Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blueberry Bliss

It's never a good thing to excessively pat yourself on the back, though I seem to excel at it, especially when it comes to real man in training (RMIT) topics. The male ego is such a frail thing. I also don't want to speak too soon because you just never know how things are going to turn out, but I think we've managed to resurrect our blueberry bushes. They were not doing very well for a couple of years and I was at a complete loss as to why, when I was given some instructions on how to care for them and it highlighted how much I was neglecting them. Chalk it up to ignorance.

When we first moved into the house the previous owner gave us two bushes, which I thought was nice. I put them into the ground and figured that was the end of it, not realizing that I not only put them in improperly, but wasn't attending to them, either. How was I to know that you're supposed to water blueberries? I figured I didn't water trees or shrubs, they just grew. Not only that, but apparently blueberries are a bit finicky, so they need extra care and attention.

A few years back there was a movement to plant more edible plants in your yard and I got 6 more blueberries, but this time I learned the proper way to plant them, consulting with such experts as JM and CS. I found that you need to make their environment acidic, and that they needed loads of water during the summer months. They also benefit from some peat moss in their roots. While it was too late for the old plants, I took the proper steps for the new ones, using the moss and adding acidic fertilizer to the roots. I also starting adding acidic fertilizer to the soil around the plants, and using acidic pellets once a year. Finally, I use some pine or hemlock mulch, which is acidic. There's a whole lot of acidity going on around here.

After all of my efforts, the plants have been doing well. The old ones, which stopped bearing fruit and were looking a little sickly have rebounded to the point where they are not only lush, but are cranking out berries. The new ones are looking good, as well, but I'm really stoked about the old ones. They were literally on the brink. Now our big problem is the deer, which tore through one of the biggest producers, eating a bunch of the leaves, so I have to employ a deer fence, but all in all, things are looking good... or should I say, blue?

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Jamie Lee for the pic.

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