If Your Blueberries are Struggling, Read This

Last year, our blueberry production was way off. The 40 plants at the upper level looked to be struggling. A few didn’t make it.

Our newer plantings near the cabin, were doing OK, but they too were off from the previous year. We’d followed all instructions by not planting too deep, using back fill laced with  lovely leaf compost and peat moss and covered with a generous layer of weed blocking fabric and pine needles. We kept everything well watered-but not too.

We couldn’t figure out the problem. Luckily, we were able to invite our local Surry County Ag Extension agents, Wythe Morris and Joanna Radford to come look at our situation. And we are so glad they did!
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The first problem Wythe identified was that we’d likely over acidified our soil around the blueberries. We knew that pine needles were acidic, and we knew that blueberries like more acidic soil. What we didn’t know was that non degraded pine needles are highly acidic and, according to Wythe, they can take the soil down to a hazardous pH level.

If you’re not sure of the condition of your soil, this is a top-selling soil tester that tests for Potash, Nitrogen, Phosphate and pH

We’d also made the mistake of covering over the root area with fabric that blocked new growth from emerging around the base. In this next video, Wythe explains how and when to use a specific fertilizer on blueberries.

See what we used and the ag extension advice for our blueberry bushes on the next pages.

Burpee Blueberries
Burpee Blueberries

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Coleman Alderson is author of the Mountain Whispers series and frequent blogger on LittleRedPill.com. "I see myself as an outlier, a free-market entrepreneur, an eclectic reader and devout learner, a devoted family guy, a plantsman, a home designer-builder-remodeler, a conscious environmentalist, and a friend to humanity." He holds an MS from Penn State where his thesis centered on horticulture, park planning, design, and maintenance. "But nothing surpasses my 40 years of lessons from the field and garden. And the beauty of gardening is that those lessons never end!"