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Author Topic: Blueberries  (Read 643 times)

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Offline savage270

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Blueberries
« on: August 05, 2020, 04:04:03 PM »
So my wife wants me to plant some blueberry bushes on our land in central MN and I could use some advice.  Questions:

1. Where can I buy a bunch of them at a reasonable price?  I don't see them on the county tree order form.
2. Where is the best place to plant them?  Out in the open, in the forest, by a swamp, etc.
3. Do I need to protect them from wildlife, like you would with apple trees?
4. Anything else special I should know specifically related to planting blueberries?



Offline Jerkbiat

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Re: Blueberries
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2020, 06:55:10 AM »
I don't know anything about planting them. But where we find them naturally in the woods is usually in the pine stands where the soil is mostly sandy and acidic.
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Offline Gunner55

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Re: Blueberries
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2020, 07:56:19 AM »
JB is right as I did just a little research & it said they like a soil ph of 4.5-5. :scratch: I believe it mentioned somethin about puttin pine needles around 'em after gettin them in the ground too.
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Offline Steve-o

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Re: Blueberries
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2020, 08:00:28 AM »
Yummy!


Offline KEN W

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Re: Blueberries
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2020, 04:55:27 PM »
I have 20 low bush plants. They get 3-4 feet high. I have North Blue, Polaris, Chippewa, and North Country from Un Of Minn and Northland from Michigan State.

They require full sun or they won't produce berries. Also soil with a PH less that 7. This is most important or they will die.

When planting dig a big whole and then plant them filling in with peat moss only. Mulch with pine bark. DO NOT water using water from your house.....PH to high. I have two 50 gallon rain barrels to use for watering them. Fertilize in spring with Miracle Grow for acid loving plants like Azaleas and Rhododendrons. They produce best when covered with snow.

I bought mine at the big box stores or shipping nurseries like this one......

https://www.berriesunlimited.com/northern-blueberries.html/

Blueberries are not easy to grow because of the soil PH.....Juneberries are much easier.

Online Dotch

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Re: Blueberries
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2020, 10:02:09 AM »
Yum! Ken's absolutely right about the pH. Trying to adjust the pH low enough where I live in SC MN would be a challenge. To the west it generally gets worse. It would be an annual project due to the high buffering capacity of these soils. Doesn't help that the pH of the soils here gets higher as one goes past the 6" depth. Research trying to lower pH on ag crop land when up to a ton per acre of elemental sulfur was added depressed the pH for about a year. Then the pH went right back to where it was.  :doah: 

Remember working on test plots at Becker for the U back in the late 70's & early 80's. The Hort Dept. was doing some studies on commercial blueberries & strawberries. We assisted with some of the soil fertility stuff. It's a long time ago so can't remember specifically what nutrients we were looking at. Soils were acidic (pH 5.0 - 5.5) there so they had their bases covered there. Irrigation was also available. Best part was harvest. Hort Dept. sent large coolers full of berries on ice back to St. Paul campus with us. Way more than we could eat so we doled a lot of them out to the elderly ladies in our apartment. Paid huge dividends. We never went hungry and they never complained about our loud music. Of course they probably couldn't hear it anyway... :scratch: 
« Last Edit: August 07, 2020, 10:06:05 AM by Dotch »
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Offline KEN W

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Re: Blueberries
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2020, 11:57:43 AM »
You can lower the PH after planting. Get this......add battery acid to the water you are using. Large blueberry farms sometimes add this automatically in their watering system.

It only takes 3-4 drops of acid in a gallon of water. You MUST use PH paper to test it so it doesn't get to low or you will burn them. I did this when I first started them. Now the acid in the fertilizer keeps it at the right PH so I don't have to add it anymore.

Online Dotch

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Re: Blueberries
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2020, 03:20:23 PM »
Yup, makes sense. Battery acid is sulfuric acid.
Time itself is bought and sold, the spreading fear of growing old contains a thousand foolish games that we play. (Neil Young)

Offline LPS

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Re: Blueberries
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2020, 03:43:59 PM »
Regular old Muratic/hydrochloric  acid may be a little safer and easy to get.  ??

Offline KEN W

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Re: Blueberries
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2020, 05:53:35 PM »
It was easy to get.....Interstate Batteries gave me small bottles free. Like I said it doesn't take much to bring down the PH. So it lasts a long time. If you are seeing the leaves on the plants turning red  before fall..... they are under stress because of PH being to high.

Offline savage270

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Re: Blueberries
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2020, 08:54:14 AM »
Thanks for all of the great information :happy1:

The soil PH at my land is 5.9, so kind of borderline but I should be able to make things grow.

Ken, I'm curious on your comment about Juneberries.  Do you have experience growing those as well?  Do they taste similar to blueberries?

Offline KEN W

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Re: Blueberries
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2020, 05:16:28 PM »
I lived in Bottineau, ND for 30 years. Right on the edge of the Turtle Mts. Juneberries grew wild all over up there. We picked as many as we wanted . But Juneberries blossom early and sometimes a late frost would happen. No berries.

They are easy to grow if you don't have acid soil for blueberries. When I moved here we have 7 bushes in the back yard. They produced enough berries this year for me to make 22 pies. To me they have more of a cherry taste than blueberries. Great pie.

If your soil has 5.9 PH.....that is OK for blueberries. Just follow my advice and plant using peat moss, mulch with pine bark, which is acidic, and fertilize with acid loving fertilizer. Get at least 2 varieties for better pollination.

Go to the Univ of Minn website and get info on varieties. I have North Blue,which has the biggest berries, North Country which is the smallest bush, Polaris, and Chippewa. There is also St. Cloud.

 

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