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blueberries having trouble  RSS feed

 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 116
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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food preservation forest garden fungi
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I bought a new place in Portland and we have dry summers here. The blueberry plants in the back don't look so good. I haven't watered them because I thought they were established enough. Maybe not... What do you think about this picture?
IMG_20150723_175021.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20150723_175021.jpg]
 
Blake Wheeler
Posts: 166
Location: Kentucky 6b
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I'm not terribly familiar with blueberries as it's far too alkaline for them in my area. My understanding is they have a very shallow root system though, and tend to be found in "boggy" areas. Established or not, they sound like a plant that's very prone to drought issues
 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 116
Location: Zone 8b Portland
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food preservation forest garden fungi
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Good point about them liking the bog areas. Time to put my permie hat and think up a solution for them.
 
Judi Anne
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While it is true that blueberries like moist soil, I think it may be going too far to say they like boggy places. I guess it depends on the definition of "boggy". They like to naturalize in moist, yet well drained soils with lots of humus.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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That is leaf burn, (sunburn) it is brought on by lack of water and to much sun.
How long have those bushes been planted in that area? do they get a mix of sun and shade or just full sun?
do you have at least 4 inches of much around them? That helps with moisture retention and helps keep competing weeds away.
Blue berries have a 1 foot deep root system, like to wild establish in partial shade areas or edges of forests.
If they are in full sun the leaves will tend to get crisp around the leave edges (as in your photo) unless they have a deep enough litter (mulch) around them.
Lack of acidity will also cause a browning of the leaf rim, manganese deficit will show itself as reddish leaves. (Epsom salts will correct this)
Most bushes I see with issues also have a lack of acidity in the soil.
I use a 1 inch layer of spent coffee grounds on the soil and cover that with a 1 to 2 inch layer of leaves and top off with 2 inches of wood chip mulch. this adds acidity long term, holds moisture and provides nutrients from both the grounds and decaying leaves.
I usually water once a month with 2 gal Epsom Salt water per bush slowly poured through the mulch layers so they aren't disturbed. I water once a week or twice a week depending on weather and if it rains enough I don't have to water.
Where I live the air is very hot and humid, something the berries like if they have enough shade during the day.
 
Blake Wheeler
Posts: 166
Location: Kentucky 6b
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Judi Anne wrote:While it is true that blueberries like moist soil, I think it may be going too far to say they like boggy places. I guess it depends on the definition of "boggy". They like to naturalize in moist, yet well drained soils with lots of humus.


Yeah, probably not the best word choice there lol. Bogs tend to have higher acidity and more moisture, guess why I used the term :shrugs:
 
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