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blueberries  RSS feed

 
Posts: 258
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Yes I got a little carried away buying 75 bushes,  I can afford to lose some to the birds, geese, chickens  and have family and friends descend upon me and still have enough fresh and put up for winter !
Right now my blueberry bushes I am planting are about two feet higher than my baby walnut and hazelnut trees.   

 
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I've tried growing blueberries in my garden, but they don't seem to thrive. I've lost several plants...down to like one or two. I'll find out after the warm weather arrives again. My chokecherries, bush cherries, etc. seem to grow like weeds. A friend told me later that it's likely I don't have the proper mycorrhizae in the soil for them, and it's also probable that my usual compost tea and vermicompost don't have the necessary fungi either. This year I'll be going with saskatoons instead.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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check your soil ph and if it is ok, then you might want to go to the woods and bring in a little soil from an acidic woodsy area, be careful not to remove too much soil from any one area, but a little here and there added to your berry patch might add the mychorr that you need..to innoculate the soil you have..put it on top under mulch
 
maikeru sumi-e
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I can give it a go, but I believe before it was amended recently it was about ph 7-8. With the hugelkulture type stuff on top, I'm not sure now but the pH probably will change a bit with such a massive input of organic matter and bark. I'll need to hunt down some good acidic foresty soil. Many soils here in the Rockies are alkaline or saline. I should note that saskatoons are native to my area in the mountains. Just I've never grown them before...
 
Posts: 308
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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i ordered 5 more bushes now on ebay, these were low-bush and rabbit-eye. 3-5years and 2 bucks a pop doing better hehe.  guess ill see how thaey do, the rabbit eyes seem to be more suited to thhe south, i did see theyre hardy to 0ºF zone 6b.which would be me pretty much.
i'm going to have to search around more locally for a nursery with larger bushes perhaps.
so far nada...


regarding acidifying soil, what about adding lots of used coffee grinds from a cafe?
 
steward
Posts: 3410
Location: woodland, washington
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if the rabbiteyes ripen in the north, they'll typically be the latest, which is good for extending the blueberry season.

coffee grounds from cafes have typically had almost all the acid removed from them by the brewing process.  grounds from home are usually more acidic.  blueberries don't really need acidic soil as long as all the nutrients they're after are available.  acid conditions can be a shortcut to that, but aren't the only way to accomplish it.
 
Posts: 116
Location: Colorado
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Very interesting and good to know.
And reassuring, since I have alkaline soil.
I will have to look into the mycorrhizae angle, as blueberries do not naturally thrive here, as far as I can tell/have been told.
 
Varina Lakewood
Posts: 116
Location: Colorado
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TCLynx Hatfield wrote:The guy where I got my blueberries said plant in Full sun.  He also mentioned to plant them away from foundations and any other concrete since they like acid soil and the concrete affects the pH too high for too long.
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.

Paul Cereghino wrote: 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. ... 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?

TCLynx Hatfield wrote: The local grower where we got our plants said oak leaves were great mulch for them too and they recommend azalea fertilizer for them (if you were going to buy bagged fertilizer that is) But basically saying what is good for azaleas is apparently good for blueberries.

Ken Peavey wrote: Pine needles will do well for blueberries. They love acid soil.



All information I am very happy to know. Thanks.

Edit: Haha, I was doing a search for this info and didn't realize I'd posted a thanks here about some of other info on this thread.
 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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coffee grounds from cafes have typically had almost all the acid removed from them by the brewing process.



Good point. A guy I know did a pH test on some grounds. His results varied 6.8 to 7.0
Certainly NOT acidic, as many people believe. Unbrewed grounds ARE acidic (but way too expensive to use waste).

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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update, well my blueberry plants were really struggling..I dug them up and checked them..some had nursery tags on them BELOW the root line..how dumb is that..I removed those..also there was an invasion of yarrow in my blueberry patch and I dug that out as well as all the bark mulch I had in there..

Then i replanted the blueberries and put a alder chip mulch and used some sulphur in the soil to raise the ph..they struggled for a bit right after digging, but they are really going full guns now..they probably won't flower again until next year as we have still continued to have frosts about every week and the forcast for Wed is 35 for a low..but..next year they should do very well.
 
Posts: 407
Location: Georgia
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My netting worked pretty well. Lots of blueberries this year. The birds got in at first but
then after a few horror stories of attempted bird rescue and all the squawking and thrashing
around they quit coming around as much.
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