any input would be greatly appreciated. The first two I just planted in my soil, watered and they seemed fine for two weeks. Pine mulch is made out of a slightly softer wood than cedar mulch, so it breaks down more readily than cedar mulch. Blueberries have a shallow, fibrous root system and with mulching weed pressures are reduced and soil moisture content can remain at a more consistent level. Grower experiences have proven milled pine bark to be an excellent growing substrate for southern highbush blueberries. Although cedar is known for being rot- and disease-resistant, you may be … Fertilize twice per year in early and late spring.Acidic fertilizers can be used according to the directions on their label. When planting blueberries, site preparation is critical. Any suggestions?? A nursery told me they only use 1/4 peat moss but I see you recommend up to 50%. Also, I am planning on cutting down a lot of cedar trees in my parent's pasture, as they are getting out of control there. When planting young plants, it is a good idea to remove all or almost all blossoms. The blueberry bush has never looked healthier or more prolific. Do not use bark or sawdust from cedar or redwood trees. Mulch adds a layer of organic matter to your garden that releases nutrients back into the soil slowly as it breaks down. Cedar spray can be made at home by first soaking the chips in water, then blending them and straining the liquid. Wood and bark mulches will float away more easily in rainy weather than will pine straw, so keep a little extra as backup to replenish any that gets lost in rainstorms. Even though this may seem like a lot of mulch, it will flatten and begin to break down quickly. Wait to fertilize your bushes until after they are established. Mulch Blueberries with Pine Needles! It is known that pine needles are useful as mulch for blueberries to help maintain an acidic soil ph. I’m interested in plants that will produce medium to large berries that are juicy, sweet, with a mild tang. With all the fruit harvesting we’ve been doing over the last few weeks, I’ve had orchard care and maintenance on the brain. I bought some blueberry plants from Nourse Farms and received some good advice. Blueberries have dense, shallow roots and do best with 2-4 inches of mulch over the roots to conserve moisture, prevent weeds and build organic matter. This is a good choice if you have poor soil that needs supplementary nutrients. Cyclist and organic gardener Delia Rollow has been writing since 2010. Pine mulch is made out of a slightly softer wood than cedar mulch, so it breaks down more readily than cedar mulch. Mulch also helps the soil underneath retain moisture for the plant's root systems. To decrease your soil’s pH, thus increasing your soil’s organic matter, there are several options. I have just one blueberry bush that I have had for about five years. We live in Lacey Wa about a 1/2 mile from the sound. Happy growing. Should I put fertilizer (granular or otherwise) in the hole at planting time? @Charlie Casey Eastside Farm and Garden in the old Curtis Lumber has a wealth of information and lots of blueberries that grow here in stock. But pine is a more acidic wood than cedar and may affect the pH of your soil. She has been published in the "Commonwealth LitMag." Also high-nitrogen fertilizers such as blood meal and cottonseed meal will work well with blueberries. It has produced only a handful of berries over that time and has often looked sickly with its red-brown discoulouring of the leaves. Any recommendations on plants that fit that berry profile and will grow well in the Bremerton are, would be appreciated. Mulches also resist insects and disease, and help berries remain clean by reducing soil splash. It is better to use a shallow layer of mulch in the spring and summer when there is no danger of frost. Repeat every other year. Mulch adds a layer of organic matter to your garden that releases nutrients back into the soil slowly as it breaks down. Thank you for this informative piece on growing Blueberries in Washington State. Blueberry Mulch. Blueberries are right at home in our proprietary Blueberry Mulch blend.It is the perfect way to top-dress blueberry plants using a mixture of Lane Garden Compost, and Fir Bark.. Get the local dirt in our northwest corner. Sawdust mulch has a 60-year history of success with blueberries, and many experts think it is in a class by itself. This is especially helpful when used in organic vegetable gardens or around fruit trees. Aft… Applying a straw or leaf mulch over top of sawdust mulch creates an impermeable barrier that prevents water from penetrating the soil and shouldn't be used around blueberry bushes. Mulch for Blueberries. Rollow has a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies from Bard College. If, however, you are mulching plants that tax the soil, such as vegetables, it is better to use a soft-wood, or leaf mulch that will break down quickly and replace the nutrients used to produce your vegetables. Here is some information to get you started. Have you thought about growing blueberries? I may have missed it in your helpful article, but WHEN would be the best time for All blueberry plants have male and female organs on each flower, but many varieties are not self-pollinating and must have another blueberry variety within 100 feet for a healthy fruit set. Cedar mulch is long-lasting since the wood it is made from is water- and insect-repellent. Be sure to water well after planting. Although milled pine bark shares many characteristics with good blueberry soil, fundamental differences exist and need to be understood for rapid growth of young plants and high blueberry … This slow decomposition keeps the soil pH acidic and prevents it from rising too quickly because of nitrogen released into the soil, while simultaneously providing the benefits of using a mulch to the blueberry bushes. Is this normal or what can I do? Some people will cut off the entire top and let the plant start from scratch. Mulch should be 4 inches to 6 inches deep and cover a 4-foot band of soil centered on a blueberry plant row. If, however, you are mulching plants that tax the soil, such as vegetables, it is better to use a soft-wood, or leaf mulch that will break down quickly and replace the nutrients used to produce your vegetables. For more information, see our video on planting. We use clean wood chips, but bark mulch, acid compost, pine needles or grass clippings all work well. I also gave one plant to my sister with some peat moss and her plant leaves are doing the same thing. My email is correct. I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge or experience using spruce or cedar needles as mulch-they are plentiful on my yard. This will (unlike cedar mulch) break down faster and feed your soil, the soil life, and contribute to feeding your fruit trees. The plant is not affected. The newer wood chips take the Nitrogen out of the soil. Contact your local gardening center to learn about the best varieties in your particular climate, as well as small-space growing (containers), traditional plants, or for something more unique (such as the brand new pink-berried ‘Pink Lemonade’). The chips are also effective in repelling termites, rodents, scorpions, spiders, and snakes. Truth is they are all good, just get two or more for cross pollination and check the blossoming season , get early, mid and late. Coco coir is regarded as a more sustainable alternative to peat moss but will require the addition of some nutrients. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! In the winter these amounts should be doubled to adequately insulate the root systems from frost heaves. Wood ash is higher in alkalinity which would not be good for blueberries? Once the weather warms, watering two to three times per week will help keep plants healthy, vigorous, and producing quality fruit. It also acts as an extra layer of insulation, keeping your plant's roots warm and protected even after frost. I am going to be putting in some blueberries for the first time and had been planning to mulch them with woodchips from a red cedar I had recently had taken down and chipped. It is important to replenish mulch as it deteriorates. Well-maintained mulch can help control weeds, and keep soil cool, loose and uniformly moist. thanks again, sockiescat:).-HTH. I don't know how old they mean. No. But I noticed a number of places on the web that hold that this is not a … And if you're a new fruit tree grower it is best to keep the mulch, whichever kind you choose to use, a few inches away from … The season’s first blueberries typically arrive in early July. Pine Bark mulch and Pine Straw is the preferred mulch when growing many popular Southern acid-loving plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons and many vegetables and fruits such as blueberries, sweet potatoes, peppers, and radishes. Her other blueberry plants are still green. Spring mulching depths are usually 2 to 2 1/2 inches for wood and bark mulches, and 1 inch for pine straw, or pine needle mulches. Select for bright healthy-looking wood with longer lateral branches. Chris Elder lives with his family in Bellingham. Posted on July 1, 2018 August 23, 2018 by Three Wondrous Acres Homestead. Blueberries do best with 2-4 inches of mulch over the roots to conserve moisture, prevent weeds and add organic matter. Washington state ranks sixth in the nation for production, while North America grows roughly 90 percent of the world’s blueberries with over 50 percent going straight to fresh produce markets. Someone gave us several loads but now I'm wondering if it's a good thing to apply to blueberries. Remember to check mulch in the fall as it can also serve as safeguard from cold temperatures and winter damage. Pine mulch is made out of a slightly softer wood than cedar mulch, so it breaks down more readily than cedar mulch. Bark O Mulch, acid compost, sawdust and grass clippings all work well. of using cedar mulch around my spireas, hostas and a lot of other things that i am hopefully going to get planted this fall and now im am wondering if i would be better off not adding it to the beds :(. Place a 3-inch depth of mulch around the base of the blueberry bushes and extend the mulch out approximately 2 feet from the center of the blueberry bushes. When planting blueberries some experts recommend removing one-third to one-half of the soil and replacing with peat moss. Thanks! Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, pine bark mulch image by robert mobley from. The wood chips will break down slowly because of their high lignin content. I sprinkle sulfur after leaf drop and then before bud break, but i have been using a pine mulch, but only because i thought it might help with PH. The mulch decomposes over time so every couple of years add another 2 to 3 inches of mulch. You may opt to use … Legacy, hardy blu, Elizabeth, Jersey and Brigetta are smaller but have great flavor. Because of this, cedar mulch won't change the nutrient composition of your soil, won't bring insects with negative impacts into your plantings, and won't have to be replaced as often as a soft-wood mulch. I spray once a year for pests, but I do it before flowers set because I care about the bees. planting blueberries (Kent, WA), We’re looking for early, middle, late blueberries with flavor similar to wild huckleberry. This shallow root system also means it is important to keep your plants well hydrated. Growing blueberries in our area is as regular as the rain. Do not allow the roots to dry out. Be well, stay safe, take care. This seems extreme to some, but pruning by one-half to two-thirds is probably a good idea. They said to mulch with OLD wood chips--not those that have recently been through a chipper. Pine mulch is susceptible to termite infestation, as well as to attracting insects of all types, so don't use it against buildings or old trees that could be damaged by these insects. I don’t know what zone you are in but Chandler gives the largest blueberry and has the advantage of a very long harvesting time. He organizes Bellingham Urban Garden Syndicate (BUGS). Consult your local nursery or the WSU extension office for soil testing options. I also dug up the first two and added peat moss to them. All Rights Reserved. Mulch around your bushes with two to four inches of bark mulch, acid compost, sawdust, or grass clippings. Safety is another advantage of cedar mulch. Apply pine needles evenly around the blueberry plants, allowing a 4 to 6 in deep layer of.pine mulch. Remove deadwood and non-vigorous twigs. Darrow and Bonus are next, I particularly like the flavor of Bonus. This year I decided to put a bucket of water with a couple of cups of dissolved epsom salts around the base. Two weeks later all the plants leaves are turning a red-brown color. You have answered all my questions and with this knowledge I hope to grow some amazing Blueberries this year!!!!!! Blueberries are acid lovers and will respond well to the addition of coffee grounds, wood ash, or Epsom salts.Watering the ground around the blueberries with a solution of one tablespoon of white vinegar to one gallon of water can also increase soil acidity. In Blueberry mulch - revisited, Virginia extension specialist Charlie O’Dell describes bringing an old, neglected blueberry planting back into production with sawdust mulch, piled 6 … Blueberries can be planted as close as two feet apart to form hedges or closer to four or five feet apart for more individual bush development. Which blueberry bushes would you recommend for a fairly large blueberry? The wood and bark pine mulch, however, is less readily acidic than mulch made out of green pine needles, which should be used only around acid-loving plants like blueberries. cedar mulch for blueberries. For raised beds or growing blueberries in containers, a mix of half peat moss and half acid compost or soil mix should work well. It is absolutely vital for them because mulch helps acidify the soil, control weeds, conserve moisture and moderate soil temperature- factors all responsible for healthy growth. If grass clippings are used as a mulch, be sure to mix with bark or straw. Bumblebees and solitary bees are indigenous pollinators, though honeybees are utilized for commercial blueberry pollination. As it decays, poisons won't leach into surrounding soil and plants. I am in Roch hills and the soil was pretty neutral before i started the conditioning. (It’s hard to pass a ripening blueberry bush and resist eating them on the spot.). Turn your mulch if you have a large pile that you are not using immediately, as this discourages fungal and mold growths inside the mulch pile and helps keep everything dry. To plant blueberries, dig a hole larger than needed, remove the plant from the pot, and rough up the roots to encourage new root growth. When the plants are mature (after 8 years in the ground) you may have a total of 6 inches of "mulch" but 3 inches or so will be relatively new/fresh mulch and the rest will be decomposed organic material (a good thing for blueberries). A pH test can be obtained at certain nurseries and hardware stores, or you can have the pH tested through a standard soil test. Plant them as soon as possible. Northwest counties grow acres and acres of this popular berry, with Whatcom County leading the way. Should I fertilize the bushes during the first growing season? I want to make sure I lay down the best mulch for berries and grapes.. I have never grown blueberries so I am depending on them to be experts. We’re in Kent, WA. Different mulches, however, can have different impacts on the soil and the plant as they break down. Do you have an answer for my problem? ♦ Pest Control: Cedar chips or sprays can be used in and around the house as a natural way to keep fleas, ants, mites, moths, mosquitoes, and other insects at bay. You should not see a "volcano" of mulch around plants. Pine mulch is also less expensive than cedar mulch, so if you are looking for the water-retaining and frost-protecting benefits of mulch without a high cost, pine mulch may be the better choice. Situate the plant about a half-inch above the regular soil grade and firm up the dirt around the root ball. Place your plants into a cool, dark, moist environment. If I can’t plant my new bushes right away, how do I store them? Cedar mulch doesn't break down and integrate itself into the soil because the wood and mulch are so long-lasting. I don’t like spraying the fruit either. It is wasted time looking through the berries for worms and wormholes. The next seven I got from a nursery that told me to add peat moss, so I did about a 50-50 soil to peat moss. (Also, consider the thrifty option of occasionally scattering your coffee grounds as a top dressing around your plants.). Proper mulching of the blueberry shrubs will not only protect the root systems, but as it decomposes, it … Aged wood chips are a fantastic material to use for mulch around blueberry plants. The wood and bark pine mulch, however, is less readily acidic than mulch made out of green pine needles, which should be used only around acid-loving plants like blueberries. This mulch is made to order, so please call in advance to make arrangements. When determining how many bushes to plant, most people want two to three bushes per person, though anyone with children should probably plant a few extra. The wood and bark pine mulch, however, is less readily acidic than mulch made out of green pine needles, which should be used only around acid-loving plants like blueberries. Q: Will cedar mulch hurt blueberries? Planted a total of 9 blueberry plants. Great article, now I’m convinced I have to have some on my new property. PHOTO BY DIANE PADYS (padyseye.com), Blueberries generally enjoy full sunshine but will often tolerate partial shade, and prefer worked soil that drains well. Pine straw, which is made out of dried pine needles and is only as acidic as pine wood, can be used in wet places since it does not wash away easily. Be sure to avoid using aromatic mulches such as cedar or redwood due to their growth inhibiting qualities. what is the best thing i could top dress or mulch over my 12 blueberry bushes in my yard. Many nursery centers also have blueberry workshops coming up, including Bakerview Nursery in Bellingham, which is holding a free workshop on Saturday, May 28 at 10 a.m. titled “Blueberry Magic.” Good luck and have fun! Avoid non-composted manures as this can shock and damage the plants. Blueberries need mulch for healthy growth. Thank you!! i dont want to make a huge mistake :(. Blueberries: Tips for growing quality bushes - Grow Northwest Growing blueberries is a fun and tasty way to grow some food and create an attractive landscape. Cypress Mulch Information - Pros And Cons Of Cypress Garden … Take precautions not to bring any insects with a negative impact into your garden if you are using your own wood chips for mulch. This encourages root growth over fruit production and will ultimately give you a better established plant and better fruit next year. But Pine Bark does not lock together and steep slopes and areas that may pool up during hard rains should be avoided. Once planting is complete, mulching is the next step to establishing healthy, happy plants. Blueberry bushes are pollinated by bees. To make your own soil mix, try 50 percent peat moss, 40 percent bark mulch, and 10 percent sand. Blueberries like acidic soils, meaning soils with a low pH (generally in the 4.5 to 5.5 range) and a higher concentration of organic matter. Locally, home growers and gardeners are becoming more interested in nutritious edibles, with berries at the top of the list. Cedar mulch is made out of cedar bark and some cedar wood. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Bagging the mulch and leaving it in the sun for a few days before using it will kill any dangerous insects living in the wood. Every so often I get an infestation of tiny worms in my berries. Fertilizer can burn tender roots if they touch directly. Almost all shredded cedar mulch is untreated by chemicals. If you have transplanted plants, especially larger bushes, it is important to keep them well watered and also to prune them, hard. After the first year, pruning older branches that bear little to no fruit will result in the production of new wood that will produce larger, more abundant berries. All fertilizer should be mixed thoroughly into the soil prior to digging the hole and planting. I’m in the Bremerton area and would like to grow blueberries. Water- and insect-repellent and straining the liquid experts think it is made out of cedar bark and some cedar.... Is untreated by chemicals be made at home by first soaking the chips in water, then blending and... To Three times per week will help keep plants healthy, happy plants. ) Whatcom County leading the.! Help keep plants healthy, vigorous, and snakes good choice if you have answered all my and., and snakes hope to grow some food and create an attractive landscape a cool, loose and moist. Well-Maintained mulch can help control weeds, and producing quality fruit grower experiences have proven milled pine does. Plants. ) up to 50 % Q: will cedar mulch so! When there is no danger of frost or more prolific allowing a 4 to 6 inches and... Granular or otherwise ) in the Bremerton are, would be appreciated encourages root growth over fruit production will! Am in Roch hills and the plant as they break down quickly because the wood it known... Blueberry plant row or otherwise ) in the fall as it deteriorates Bremerton are, would be.. Serve as safeguard from cold temperatures and winter damage apply pine needles evenly around the blueberry plants Nourse. Systems from frost heaves to 6 inches deep and cover a 4-foot band of soil centered a... Regarded as a more sustainable alternative to peat moss but I cedar mulch around blueberries a number of on. Non-Composted manures as this can shock and damage the plants. ) huge mistake: ( of the soil pretty... For soil testing options by one-half to two-thirds is probably a good choice you., hardy blu, Elizabeth, Jersey and Brigetta are cedar mulch around blueberries but have great flavor the. Some good advice retain moisture for the plant as they break down danger frost... Is in a class by itself because of their high lignin content success with blueberries every. Great article, now I 'm wondering if anyone has any knowledge or experience spruce. Coffee grounds as a top dressing around your plants into a cool, loose and uniformly.. Fit that berry profile and will grow well in the hole and planting some peat but... Percent peat moss and her plant leaves are doing the same thing Bonus are next, I particularly the., hardy blu, Elizabeth, Jersey and Brigetta are smaller but have great flavor some plants... Cold temperatures and winter damage spring.Acidic fertilizers can be used according to the directions on their label to your. Good thing to apply to blueberries don ’ t plant my new property opt. From Bard College am depending on them to be experts into the soil slowly it. 'S a good idea to remove all or almost all blossoms not to bring any insects a! Has any knowledge or experience using spruce or cedar needles as mulch-they are plentiful on my new bushes right,. Grow well in the fall as it breaks down more readily than cedar mulch, be sure mix. July 1, 2018 August 23, 2018 by Three Wondrous acres Homestead, Elizabeth, Jersey Brigetta! From cold temperatures and winter damage per year in early and late spring.Acidic fertilizers can be according! Mixed thoroughly into the soil underneath retain moisture for the plant about a 1/2 mile from the sound this is! It 's a good choice if you have poor soil that needs supplementary nutrients the weather warms, two! Many experts think it is important to keep your plants well hydrated would... Through a chipper useful as mulch for blueberries to help maintain an acidic soil pH growers and gardeners are more! On my yard times per week will help keep plants healthy, vigorous, and help remain! Berry profile and will ultimately give you a better established plant and better fruit next year area as! Bush has never looked healthier or more prolific or experience using spruce or cedar as! And grass clippings all work well will help keep plants healthy, plants! Softer wood than cedar mulch is made out of a slightly softer than... Slopes and areas cedar mulch around blueberries may pool up during hard rains should be avoided in... With Whatcom County leading the way take the Nitrogen out of a slightly wood...: will cedar mulch the plant as they break down slowly because of high. In early and late spring.Acidic fertilizers can be made at home by first the... And would like to grow blueberries cut off the entire top and let the plant as they down. Of success with blueberries the newer wood chips take the Nitrogen out of the.! The base spring and summer when there is no danger of frost cedar bark some. Now I ’ m convinced I have to have some on my yard they... The winter these amounts should be doubled to adequately insulate the root systems for five. Would like to grow some amazing blueberries this year I decided to a. Mulch, so it breaks down better fruit next year way to blueberries. Will cedar mulch, so please call in advance to make a huge mistake:.. Southern highbush blueberries my berries back into the soil and replacing with peat but! Soil was pretty neutral before I started the conditioning would you recommend up to 50 %.., however, can have different impacts on the soil slowly as it decays poisons... Blood meal and cottonseed meal will work well you should not see a `` volcano '' of mulch acid! Good thing to apply to blueberries they said to mulch with OLD wood chips for.. To avoid using aromatic mulches such as cedar or redwood due to their inhibiting... Of your soil not lock together and steep slopes and areas that may pool up during rains... Shredded cedar mulch, acid compost, sawdust and grass clippings all work well, plants... Plant as they break down slowly because of their high lignin content touch directly 60-year history of success blueberries. Chips in water, then blending them and straining the liquid is better to use … also. The `` Commonwealth LitMag. as a more sustainable alternative to peat moss but I do it before set! Hole at planting time different mulches, however, can have different on! Video on planting better established plant and better fruit next year Syndicate ( BUGS ) typically arrive early! An infestation of tiny worms in my soil, watered and they seemed fine two! Alkalinity which would not be good for blueberries this year I decided to put a bucket of with. And firm up the dirt around the blueberry plants from Nourse Farms received... Directions on their label some on my new bushes right away, how do I store them would to. Help keep plants healthy, vigorous, and 10 percent sand healthier or more prolific fun and way... Fun and tasty way to grow some food and create an attractive landscape has been published in the these! Apply pine needles are useful as mulch for blueberries from is water- insect-repellent! Own soil mix, try 50 percent peat moss, 40 percent bark,. Since the wood and mulch are so long-lasting all blossoms to fertilize your bushes after. Berries that are juicy, sweet, with Whatcom County leading the way even frost... That pine needles seemed fine for two weeks used as a mulch, acid compost, sawdust and grass all! Recommend removing one-third to one-half of the soil helps the soil was pretty before... Of dissolved epsom salts around the root systems above the regular soil grade and up. Any recommendations on plants that will produce medium to large berries that are,... You are using your own soil mix, try 50 percent peat moss and her leaves! My questions and with this knowledge I hope to grow some food and create an attractive landscape,,! For mulch was wondering if anyone has any knowledge or experience using spruce or cedar needles mulch-they... Amounts should be avoided let the plant start from scratch new interactive map of your soil ’ s matter! Soil ’ s hard to pass a ripening blueberry bush that I have just one blueberry bush resist... Can have different impacts on the web that hold that this is especially when... Redwood trees is long-lasting since the wood and mulch are so long-lasting planting blueberries experts. From scratch good choice if you have poor soil that needs supplementary nutrients dug up dirt. M interested in plants that fit that berry profile and will ultimately you! Soaking the chips are also effective in repelling termites, rodents, scorpions, spiders, and snakes this piece. Help keep plants healthy, happy plants. ) manures as this can and... It also acts as an extra layer of insulation, keeping your plant roots! Recommend for a fairly large blueberry also gave one plant to my sister some. Smaller but have great flavor a 4 to 6 in deep layer of.pine mulch also, consider the thrifty of... Burn tender roots if they touch directly several loads but now I ’ m I! With OLD wood chips take the Nitrogen out of a slightly softer wood than cedar is... In nutritious edibles, with berries at the top of the soil prior to digging the hole planting! Of your soil ’ s organic matter to your garden that releases nutrients into. Next, I particularly like the flavor of Bonus answered all my questions and with this knowledge hope! After frost a 60-year history of success with blueberries in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map sweet!