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Amending soil for new blueberry bushes

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Amending soil for new blueberry bushes

Post  Kate888 on 4/25/2013, 7:54 pm

I have decided to grow blueberry bushes. We have great sandy soil for it. In fact our little rural town is known throughout this corner of the state as the place to buy/pick blueberries. However, the ph of my soil is very high. I took a couple of test samples from the area I'm looking at planting and one is 7.5 and one 7.0.

One thing I read made it seem as though I had to start amending a year ahead since the sulfur one would add takes a long time to change the ph. Other things indicate I could add peat. I used to add peat to my clay soil at a previous house to help make it looser, so it seems odd to add it to sandy soil. And if I did how much would I need? I really want to get going on them and not wait another year. Oh, and I plan to plant 10 or 12 eventually, probably only about half of them this year but not sure yet. So I'd rather do it in the ground than in raised containers. As much as I love my MM in my SFG, that's just too much for me to do.
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Re: Amending soil for new blueberry bushes

Post  landarch on 4/25/2013, 8:57 pm

I would use the sulfur you mentioned to bring the pH to desired levels...and from what I've read, blueberries also love a loam soil...loam soil contains all soil particle types; sand, silt, clay, and organic material. Sandy soil is great for drainage, but poor for holding mosture...look to add silt/ clay to help retain water in addition to your organic matter (peat, compost, etc.).
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Re: Amending soil for new blueberry bushes

Post  Unmutual on 4/26/2013, 2:00 am

@Kate888 wrote:I have decided to grow blueberry bushes. We have great sandy soil for it. In fact our little rural town is known throughout this corner of the state as the place to buy/pick blueberries. However, the ph of my soil is very high. I took a couple of test samples from the area I'm looking at planting and one is 7.5 and one 7.0.

One thing I read made it seem as though I had to start amending a year ahead since the sulfur one would add takes a long time to change the ph. Other things indicate I could add peat. I used to add peat to my clay soil at a previous house to help make it looser, so it seems odd to add it to sandy soil. And if I did how much would I need? I really want to get going on them and not wait another year. Oh, and I plan to plant 10 or 12 eventually, probably only about half of them this year but not sure yet. So I'd rather do it in the ground than in raised containers. As much as I love my MM in my SFG, that's just too much for me to do.

Call your Ag Center(cooperative Extension Agent) and ask about soil tests for pH and nutrient levels(it should all be in the standard soil test). Let them know you want to grow blueberries(there should be a blank spot somewhere on the soil test form for desired crops) and they will tell you exactly what you need to add for pH and for nutrients, plus maybe a couple of other helpful hints. My Ag Center charges $10 per soil test, which is a good investment when you're paying $10+ per plant.

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Re: Amending soil for new blueberry bushes

Post  Kate888 on 4/30/2013, 12:58 pm

Thanks for the help! Sorry, it took so long to respond. Things are crazy here the last few days.
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