Planting Blueberry bushes

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by KenK, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    I picked up three Blueberry plants that I'm going to set out this weekend. Most of the directions I've read say to dig the hole quite a bit bigger than the root ball and to amend with an acidic soil/peat.

    On the other hand, a lot of stuff I've read over the past few years caution against this in general because it makes the plants act more like they are in a container. In other words, it deters the plant from putting out roots into the native soil.

    Our soil here is naturally acidic which the Blueberry likes, the topsoil is shallow though. Got about 6" of soil on top of clay.

    Any opinions?
  2. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    I feel your pain...literally I was digging for more blueberries here too.

    We have clay if you dig down deep enough, in our case, I hope to make use of the neighbors over watering of their lawn to water our blueberries so I am going to be digging a deeper trench so their run off flows our way. I am going to use some of the unused wood chips for the coop in the trench and coffee grounds to help make sure the soil is acid enough. We will be planting a few different kinds of bushes and am hoping that with such a long trench I skip the problem of the soil pot.

    Looking forward to hearing what advice you get.
  3. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    I have much knowledge in planting. Most of it I couldn't recall if you pointed a gun to my head, but it just seems to come out when needed. I dodged my Daddy's footsteps as soon as I could walk. I learned a lot just by watching him and "helping" as only a small child can. Now, my Dad is long gone, my grand daughter is dogging my every footstep and it is fun to watch this girlie girl shed shoes and stick her toes in a well manured garden. LOL

    On planting a bush or tree, dig a hole larger and deeper than the root ball. Fill it with water and let it all soak in. The reason is that if you plant it and then water, the surrounding soil will suck up all the water, leaving your newly planted tree/bush dry. You can use compost mixed with existing dirt, the dirt you just excavated or any mix you desire. I tend to agree with you about the peat, I don't think it is necessary.

    Put compost into the hole. Set the root ball on top of the dirt you just put into the hole. Gently push soil into the hole. Do not bury the tree/bush deeper than what it was, look for the dirt line on the trunk. My Daddy always turned a hoe upside down and packed the dirt around the plant with the handle. It works really good. You don't want air pockets which will dry out the roots. Keep adding soil until you reach the dirt line on the trunk of the tree/bush. Water it in well. You may need to stake it to keep it supported until the roots become established. Water deeply every few days or weekly.

    Good luck with the blueberries. Hope this helped.
  4. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    I tilled out a strip about 1 1/2 times the width of my tiller and then dug holes in that. The soil looked good to me so I opted not to amend it. Mulched with pine straw and made some cages to keep the deer off. Hopefully they will do ok.

    I put them six feet apart so I may put a pepper plant or some marigolds between them next spring.

    Most of what I read says to take the blooms off the first year so they don't bear. Do ya'll agree with that?

  5. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I planted some in regular soil with pine needle mulch. They died. Next time I will be going with raised beds or very large pots/buckets with the bottom cut out....and acidic soil.
  6. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Blueberries are shallow rooted and don't respond well to deep cultivation so it is best to mulch them. Use pine straw, pine shavings, peat moss or, better still, composted oak leaves for mulch. Add some ammonia-sulfate to keep the soil acid in the spring--doing it this time of year will cause late growth that will freeze off. Deer can be a problem for young bushes so they should be fenced. I have over 200 bb bushes on the property--some over 30 years old that are still producing. If the soil is right, once they get going there isn't an easier fruit to raise.
  7. ChicksterJo

    ChicksterJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 19, 2011
    Grounded on Earth
    I'm going to be taking notes. I'd like to plant some blueberry bushes someday when I have the land... When I went to a bb farm in Alger County, Upper Peninsula MI, I had the BEST blueberries I've ever had. [​IMG]
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Looking good, there!!!

    You will be enjoying your blueberries!!! I didn't take the blooms off mine the first year. The chickens took almost everything off for me and killed several. I don't know if you are supposed to or not. Now I have cages around mine like yours.

    Just for everyone's information, in case you didn't know, blueberries need to be watered until established and even then they really benefit from some water in the summer if you are dry. I didn't know this when I planted mine and so I have to s----t----r---e---t----c---h that hose!!!
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  9. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    yep mix a good top soil or little peat with the soil you removed from the soil. one main reason for the larger hole, is loose soil ,not the hard pack soil, and you want a good soil for the new root to grow into. as far as water ,we would fill the hole ,then stick a water hose into the hole to fill with water, hose goes down easy. push to bottem of the fill hole.
  10. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    One thing to understand about blueberries is that where they will grow, they will grow very well; where they will not grow, they are almost impossible short of container growing. Generally speaking if azaleas and rhodendrons grow well in your area, then bb should too--they have about the same culture with the exception that bb are more cold hardy.

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