Dying blueberry

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by wferraez, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. wferraez

    wferraez Member

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    Hi to all, I have a concern.
    I have planted blueberries in my yard and my plants die after a couple of week. Why is this happening? Somebody mentioned to check the acidity but i have no idea how to check it (I know it sounds funny) can somebody help me please?
    thank you
    wendy F.
     
  2. plantenthusiast

    plantenthusiast Active Member

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    Wendy,

    You can have the pH of your soil tested by sending in a sample to a testing lab. Check with your department of agricultural on where to have this done. You can also buy cheap testing meters, but I find that many of them are mickey mouse and don't give a very accurate reading. If you can find the little strip test kit, then this is much better.

    Blueberries prefer an acidic soil (I have seen it listed as both pH of 4.0-4.5 and pH of 5.0-5.8). Often times peat moss and fireplace ashes are used to increase soil acidity. They really grow best in full sun. They should not be fertilized in the first year. A small bush many take a couple of years to bear fruit. Blueberries often do well in clay soils, as we have here, but I have heard that they also thrive in peaty sandy soils with good content of organic material. Applying a mulch will help to keep the soil evenly moist.

    Good luck with your blueberries,
     
  3. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Wendy--it's seems unlikely that your plants would die in a few weeks from "wrong pH"...lots of blueberries are grown commercially in California in alkaline pH soils for e.g.

    I would suspect a watering/drainage problem of some kind. Can you poke around the root area and see if the roots are perhaps staying dry in spite of your watering, or perhaps are constantly soaking wet and "suffocating". In spite of their peat bog natural habitat, blueberries actually live in aerated soil, as the peat tends to float and keep the root zone somewhat aerated. They will not appreciate "standing in water", nor drying right out...especially when first planted. When established they are much less fussy, but need some TLC to get started.
     
  4. wferraez

    wferraez Member

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    Thank you for your comments. I will check on the acidity and the soil.
    I will keep you informed.
    Thank you
    wendy
     
  5. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    Planting depth is another issue to consider.
     
  6. Denise

    Denise Active Member

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    I live in an area where there are many blueberry farms. The soil in our area is acidic, so I know as mentioned previously that blueberries do well in this soil. To figure out what kind of soil you have without "testing" it, you could think about what grows successfully in your area. Do rhodos and azaleas die easily? These also love acidic soil, so analysis other successes to see if it is a soil problem.
     

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