Starting Blueberries, etc.

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Rickstir, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Rickstir

    Rickstir Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2006
    Missouri (Hard by the Elk Fork of the Salt River)
    I have an area I want to put fruit bearing bushes in. Blueberries, Gooseberries and rasberries. I know they like acidic soil. I have taken a sample and we have a ph kit. My questions is, if I have to raise the acidity level in the soil (and I think I am going to have to), how do you do that?

    The area is about 10 feet by 15 feet and has been throughly tilled up, ready for plants as soon as I get the soil ready.

    One more question, what would be a good mulch for weed control?

    Thanks so much.
  2. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2005
    Central WV
    Adding peat moss in the hole where you're going to plant the berry bush will lower the pH (raise the acidity).

    Mulch with pine bark, pine needles, or pine wood chips; that will help control weeds and also make it more acidic.

  3. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2002
    South Central Wisconsin
    You should never have to worry about having the raise the pH for blueberries. The pH may be as low as 4.0 and the plants will love it. If anything at all was growing there before, the pH certainly is not too low for blueberries. Blueberries even thrive growing right in peat bogs so acidity is no problem. Optimum range is from about 4.5 to 5.5.

    Also second the advice about mulching with pine needles or pine bark for weed suppression and maintaining soil acidity. Fresh pine needles and bark may also be as low as the desired 4.5 pH. Good cheap source is any community which collects and shreds "used" Christmas trees.

  4. hillbillyman

    hillbillyman Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    When is the best time to set out blueberries? Fall or Spring?
  5. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    Bristol, ny
    Spring is ideal but the sooner you get them in the sooner you get them growing. Raspberries love manure and blueberries will die with it. Brambles like a higher PH, so they aren't compatible in the same bed. I prefer shredded hardwood mulch for my blueberries. Straight manure as a mulch on raspberries.