blueberry companions?

topsiebeezelbub(z7 Al)December 29, 2010

I recently put in a few blueberries and thought I would put something lower in front of them...at first I considered strawberries, but then worried that the soil would be too acidic. Would they do well, or are there better choices?

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ericwi

Blueberry shrubs are adversely affected by dry soil, so its best if there is nothing else growing within about a two foot radius of the trunk. I have to continually weed out the creeping charlie that grows around our shrubs, so I know for sure that this will tolerate the acidic soil, also high in vegetable fiber.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2010 at 5:38PM
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homertherat

Strawberries can tolerate acidic soil better than other fruits, and I have grown them under blueberries. They didn't do too great, so I pulled them out and gave them their own space, and now they are doing better.

You should give it a try. My blueberries didn't suffer during the one season of growth, but I can't say for the long term. One thing to consider is how much strawberries reproduce by runners. You'll have to be constantly pulling them out so they don't take over, as blueberries have shallow roots and a bunch of strawberries hogging all the space/nutrients just isn't a good situation.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2010 at 7:57PM
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djofnelson(7ACtrlVAfoothills)

As noted above, I wouldn't plant running strawberries under your blueberries b/c they'd compete with the shallow rooted blueberries. I've had good luck with planting alpine strawberries in between my blueberries. They are easy to start from seed and I've started a tray of them each spring for the last few years and tucked them in to various parts of my plantings. Below is a good place to buy seeds.

Here is a link that might be useful: The strawberry store

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 5:24PM
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Antioxidant-Fruits

You guys have given great information here. I have an informational website about fruit and I am looking for people to write stories about their fruit growing and tricks of the trade. Would anyone be willing?

Here is a link that might be useful: Antioxidant-fruits.com

    Bookmark   December 31, 2010 at 5:53PM
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urbanfarmer7b

Blueberries are a great addition. I'm in Atlanta and have a combination of rabbiteye and southern highbush, and being in the city I'm tight on space, so I appreciate the desire to make double work for the space. I agree with what was said - blueberry roots are a fibrous mass just below the surface; and the most important work is keeping that covered with a few inches of mulch. The one suggestion which works for me is I let my watermelons run along the ground under the blueberries while the watermelon is planted in the garden about 6 ft away or planted between the bushes which are spaced 8 ft apart. I think it's keeping the soil cooler without competing. Less of a suggestion, more of an observation, I have a persimmon tree at one end of the blueberry row, about 5 ft off the row, and the two bushes that catch some high shade from that tree do better.

Robert

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 9:39PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I grew strawberries on the south side of my blueberries and I thought it worked well. It may have reduced my blueberry harvest by a touch but not enough to notice. For me the front side was south; if your front is not south it may not work since you may not get much sun on them since they will be shaded by the bushes.

Scott

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 9:49AM
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molex

I like many people grow strawberry's in a bed in front of my BB patch, but I have now discovered the best companion plant of them all.

In the fall of last year my adjacent neighbor planted a few well established holly bushes, male and female (8-10 feet). These started to bloom very early in the spring about a week or two before the blueberries and I saw and incredible amount of bee activity, didn't think much of it at the time. Now I am noticing a greater amount of fruit set than I ever have in previous years. I noticed more bumble and carpenter bees near the bushes despite our lousy Smarch weather.

Just throwing this out there, I'll thank my neighbor with a quart of berries in few weeks.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 10:50AM
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