Good to know about their roots in cool and branches in hot. I plan to put the trough near the veggie garden and orchard, so it'll be on the east side of some pecan trees that throw shade on everything by 3pm. I moved the garden over there a few years back to take advantage of that evening shade for everything. If they don't do well, I'll be sure to consider the sun on the trough - might take the soil temp every so often just for grins, too.I think the rusted-out horse trough is too much for them under the hot summer sun. Their roots like to be in a cool place while the
branches like to be in a hot place. So give them plenty of water during the hot summer months.
Yeah, I have a recipe for a soil mix that is made of things like peat moss, pine bark, manure compost, and acidified cotton burr compost. We have a few horticulturists on staff and they all researched the info to write up a handout for how to grow them and it has that recipe. (I'm lucky in the organic nursery I work for is owned by a man who is a stickler for educating the customers with correct info, so he pays people with degrees to find the right info and people like me to stand at a desk all day and teach people how to garden organically using that info and our own personal gardening experiences. I love my job.)And mulch with sawdust and rotted
horse manure for organic fertilizer and to build up the soil. Even with a drip bottle the roots will be o.k. Dig a big 3' hole and put in lots of organic
matters and plant your bush on top. Try it out to see I'll bet you can grow some nice berries this way.
I grow mine inside a big medium size plastic pot with lots of organic matters--egg shells, mushroom compost, cut grass, aged manure, playground
barks, and sawdust. Anything organic and acidic as I can find them to put in.
I'm not too worried yet since the whole thing will be in shade come 3pm and the silver metal should deflect a lot of the heat, but I do have a backup plan of painting the trough white, and if that still doesn't work wrapping it in bamboo fencing to shade it. And if that still doesn't do it, I'll just dig a hole with the backhoe and bury the trough. Our soil is about an 8 on the pH scale, so I don't want to put them in the ground without some sort of liner, though I am contemplating something like that with one of my five plants just to see how often I really have to re-acidify the soil.A big clay pot or plastic pot will minimize the sun's heat during the noon time. If you really want to use
the metal trough then put a few pieces of card boards or plywood to deflect the hot afternoon sun. The
roots will be baked if it is too hot inside the trough. Shading the trough might work at the same time exposing
the branches to the full sun.
Yep. I plan on using pine straw mulch (pine needles) so it's fluffy and won't ever pack enough to block any water going through. It gets so hot down here that if you don't watch it, the ground dries out so hard that even the mulch can form a packed layer that water will run off of. Drip irrigation, fluffy mulch, and watching your soil moisture level closely help avoid that. The trough will be close to the veggie garden so I can stick my fingers in it often and keep it well-watered.A layer of wood barks will work on top to keep the soil cool.