[nafex] Re: good stuff perhaps
Lucky.Pittman at murraystate.edu
Tue Jan 9 11:23:14 EST 2001
At 10:05 AM 01/09/2001 -0600, Joe wrote:
>To support what Lon wrote, Michael Dirr (an ornamental plant guy at U.
>Georgia) wrote in his book that U Georgia grows azaleas, rhododendrons
>(sp?) in red Georgia clay by planting half the root ball in the ground
>and then covering the top half the root ball with shredded tree bark.
Having grown up down there in the land of red clay and Southern
pines(east-central AL), I can tell you that azaleas, rhodies, and
blueberries(though we grew rabbiteye &/or Southern highbush almost
exclusively) do quite well in red clay. Soil alkalinity is usually not a
problem down there, anyway.
We usually mixed peat 50/50 with the native soil when planting, and mulched
heavily(and yearly) with pine needles.
Watering was a necessity in the heat/drought conditions of late July/Aug,
when the azaleas were setting their flower buds for the next year.
>I assume that the mulch must be about 6" (150mm)in most cases. You
>might want to see if there are any sawmills in the neighborhood. You
>will need truck loads of bark if you plant many blueberries.
> > HOWEVER, I have been finding that the thing that makes the MOST
> > in most cases, is having a lot of organic matter in the soil. Not
> > necessarily peat or other acid stuff, just plenty of compost, etc.
> > the soil microflora. That seems to help the blueberries adapt
> > anything else. The correct mycorrhizal fungi (and other flora) have
> > found to create acidity in the soil that is part of their activity
> > breaking down minerals and improving water holding capacity.
USDA Zone 6
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