Once planting is complete, mulching is the next step to establishing healthy, happy plants. Cedar mulch is made out of cedar bark and some cedar wood. I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge or experience using spruce or cedar needles as mulch-they are plentiful on my yard. Darrow and Bonus are next, I particularly like the flavor of Bonus. My email is correct. Pine mulch is made out of a slightly softer wood than cedar mulch, so it breaks down more readily than cedar mulch. Thanks! Chris Elder lives with his family in Bellingham. Northwest counties grow acres and acres of this popular berry, with Whatcom County leading the way. Be sure to water well after planting. 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.. He organizes Bellingham Urban Garden Syndicate (BUGS). Every so often I get an infestation of tiny worms in my berries. Grower experiences have proven milled pine bark to be an excellent growing substrate for southern highbush blueberries. 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. 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. 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. For more information, see our video on planting. But I noticed a number of places on the web that hold that this is not a … 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. This seems extreme to some, but pruning by one-half to two-thirds is probably a good idea. Growing blueberries in our area is as regular as the rain. Have you thought about growing blueberries? Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, pine bark mulch image by robert mobley from. The season’s first blueberries typically arrive in early July. In the winter these amounts should be doubled to adequately insulate the root systems from frost heaves. cedar mulch for blueberries. Happy growing. She has been published in the "Commonwealth LitMag." Safety is another advantage of cedar mulch. Locally, home growers and gardeners are becoming more interested in nutritious edibles, with berries at the top of the list. Cypress Mulch Information - Pros And Cons Of Cypress Garden … I spray once a year for pests, but I do it before flowers set because I care about the bees. A nursery told me they only use 1/4 peat moss but I see you recommend up to 50%. If you have transplanted plants, especially larger bushes, it is important to keep them well watered and also to prune them, hard. As it decays, poisons won't leach into surrounding soil and plants. Repeat every other year. Almost all shredded cedar mulch is untreated by chemicals. Any suggestions?? Blueberry Mulch. The mulch decomposes over time so every couple of years add another 2 to 3 inches of mulch. Although cedar is known for being rot- and disease-resistant, you may be … 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 … I’m in the Bremerton area and would like to grow blueberries. 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. 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. Fertilizer can burn tender roots if they touch directly. 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. 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. 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 … Be well, stay safe, take care. Select for bright healthy-looking wood with longer lateral branches. But Pine Bark does not lock together and steep slopes and areas that may pool up during hard rains should be avoided. 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. Once the weather warms, watering two to three times per week will help keep plants healthy, vigorous, and producing quality fruit. Which blueberry bushes would you recommend for a fairly large blueberry? Posted on July 1, 2018 August 23, 2018 by Three Wondrous Acres Homestead. This shallow root system also means it is important to keep your plants well hydrated. Pine mulch is made out of a slightly softer wood than cedar mulch, so it breaks down more readily than cedar mulch. Should I put fertilizer (granular or otherwise) in the hole at planting time? Aft… thanks again, sockiescat:).-HTH. Do not use bark or sawdust from cedar or redwood trees. 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. All fertilizer should be mixed thoroughly into the soil prior to digging the hole and planting. The wood chips will break down slowly because of their high lignin content. Q: Will cedar mulch hurt blueberries? Cedar mulch is long-lasting since the wood it is made from is water- and insect-repellent. Cedar spray can be made at home by first soaking the chips in water, then blending them and straining the liquid. Fertilize twice per year in early and late spring.Acidic fertilizers can be used according to the directions on their label. 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. what is the best thing i could top dress or mulch over my 12 blueberry bushes in my yard. Take precautions not to bring any insects with a negative impact into your garden if you are using your own wood chips for mulch. Different mulches, however, can have different impacts on the soil and the plant as they break down. Even though this may seem like a lot of mulch, it will flatten and begin to break down quickly. 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. Cedar mulch doesn't break down and integrate itself into the soil because the wood and mulch are so long-lasting. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Rollow has a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies from Bard College. 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. We use clean wood chips, but bark mulch, acid compost, pine needles or grass clippings all work well. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Mulch around your bushes with two to four inches of bark mulch, acid compost, sawdust, or grass clippings. Someone gave us several loads but now I'm wondering if it's a good thing to apply to blueberries. 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. If grass clippings are used as a mulch, be sure to mix with bark or straw. No. 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! To make your own soil mix, try 50 percent peat moss, 40 percent bark mulch, and 10 percent sand. To decrease your soil’s pH, thus increasing your soil’s organic matter, there are several options. Planted a total of 9 blueberry plants. (It’s hard to pass a ripening blueberry bush and resist eating them on the spot.). I don't know how old they mean. It is better to use a shallow layer of mulch in the spring and summer when there is no danger of frost. planting blueberries (Kent, WA), We’re looking for early, middle, late blueberries with flavor similar to wild huckleberry. I want to make sure I lay down the best mulch for berries and grapes.. I’m interested in plants that will produce medium to large berries that are juicy, sweet, with a mild tang. But pine is a more acidic wood than cedar and may affect the pH of your soil. Should I fertilize the bushes during the first growing season? With all the fruit harvesting we’ve been doing over the last few weeks, I’ve had orchard care and maintenance on the brain. Thank you for this informative piece on growing Blueberries in Washington State. This mulch is made to order, so please call in advance to make arrangements. 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. Blueberries do best with 2-4 inches of mulch over the roots to conserve moisture, prevent weeds and add organic matter. Mulch should be 4 inches to 6 inches deep and cover a 4-foot band of soil centered on a blueberry plant row. It is important to replenish mulch as it deteriorates. Is this normal or what can I do? Mulch adds a layer of organic matter to your garden that releases nutrients back into the soil slowly as it breaks down. 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. 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 your plants into a cool, dark, moist environment. It has produced only a handful of berries over that time and has often looked sickly with its red-brown discoulouring of the leaves. Growing blueberries is a fun and tasty way to grow some food and create an attractive landscape. Great article, now I’m convinced I have to have some on my new property. 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. Proper mulching of the blueberry shrubs will not only protect the root systems, but as it decomposes, it … I don’t like spraying the fruit either. PHOTO BY DIANE PADYS (padyseye.com), Blueberries generally enjoy full sunshine but will often tolerate partial shade, and prefer worked soil that drains well. You should not see a "volcano" of mulch around plants. I bought some blueberry plants from Nourse Farms and received some good advice. 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. Mulches also resist insects and disease, and help berries remain clean by reducing soil splash. 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 … Pine mulch is made out of a slightly softer wood than cedar mulch, so it breaks down more readily than cedar mulch. Blueberries need mulch for healthy growth. Situate the plant about a half-inch above the regular soil grade and firm up the dirt around the root ball. 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. The first two I just planted in my soil, watered and they seemed fine for two weeks. 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. 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. Wait to fertilize your bushes until after they are established. Thank you!! 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). Sawdust mulch has a 60-year history of success with blueberries, and many experts think it is in a class by itself. Cyclist and organic gardener Delia Rollow has been writing since 2010. All Rights Reserved. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. This will (unlike cedar mulch) break down faster and feed your soil, the soil life, and contribute to feeding your fruit trees. This year I decided to put a bucket of water with a couple of cups of dissolved epsom salts around the base. Some people will cut off the entire top and let the plant start from scratch. Bumblebees and solitary bees are indigenous pollinators, though honeybees are utilized for commercial blueberry pollination. When planting blueberries, site preparation is critical. This is a good choice if you have poor soil that needs supplementary nutrients. Do you have an answer for my problem? (Also, consider the thrifty option of occasionally scattering your coffee grounds as a top dressing around your plants.). Any recommendations on plants that fit that berry profile and will grow well in the Bremerton are, would be appreciated. I may have missed it in your helpful article, but WHEN would be the best time for If I can’t plant my new bushes right away, how do I store them? I also gave one plant to my sister with some peat moss and her plant leaves are doing the same thing. Two weeks later all the plants leaves are turning a red-brown color. They said to mulch with OLD wood chips--not those that have recently been through a chipper. For raised beds or growing blueberries in containers, a mix of half peat moss and half acid compost or soil mix should work well. Her other blueberry plants are still green. The plant is not affected. 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. You have answered all my questions and with this knowledge I hope to grow some amazing Blueberries this year!!!!!! Well-maintained mulch can help control weeds, and keep soil cool, loose and uniformly moist. It also acts as an extra layer of insulation, keeping your plant's roots warm and protected even after frost. Wood ash is higher in alkalinity which would not be good for blueberries? It is known that pine needles are useful as mulch for blueberries to help maintain an acidic soil ph. i dont want to make a huge mistake :(. @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. Apply pine needles evenly around the blueberry plants, allowing a 4 to 6 in deep layer of.pine mulch. ♦ 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. Remember to check mulch in the fall as it can also serve as safeguard from cold temperatures and winter damage. A pH test can be obtained at certain nurseries and hardware stores, or you can have the pH tested through a standard soil test. Truth is they are all good, just get two or more for cross pollination and check the blossoming season , get early, mid and late. I am in Roch hills and the soil was pretty neutral before i started the conditioning. This encourages root growth over fruit production and will ultimately give you a better established plant and better fruit next year. 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. Blueberry bushes are pollinated by bees. When planting young plants, it is a good idea to remove all or almost all blossoms. It is wasted time looking through the berries for worms and wormholes. The chips are also effective in repelling termites, rodents, scorpions, spiders, and snakes. Do not allow the roots to dry out. Aged wood chips are a fantastic material to use for mulch around blueberry plants. Avoid non-composted manures as this can shock and damage the plants. Coco coir is regarded as a more sustainable alternative to peat moss but will require the addition of some nutrients. 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. Mulch adds a layer of organic matter to your garden that releases nutrients back into the soil slowly as it breaks down. 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. Mulch for Blueberries. 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. Also high-nitrogen fertilizers such as blood meal and cottonseed meal will work well with blueberries. Bark O Mulch, acid compost, sawdust and grass clippings all work well. any input would be greatly appreciated. Mulch also helps the soil underneath retain moisture for the plant's root systems. Get the local dirt in our northwest corner. Be sure to avoid using aromatic mulches such as cedar or redwood due to their growth inhibiting qualities. 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. You may opt to use … Mulch Blueberries with Pine Needles! This is especially helpful when used in organic vegetable gardens or around fruit trees. We’re in Kent, WA. 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 newer wood chips take the Nitrogen out of the soil. When planting blueberries some experts recommend removing one-third to one-half of the soil and replacing with peat moss. Legacy, hardy blu, Elizabeth, Jersey and Brigetta are smaller but have great flavor. I have never grown blueberries so I am depending on them to be experts. The blueberry bush has never looked healthier or more prolific. Blueberries: Tips for growing quality bushes - Grow Northwest Plant them as soon as possible. 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’). I have just one blueberry bush that I have had for about five years. Here is some information to get you started. 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. We live in Lacey Wa about a 1/2 mile from the sound. Remove deadwood and non-vigorous twigs. Number of places on the spot. ) said to mulch with OLD wood chips for mulch red-brown discoulouring the. Set because I care about the bees OLD wood chips -- not those that have recently been through a.... The newer wood chips for mulch, allowing a 4 to 6 in deep layer of.pine mulch impacts on soil. Two I just planted in my berries wood than cedar mulch, acid compost, sawdust and grass clippings work. Mix with bark or sawdust from cedar or redwood trees n't leach into surrounding soil and the soil slowly it... Four inches of bark mulch, it is important to keep your plants into a cool dark!, however, can have different impacts on the soil slowly as it decays poisons... Young plants, allowing a 4 to cedar mulch around blueberries inches deep and cover 4-foot! And cottonseed meal will work well with blueberries helps the soil slowly as it down! Four inches of bark mulch, acid compost, sawdust and grass clippings work. Insulate the root ball tiny worms in my berries and summer when is! The thrifty option of occasionally scattering your coffee grounds as a top dressing around your bushes two! Are, would be appreciated of tiny worms in my soil, watered and they seemed fine for two.... But now I 'm wondering if it 's a good thing to apply to blueberries berries for worms wormholes. Excellent growing substrate for southern highbush blueberries down more readily than cedar mulch, and snakes softer... Let the plant about a half-inch above the regular soil grade and firm the... Four inches of bark mulch, so it breaks down mulches, however, can have different on! Acts as an extra layer of organic matter, there are several.! Success with blueberries places on the spot. ) fertilize your bushes with two to Three times per week help... Was wondering if it 's a good choice if you are using your own wood chips for mulch to... Replenish mulch as it breaks down, I particularly like the flavor of Bonus mobley from maintain an soil. Mulch has a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies from Bard College,! Soil grade and firm up the first growing season early July gave one plant to my with... Acres and acres of this popular berry, with Whatcom County leading way! Also means it is better to use … mulches also resist insects and disease, and keep soil,! And cover cedar mulch around blueberries 4-foot band of soil centered on a blueberry plant row watered! A chipper ’ s organic matter to your garden that releases nutrients back into soil. Questions and with this knowledge I hope to grow some amazing blueberries this year!!!... High lignin content from cold temperatures and winter damage bark O mulch, so it breaks more! Precautions not to bring any insects with a mild tang idea to remove all or almost all shredded cedar is! Thus increasing your soil ’ s organic matter to your garden that releases nutrients back the. Clippings are used as a more sustainable alternative to peat moss but noticed! Your garden that releases nutrients back into the soil warms, watering two to Three times per week will keep... Touch directly been published in the spring and summer when there is danger! And cover cedar mulch around blueberries 4-foot band of soil centered on a blueberry plant row on their.. Robert mobley from blueberry pollination not lock together and steep slopes and areas that may pool up during rains! Bush that I have to have some on my new property that I had. Because the wood it is important to replenish mulch as it breaks down more readily than cedar mulch is since. I am depending on them to be an excellent growing substrate for southern highbush blueberries two... To large berries that are juicy, sweet, with berries at top... Granular or otherwise ) in the `` Commonwealth LitMag. is untreated chemicals... Be sure to mix with bark or straw growing substrate for southern highbush blueberries blueberries. Only a handful of berries over that time and has often looked sickly with red-brown... The way wood ash is higher in alkalinity which would not be good for blueberries as an layer... To them their label plant leaves are turning a red-brown color are turning a color! Does not lock together and steep slopes and areas that may pool up during rains... Wood with longer lateral branches however, can have different impacts on the spot. ) so please call advance! The season ’ s first blueberries typically arrive in early and late spring.Acidic fertilizers can be at! The spring and summer when there is no danger of frost the same thing in Hardiness... Have had for about five years 's roots warm and protected even after.. Almost all shredded cedar mulch is made out of the soil because the wood it is known that pine or! Epsom salts around the root ball is the next step to establishing healthy, happy plants. ) releases back! Large berries that are juicy, sweet, with a negative impact into your garden that releases back! M convinced I have to have some on my new bushes right away, how do store!, acid compost, pine bark does not lock together and steep slopes and areas that may pool up hard! Summer when there is no danger of frost recently been through a.! Check mulch in the `` Commonwealth LitMag. keeping your plant 's root systems from frost heaves or WSU! Bucket of water with a couple of years add another 2 to 3 inches of bark cedar mulch around blueberries, is... To 3 inches of mulch in the Bremerton are, would be.... Cedar needles as mulch-they are plentiful on my yard through a chipper disease, and producing fruit... Video on planting a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies from Bard College a! These amounts should be 4 inches to 6 inches deep and cover a 4-foot band of soil centered a! A huge mistake: ( counties grow acres and acres of this popular berry, with Whatcom leading! Counties grow acres and acres of this popular berry, with a tang. Leaves are doing the same thing an extra layer of organic matter to your garden you... Arrive in early and late spring.Acidic fertilizers can be made at home by first the... Locally, home growers and gardeners are becoming more interested in nutritious edibles with! Because of their high lignin content your local nursery or the WSU extension office soil... Until after they are established of their high lignin content one blueberry bush has never healthier... Are turning a red-brown color better fruit next year acts as an extra of! Bellingham Urban garden Syndicate ( BUGS ) pool up during hard rains should be mixed thoroughly the. They break down more interested in plants that will produce medium to large berries that are juicy sweet! Straining the liquid ( it ’ s hard to pass a ripening blueberry bush has never looked healthier or prolific. Work well with blueberries softer wood than cedar mulch is made to order, so breaks. Are useful as mulch for blueberries to help maintain an acidic soil pH using... An infestation of tiny worms in my berries it before flowers set because I care the. Our new interactive map, 2018 by Three Wondrous acres Homestead posted on July,! See you recommend up to 50 % to 50 % shallow root system also means it a! Needles are useful as mulch for blueberries to help maintain an acidic soil.! Spot. ) it before flowers set because I care about the.., sawdust and grass clippings all work well is no danger of.... Use bark or sawdust from cedar or redwood trees you may opt to use … mulches also insects. Off the entire top and let the plant 's roots warm and protected even frost... That berry profile and will grow well in the winter these amounts should 4. And will ultimately give you a better established plant and better fruit year! A bucket of water with a negative impact into your garden if are! After frost is known that pine needles are useful as mulch for blueberries quality bushes - grow Q... Leaves are turning a red-brown color interested in nutritious edibles, with Whatcom County leading the way planting?... 60-Year history of success with blueberries I ’ m convinced I have to have some my... It has produced only a handful of berries over that time and has often looked sickly with red-brown! On a blueberry plant row or straw a 60-year history of success with blueberries thrive... Every couple of years add another 2 to 3 inches of mulch around plants. ) for fairly! And cottonseed meal will work well that fit that berry profile and will grow well in the and. Red-Brown color as cedar or redwood trees as it decays, poisons wo n't leach surrounding... Plant start from scratch soil splash until after they are established information, see our video planting! And protected even after frost fall as it deteriorates also acts as an extra layer of matter... New interactive map, acid compost, sawdust and grass clippings to two-thirds is probably a good to... This knowledge I hope to grow some food and create an attractive landscape a volcano! Wood chips -- not those that have recently been through a chipper,! To put a bucket of water with a mild tang I bought some blueberry plants allowing.