Planting blueberry bushes in July

mandolls(4)July 19, 2012

So......I know that it is a bad time of year to plant anything, but I got these 3 bushes at the end of June (in 4" pots from StarkBros) and it took me this long to get the raised bed finished. I immediately repotted them to 1 gallon pots and they have been on my back porch which gets a few hours of direct sun a day.

I filled the bed (12" x 2.5' x 8') with about 1/3 peat, 1/3 fine pine park much, 1/3 native sandy soil, and added 2 cups of aluminum sulfate.

When I planted the bushes I noticed that the roots of the plants had not grown past the little 4" square shapes that they arrived in, so I took some scissors and cut and opened up the roots a bit when I planted them.

Is there anything else I should do to help them along? I am in Wisconsin, and though it has been hot, I doubt that we will have many more days over 87 or so.

Thanks for your advice.

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Ive read several places not to use aluminum sulfate on blueberries. Ammonium sulfate is whats recommended for blues. I dont know if you really need mulch in WI but I would think a 2 or 3 inch layer of pine bark mulch wouldnt hurt.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 7:45PM
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I'd still recommend mulch in WI, since blueberries really love putting their roots between the mulch and soil.

Mandolls, you and I are in the same boat, I picked up some blueberry bushes last week and just planted them today. Lots of peat moss, compost, and some fast-acting sulfur, and a few inches of wood chips for mulch. We will see how well they do, I plan on babying them if there is more heat and drought.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 8:20PM
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I'll add,keep them moist. Brady

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:56PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Water water ...I'm actually going to plant a tree tomorrow... I just plan on mulching the heck out of it and watering it often...

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 12:02AM
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Ok - thanks. Glad to hear I am not the only one doing this. I have been pretty good about keeping things watered, and the blueberry bed is right next to where I have a potted Fig which I water every other day, so I am sure I wont forget them. I will get some mulch down, i have 3 more bags of the fine pine bark mulch, which should be perfect.

I am assuming that I shouldn't do much in the way of additional fert this time of year? I have some acid lovers fert that I use on my Rhododendrons.

Blueboy thanks for the heads up on the aluminum sulfate.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 6:37AM
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Im in the same general zone as you, just a few hours north in Ont. Ive planted quite a few things in mid summer here, blueberries being one.

THey are VERY shallow rooted. IT doesnt matter how cool/warm you are, you need to have a good, deep organic multch. Bark is good, same with woodchips, but these can suck up nitogen. I like to use coffee grounds and pine needles. THe coffee grounds supposidly help with acidity (this is somewhat debated), BUT, there is some evidence that it helps iron uptake, which can be problimatic in acidic soils.

I planted mine next to a south wall, so its hot and try. I planted it in straight peat moss, with a good 4 inches of leaves/pine needles/coffee grounds, and what ever leaves and branches I could find. It handled the winter much better then the one I planted in spring.

I ALMOST killed it, but not watering it enough. Im assuming even with the mulch, they are so shallow rooted they need water every few days (3 here when I did it), for the first month to make sure the roots dont dry out. That will be fatal for it. High heat=fast evaporation rates. As long as its in acidic soil, with a deep multch and it doesnt dry out you should be ok.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 9:55AM
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Thanks - I put about 3" of pine bark mulch on them this morning. We have a bit of a break in the weather. yesterday it was cloudy all day, today partially, with highs only in the mid 80's, and we expect rain on Sat & Sun. Seems like they will have at least a week of moderate weather, and then it is almost Aug, which is the beginning of Fall around here.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 2:26PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I planted a container pear tree today. Just watered it well and plan on putting a thick layer of mulch down. Shouldn't be any issue.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 3:22PM
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