Preparing soil for blueberries

keeperofthememoriesMarch 29, 2007

I was reading an old post a few wks ago on this topic and there were several different answers. I wish I had printed it then. Now I can't find it!

I have some blueberries due to arrive in another month and I'd like to prepare the soil.

The area was tilled last fall. ph is 7. What would you recommend to get ready for planting?


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Holy cow! That pH is nowhere close to where it needs to be for blueberries (5.5 is ideal). I'm not sure you'll be able to drop it nearly enough in a month. Perhaps others will have some better answers.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 6:11PM
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If I had a nickel for every time this question has been asked I could retire from Gardenweb.

It's not rocket science. Buy a bale of peat moss. Mix it well into the soil with a little compost if you like. Add garden sulphur for long-term acidification, and iron sulphate for a short-term acidic bang and a nice greenup. After the first season, fertilize with pure ammonium sulphate.

Check your Ph as Gardengirl suggests. If it is still too high, add more iron sulphate. But make sure you do not overdo any of one thing, and check the soil after your first amendments. Blueberries like a nice light, well-drained soil, and don't cotton much to solid clay. Mulch around the plants with something like pine needles helps retain moisture and gradually feeds the plants as it breaks down.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 6:26PM
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I can believe you've heard that question a lot! thanks for responding anyway. :)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 6:33PM
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Hey Don,

Thanks for your blueberry contributions. I've been reading a lot of your posts. Thanks! You're the coolest guy I know in Virginia!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 1:32PM
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I have seen blueberries healed in to nothing but sawdust and grow and bear a crop of berries under those conditions. Couldn't he put down 8" of sawdust, till it with the top two inches of soil and have a more permanent fix to his problem?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 4:37PM
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I have 268 plants myself. I tend to start out with a mix when I plant. Dig a good hole. Put the dirt is a big yard bucket. Add some ammonium sulfate - about 4 tabespoons. Then add about four or five double fists full of peat moss. Then I add about 2-4 cups of cottonseed meal. If you have manure available - toss in a half pail of season old manure too. Mix it all together then plant the blueberry bush into that. The mix is acidic enough to start out the plant in an environment it likes without having to pre-prepare the planting area. Multch with LOTS of Pine needles and top dress the plants with some extra cotton seed meal each year and new pine needles. I sometimes give them a shot of Miracle Grow for Acid Plants. But always be careful of potash. Blueberries dont like it. And becareful to top dressing the ground around the plants with the ammonium sulfate because you can burn the plant if it rains and splashes back onto the leaves of the plant. I did that once! Took half the year to get them back to normal!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 9:15PM
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