How can I combat Chloride build-up in blueberries in a deep wet muck soil.

Asked March 10, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

How can I combat Chloride build-up in blueberries in a deep wet muck soil.

St. Joseph County Indiana blueberry production soil contamination blueberry soils chlorine soil and fertility issues

1 Response

Can you provide some background information: What is the source of chloride in the soil? How high are soil and plant levels? Has this been a long-term problem or a recent issue?

Chloride generally is very mobile in soils. Most will move down in the soil profile with water from snow melt, rain or irrigation. This means that chloride tends to flush out of the upper soil depths given ample water inputs. If the soil has a relatively shallow saturated zone, which is true of many muck soils, what happens to the chloride once it leaches to the saturated zone depends on drainage dynamics in the field. It may be that chloride accumulates in the saturated soil zone and can potentially cause problems for blueberries.

If the chloride toxicity is the issue, some remedial approaches you might consider: Avoid using fertilizers that contain chloride such as potassium chloride or manures that often contain high levels. test your irrigation water to see if chloride levels are problematic.