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Blueberries and tannic acid

 
Matthew McCoul
Posts: 72
Location: Southeast Michigan
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So, I know blueberries like acidic soils.
Considering their longstanding association with pines/evergreens, I imagine they tolerate or even enjoy tannic acid specifically, but i have no proof or experience.
I'm wondering if i watered them with water containing tannic acid, they'd appreciate it.

This question came to me when I was looking into using Ohio Buckeye and acorn as food. Both call for rinsing them in what I would call wasteful amounts of water.
Therein lies the conundrum. Make use of these native, traditional foods and waste a ton of water? Or conserve water and waste these foods.

Now, if I leech the tannic acid out, then i use that water for some other purpose (watering blueberries), I feel considerably less wasteful.
 
Jennifer Richardson
Posts: 166
Location: Columbus, Texas, USA (Colorado County). Zone 8b, verging on Zone 9. Humid subtropical, drought prone
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I like this idea, but I don't know the answer! I am also bothered by the wasted water from soaking acorns. I use some of it for tanning hides, and it also makes a good astringent for minor cuts/scrapes, and I hear you can dye things with it, but a lot of it I just end up dumping.
 
John Elliott
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Matthew McCoul wrote:
Now, if I leech the tannic acid out, then i use that water for some other purpose (watering blueberries), I feel considerably less wasteful.


This chemist smiles upon your ingenuity. Tannic acid is not an acid with an identifiable molecular structure (despite efforts to designate one specific isomer, C76H52O46, as THE tannic acid); it's just tannin that has sat around until it oxidized. Tannin and its bigger cousin lignin are what make compost tea brown. Those big molecules, with lots and lots of double bonds have so much absorption in the UV and near UV that they have smeared their spectral absorption into the visible until they are brown. Big molecules like that are not going to be taken up by your blueberries, but they are going to be a feast for the fungi in the soil around your blueberries; which the the fungi, being nice commensal organisms, will digest and share with the blueberries.
 
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