Thursday, July 9, 2009

How to Put in a Raised Bed for Blueberries

Today I started, and have almost finished putting together a raised bed for the blueberries we purchased months ago. They have been residing all this time in a thick bed of chopped and moistened oak leaves to keep them from drying out in their measly 1 gallon pots. I had removed each bush from their pots and loosened and moistened the potting mix, then amended it with my own mix of peat moss and fertilizer. I was hoping to counteract any raising PH level that might occur from water leaching since they were at the nursery. (I use the term Nursery VERY loosely, they were purchased in the garden center at Lowe's.....could be worse I suppose, I could have bought them at Wally-World!)
I have also sprayed them with a foliar spray of Iron. I noticed that the new growth is pale yellow-green. And I wanted to ensure that they did not have nutrient deficiencies. So I have been trying to make due, and keep them going "as is".

Today I mowed over my pile of oak leaves, bagged it up and moved it away to the compost heap (starting a new pile). Then I had to bust out the tiller. I left a layer a few inches deep of the chopped leaves and "duff" layer under the leaf bin and tilled it up. I then added my opened bag of peat moss, dusted the entire surface with sulfur and dumped a bag of soil acidifier in there. I then raked it all up to mix it in, and tilled it again. I added a full bag of peat and tilled some more. I wanted to be sure to thoroughly mix the soil with the peat and left over leaf mold.....and make sure that the amendments were thoroughly incorporated. I dug a few holes and popped the blueberries in the homes. I haven't removed their buckets yet, but only because I am letting the soil and amendments mellow and I may add compost, or other things before planting. I am trying to be patient, but I would like the job to be done! I busted my hump on this bed today. I probably put in 5 or 6 hours so far.

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