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Lubera stops plant deliveries to the UK
Due to Brexit, we are not able to deliver to the UK. We are working on a solution on how we can continue to bring a wide range of Lubera plants to the UK and directly to our customers' homes in the future. However, such a solution will not be available before 2022 or 2023.

Everything in pots: what one needs to know!

The size of the container?

The answer is simple: as large as possible. The larger the container, the less stress for the gardener and for the plant. Or do you want to water twice a day during the summer? In any case, a container cannot be too big…if you want to know more, here are recommended rules of thumb: a berry plant can stand in a 5 litre pot for one year, but actually, medium-term or long-term cultivation is only possible starting from 10 litres. The bigger and taller the plant is, the larger the pot should be: a large plant not only evaporates more water, but it is also physically unstable if a larger pot does not provide the corresponding contact with the ground. Here’s another rule of thumb: per 50 cm of height, one should calculate a pot volume of at least 10 litres. Here’s an example: almost 2 m high Pointillas are planted in an 80 litre container - is the container too big? No, because there are two Pointillas in the container; our gardener mathematics is right again (2 x 4 x 10 litres).

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What shape?

Everything is allowed, everything is possible. But also think about the stability of the pot: pots that are too high are not advisable, even if they appear elegant; wide, stable pots are preferable. And here’s something else: do not use pots that are belly-shaped. Why not? Because you will never be able to get the plant out (for example, for repotting)…

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What soil?

We mentioned using acidic soil for blueberries. For all other plants, a structurally stable potting soil, if possible, with nutrients and clay content should be selected for long-term cultivation. This type of soil does not collapse and can store nutrients and water better.

Again the note: I would not use compost from the garden, as this is not very stable in its quality and diseases or pests can arise too quickly. I would also advise against using your own garden soil. It is often too heavy and in containers, it is lumpy and too dense; there are usually also too many weed seeds that can spread.


Here’s how to create the perfect planter:

 

  1. During the growing season, place the container on a grate or two wooden slats so that any extra water can drain well. During the winter, let the container stand directly on the ground.
  2. In the bottom of the container, drill holes that are at a distance of not more than 10 cm and are at least 1 cm in diameter.



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  3. 10 - 20% of the pot height is filled with good dehydrating material, medium-sized, broken gravel, chunks of styrofoam etc., which have large, hollow spaces and let water through at all times.
  4. The drainage layer and the layer of soil are separated with a water-permeable fabric, a textile cloth, a sieve/mesh or with burlap. This ensures that not too many fine continents will be slurried in the drainage layer where they could clog the drain.



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  5. A 3-4 cm layer of mulch is possible, but it should be applied if possible only starting in the 2nd year of cultivation in the pot.

 

In the decaying process of the mulching material, nitrogen is bound and then it is not available to the plant. If you want to apply a mulch layer at the time of planting, then 10-20% more fertiliser should be used. Caution: with raspberries and blackberries, such a layer of mulch is "prohibited"; it makes the pot colder and wetter, which are ideal conditions for the Phytophthora fungus.

The points 1 to 5 are to be executed when if you want the plant to be in the container for 3 - 5 years; planting a container only for one year works with a few simple drainage holes on the bottom of the pot.

Metal containers?

Of course, metal containers, such as trash cans or empty and washed-out painting buckets, can be used as planters. However, it should be noted that metal containers heat quickly and intensively in the sunshine and they also warm up on the inside. In order to prevent damage to the roots, it is recommended that the side walls of the metal containers be layered with a thick newspaper lining before filling with soil.

The (problem-free) hardiness!

The following soft fruit varieties and types are hardy without winter protection:

  • June-bearing strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Currants (black, white, red)
  • Deciduous, cultivated blueberries (all blueberry varieties except 'Sunshine Blue', Lowberry 'Little Blue Wonder','Blautropf', 'Buddy Blue', Pinkberry 'Pink Lemonade')
  • Gooseberries, currant and gooseberry standards
  • Fourberries, 'Pointilla'
  • Classic rhubarb varieties except everbearing 'Livingstone' and 'Lilibarber'
  • Green asparagus
  • Elderberry
  • 'Arom'arctics'
  • Aronia, Saskatoon berry
  • Firstberries (blue honey berries)
  • Sea buckthorn
  • Goji
  • Pawpaw

 

Hardy with protection!

The following types of berries are hardy in containers, but it is advantageous to place them in a shady corner in the winter and cover them with pine needles or even better, wrap them with frost protection fleece. Caution: install the fleece in November, except in very severe coldness, and then remove it again in March. Put it back on during cold spells in March or April.

 

  • Everbearing strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Semi-evergreen blueberries
  • Everbearing rhubarb such as 'Livingstone' and the Lowberry 'Lilibarber' overwinter without protection in containers
  • Table grapes
  • Figs in containers
  • Pomegranate in pots
  • Ziziphus
  • Mulberries

 

Attention fruit trees!

Would you describe an apple tree as being absolutely hardy?

Yes, if it is planted normally in the ground. But everything is different in a container. And here is why: The containers of potted fruit trees can heat up very quickly in the winter sunlight. The roots react immediately and understand it as a signal of spring (even if it's just a wind storm in January) and they start to convert reserve materials, especially starch, into sugar.

However, this sugar is not used in the dormancy period and becomes alcohol. This accumulates in the plant, blocks the pathways and then stops the metabolism during budding: the damaged fruit tree briefly produces shoots, and then collapses.

You can smell the typical smell of alcohol when the bark is scratched. This effect can enter the containers for almost all fruit trees. The risk is smaller as the pot size increases. Nevertheless, we always recommend overwintering fruit trees in a place where they are protected from the sun; lay them down, if possible and cover them with fleece. A garage, which is maintained at 2-5°C, just above freezing, can also be an ideal overwintering location.

 
 
 
 

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