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Blueberries


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#1 FrozenInTime OFFLINE  

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Posted March 31, 2015 - 11:47 AM

Just saw another post talkin bout them but I'll start this here instead of hi-jacking that one.  History:  We have tried blueberry plants for a while with no luck.  They grow albeit not very much, a little bushy, then die off after never producing more than a hand full of berries.  I'm in warm Norf Dakoota.

 

I've heard/read they like acidic soil.  I want to make a raised bed, maybe 2 foot to grow them in.  What should I use for soil?  Should I mix half with peat moss?  I have lots of chicken manure, some a year old mixed in with straw, some 2-3 years old mixed with wood chips/shavings (basically the bedding from the coup I have thrown in the coup run, the chickens have been scratching/adding too for 3 years).  Raked that up last week, I have a huge pile of chicken (gold).  Starting this soil from scratch, what would those of y'all experienced with blueberries do?

 

Before I build the raised bed, how should I treat the ground under the bed?  I figure the roots will eventually get down into the original soil so I think that should be treated good to.  It is a hard packed soil, depending on where u dig, I get into hard clay, or sand, no way to know until u dig it.  The garden soil has been tilled down to 6 inches and no sand but if I went deeper, probably would be.  Would this be a good place to load up with fresh chicken gold and lots of peat moss. as it *should* be rotted atleast a year before the roots get that deep?


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#2 DanP OFFLINE  

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Posted March 31, 2015 - 12:23 PM

I have grown blueberries for years and it is hard to get them started but once you do they produce very well. I live in a warmer climate SE Iowa. I just dug up the ground in the fall where I planned on planting them the next year and mixed some peat moss in, then I added some aluminum sulfate or some kind of acidfier. It would help if you got a PH testing kit because what I thought was a lot of Aluminum Sulfate was not near enough. Once they start growing every spring I sprinkle more Sulfate around the bush at the drip line and test the soil. I much them also. I just moved to a new house a few years ago and I am trying to get them started there. I have had 3 years of very dry weather and have lost a few but I am persistent and I will get them going. I am not sure about fertilizer and would ask a garden center about that, sometimes new plants don't like a lot of fertilizer as it makes to much top growth when you want to get the root system growing first. Also make sure you have 2 or 3 different kinds of plants so they can pollinate properly. Good luck they are the best berry in the world, I am eating them right now on a salad. Yum Yum


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#3 Jazz ONLINE  

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Posted March 31, 2015 - 03:49 PM

Try finding some Honeyberries at a garden centre, very similar to blueberries and grow anywhere. They are a eastern european native. They look like blueberries however they are shaped like a grape. Higher in anti oxidants than blueberries. . . Early flower and very easy to grow.  You need to get a mix of gendered plants.  We have them growing in the yard...planted them in May a few years back and 6 weeks after planting they were bearing fruit.  Blueberries grow wild up here. just like a weed!..plenty of people harvest them and sell them at the roadside, blueberries really thrive in cutover areas.


Edited by Jazz, March 31, 2015 - 03:54 PM.

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#4 oldedeeres ONLINE  

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Posted May 02, 2015 - 12:50 AM

Honeyberries, also called Hascap,--- delicious! You're right on every count Jazz. Mine are starting to leaf out and I can see the buds already, they bloom before anything else and are ready to pick before the end of June. To me they have a sharper flavour than even the wild blueberries, but are not nearly as demanding to grow. When we tried tame blueberries we amended the soil with pine and spruce needles to give them the needed acidic input, mulched them heavily with spruce tips, trying to copy the way the wild ones grow. I think peat moss would have been beneficial to because we find the wild ones in or close to the peat bogs too. They never did thrive for us, and since we have so many wild ones around here , I've just let them do whatever by themselves and concentrated on the hascap. They are easier to pick, bigger berries, and so far I haven't had to share with the bears, lol.






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