wood chips for blueberry plants

matthew18(5)April 25, 2010

Is there a preferred type of wood chip to use for mulching blueberry plants? I have some 4 month old white pine and oak woods chips. Would they work? How old should the wood ships be? I also have an ample supply of three year old black forest landscaping mulch. Would that work? I was a little concerned the landscaping mulch might have hrash chemicals that be problematic or unhealthy I have now idea how they turn the mulch black??

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rasputinj

They work fine for my 8 Blueberry plants. I have a friend who uses Pine needles and sawdust. I amended with Azalea mix to help lower my pH and use Sulphur to help keep it low. It is also good to add Vinegar to water to help also.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 10:25PM
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ericwi

There has been discussion of nitrogen loss due to wood chips-the soil micro-organisms that break down the wood, as it rots, take nitrogen from the soil, so its not available to the blueberry shrub. But wood chips, or whatever type of mulch you choose, helps to retain soil moisture and this is absolutely essential to keep the shrub alive and well. I am using shredded maple tree leaves, but I have no particular reason to think that this mulch is better than wood chips. To maintain soil fertility, I give each shrub one tablespoon of Miracle-Gro(acidic formula) in 4 gallons of tap water, in April, and again in May.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 11:45PM
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matthew18(5)

ericwi,
right now I have mulch of shreaded pine needles and shreaded oak leafs..they allow water to pass through and certainly retain moisture. Everytime I take a peak I find earthworms/redworms in moist soil...which is a good sign. Is it advisable to just leave it be? If the sole purpose of the chips is to retain moisture that is already happening with my pine and oak leaf mulch.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 3:33PM
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alan haigh

Your pine needle and oak leaf mulch should do everything you need. The one advantage of rotting wood chips is that they hold a lot of water which the soil will pull out of them as needed.

Oak leaves have more N and other nutrients than wood chips- to a lesser extent, so do pine needles.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 5:07PM
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