Blueberry bush suggestions.

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by daisybeans, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. MuddyKnees

    MuddyKnees New Seed

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    Thanks Mate.. I really want to get them into something a lot larger.. placing them in the ground directly is not an option for me as every bit of garden space is fully in use for vegies (me) and flowers/shrubs (wife).. I'm going to plant one out in a much larger tub during autumn ( about a month). I've managed to "negotiate" for a nice, partially shaded corner of Her domain where hot winds will not be an issue. I prefer to use natural soil , since I can, but yes, Bunnings do have Azalia mix.. I wonder what pH it is? I dont think this pH thing is as vital as good placement.. but every aspect is worth nurturing?
    You certainly know your blueberry :stew1:
     
  2. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    It's a pity that that brandof azalea-camelia soil isn't available here. I am quite interested in the specs of this product. I really was unable to find what the pH was. If the product was available here, I would simply write the company for that info.

    I was wondering if the "water saving granules" are the ones produced from seaweed...if so, I would love to be able to buy that!

    I see that you live in Melbourne. I have visited your city and found it quite attractive and so well laid-out that I coule easily walk to where I wanted to go and not have to take a taxi.
    Well, actually the whole Oz trip was such a good experience that I shall not forget it.
    Great country you've got there.
     
  3. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Ah...so, you got to speak with Nancy. She impressed me as being a quite nice and helpful. It was good of her to guide you to the pH testers.
    You are having some good conversations with various exoperts there, aren't you?

    The puddling issue:
    Well, you may have to dig a little deeper than we were planning and put some fine gravel or rough sand in the very bottom of the hole (thicker on the lower end if it slopes) then put the mix of compost azalea soil and indiginous ground mixed together on top of that. Building that area up with the compost and azalea soil will also help it not to puddle. Don't forget that blueberries like moistness but it should be able to drain away to a degree. They like being moist, but not to stand with their feet in the water for too long, if you know what I mean.

    Soil prep:
    Nutrients are added when you mix the azalea soil and compost to the plot. The acidic azalea/ rhododendron soil has the pH and if you really can't get the pH down, you can also add some sulfur, but I think that the pH will be fine after you have mixed the new constituents.

    What happens when adding a nuteral pH: A nuteral pH is 6 I believe,and your goal is 4.5-5.5...therefore the pH would be averaged out a bit, depending upon the ratio of the two constituents. You could easily use azalea potting soil only if you wanted the best pH. This soil will certainaly be nutricious enough to get things going for your new plants.

    BTW Daisy-- have you been able to locate some azalea/rhododendron (potting) soil?
     
  4. daisybeans

    daisybeans Hardy Maple

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    Sjoerd, I have not been able to find any azalea/camelia/acid loving plant soil at big retailers like Home Depot or Lowes by searching online. Maybe they have it on the shelves. I spoke to my favorite garden center -- they don't carry such a thing. I've emailed the two large centers where I'll go for plants... so we'll see. This weekend and next I'm going to garden shows so I'll ask around. At least I know what I'm looking for in the fine print.
     



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  5. MuddyKnees

    MuddyKnees New Seed

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    Just a comment..neutral pH is 7.0.. so 4.5 is moderate acidity.

     
  6. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Hello Daisy,

    I went out to the lotties today to pick up my lasrt seed order and popped in at the garden center across the street. I wanted to see what sort of plants they had gotten in and I wanted to look at the sacks of azalea/rhododendron soil. I just whipped out my camera and took a couple of pics. These are just to illustrate what to look for. Naturally your bags will be written in english--but you can make out NPK and pH to see what to expect, sort of.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I am surprised to learn that you are having difficulty finding any soil for rhododendrons or azaleas. It is so common here I thought it would be the same there. I sure hope that you can find some.

    I can imagine that we would be able to find a vendor somewhere in amerika that would sell bags online, but I could imagine that the shipping might be more than the bag itself.
    I sure hope that you will be able to locate some locally.
     
  7. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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  8. daisybeans

    daisybeans Hardy Maple

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    Thanks Sjoerd! Aren't you a great friend? Now, how were you able to find this in my area all the way from the Netherlands and I could not...? Funny world.

    I am unfamiliar with this garden center, Brumar Gardens, but it's in a really nice area of Annapolis and I'm actually meeting a friend in town today anyway so I'm going to go check this out on my way. I'm excited -- it looks nice.

    It remains sort of a puzzlement to me why my queries about azalea mix (or rhodo/camelia/low ph) are met with such a lack of concern on the part of growers and garden center people (I mean the ones who are knowledgeable). I met a few nurserymen (and women!) yesterday at the garden show and talked soil and ph.... Azaleas grow abundantly around here so the thinking among them seems to be that azalea mix isn't always readily available because the soil here supports plants that like medium acid soil (generally speaking) so there isn't so much of a market for the specific azalea mix. I dunno. I guess that sort of makes sense.

    However, they also agreed that growing blueberries in gardens around here can be tricky. Something that I've heard repeatedly is that one of the main reasons blueberries fail in home gardens is that people try to grow varieties started in other areas of the country. I've heard this comment from about 5 different sources. Soil conditions and winter temps would be my guess on that. Meanwhile they do grow wild in the woods and thickets.

    So I will definately stick to bushes from local garden centers who know where the bushes came from if they didn't start them.

    This discussion continues to be really interesting. Thanks for it, Sjoerd, and Muddy Knees.
     
  9. bunkie

    bunkie Young Pine

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    great thread daisy, sjoerd and muddy! i have had trouble growing blueberries here too. i thought maybe it was too much sun, or the soil was too sweet. they start good and petered-out mid summer in the heat.

    my daughter in law Christmas-gifted me with 5 blueberry bushes from this place

    http://www.dimeofarms.com/

    that will be sent here in April. i was impressed looking at the site. looks like they really know what they're doing!

    i've been trying to figure out where to put them and how to prep the soil. i knew about the PH as 4.5 - 5.5. i was going to do as muddy did and use pine needles and such.

    i also have read a lot about banana peels and that the blueberries love them, the Potassium from them. so have been drying banana peels as hubby eats them and planned on grinding them up to put on top of the soil. do you know about this sjoerd, muddy?
     
  10. daisybeans

    daisybeans Hardy Maple

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    So I went down to the garden center to pick up the azalea soil mix, having called this a.m. to make sure they had it in stock. Guess what? When I got here, what they had was a fertilizer for azalea and rhododendren, not the soil mix. I know I was very specific this morning so I was disappointed and a little annoyed, although I hadn't gone far out of my way to get there.

    So, I'll stay on the lookout for the soil, but I'm now about to begin looking for the bushes I'd like to try, and a ph meter or kit.If I don't find the soil along the way, I'll just have to make do, and so will the blueberries!
     
  11. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    They'll be alright anyway, Miss Daisy.

    I know that you must have been very annoyed about the mix-up. In fact I get the feeling from your posting that you may still be a bit miffed at that misunderstanding.
    I wonder if you could ask them to order a bag or two for you? Do you think that they would be willing to do that for you?

    It was interesting reading about your encounter with people at the show that you went to. I can see their point about planting in the ground; however, if one plants an azalea or blueberry bush in a container....what do they think that people would as a potting soil medium then...yard dirt?

    When you get hold of the bushes you want, send a pic, Oké? I am quite interested in seeing them. This is an interesting project of yours, isn't it Daisy.
     
  12. daisybeans

    daisybeans Hardy Maple

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    That's a good point about the container, Sjoerd. Like I said, this reaction is a puzzlement to me. Maybe I just haven't met the right person yet.

    Anyway, I'm not so miffed, actually. I may have been more miffed if I'd made a special trip there. But it's good to find new places and I'd never been there before. Didn't see much to make it worth driving all the way there again.

    I would ask my local garden center to order it instead.

    Meanwhile, a friend who gardens around here recommended the following product for increasing the acidity of soil. What are your thoughts?

    http://www.espoma.com/p_consumer/pdf/pr ... acidif.pdf

    I did pick up the fertilizer anyway for the blueberries and my rhododendren that I planted last year. Here are the specifications for that.

    http://www.drearth.com/products/blended.php

    I think overall they'll be happy. And look how much I've learned in the process.
     
  13. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Hello Bunkie--Aren't you the lucky one to get those blueberry bushes! :) You are going to have fun with those.
    I have never heard that bluerberry bushes specifically love banana peels. I never give my bushes much in the way of 'plant food'. I just add azalea soil and pine chips every year and pine needles when I can get them. I do not think that would hurt your plants...it's just that I have not heard of using them with blueberry bushes planted in the ground. In containers, they may well need feeding suppliments from time to time.
     
  14. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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  15. daisybeans

    daisybeans Hardy Maple

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    See, I'm learning!
     

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