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Soil Mix

Posted by MsMorningSong 10A (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 25, 13 at 7:17

Could a successful rhodie gardener post their home made soil mix for me? I have tried for a couple of years now to grow blueberries, and nothings happening. We just pulled them up, and the roots have barely grown. Now I have them in large containers. One is starting to put out a few pitiful leaves, but the other, nothing.
Please help! I know these plants share the same love of acidic conditions. Any tips you use on your azaleas and rhodies is also greatly appreciated.
Thanks fellow gardeners :)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Soil Mix

Are there really blueberries that can grow in Z10A?

All ericaceous (acid soil adapted plants) need a lot of acid organic matter for planting - 25 to 50% although native wild blueberries are comonly found on intensely acid sandy soil. What you use is really dependent on what's locally available. Partially decomposed conifer bark bark or needles is what I use. Anything that provides water holding ability, lots of air space and a pH below 6.0 is fine. Avoid the peat moss dust sold in bales.

Make sure an inch or two of the roots are exposed when planting and that the existing root mass is well watered.

RE: Soil Mix

First, lack of acidity should not cause a quick death. It should lead to a slow decline which the first symptom is yellowing leaves.

Second, lack of drainage is the biggest killer. It is fast acting. The entire plant wilts and dies.

Third, the biggest mistake in planting is not opening up the root mass. If the root mass is not opened up, after the plant dies the root mass still looks like it did when you planted them.

If the pH is only marginally off, it can be lowered with powdered sulfur.

If the drainage is poor a raised bed is needed. To test the drainage, dig a hole about twice as deep as a planting hole, fill it with water, let it completely drain, then fill again and wait. It should drop at 1" per hour or faster. If not you need to use a raised bed or mounded plantings.

For a good reference on planting look at the page on Rarefind Gardens website:

Here is a link that might be useful: How To Plant (Rarefind Nursery)

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