Blueberries in containers. Which soil

kiropod(7)June 18, 2011

Just picked up two blueberry plants today, which are 3 feet tall. I have left over Al's gritty mix that I could use or the 5, 1,1 mix. Which would be better? Since blueberries like acid, what should I add to either mixture to ensure health plant growth?

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

I also bought 2 plants this year. 1 was in a 2 gal pot, and 1 was in a 3 gal pot. I immediately potted them up into 10 gallon pots. I just took the plants out of their original pots, placed the root ball into the new pot, and filled in around it with double ground pine bark (including gypsum,) which is basically the 511 without perlite. That was 6 weeks ago, and I've gotten between 8" and 12" of new growth since then, and there are lots of berries. The 511 w/gypsum should work ok with the container blueberries. I just add 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water, and I water every 2 days, and fertilize 1 per week with MG, and epsom salts for magnesium. There are lots of good threads on this here and in the fruits forum.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:03PM
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Joe1980(5)

I agree that the 5-1-1 is ideal, but I'd stick with the lime that the recipe calls for.

Joe

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:06PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Please, no lime on blueberries. They need acid soil. They'll die in a matter of months in soil with added lime. You'll do better adding a little sulfur. Even alkaline well water will kill blueberries.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:16PM
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kiropod(7)

Thanks

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 10:31AM
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Joe1980(5)

Wow, I just did a little reading, and sure enough, apparently they like VERY low PH. The 5-1-1 mix is still quite acidic after liming, but I am reading that they like a PH of 4.0 to 5.5? I guess in that case, I stand corrected, no lime.

Joe

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 12:04PM
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kiropod(7)

Thanks

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 5:32PM
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kiropod(7)

The garden center which sold me the bb plants recommended aluminum sulfate to acidify the soil. Any thoughts on this?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 7:17AM
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Joe1980(5)

I believe Al (Tapla) was asked this on another thread about fertilizing, and I recall him saying that it's a bad idea, because the aluminum can create problems.

Joe

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 7:41PM
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kiropod(7)

Now I'm worried as I used the 5-1-1 soil and added the aluminum sulfate today and then watered

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:19PM
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kiropod(7)

Should I repot and as such remove the aluminum sulfate?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 12:18PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I won't repot. Just use something else going forward. Ammonium sulfate in small doses is a good acidifier and nitrogen source. Sulfur is a good long term acidifier.

There are organic alternatives. Holly Tone for acid loving plants and organic cottonseed meal are two examples.

One way to really push growth on blueberries is by dissolving one tablespoon of ammonium sulfate, 21-0-0, in about 2.5 gal water. Apply enough once a week so that excess runs out the bottom. This will boost growth and lower soil pH. If your soil is already pH 4.5 or below, urea is a good substitute.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 1:16PM
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kiropod(7)

Thanks. It was hard determimg how much to use as I put the blueberries in 2 I8 quart containers.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 1:49PM
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CoryMiamiBeach

Would raspberries respond similar to the blueberries? Should I use the 5-1-1 mix for my raspberry brambles? (i.e. do they also like the acidic soil)?

Thank you in advance!
Cory

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 10:51PM
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