[NAFEX] Blueberries decline

BRosholdt rosholdt at erols.com
Sun Apr 8 18:09:24 EDT 2007

I planted my blueberries by removing the heavy red clay soil and 
replacing with sphagnum and sand.  However, they have not been 
thriving.  They seem to get smaller and poorer every year.  Am I keeping 
them too wet?  I use a drip hose on them when it is dry.  I've heard one 
source say Calcium Carbonate would help loosen soil.  I have always put  
wood chips on them in the winter and last year added a little sulfur and 
blood meal, to no avail.  I definitely am not overfertilizing them. 
Edible Landscaping advised that the northern varieties I was trying to 
grow (Duke, Patriot, O'Neal, Bluecrop) are more sensitive to the issues 
we have with soil and climate here in central Virginia, so I have 
planted a Star and Sunshine to see if they would do better.  Anyone have 
any other advice?

Barbara R.
Z7a central Virginia

Re: [NAFEX] Chlorosis blueberries
Lee Reich <garden at leereich.com>
Wed, 4 Apr 2007 12:14:26 -0400

North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>

Chlorosis of blueberries is usually due to soil that is insufficiently 
acidic (pH 4-5 is ideal) or poor drainage. Correct improper pH with 
sulfur. The amount to use depends on the pH change needed and the soil 
type, with heaavier soils needing more than lighter soils.

Some fertilizers can also make the soil less acidic. An excellent source 
of nitrogen that does not make the soil less acidic, does put the 
nitrogen in a form utilized by blueberries, and costs relatively little 
is soybean meal (or, more expensive but available in smaller packages, 
cottonseed meal). Spread it in late fall at the rate of 1-2 pounds per 
hundred square feet.

Lee Reich, PhD
garden at leereich.com  <http://leereich.com/>

Books by Lee Reich:
The Pruning Book
Weedless Gardening
Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden
A Northeast Gardener's Year
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