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are there plants that don't like the mulch build up?  RSS feed

 
cesca beamish
Posts: 46
Location: Leicester, UK 8b,
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Hi I have been mulching my blueberrys and in looking into the reasons why they aren't succeeding as well as I'd like it made me wonder if there are some plants that don't like their roots effectively being buried deeper over the years. There are certainly guidelines about how deep you plant out various pot grown things - keep to the same level/plant deeper than the existing soil level. When I apply mulch I try to keep it away from the stem but over time the overall level must rise. Can it  be assessed by whether a plant can be propagated by stem cuttings? ie it happily grows roots on its stem. I work at a garden centre and I have just been asked to tell customers not to plant their rhododendrons and acers any deeper than the existing level as it affects the growth. Any ideas on plants that don't like mulch build up, seems against all natural leaf fall to me but I guess I am adding more than an annual leaf loss thickness.

Thanks.
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 458
Location: Ohio, USA
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I'm not sure about what does and doesn't. Moisture up high can cause bark rot and then tree rot, so I've been told. When leaves drop, they then degrade and don't add up to too much, I think. Also, check out this pdf from Cornell that shows blue berries all mulched up: http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/berry/ipm/ipmpdfs/bbmulch.pdf

The biggest #1 question with blue berries is: What's your soil pH? If it's above 5.0 (which, unless you live in a bog, most are), then you can blame this. Lots of people try to grow blue berries here and wonder why they don't thrive. Then, when they hear about pH, they try to surface mulch to accommodate the high pH. It doesn't work quite like that because the soil parent material is even a higher pH than the surface soil and that's where the roots reach to. So, the best thing to do is dig up the blue berry, mix in peat moss until you get the right pH (there must be a more permie way, but this is what I know and do) and then put the blue berry back. THEN mulch yearly with saw dust (I do leaves).

I know, a pain in the ---, but for me it's worth it.
 
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