Blueberry Bush

edspanglerApril 2, 2013

Greetings, 3 years ago this spring, I planted a Blueberry Bush. I weeded it and kept it clear, but 3 years later its alive but still a 3 sprig plant, nothing about its says "Bush"., its alive, but definitely....not "Thriving" for sure!
Obviously, I am in way over my head, so.....what do I need to do? How much water does it need? Should I be feeding it? If so what?? How often?I use Fung onil and Mancozeb fungacides / disease control spray on my Tomatos, should I be using that on my Blueberry "Sprigs"??
HELP!!!
Please respond via email so I can print and use any replies.
Thanks
ED

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ericwi

Blueberry shrubs thrive when the roots are colonized by symbiotic fungi, forming what is called a mycorrhizal association. The blueberry roots become covered with fungus, and the fungus takes up both water and nutrients from the soil, which are channeled into the blueberry plant. For this reason, fungicide would not be applied to a blueberry shrub, or the soil beneath a blueberry shrub. The idea is to encourage the growth of mycorrhizal fungi, so that the plant grows and produces fruit. Blueberries do well when the soil pH is between 4 and 6.5, with pH = 4.5 the desired optimum. If you are watering the shrub with well water that contains dissolved limestone, the soil pH is likely too high for the shrub to grow and thrive. Have you tested your soil for pH?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:20AM
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fireduck(10a)

The obvious key to blueberries is the need for acidic soil....as stated above. Find ways like soil sulphur or azalea food (acidic) to help you out. Dave Wilson Nursery has great info for blueberries.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:35AM
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Bradybb(wa8)

ED,
It can be fed a couple of tablespoons of Ammonium Sulfate sprinkled around the plant,about 10-12 inches away from the base and watered in,once a month,from now until July. Brady

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:47AM
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edspangler

Thanks Everyone!!!!
, where would I find Ammonium Sulfate??
Lowes? Home Depot?
And after July,,,?? In my zone do I need to do any winter prep?? By the way, I did get soil tested....PH 6.6
Thanks All
ED

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 12:15PM
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murkwell

Ed,

6.6 is much too alkaline. Perhaps Eric meant an upper limit of 5.5 rather than 6.5.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 12:53PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Plants that do NOT respond to Endo or Ecto Mycorrhizae
Azalea Carnation Kale Rush
Beet Cauliflower Lingonberies Rutabega
Blueberry Collards Mustard Sedge
Broccoli Cranberry Orchids Spinach
Brussels Heath Protea
Cabbage Huckleberry Rhododendron

I can't find right one for Blueberries can help?

Here is a link that might be useful: symbiotic fungi

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 1:44PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Ammonium Sulfate is readily available on Ebay. That's where I got mine from.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 4:06PM
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ericwi

The most recent research that I have seen regarding blueberries and symbiotic fungi was done around 2005 by Carolyn Scagel, working at the USDA Horticultural Research Station at Corvallis, Oregon. The fungi are described as "ericoid mycorrhizae," and are thought to give wild blueberry plants the ability to grow in poor soils with low nutrient availability. I have not personally purchased and used any type of mycorrhizal inoculant. My practice has been to plant the blueberries, in soil amended with either peat moss or compost, apply agricultural sulfur to lower soil pH, keep the shrubs watered, and hope that the appropriate fungi move in and colonize, in due time.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 4:08PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

Yes,I've seen Ammonium Sulfate at my local Home Depot and Lowes.It can also help lower the pH a little.
It's rare, but I've seen the Ericoid mycorrhiza online for about $50 per unit,a little high for me.Like Eric said though,it should develop on it's own,especially where the soil hasn't been disturbed too much. Brady

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 7:23PM
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