well today I went to a store and they had huge blueberry plants on sale for $5.00 each..so i got 4..don't want to get too many as i will be replacing the ones that didn't grow here ..asap..but i planted these between the stubs of the ones that SHOULD be growing..and one even has a few little baby green berries on it.
these were all different "names" than the ones i had bought..so if i get mine replaced or growing..i'll have great crosspollination..they were Duke, Earliblue, Dawson and one didn't have a name..just Blueberry.
they were a couple feet tall and wide already..in good sized pots..so i think they'll take right off and do well..
still have to replace some other things from mail order that died..and a few locals that didn't make it either..but today i also replaced my waterlilies..they were good about replacing them and even opened the packages to make sure they were growing this time..
one more step in the right direction..also put 3 new baby evergreens in my cove and transplanted 3 maple and 1 ash seedling..
I LOVE SUMMER
At the same time, it seems that if you are babying them, there should be a way ...
Were the old ones from a local nursery that was propagated locally? Or was it possibly trucked in from far, far away?
But some places just send crappy plants or plants in poor condition. One big offender was Mellinger's. Most of their plants arrived in soil that was absolutely BONE DRY dust. Some of their plants came as dead, dry sticks. Even a tree came "pre-killed". I complained about that, and they did replace it... with the ugliest, most distorted, twisted thing I've ever seen, again in dry soil, but it did survive. Ugly, but alive... such an improvement.
There is a site called Garden Watchdog (at Dave's Garden: http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/ ) [free] that rates 6,851 garden-based mail order companies.
But locally grown plants are usually best. Big Box stores tend to be poor.
Sometiems I have good success with things I buy mail order..the local garden center here went out of business..that grew things locally..the other closest ones are a long way away.
the blueberries that I did find on sale that were growing well WERE big box..they were at Walmart..hopefully they will do ok..
My cousin does own a local nursery..but it is very small..and doesn't carry much in the way of edibles..mostly edibles are annuals like tomatoes or fruit trees..and that is about it..and his fruit trees run $40 and up each..which is kinda high price..not the best selections either..the only way to get the selections you want here in N MICH is to mail order or go without
brenda - sorry about your blueberries is it possible they just went dormant as a protective measure and maybe they will come back from the roots?
I ahve been putting off mail ordering an aisan pear. its the only way though, I'm certainly not going to find one of those around here! I get so annoyed. it seems like there are so many useless, weak, stinky, bradford pears for sale and so few really usefull trees.
but even the nursery businesses that remain have to limit what they carry..with the bad economy ..so they carry "name brands" that sell..rather than the antiques and old fashioned plants that I prefer..
so in order to get a varitety i HAVE to mail order..or drive a several hundreds of miles..
Same method works with all bramble fruit, rosemary, thyme, oregano. I'm still finding out what will work this way.
You can take cuttings from blueberry plants, they will take root and grow to be clones of the parent. Find a branch with at least 6 inches of new growth-the stem will be green, not woody. Strip off the lower inch of leaves, shove it in a pot filled with topsoil, compost, vermiculite, perlite, whatever you use. Keep the cuttings in a well lit spot out of direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist but not wet-like a wring out sponge. If you have a spray jug, mist the plants frequently for the first week. If the plants survive for a month they have taken root. Transplant anytime up to a month before the first frost.
Same method works with all bramble fruit, rosemary, thyme, oregano. I'm still finding out what will work this way.
I have not tried this with blueberries yet. I have tried it with rosemary, wasn't all that successful. I've been far more successful layering rosemary to get the buried stem to root and then cut that off already rooted and plant elsewhere.
I've used the aquaponics system for rooting cuttings of meyer lemon and bamboo, that has been quite successful.
I just got a bunch of blueberry plants from a local place (they have blueberry fields and sell produce and blueberries and occasionally have plants to sell.) It is rather nice to be able to buy plants from a place growing them commercially near by so I can get pretty accurate advice for growing the varieties they are selling in my climate.
I have not been happy most of the times I break down and buy plants from mail order companies. Most of them have warranty or return policies but it is just a pain to deal with, I'd rather get plants that survive in the first place.
i mulched them well with composted manure, bark, pine needles, wood chips and shreeded cardboard..
we'll see how they fare next year..
I've had people complain about their blueberries never thriving and how they can't keep the soil acid enough for them and never even realize that it was the sidewalk, foundation or driveway that was actually giving them the problem.
The Mother in laws blueberries don't do all that much but they are planted in the shade so a few hand fulls of berries is all she expects from them a year.
also our berries are in full sun..but we do have some small nut and fruit trees planted north of them..which will provide them some windbreak in the future when they grow..(apple, wild plum, paw paw, sweet chestnut, and hardy pecan)..
this will be the first year for the blueberries as they all went in in the summer time here..there is also a patch of horseradish that i hope doesn't take over the blueberries..it accidentally got "tilled" by my son the year before..i told him not to till that section but oh well he did.
horseradish is invasive from root bits
the problem was defective plants that arrived by mail order last year in June..since then i have bought good local plants in pots and they were just fine..and now i have a lovely hedge of them growing well
The pH Bugaboo - Another major finding of Albrecht and colleagues is that pH (level of acidity or alkalinity) is relatively unimportant in growing plants. Rather, what is important is supplying enough calcium and getting the magnesium, potassium, etc. in the right ratios. What is critical to proper growth is the balance of nutrients, not the degree of acidity.
From the standpoint of producing edible and nutritious crops, high acidity simply denotes minerally impoverished soils. Plant roots actually don’t mind moderately high acidity if they get their minerals.
Supplying The Right Minerals - (as with the calcium in lime) in the right ratios actually brings about a “desired” pH of 6.2 to 6.5 in most situations. Keeping the soil slightly acidic however, is important for availability of trace elements and long-term recharge of exchanged minerals from non-clay soil particles. Nevertheless, you can have the “right” pH and get poor crops for lack of the right combination of minerals. You can also have the “wrong” pH and grow fine plants by supplying the right combination of nutrient elements.
You Won’t Like This - Rhododendrons are not “Acid Lovers”, nor “Lime Haters”and they don’t always have an aversion for calcium. This illustrates perfectly the pH bugaboo.
Rhododendrons, blueberries, and other “acid lovers” simply evolved to take advantage of soils lacking in calcium. Albrecht pointed out that Scottish researchers were able to grow rhodies at a pH of 8 (alkaline) using magnesium carbonate. Albrecht showed these plants need high magnesium. The “acid lovers” also need iron, manganese, copper and boron which are chemically locked-up at high (alkaline) pH or in the absence of a humus buffer (See Acres U.S.A., pp. 155 & 185). Lee Fryer (see The Bio-Gardener’s Bible, pp 126-7)) was able to grow happy rhodies at pH 9 with weekly feedings of lime water plus “lethal” doses of boron and other minerals including chelated iron.
I assume the blueberry's preferences suggest that it is tolerant of the nutrient inavailability associated wtih low pH (Mo, P, Ca, Mg), while intolerant of the nutrient deficiencies of high pH (Fe Mn). However, most every plant we eat grows best in a well structured, deep, organically rich soil, moist but well drained soil. However by playing the tolerances of plants, we can get yield from places where that can only be achieved with unacceptable or unsustainable effort.
Therefore if you cultivate the soil for general fertility, and avoid heavy liming or spreading a bunch of wood ash around, or pouring new concrete in the vicinity you should be OK.
I seem to remember that lots of ericaceous plants are strong mycorrhizal assocaites. And we have lots of wild blueberry relatives growing around here that love growing in rotting wood. I wonder if blueberries are a natural forsome variation on hugelculture?
i'm attempting to reclaim that area..it was a garden many many years ago but also had been used after that as an area to burn piles of brush and wood..so there is a very badly damaged and alkaline area in one corner of that property..and i've been building it up with rotting wood (aspen) as well as compost and bark..and it seems to be gradually growing in fertility.
this year the entire 40 x 48 area is being reclaimed..the least alkalinie area is being used as a blueberry hedge and they are now doing quite well..but the more alkaline area is thick with rotten wood and compost and now some dairy doo..and is being used for cole crops and lettuces thisyear.
hopefully it will come backinto fertility with some years of tending..
there were ancient asparagus beds on this area that were heavily congested with sod, quackgras and wild oregano..i am having to dug up everything that is in the area and replantinig the asparagus and other plants (rhubarb andmany others)..to reclaim it..and the soil doens't appear to be very healthy..so it is getting a heavy amount of doo and some char (not the alkalaine are or the blueberries)as well as as much other humus i can add to the soil
by the end of this next month i hope to have the entire 40 x 48 area dug, and rebuilt up and ready to plant or planted..when i do i'll post some photos
Our small Michigan farm has 2.5 - 3 feet of good topsoil with underlying clay and higher water table. Although I'm not skilled at interpretting the results, I did have a soil test completed (I forgot the micronutrient test). Our soil test indicates we have a soil pH of 6.8. I have been concerned about what recommendation to follow: high acid soil or simply healthy soil.
Honestly, I don't want to fuss at trying to induce more acidity into the soil when I have spent the past 7 years building it up! I would prefer to mix the existing topsoil with our good compost (horse manure, grass clippings, and leaves) to provide adequate organic matter, microbial activity and to encourage wormy-activity. After planting, I intend to mulch heavily with pine shavings.
Is anyone willing to offer an opinion?
Jennifer Smith wrote:
I had some horseradish growing in a small pot for about a year then lost interest and let it die. it didn't get any water for over a year and was crispy and crumbly dry. it was clear to me that there was no life left in it. I reused the dirt from the pot and was surprised to see horseradish sprouting shortly thereafter. maybe not the toughest stuff in the world, but not far from it.
I don't think it will spread too fast, it's just hard to get rid of it entirely. chances are good that you'll always miss a piece of root and that will sprout a new plant. plant it some place where that won't be a big deal.
So from one root, 3 then each of thse maybe 3... Cool. Oh better yet there is some in another pot with a cherry where it belongs. I may dig it up and divide it too, back around the same tree. Prolific.
Like all things I would like to work it well this year then let it do it's thing without help from me.
will put in at least 9.
can anyone recommend favorite varieties? I'm in long island.zone 6/7ish.coastal,acidic soil.
perhaps a favorite grower too ? or possibly plant/goods swaps ?
found this gentleman on Ebay, seems like a decent deal. 3 plants @ $22 shipped. 2nd year.but cut back to 5"for shipping. i may pickup 6 from them.
i'd also like to try propagating clippings from my bushes ,saw that honey can be used for rooting,interesting!
The hedge will edge each side of a 25 foot wide corridor that will run up between two small grass pastures which I keep a stallion in each side of. Also I will use the corridor to set up horse show jumps for training in dry weather and who knows maybe rotate other animals like geese but I don't have any yet.
hope to see it when you're done
i picked up 3 today, duke/elliot/bluecrop .
also took some cuttings off my 2 out back,we'll see how they do.
just read about using honey for rooting starter,neat eh?
looking into what other berries to get in...may go dig some autumn-olive.there is a huge stand of them near a local park.