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Organic matter that is not thoroughly decomposed requires nitrogen for breakdown, reducing the available nitrogen to blueberry bushes until decomposition is complete. However, because spaghnum peat moss can be expensive or difficult to obtain, alternative organic sources can be used with good results. Blueberries thrive in acidic soils. Pot-grown blueberries using ground pine bark in the growing medium require more frequent watering than when peat moss is used. This volume is based on plants every 4′ apart in a row, with rows being 10′ apart. Till the compost into the soil to a depth of 6- to 8-inches. These can be bought at our blueberry nursery in Oakland,KY. Once your peat … Also, it is possible to overcome the harmful effects of high soil pH by incorporating sawdust into the soil in which rabbiteye blueberries were grown. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Backfill with good topsoil and a small amount of thoroughly moistened peat moss. NON-BULK Ratios: 1 (3.8 cu’) bags Peat Moss/4 (1.5 cu’) bags Pine Soil Conditioner* Make sure the peat moss you get is either baled sphagnum or granular peat. Drive down the pH by adding sulfur, and improve the soil quality by working in compost and/or peat moss. You can also add our Coco-Fiber Potting Medium or 2 or more inches of organic material and work in evenly with the existing soil. Peat moss is commonly recommended, but pine needles, leaves and other tree fallout work just as well. Due to its acidic pH value, peat moss is an ideal material for acid loving plants like camellias and blueberries. Before using peat moss, you should consider what you are growing and what your soil’s pH is. This, combined with its absorbency, makes it ideal for starting seedlings and is why peat moss is an essential component in most seed starting mixes. How to Treat Apple Scab Without Chemicals, The University of Florida: Coir Dust: A Viable Alternative to Peat Moss, University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension: Growing Blueberries in Containers, Colorado State University: College of Agricultural Sciences: Blueberries in Pots Project, North Carolina State University: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden, Ohio State University: Mulching Landscape Plants, Rutgers University: Effects of Mulching Blueberry Plants with Cranberry Fruits and Leaves on Yield, Nutrient Uptake and Weed Suppression, Organic Soil Preparation for Growing Blueberries, How to Treat Your Ground to Plant Tomatoes. Pull the plant from the pot. Hand press the soil against the plant's base until you cannot see the roots. It’s light brown in color. They are very sensitive to drying out so they need plenty of water, especially in the early years. Do not put any fertilize in the planting hole. Blueberries … A graduate of East Carolina University, Kilpatrick writes for national and regional publications. Combining her interests in both of these fields, Kilpatrick is a professional flower grower and a practicing, licensed mental health therapist. Coir is the mesocarp, middle layer, of the coconut hull. If the plant is particularly difficult to release, water the pot's edges slightly with a watering can to loosen the soil. The size of the hole, use of peat moss for acidity, planting depth and other basic information. Break up the peat bale and wet it with a hose. If your soil is alkaline, you’ll either need to do a LOT of soil amending, or grow you blueberries in a container. Some purchased Canadian sphagnum peat moss was mixed with tap water and allowed to re-hydrate for 24 hours. Wet it thoroughly before placing it in the container. The addition of this low pH organic matter improves both soil moisture-holding capacity and soil drainage. A pH test can be obtained at certain nurseries and hardware stores, or you can have the pH tested through a standard soil test. An easier mix is half sphagnum peat moss and half potting soil. This added layer of peat moss will help the pH level stay acidic, as well as conserving water within the immediate area. The simplest way to create the soil's necessary 4 to 5 pH level is through an application of peat moss. Till pre-moistened peat moss into the site, using a gardening hoe. Before Adding Peat Moss to the Soil Measure your soil's pH. I recently planted 10 blueberry plants and would like to know what is the best mulch to use. Add between 4 and 6 inches of peat moss to the top of the soil if your soil needs slight modification. Peat moss is not poisonous to dogs or cats. ... Blueberries need acidic soil to grow and produce well. Compost food by-products prior to use as a soil amendment or mulch for blueberries and soil test to determine pH levels. The plant can become top heavy if allowed to fruit with an unestablished root system. Incorporation of organic matter into the soil also improves soil aeration, necessary to plant health and productivity. Prune the blueberry plant so that its flower buds are removed completely. The acidity peat moss adds to soil makes it especially beneficial for acid-loving blueberry plants. Transplanting a blueberry seedling with peat moss will ensure that you have a well-drained soil consistency with the correct pH level. For containers, blueberries can be grown in just sphagnum peat moss, if all nutrients are provided. You would be adding organic matter, but peat is somewhat resistant to decomposition. Dig a planting hole at least twice as large as the blueberry plant root system. The following ratios for Peat Moss to Pine Fines (Pine-based soil conditioner) are based on a 1 (One) acre blueberry installation project at 1,049 plants per acre. You want the plant to concentrate on acclimating to its planting site rather than fruiting or blooming in the first year. If the manure or leaves are not thoroughly composted, postpone planting blueberry bushes for one or two months after tilling the compost into the soil to allow further decomposition of the organic materials. When planting blueberries, site preparation is critical. Often, one pound of moist spaghnum peat moss per shrub is added at the time of planting. Keep the plants mulched 4 to 6 inches deep with pine bark nuggets, pine straw or pine saw… When we talk about peat moss uses, one cannot forget about the seed starting process. Take care that the blueberry roots do not dry out during the transplanting process. You can add acidity to the soil by mixing in a small amount of granulated sulfur before planting. Blueberries also do well in patio containers and offer a great way for apartment and condo dwellers and those with little or no yard to enjoy blueberries. Highbush blueberries generally perform more satisfactorily on lighter (sandy to sandy loam) soils because of the need for good internal drainage to avoid infection by root rot diseases. Blueberries prefer very acidy soil -- a pH of down around 4.5 to 5 is ideal. Often, one pound of moist spaghnum peat moss per shrub … Blueberries require acidic but well-drained soil and that’s what Canadian peat provides. Set healthy 2 or 3-year old plants in early spring. The water was then removed, leaving behind moist peat moss. I also use peat moss to make my pink hydrangeas turn blue. This video will show you the basics to planting blueberries. Place the blueberry into the potting media and plant it the same depth as it was in its container. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Add composted leaves in addition to the peat moss, if desired. Pre-wet your peat moss. Till clay soil sites 1- to 2-feet deep and 36- to 48-inches wide. I already mulched with peat moss but i have read conflicting statements about using it as mulch. Blueberries are fibrous-rooted shrubs requiring acidic soil and ample organic matter for optimum growth. Composted pine sawdust or bark can replace peat moss in soils containing less than 2-percent organic matter. Highbush blueberries are normally planted at least 5 feet apart in rows 8 to 10 feet apart. Growing sucker plants from blueberries is easy. How to Plant a Sunshine Blue Southern Highbush, University of Georgia: Home Garden Blueberries, University of Minnesota Extension: Blueberries for Home Landscapes, How to Water Transplanted Blueberry Plants. Is peat moss toxic to dogs or cats? After planting, thoroughly water each blueberry plant. It is easier to soak it for several days in a tub of water. Adjust soil pH as necessary for optimum blueberry growth levels by adding an acidifying agent. Scoop out half of the soil from a chosen site that is 1 foot deep and 2 feet in diameter, using a shovel. Generally, success with highbush can be improved by following these additional suggestions: 1. 2. Is peat moss good for blueberry bushes? You should have a small mound at the base of the blueberry plant. Choose an acidic soil with a pH of 4.0 to 5.0 for best results. Coconut coir is a by-product of the coconut industry. Plant blueberry bushes in the spring. The pH of peat moss is slightly acidic. Most gardeners will find that their garden soil needs to be more acidic to grow blueberries. Because it is so acidic, it should only be used for acid-loving plants such as blueberries, or in soils that are naturally neutral or alkaline. Your garden center representative can recommend a soil acidifier if necessary for your soil. Perform a pH test using a kit purchased from a garden supply store or use your local Cooperative Extension Service to test the pH of your soil after incorporating the organic material. Wait until mid-spring to transplant the blueberry plant. If you think that pine needles make a more suitable mulch for blueberries, where can I purchased them in the Portland area? With an electronics degree and more than 10 years of experience, she applies her love of gadgets to the gardening world as she continues her education through college classes and gardening activities. Blueberry bushes thrive in a pH range of 4.8 to 5.2. Blueberries are fibrous-rooted shrubs requiring acidic soil and ample organic matter for optimum growth. Well-drained sites, such as sandy soils, can be tilled to a depth of one foot. Blueberry bushes do not like heavy soil that contains clay. In addition to this, peat moss does not comprise weed seeds or other harmful microorganisms. Gardeners use peat moss mainly as a soil amendment or ingredient in potting soil. Blueberries like acidic soils, meaning soils with a low pH (generally in the 4.5 to 5.5 range) and a higher concentration of organic matter. Additionally, you can also add peat moss or pine needles to up the acidity level. Allow the root system to hover above the topsoil by approximately 1 to 2 inches. Moisten dry peat moss before mixing with soil. Since it doesnt compact or break down readily, one application of peat moss lasts for several years. For blueberries, which require a HIGHLY acidic soil, I first plant the things in half compost/half peat moss (a pretty good replication of their natural habitat) and then mulch them with lots more peat moss covered with some compost every season. The soil will be easier to till and optimum sunlight will be readily available in your garden. If the shrub is pot bound gently tease the roots to encourage root expansion into the potting media. Select a sunny location with well-drained soil that is free of weeds and is well-worked. The peat moss helps to increase the acidity, making it better suited for African violets, azaleas, rhododendrons, and blueberries. I have a compounded question. Wait until new growth occurs during the following spring to apply all-purpose fertilizer. Set the plant slightly deeper than it was set in the nursery and water thoroughly. The addition of peat moss could lower the pH into the range you would like. Use enough peat moss so that the site's height becomes level with the remaining garden. Then water well. They also tend to prefer a light soil. Do not use mushroom compost or composted manure in soil used for blueberries. Work the peat moss into the soil completely. The outer layer contains fiber useful in making brushes and stuffing materials. Formulated to maintain a soil pH of 5.5, Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Planting Mix is designed specifically with plants such as blueberries in mind. But don't fill the hole with just peat moss; you need the compost and soil in there to provide food and stability for the plants. One 4-cubic foot compressed bale will usually be sufficient for four to five plants, for raised beds mix equal volumes peat moss with acid compost or planting mix. Gently hand loosen the pot around the blueberry plant by rocking it side to side. Peat moss is also a sterile planting medium, which means that it does not contain harmful pathogens or weed seeds. Peat moss is an important component of most potting soils and … This will provide nutrients as well as a heavier, more wind resistant, pot. Reed/sedge peat is brown to black in color, mucky feeling and is … For plants that like a more alkaline soil, compost may be a better choice. The pH needs for container blueberries are the same; between 4.8 and 5.2. Sprinkled in cereal or muffins, the versatile blueberry offers a sweet treat along with a plant known for its beautiful foliage. Because your blend is essentially a container mix or potting soil, there is little information to go on when contemplating adding sulfur to adjust the pH. IMPORTANT NOTE! When using sphagnum peat moss to acidify the soil, backfill with a mixture that is half soil and half moistened peat moss. Writing professionally since 2010, Amy Rodriguez cultivates successful cacti, succulents, bulbs, carnivorous plants and orchids at home. Give them plenty of water but don’t drench the plants. However, the use of local food industry by-products to replace peat moss requires testing and careful planning for success. It's best to locate your blueberry plants in an area where irrigation is readily available as best results will be achieved by keeping the root zone moist throughout the growing season. The inner layer is edible. If the pH is too high the leaves will be yellow and the plants will struggle to grow. 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