I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge or experience using spruce or cedar needles as mulch-they are plentiful on my yard. Mulch is a by-product, very plentiful and cheap if you live close to the source. If you have more questions, please contact your local garden center or extension agents. But what really convinced me was Sawdust is My Slave by Rupert Stephens (1879-1976). In The Holistic Orchard, it is recommended that a pile of mulch is dumped annually, north side this year, the east side next year, and so on. Cedar mulch acidifies the soil, so it can be bad for most of the plants we grow in our gardens, which prefer neutral or even slightly alkaline soils. Do not allow the roots to dry out. 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. nutans) and bald cypress trees (Taxodium distichum). It is a natural product made from the waste materials of the cedar tree, allowing you to decorate while helping your plants to grow strong and healthy thanks to all of the benefits that mulching provides. 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 mulch is made to order, so please call in advance to make arrangements. Another mulch that has repellent affect on termites is the Cyprus Pine mulch and this takes a bit longer to break down again and it doesn't contain any nitrogen or nutrients at all. Blueberries need mulch for healthy growth. (Ask your local garden center for recommendations.) 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. I want to make sure I lay down the best mulch for berries and grapes.. How often should I water my new blueberry plants? Line the hole with heavy duty plastic. They will last for a long period but are more expensive compared to cypress. ), benefit from acid mulch. Here are some simple tips: Remove low growth around the base. 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. Apply the mulch in spring, after the soil warms up, as mulch keeps soil cooler than unmulched soil. Acid-loving plants, such as blueberries, azaleas and rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp. In subsequent years when new mulch is added to maintain the layer, cut down suckering shoots of blackberries occurring between the plants or rows. Do not use bark or sawdust from cedar or redwood trees. Cedar sawdust and chips work as both mulches and soil amendments. This might destroy the plants which require high nitrogen levels for their growth. Because they're made from trees, hemlock and cedar are both organic mulches. Pine bark mulch helps with establishment of young plants and helps keep soil pH low in existing plantings. Grower experiences have proven milled pine bark to be an excellent growing substrate for southern highbush blueberries. Where the soil is not ideal or marginally-drained, raised beds are an excellent option. Avoid using manures as they can damage the plants. Should I fertilize the bushes during the first growing season? (One 4 cubic foot compressed bale will usually be sufficient for 4-5 plants.) Though there is plenty of great option to be used as mulch other than cedar, dead cedar often provides greater benefits for your blueberries. Repeat every other year. On top of those two things, Cedar mulch is a BOSS when it comes to retaining moisture in the soil (that's why I use it with my Tomatoes, Snapdragons, and Wisteria). You can also mulch your plants with straw or wrap them in burlap. Anyone have definitive information on this that can help bust me out of my indecisive bottleneck? Lignin is an important structural component in vascular tissue and provides rigidity … In future years, blueberry plants should be heavily pruned each year to avoid over-fruiting which results in small fruit or poor growth. 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 to 10 inches deep. Bark O Mulch, acid compost, sawdust and grass clippings all work well. Hardwood mulch composes cedar mulch which exudes good scent if it is of high quality. They’re the experts in your area. Do you think that hardwood bark mulch would have the same problem? Why? My soil is a limestone base and this as I found out, only diminishes the bush. By following just a few basic steps, your blueberry plants will thrive for many decades and provide you with abundant fruit every year. Hardwood mulch composes cedar mulch which exudes good scent if it is of high quality. Add bark chunk mulch. Q: Will cedar mulch hurt blueberries? Mulch also moderates soil temperature, helps keep weeds at bay, and adds organic matter to the soil. Mulching blueberry plants keep weeds out, as well as adds organic material to the ground. Blueberries also do well in patio containers and offer a great way for apartment and condo dwellers and those with little or no yard to enjoy blueberries. Hopefully this article has given you some tips to have a good blueberry crop for years to come. I mixed 55% sphagnum peat moss, 45% Forest Mulch, 1 cup of Garden Solutions Blueberry food at planting for my new Duke (3) container blueberries. 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. Can You Use Cedar Mulch in Vegetable Gardens? Cedar sawdust should be aged for a few months before use. 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 … Shipping is much of the cost of any mulch. We highly recommend you read the Blueberries Simplifed section of our site for a primer on selecting varieties. Pure sawdust tends to be too dense and will mat down, preventing water penetration. These are the primary reasons why most people choose this brand if they are set on cedar mulch. If I can’t plant my new bushes right away, how do I store them? Black plastic “mulch” is used as ground cover mulch by many commercial strawberry growers and has its advantages over natural, biodegradable materials. If grass clippings are used as a mulch, be sure to mix with bark or straw. Mulch blueberries with pine needles that will take longer to decompose in order to fight off weeds and invasive grasses. But Pine Bark does not lock together and steep slopes and areas that may pool up during hard rains should be avoided. Suggested woods for sawdust include hemlock, pine and fir. I understand that pine bark mulch is preferred for blueberries, but it is impossible to obtain in this part of California. In most areas, it is ideal to plant in the fall or spring although in many regions you can plant year round. When regards to dealing with insects, cedar can help repel insects, including termites. Remember, this will promote growth and berry production so prune away! I, however live in a sweet spot! However, there are several problems with this method. Wood is a popular choice for garden mulch, and with its pleasant smell and pest deterrence, using cedar for mulch is especially helpful. It's a good idea to allow blueberries to get established before allowing them to bear fruit. Once fall arrives, mulch the soil to prevent weeds and insulate the soil. A fail-safe way to grow blueberries in almost any soil is to incorporate peat moss into the planting medium. Below are some basic tips to help ensure your success with blueberries: Select a sunny location with well-drained soil that is free of weeds and is well-worked. Blueberries prefer acidic soils. Compaction can be a problem, and a deep layer of mulch can smother roots and prevent air and water getting to the roots and soil. 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 to 10 inches deep. Selected sources of information and additional reading: Benson, R. R. 1999. Continue pruning until you have removed 1/3 to 1/2 of the wood out of your plants each year. Mix up a 50-50 peat/sand mix put on top of the sand. Do not use bark or sawdust from cedar or redwood trees. Using cedar mulches in the garden and around the home can have the additional benefit of deterring unwanted pests. For planting directly in the ground, work up a planting area approximately 2½ feet in diameter and 1 foot deep for each plant. Our Mulches are all sold by the cubic yard How to Use Shredded Cedar in Potting Soil, How to Fertilize Your Garden With Nitrogen, Washington State University Puyallup Research and Extension Center: The Myth of Alleopathic Wood Chips, Arizona State University Cooperative Extension Yavapai County: Using Mulch in the Landscape, The Ohio State University Extension: Mulching Landscape Plants. Dimensions: 1 Yard = 16 ft x 20 ft 1 inch thick 1 Yard = 16 ft x 10 ft 2 inches thick 1 Yard = 10 ft x 10 ft 3 inches thick To make your own soil mix, try 50 percent peat moss, 40 percent bark mulch, and 10 percent sand. For organic fertilizers, blood meal and cottonseed meal work well. Sources of nitrogen include blood meal and balanced garden fertilizer blends. If you are stuck in the same predicament, this article on cedar mulch vs cypress mulch will help you out. It's best to locate your blueberry plants in an area where irrigation is readily available as best results will be achieved by keeping the root zone moist throughout the growing season. In areas with very high winds, it may be best not to apply mulch at all. Plants that grow best in neutral to alkaline soils, however, need additional lime when mulched with sawdust. These microbes use nitrogen for their growth and reproduction. Cedar mulch; About 2 to 4 inches of mulch is often enough for blueberries as they have shallow and dense roots. If you're worried about the acidifying effect, add some agricultural limestone to the mix, or sprinkle some on top of the mulch. The best mulch for blueberry plants is pine mulch or pine needles. For this, they use nitrogen from the soil, and thus, cut down the nitrogen supply to the plants. Our Mulches are all sold by the cubic yard. We use clean wood chips, but bark mulch, acid compost, pine needles or grass clippings all work well. Acid-loving plants, such as blueberries, azaleas and rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp. Cut out any short, discolored branches. Is cedar and/or redwood mulch toxic to blueberries? Make sure to keep mulch raked back about three inches away from the plant canes to provide good air circulation to the roots. It is important to replenish mulch as it deteriorates. Then mound soil up along sides of exposed root mass and water in well. Acidity isn't too affected, just a bit. In other words, it is absolutely made from quality cedar wood and equally has an appealing odor at the same time. How often do I need to mulch around my blueberry bushes? Mulch. I want to make sure I lay down the best mulch for berries and grapes.. Cut the plastic at the sand line. However, slightly acid soils won't harm them, so mixing cedar cuttings into the mulch won't hurt. This includes enhanced weed control, retention of moisture, and temperature regulation of soil. They help maintain the correct pH, and add nutrients to the soil. Cedar mulch is a product which naturally adds some charm to your landscape. With all the fruit harvesting we’ve been doing over the last few weeks, I’ve had orchard care and maintenance on the brain. Once a year, fluff it up by lightly raking the top of the mulch layer. If using a hybrid blueberry, about 4-5 feet across. After planting it is important to mulch your blueberry plant. They're relatively easy to grow and require minimal care. Be sure to always water thoroughly after fertilizing. Use a soil test to determine the amount of lime required to raise the pH to the recommended level for specific plants. One last simple way to kill mold is to dig it up and dispose of it. I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge or experience using spruce or cedar needles as mulch-they are plentiful on my yard. For raised beds mix equal volumes peat moss with bark (not cedar or redwood), compost or planting mix. Mulch for Blueberries. The mulch should be freshened each year. However, insects and other pests are repelled by the scent. We assure you that aggressive, annual pruning will result in healthier, more vigorous plants and more prolific fruit production. Blueberry Mulch. Repeat every other year. Most gardeners swear by organic mulch because it is a better choice. (When mulching red raspberries, apply the full depth between the … Determine the amount of fertilizer you need to get the desired amount of nitrogen by dividing the first number in the fertilizer analysis, representing nitrogen content, into 10. Mound the plant’s top soil about 1/2 inch higher than the existing ground and firm around root ball. When planting blueberries some experts recommend removing one-third to one-half of the soil and replacing with peat moss. Follow label instructions. 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. Fertilizer can burn tender roots if they touch directly. Possible mulching materials include straw, crushed corncobs, chopped cornstalks, sawdust, wood chips, lawn clippings, and shredded leaves. 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