Monday, June 8, 2020

BLUEBERRY BUSHES THE NEXT PROJECT

For those who missed yesterday's post, we had our first peach from the fruit trees.  Check it out.

After getting other stuff done recently, including the deer fencing around the fruit trees, the next project will be working on the blueberry bushes.  Well, it's past time actually but this pandemic quarantine has messed with timing.  Now with stores reopening, we should be able to get the soil we need. 


They have been on the porch and we've been taking care of them. They are already filled out with leaves and doing great...


...one even has two small blueberries on it! We aren't expecting blueberries this season, we're fine with that. We just want to get them into the ground as soon as possible so they can get established before Winter. Our problem has been finding a place with the right soil mix that is open during the quarantine.  Supposedly next week they will be opening more locations including the specialized garden centers.


Because blueberries require special soil, the plan has always been to put them into their own raised beds.

Instead of building more square raised beds, we had these rings that used to hold citrus trees behind the garden.  After we lost them in a freeze a couple years ago we decided to get replacement trees and put the new ones with the rest of the fruit trees behind the house.  I've posted all about that process.

Behind the garden we had metal rings still filled with soil and non producing citrus trees.  They froze below the graft bud and so when they "came back" last year, they did not ever flower.  It was time to move them and clean it all up.


I started by pulling up the trees.  That was not easy since they were still in the ground growing with roots.  Then I had to release the rings from the soil and somehow get them up off the ground where grass had sort of locked them into place, ha.  It took some prodding and pulling (and a few fire ant bites) to get them up but one by one I got them up.  Because these are 48" in diameter, I just rolled them like giant wheels to the new area.  After I moved them, I had to scoop up all the soil and haul it off.


Here they are ready to be used.  I hosed them off to make sure they were clean and will be ready to fill.


The hard part now will be trying to figure out where to put them.  This area is right next to the fruit trees?  There is a similar spot on the other end?

 

Another possiblity is along the back fence (away from cattle) or maybe between the beds?  We'd like all three to be together instead of separated, it makes it easier for maintaining and caring for them. 


It was a busy day but after I got the rings removed and the soil hauled off, I mowed over the area a few times just to disperse stray leaves, branches and soil.  Now we have this empty space behind the garden once again.  The three circles are where the beds were and we'll just let the grass fill back in.

Now to find some soil!


10 comments:

  1. Go on line to your well known local nursery; order what soil you need and then have curbside pick-up.
    Calloway's here is still curbside pick up only.
    I don't know if Home Depot or Lowe's carry the soil needed for blueberries.
    Depending on type of berry plants you have, you can plant them in containers.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLd2BXe9YvE

    https://homeguides.sfgate.com/alreadymixed-soil-blueberries-53120.html

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  2. i have more blueberries on my bushes this year than ever before. i still bet the birds get them first! you will love having them. they are so much better than store bought.

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  3. our garden stores have been open all along and today I walked thru Home Depot and almost every scrap of soil was sold out. People have been planting like mad up here! Not that everyone is sold out. Just HD.

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  4. That is going to be so wonderful to have fresh-from-your-own-Farm blueberries. What variety did you get?

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  5. You can easily make your own blueberry soil. We grow LOTS of blueberries here in Michigan, and in fact they grow wild here on state land like crazy. We have plenty of good sandy well-drained soil base with leaf and pine mulch that they love.

    Many folks I know keep inexpensive PH test kits on hand and when the soil becomes too alkaline, they hit their local coffee shop and ask for used coffee grounds, which they'll give for free.

    Here's an article with a blueberry soil mix recipe and tips on growing them.

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  6. Grrrr, link didn't show! Try again:
    https://www.garden.eco/blueberry-soil-mix

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  7. When you are looking for a place to plant your blueberries, remember that they love to have their roots wet. Wherever the wettest place is on your property, plant them there. In our part of northern Indiana, the blueberry orchards are flooded for a time every spring and the bushes love that.

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  8. Blueberries thrive most readily when planted near to evergreen trees (which leave the soil the perfect acidity for blueberries). I'll be interested to see how this works out for you longterm; you said you are buying special soil to fill the rings, but the roots will eventually grow down into the ground underneath.

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  9. Yum! Blue berries! I never had much luck growing them here but other people seem to grow them like crazy. Yes keep them away from cattle, they love to eat the bushes.

    Speaking of cattle, I just read your bull post. Whoever said it maybe sees you as a mate is completely off. Bulls either don't pay attention to people or they see us as a threat/adversary. That one was definitely giving you a dangerous look. If he was making a moaning, groaning or almost growling sound at you... he was threatening you. That's not 1000 pounds, that bull is more like 2000 pounds. No cute jokes from me, you need to be careful! Especially large cattle farms like in Texas, the cattle are not that used to people and can be more like wild animals, unpredictable.

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  10. I am having a hard time finding blueberry bushes for this area. The ones at Lowe's and Sams are meant for northern climates. But, the county agent told me what to get, and I still cannot locate the bushes.

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