[nafex] Pine needle mulch
leeareich at gmail.com
Sun Dec 16 18:52:09 EST 2012
The best way to acidify the soil for blueberries is with sulfur, a naturally mined mineral. Quoting from Grow Fruit Naturally:
Test the pH before you plant, and if it’s not in the blueberry- friendly range of 4 to 5, add sulfur, a naturally occur- ring mineral. In sandy soils, add 3⁄4 pound of sulfur per 100 square feet for each pH unit the soil is above 4.5. Use three times this amount of sulfur for heavier soils. Pelletized sulfur, which resembles small, yellow lentils, is easier to spread and cheaper than sulfur powder. Mix sulfur in with the soil in the planting hole when you plant and spread it on top of the soil beyond the plant- ing hole as far as the expected spread of the roots.
Lee Reich, PhD
Come visit my farmden at http://leereich.blogspot.com/
Books by Lee Reich:
A Northeast Gardener's Year
The Pruning Book
Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden
Landscaping with Fruit
Grow Fruit Naturally
On Dec 16, 2012, at 12:55 PM, Andrew Hahn wrote:
> I also mulch my blueberries with conifer needles, spruce in my case. While
> it dose not acidify the soil any more than any other mulch, compost in
> general is much more acidic than our soil here. I make sure to mix in some
> of the well composted duff from under the trees as well, to inoculate it
> with the fungi that can break it down. Whit as much moisture as blueberries
> need, 8" of needles breaks down to about 1" over the summer.
> Blueberries are a challenge here and only 2 of my 6 bushes are doing well.
> Of the rest, one died this year and the other 3 are some where between the
> two extremes.
> So far it looks like Duke hates our climate and Elliot and Bluecrop will
> tolerate it.
> Anyone else having luck with blueberries in dry climates with alkaline
> soil? If so what varaties?
> As for rosemary, I found mulching it dries it out faster here. Last winter
> I mulched a plant with straw and kept using the green branches that were
> sticking out in the kitchen. When those ran out in jan-feb in dug into the
> mulch only to find the rest of the plant to be completely dedicated.
> Uncovered with monthly watering is probably the way to go. Mine is now
> sharing a pot wthi one my figs, in the garage. Looking good so far now that
> it is out of the drying wind.
> "The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time." - Willem
> de Kooning
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