Blueberry Bush Help


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Hello All:

I recently planted two new blueberry bushes and I'm having trouble figuring out what is going wrong with them.

I have added acidic help (soil additive) to the planting soil along with mulch to keep the moisture around the plant, but they don't appear to be happy.

I have attached some photos so you can see what I'm dealing with. I'm am located in central Europe and we are in spring conditions with overnight temps of 50F (10C)

I appreciate all the help as I am new to the blueberry bush clan.

Cheers
 

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Blueberries have to have an acidic soil so the nutrients will be available to the plant. The pH should be between 4.5 to 5.6 for at least a couple or 3 years for blueberries to grow and stay healthy. Just pouring something on the soil may give you a acidic state for a while, but not for 3 years. To grow blueberries you need to test the pH of the soil and if its alkaline you need to change the soil out with a acidic mix. For Azaleas and Rhododendrons, I would dig up the soil and replace it with a 50-50 mix of peat moss and ground up or shredded pine bark with a couple hands full of Osmocote time re-lease fertilizer. That would last about 3 or 4 years and I would have to repeat by pulling up the plants and rebedding with a acidic mix.
 
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I had the same problem with my Blueberry bushes. I had really good soil, mixed in the Sulfur for the acidic part and they failed. SO, I started searching and came up withe same thing, a 50/50 % BY VOLUME of an all-purpose sand (NO Play Sand) and Peat Moss. I used a 5 gallon bucket to measure out the mix proportions and mixed that in a tub. The recommendation for the sulfur was 2 ounces per hole. The recommended size for the hole was 2 ft in Dia and 18 inches deep. My holes were 18" in Dia and 18" deep and those holes took up two batches of the mix. I just added one ounce of Sulfur to each batch. The recommendation was also an 18" Dia ring of Sulfur applied around the top of the hole after being back-filled. You could also use whatever fertilizer/acidic additive that is specifically made for acidic loving plants. The other recommendation was to use a mulch and I am using the Pine variety. Hard work for an old dude of 77 years!
 
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Our blueberry bushes have shown pH values as low as 4. They are in lawn and the natural pH of our clay is 5-5.5 so acidifying fertilizer or other efforts drive it lower. Most successful root systems here are shallow. It turns out that aside from oxygenation and drainage issues, phosporous availability has an increased window at low pH, and 5.5 could be slightly lower lower. The US Blueberry Council recommends 1\2 peat moss, which has a very low pH.
 

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