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Soil / mulch for blueberries

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:32 pm
by JoseyJo
We have recently acquired the other half of our allotment plot - yay- and with it a blueberry bush. The lady on the neighbouring plot also grows them successfully, even though I believe our soil is quite alkaline. I will ask the neighbour when I see her too, but I wondered if I should mulch with anything in particular to make the area more acidic? Would a layer/mulch of ericaceous compost help... or is there a cheaper option? I doubt I can lay my hands on many pine needles but I think I read somewhere that coffee (or was it tea) would help - maybe I'd need a lot though.
I'd like to add more blueberry bushes and maybe cranberries too if I can get the soil right. Are there any other crops which like acid soil? Might as well have a few plants as one or two.

Re: Soil / mulch for blueberries

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:54 pm
by diggernotdreamer
Have you tested your soil? it may be worth seeing what it is. Blueberries do really need an acid soil to produce good fruit. Changing the ph of soil is quite tricky. I have seen high beds filled with peat and acid lovers grown in it. I looked into all this thing with coffee grounds and pine needles at length and I am now of the opinion that these do not create an acid soil or change the ph. Blueberries can be grown successfully in pots which you can fill with ericaceous soil

Re: Soil / mulch for blueberries

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:15 am
by ina
diggernotdreamer wrote: Blueberries can be grown successfully in pots which you can fill with ericaceous soil


That's what I'm doing...

Re: Soil / mulch for blueberries

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:45 am
by Green Aura
Although it is a good place to chuck your spent coffee grounds, even if they don't have a major impact.

Blueberries like to be cross-pollinated, to get a decent crop, so if you're planning to add a few more plants to the area I'd get a couple of different varieties of blueberry.

Re: Soil / mulch for blueberries

Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:00 pm
by JoseyJo
Yes testing the soil is a good idea. I had always planned on (eventually) having some blueberry plants in pots, and only really wondered about altering the soil because the plant is already in the ground... maybe it isn't as alkaline as I thought, or maybe I'll find we get no fruit - although the neighbour suggested we might.

Re: Soil / mulch for blueberries

Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:59 am
by doofaloofa
Courtesy of DnD

Re: Soil / mulch for blueberries

Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:18 pm
by JoseyJo
Thanks - that list is interesting... we do have foxgloves which are in the acid list, but my weed identification isn't great so I'll have to look up the rest!