[NAFEX] Blueberries decline
Lon J. Rombough
lonrom at hevanet.com
Sun Apr 8 18:10:48 EDT 2007
The way you did it, you essentially made a big pot, so the roots don't
move out of the sand into the clay. Also, whatever water you add has
trouble penetrating the interface between the sand and the clay, so the
water doesn't move into the surrounding soil well, letting the "soil"
in the "pot" swing between soggy and dry all the time. It would have
been more effective to plant the berries in the clay directly so they
would have a chance to adapt to it, with LOTS of organic matter added
as mulch. Soil life would open up channels in the clay with their
feeding activities on the organic mulch (compost, leaves, etc) and the
mulch would keep the moisture from having wide "swings" between soggy
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at
http://www.bunchgrapes.com Winner of the Garden Writers Association
"Best Talent in Writing" award for 2003.
For even more grape lessons, go to http://www.grapeschool.com
For growing supplies and more; http://www.grapegrowersolutions.com
On Apr 8, 2007, at 3:09 PM, BRosholdt wrote:
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?
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
Books by Lee Reich:
The Pruning Book
Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden
A Northeast Gardener's Year
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