of a cup around the edges of the bag, covered it with potting mix, and watered it lightly to dampen the top and gently release the Epson salt to the bag.

I suspect that the denim bag won't last long, as it's cotton and will likely decompose soon. In fact, I've heard of people who toss jeans into their compost. If the bag holds up through the summer, I might just plant the entire bag into a real grow-bag.

The best video I saw when researching blackberry plants is by a guy with an Indian accent who goes by the YT name “California Gardening.” I encourage you to watch the entire seven minute video because the he covers the process from planting to harvesting. 

It will be interesting to see how my plant will compare to "California Gardening's" given that he planted his blackberry bush in a traditional container and I planted mine in a cloth bag.

Evidently, plants seem to thrive better in bags because the roots get "air pruned."

Check out one of the best videos out there that addresses air-pruned roots, by Larry Hall.

I hope to provide updates of my blackberry plant's progress.

Thanks for visiting my blog and I welcome all comments. 

Roaring for blackberries,

TigerLily

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