Monday, March 15, 2021

BLUEBERRY SOIL BLEND FOR RAISED BEDS

This weekend was mowing (see yesterday's post) and working on the new raised beds.  After much research, we settled on this process for our blueberry raised beds.  Since they require a special soil (much more acidic) you need to plant them in a special mix.  There are bags of blueberry blend soil around for sale but we found that they are hard to find and VERY expensive if you do find them ($15 for 1 cu ft and we'd need quite a few).

Turns out in the end they are just blends of a few basic things and we can make our own just as easily (and it's much more affordable).

Blueberry soil blend

I found suggestions online for a 50/50 blend using prepackaged blended potting soil and peat moss.  Sounded good to me!  We've had good luck with the Kellogg brand raised bed mix so we used that since it's a combination of compost, soil, etc.  Instead of mixing those separately, it was easier to just buy the mix and then add in the peat moss.

Using an online calculator, I found that our rings hold a little over 7 cubic feet.  The garden soil bag is 2 cu ft and the peat moss is 3 cu ft.

Seemed like 2 bags of soil and 1 bag of peat moss per bed would be the perfect ratio once mixed together...

Round galvanized raised bed

I layered it in...about a cubic foot of soil (1/2 the bag) and 1/3 of the peat moss.  Then the other half of the soil and some more peat moss.  Then half the second bag of soil, more peat moss etc.  That made it easy...

Filling raised bed for blueberries

All I had to do then was take a shovel and start turning it.  Fortunately the peat moss is very lightweight so it's easy to turn.  I told 2nd Man it was just like folding something into a cake batter.

He understood that analogy, ha!

Blueberry bed

When it was done it was different from the darker soil, not as heavy and not dense at all.

Backyard orchard

I got all four done, this is just one side of the orchard areas.  Three here and three on the opposite side, the ones in the middle were done last weekend.  They have different soil for different plants.  Stay tuned.

The plan is to leave the soil to sit for a week (it's raining today) so that it will settle and if necessary, I can add more peat moss (still have some leftover).  The peat is what will add the acidity.  I should be able to plant them this coming weekend and in fact, this coming weekend is going to be a planting weekend, the blueberries and starting the veggies.




17 comments:

  1. Looking good and coming along nicely. Good idea on letting that soil settle a bit before planting.
    Don't forget to mulch once everything is planted. I would think that the Blueberries will grow pretty fast to where it wouldn't be long before you start seeing blueberries popping out.
    Have a wonderful, fantastic day

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    1. Thanks, yes we were thinking since it is a light soil with the peat moss, it was best to let it settle before we had the plants in there. but yes, they've been growing really well just in their black plastic containers the should hopefully explode in the right soil where they can stretch their legs, er, roots, ha.

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  2. Last year, I started too late in my search for blueberries for this region. I hope to do better this year. I want to pick blueberries. Good information for planting.

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    1. Yes, wherever they grow they need a more acidic soil. Think "azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas". They are all very similar acid loving plants. That's why they do best in large containers. Hope you can find some!!

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  3. The soil in your blueberry rings looks beautiful. Your blueberry plants should grow very well in them.
    I planted my tomato and pepper plants on Saturday. I also planted seeds for carrots and dill. Seeds for squash, cucumbers, green beans, and okra will be planted within the next several days. I’m going to shop for mint and herb plants this week also.

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    1. Thanks, we hope they do. We're a bit behind but hope to get the tomatoes and others in the beds this weekend since I shouldn't have to mow. I think if we can get a few in the ground, it'll still be ok the weekend after too. Plus cool weather this weekend! Woo hoo!!

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  4. We have very acidic soil and the blueberries that people plant around here do pretty well. I hope yours flourish !

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    1. Awesome! Yes there are places where the plants do well. If you know you have good soil for that they will thrive in the ground too. We have clay and very dense soil, so it was "raised beds" for us. We're hoping the soil mix will make them happy. Heck they are happy so far just growing in whatever soil the garden center put them in. They should REALLY be happy this weekend, ha.

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  5. Tuesday; Happy Birthday 2nd Man.
    May your special day be surrounded
    with happiness, filled with Laughter
    Blessed with love and remembered with Joy.
    Have a great day and wonderful evening.

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    1. This is me 2nd man, thank you so much. All is good here with us. Just seems like another day haha. Got your wonderful card, thank you so much.

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  6. Now I have a better idea of what you're doing with your "stargates."

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. OK back to 1st Man here, yep, this is what we are doing. Think of them as a large above ground planter but with an open bottom. This is so the roots will eventually work their way down into the ground and the good soil above starts to change the soil in the ground. The square boxes for the trees are the same way...and the trees started small but now are 10 feet tall and we know there have to be deep roots down into the ground by now. the above ground potting soil gives them a head start, ha. Stay tuned for planting this weekend.

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    2. Brilliant! I appreciate the explanation.

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  7. Blueberries and strawberries are raised on acres of land. After the crops are picked and shipped the farmers open the fields for u-pick and than the berries are pretty cheap. Same with tomatoes. Farmers need special insurance for u-pick since some people are so 'sue" happy. Step in a small ditch or other little thing and they need to sue the farmer.

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    1. Well that's interesting! I guess thankfully we won't sue each other at the end of the season, ha. Strawberries are something we haven' thad much luck with but will have to try again.

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  8. Love the look of the rings around where the bushes will be. Hmmm, now you've got me thinking. I'm putting in my new blueberries this weekend.
    Blessings...

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    1. These are galvanized fire pit rings. We've had four of them for a few years and then last year we ordered a couple more (from Menard's grocery store of all places, found them online). They were about $35/each at the time. To not have to cut wood and use brackets etc drilling etc it was an easy decision, ha. Thanks!!!

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