[nafex] answering Steven Covacci

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Mon Jan 9 17:49:36 EST 2017

My point was that I don't actually believe magnesium is the issue with
blueberries and plenty of experimentation has been done on the subject
because it is a commercial crop plant.  I won't believe it until I see
corroborative research.  There are lots of home grown geniuses out there
that derive too much certainty from a small amount of anecdotal evidence
and then can't wait to share with the world some earth altering discovery
that is actually a false logical leap.  Since that describes me at times
(hopefully less often as I age) I know what I'm talking about.

My current anecdotal observation is that blueberries can find the iron they
need if a portion of their root systems are in acidic enough soil, even
when perhaps the majority of their roots are in soil much sweeter than
acceptable range for the plant.  Carl Whitcomb has already proven that this
situation applies to pin oaks, where recently surface applied sulfur cured
iron deficient chlorosis in pin oaks without measurably altering soil pH
even an inch down.

Years ago I claimed you could grow highbush blueberries in soil up to the
mid-sixes if plants were mulched with a wood based product. On an on-line
argument with a troll type I was told I was an idiot to which I responded
that I've tested the soil in several productive stands of blueberries that
were mulched and had a pH in the low to mid 6's.  Then I started thinking
about it and went to my own stand of blueberries which was one of my
examples.  I had been piling mulch annually on these plants for almost 20
years.  Testing the top 6-8 inches of soil gave me a reading of about 6.2
pH.  But when I went down a foot I got 5.6 which is just on the acceptable
cusp of blueberry soil.  Now my logical leap is to join the orthodoxy.  I
swallowed my pride and gave public credit to the troll, by the way.

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