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Blueberries and acidity question

 
Tim Canton
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So I am about to plant a bunch of blueberries and I was taught to mix in pinebark mulch at 50% for acidity.      So here is the question.  The local mulch yard gets like 35- 40 a yard but a local sawmill gets 8 a yard    but he just ran some oak so its maybe 75% pine 25% oak........will this work or will the oak bark not be a good mixture in there?  I dont want to save a few bucks in exchange for poor producers.  thanks
 
Kay Bee
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Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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it will probably be fine.  blueberries love soil rich in organic matter, particularly compost.

So long as you avoid adding much calcium to their soil, they should grow well.  I haven't worried about pH with ours and they do nicely with a rich soil. 

However, if the pH of your native soil is much more than 7, I'd be more concerned.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Oak is also very acidic (tannins).  The tannins will slow down the breakdown of the oak.
It will remain in your soil much longer than the pine.
 
Tim Canton
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no the soil is slightly acidic to begin with........The person I learned from knew sooooo much about them and they really do love the acid.   I was mainly concerned with there being something in the oak bark that would not be good.    Thanks
 
Tim Canton
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John Polk wrote:
Oak is also very acidic (tannins).  The tannins will slow down the breakdown of the oak.
It will remain in your soil much longer than the pine.



oh I was typing as you were I guess.      Slow breakdown would be good though right sonce the acid level would stay and good organic mater right?
 
                              
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Do you know the original PH of your soil? I used mulch under ours, till about three years ago. Our chickens were determined to de-mulch, so I took a break from my annual chore. Our blueberries (37 well established highbush) have been thriving without the presence/expense of mulch.
 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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I finely chop pine needles and mulch them around my blueberries and water frequently..Sometimes I'll put a leaf litter over the needles..
 
Varina Lakewood
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Location: Colorado
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John Polk wrote:Oak is also very acidic (tannins).  The tannins will slow down the breakdown of the oak.
It will remain in your soil much longer than the pine.


Oh, this is good. Hopefully just what I was looking for. My soil is under 7ph, but I've never seen blueberries in the fifteen years I've lived in this state, and someone who has been gardening in this area says she's never been able to get them to thrive in 30 years of trying. I am digging out the soil where I am putting in my blueberries and replacing it with leaves/pine needle mulch and will be adding a mix of leaves/pine needles/peatmoss later on top to create a raised bed for them. However, I know from reading that alkaline soils will leach into acidified areas like this within a very few years, so I wanted to find some sort of acid barrier to line the hole with. Looks like oak might be a winner. Thank you.
 
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