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Container Blueberry Bushes

Q.Blueberry Bush Soil

Zone 4 | kwatson54 added on June 22, 2012 | Answered

(long story short) I recently planted two Northblue blueberry bushes that I purchased from the local nursery. I believe they are in their 2nd year. I have each of them in a peat moss (70%), perlite (10%), sand (10%) and soil (10%, clayish) mix in a 24-inch whiskey barrel (full sun) and about 1 cup of organic sulfur mix in the top 3 inches. The pH and water situation seem to be in good shape, but I suspect that eventually I’ll have to transition to a less peat moss-intense mix. Any suggestions for amending the soil over time?

I live in MT with BASIC soil, so adding native soil doesn’t seem like much of a long-term solution. Will the peat moss pack down too tight this season? Am I missing some key nutrients that I could gain with compost. Given that they are recent plantings I’m hoping to find a gentle and gradual way to make the soil more sustainable. Thanks!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 29, 2012

Actually, the peat will not compact and is a good choice. As far as adding nutrients over time, top dressing (just adding an inch or two to the top of the soil) with compost on a regular basis will work. The compost will slowly work its way into the existing potting medium over time and will help to replace the existing potting medium as it decomposes. It is a common method that is referred to as lasagna gardening in the ground level garden, but it works in containers as well.

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