[nafex] Was:Pine needle mulch, now: Blueberries in high pH

Lee Reich leeareich at gmail.com
Tue Dec 18 15:16:21 EST 2012


An excellent, inexpensive, and organic (especially if non-GMO) source of N for blueberries and other acid-loving plants is soybean meal. Good for any plant, in fact.

I did graduate research involving ericoid mycorrhiza and found no effect from inoculations. In fact it was hard to keep control plants from picking up inoculum as a general contaminant. The only exception would be places where blueberries or ericaceous plants are naturally absent and plants are raised without any source of contamination -- in Australia, for instance.

Lee Reich, PhD
Come visit my farmden at http://leereich.blogspot.com/
http://leereich.com/

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

On Dec 18, 2012, at 9:50 AM, Andrew Hahn wrote:

> Thanks Lucky!
> I should have said I am growing them in peat, just not in the plastic bag.
> My only regret is not mixing some composted spruce needles into the peat.
> It seems so lifeless even after 4 years.
> 
> I always cringed at relying on miracid to keep them going, and stopped
> using it last year (that is when Duke collapsed). Instead I have been
> mulching more, using organics to encourage fungi and inoculated the roots
> with an ericoid mycorrhiza. There was some suggestion in papers I read that
> a symbiosis with mycorrhiza is what blueberries are really missing, and
> that the fungi provide the acidity they need.
> 
> I still don't think they could go strait into our alkaline soil, but
> growing them with out the reliance of synthetic fertilizer would be much
> more satisfying.
> 
> Andy
> 
> On Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 10:01 AM, <nafex-request at lists.ibiblio.org> wrote:
> 
>> Andy,
>> Pete Tallman has some good stuff, at the URLs linked below, on growing
>> blueberries in peat bales, in CO, where soil pH and moisture would
>> ordinarily be inhospitable to blueberry success.
>> 
>> http://home.comcast.net/~ptallman/ColoradoBlueberries.keyhandout.pdf
>> 
>> http://ptallman.home.comcast.net/~ptallman/index_blueberries.htm
>> 
>> Years ago, Don Yellman recounted his experiences using iron sulfate for
>> blueberries; I'll dig back through my archived messages and see if I can
>> find and re-post that.
>> 
>> 
>> Lucky
>> 
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