[NAFEX] Chlorosis blueberries

Scott Williamson ScottW at acespower.com
Wed Apr 4 11:35:06 EDT 2007


I read something just yesterday that indicated why the iron sulfate may
have worked better. It indicated blueberries need iron and have adapted
to acidic soil to take it up more easily.  Iron sulfate would accomplish
both adding iron and lower the ph wouldn't it?

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Lucky Pittman
Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2007 11:23 AM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Chlorosis blueberries

At 10:08 AM 4/4/2007, you wrote:

>Can anyone guide me as to an organic product to remediate chlorosis on
>blueberries?

Here's a response I've saved since 2000, from Don Yellman:

"For a number of years I applied sulphur and/or aluminum sulfate around
my blueberries with no visible results.  The plants just had no vigor,
and would not leaf out properly.  Production was very low.  Then I
started to apply iron sulfate and the situation changed dramatically.
Now that's all I use.  Directions say to work the product into the soil
around the plant and water well, but I mix up about 1/2 pound in a five
gallon bucket and apply it in liquid form.  You have to keep stirring
the bucket to keep it in solution.  Some care must be exercised to keep
it away from concrete, as it will stain, and it leaves an unusual flavor
on your hands for a few hours.  Like the taste of a bridge girder.
It may be that sufphur persists longer in the soil, and, over the long
term, may be just as effective.  But I have had such good results with
iron sulfate that I'm not going to switch back.  We now have blueberries
for export, in a season exceeding six weeks.  One 5 lb. package of iron
sulfate takes care of my 9 adult blueberrry plants, (three youngsters
added this spring), with some left over for the hydrangeas and azaleas.
There are a number of liquid "chelated" products on the market, but none
seem to pack the punch of the dry iron sulfate, and are all
substantially more expensive in terms of coverage.  My soil ph tends
toward the acid side anyway (probably about 6), but the iron sulfate
appears to be absolutely necessary to maintain blueberry output.  Best
Regards, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA  (borderline zone 6/7)"

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