[NAFEX] Blueberry questions
hangermayer at isp.com
Thu Nov 6 01:05:46 EST 2008
Could any of you blueberry gardeners/growers help me with a few blueberry
questions? Our soil has a pH of 6.8 with a lot of organic matter. I'd like
to put in about 40 feet of blueberries.
1. I've heard blueberries can grow in soil pretty close to neutral, but I'd
like to try to do it by the book and go ahead and acidify the soil. I was
thinking about growing blueberries in bales of peat, as Pete does, but
considering others around here grow blueberries in the soil, I probably
don't have to use straight peat. However, I would like to mix peat in the
soil. My question is how many peat bales would I need for 40 feet of
2. I plan to amend the soil next spring with peat and sulfur, then do a
soil test in the summer for some final amendments, and plant the blueberries
the following spring. Any potential problems with this approach?
3. Unfortunately, the best drained soil we have, with the highest organic
matter is slightly uphill from our orchard area, so the water runs-off down
in the orchard. Considering we get about 40 inches of rain/year, should I
be worried the acid run-off from the blueberries will alter the pH of some
of the orchard area? They say sulfur is fairly mobile, just how mobile is
4. The folks around here that grow blueberries, grow northern highbush, so
I'll probably try that. But, we are in zone 6 and can get some pretty hot
summers. We generally have a month with the highs in the 90s and a week
with the highs at 100F. Will this affect the NH berries negatively?
5. Blueberry plants are kind of expensive (at least compared to blackberry
plants). If we purchased just a few blackberry plants, how hard would it be
to propagate our own? I'm not willing to set up a misting bed, so I'd be
looking at either dividing the plants, or burying the tips of some of the
shoots in the soil. Has anyone rooted blueberries, by tip layering?
Success? If you divide the plants, ow long do you have to wait before you
can start dividing?
6. I've read you can plant NH blueberries at 3 or 4 foot spacing. I'd like
to be more exact. Should it be 3ft. or 4 ft.? I plan to plant between row
spacing at 7 ft. I know that's a little narrow, but I don't have any
equipment to run down between the rows, and since I plan to mulch all the
area between the rows, I want them as narrow as possible.
Thanks in advance for any ideas/advice.
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