Blueberry questions

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Millymollymandy
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Post: #87064 Millymollymandy
Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:39 am

If I have a dig around under my conifer trees to find the more rotted needles under the nasty prickly ones, presumably where it is starting to resemble the soil they are sitting on, would that be acidic? More acidic than leaf mould?

ina
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Post: #87105 ina
Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:21 pm

Gytrash wrote:The article reckoned you could just buy a bag of bog-standard ('scuse the pun! :mrgreen: ) peat, which is acidic anyway. (Not 'multi-purpose' compost, which has lime added).

The peat is cheaper than the ericaceous compost but does exactly the same job. As most of the added nutrients in bagged composts only last 6 weeks or so, you'll still be feeding after 6 weeks whatever compost you use.


Of course, it's the peat in it that makes it acidic. But do you really still use peat??? :shock: :shock: :shock:

MMM - yes, that should be ideal. I just mulched my blueberries with shredded conifer.
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maggienetball
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Post: #87119 maggienetball
Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:55 pm

We grow blueberries in our fruit cage on the alottment. When we prepared the cage we were aware that we didn't have the right soil type for blueberries (and the cranberries we planted with them). So we piled in chipped conifer, pine needles and ericaceous compost.

Now, each year we sprinkle a sachet of powder (organic I'm told) into the bed to top up the acidity. It's bought at our local gardening centre and costs about £1. It seems to do the trick though because we've had a crop every year. Our blueberries are self fertilising as are the cranberries that are planted with them.

Can't remember what it's called but it's probably something like ericaceous compound/soil improver. It must be available anywhere ther is a need for acid soil.

Anyway, hope this helps

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Gytrash
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Post: #87140 Gytrash
Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:55 pm

ina wrote:
Gytrash wrote:The article reckoned you could just buy a bag of bog-standard ('scuse the pun! :mrgreen: ) peat, which is acidic anyway. (Not 'multi-purpose' compost, which has lime added).

The peat is cheaper than the ericaceous compost but does exactly the same job. As most of the added nutrients in bagged composts only last 6 weeks or so, you'll still be feeding after 6 weeks whatever compost you use.


Of course, it's the peat in it that makes it acidic. But do you really still use peat??? :shock: :shock: :shock:

MMM - yes, that should be ideal. I just mulched my blueberries with shredded conifer.


Personally, no. I was just passing on what the article said :mrgreen:

Some of my customers still think that peat-based compost is the only way to do things. You just have to gently edumacate them! :lol:

ina
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Post: #87170 ina
Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:42 pm

Gytrash wrote:You just have to gently edumacate them! :lol:


What a lovely word! :mrgreen:
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Post: #89792 godfreyrob
Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:10 pm

I got myself a blueberry and a cranberry bush from woolies last week (very cheap) and I was wondering how to make the soil acidic. We live near Ilkley moor and I wondered about picking up some of the peaty stuff around the bracken (just a carrier bag full).

If this would make the soil acidic enough, would feeding it via some organic fertiliser do the job. I have a source of pelleted sheep 'dags' manure - can that be used?

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Gytrash
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Post: #90079 Gytrash
Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:35 pm

godfreyrob wrote:I got myself a blueberry and a cranberry bush from woolies last week (very cheap) and I was wondering how to make the soil acidic. We live near Ilkley moor and I wondered about picking up some of the peaty stuff around the bracken (just a carrier bag full).

If this would make the soil acidic enough, would feeding it via some organic fertiliser do the job. I have a source of pelleted sheep 'dags' manure - can that be used?



The ph of most of the soil in and around north Leeds, including Ilkley, is on the acidic side anyway, so I reckon you'll be fine growing 'em without having to make drastic alteration to your soil conditions, godfreyrob.


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Post: #102944 Wormella
Wed May 14, 2008 2:22 pm

Might be worth using coffee grounds too, Stabucks give away free coffee grounds to gardeners so it's worth asking in store.
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Post: #102993 Bluemoon
Wed May 14, 2008 6:15 pm

Wormella wrote:Might be worth using coffee grounds too, Stabucks give away free coffee grounds to gardeners so it's worth asking in store.


Wow, that's handy to know; Starbucks come in useful for something then? On the subject of blueberries, all are self-fertile, if you get a second one it will increase the crop size of your first one, but only by 10-15%

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Post: #103027 Jove
Wed May 14, 2008 9:00 pm

I also finished building my fruitcage around my berries (red berry (in flemish : jenever berry) , blueberry, raspberry....the last few years I tried it with nets only but that was such a mess and birds still got in and stole the fruit. This year will be different, my feathered friends :mrgreen:
I don't put compost or anything around the plants, but I always throw the ashes from my pellet-stove on the soil, that seems to be very good for berry-plants. For the last few years I had a nice harvest ! :lol:

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Post: #103036 ocailleagh
Wed May 14, 2008 9:37 pm

I've been having a similar worry about my cranberry plant, its in a pot atm, has been for around a year. I was thinking of making a small bog garden to plant it in, as it would be something closer to its natural environment. Does this sound like a good plan?
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Post: #103140 Bluemoon
Thu May 15, 2008 9:51 am

Cranberries and blueberries usually do fine in pots, I've even heard that cranberries will do very well in a hanging basket, though I've never tried it. It's much easier to control the growing conditions if they're left potted, if mine seem to be struggling I simply pot them on, and cuttings take well so once you've bought the initial one replacements are free.

ina
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Post: #103145 ina
Thu May 15, 2008 10:00 am

My bl :cussing: :cussing: dy goats have got through to the blueberries again - so for the third year running, no berries! Wonder whether I'll ever manage to keep them away for long enough... :cry:
Ina

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