Planting evergreen huckleberries

Asked March 29, 2015, 1:19 AM EDT

I read that leaf mold should be added to the soil when planting evergreen huckleberries. I have lots of dried oak leaves on the ground. Could I add them to the soil instead of buying leaf mold? Is leaf mold sold? Do the plants do better in mostly shade and will still have edible berries?

Linn County Oregon trees and shrubs horticulture soil and fertility issues

1 Response

Evergreen huckleberries are a great edition to part shad areas of the garden. These plants will be larger when grown in partial sun conditions and will still produce berries. In the wild, these plants were understory plants in the forest so they thrive in that partial shady environment.
Leaf mold is another way to describe compost made from leaves only. I have never seen leaf mold for sale (but I've never specifically looked for it!). You might be able to get leaves delivered from local waste services and compost yourself, but may be only available in fall. Again, think of this as a way of mimicking that forest environment with soil high in decomposing organic matter. Your fallen oak leaves can be used. Are they still intact? You may want to use a lawn mower or other equipment to chop the leaves into smaller pieces. This will help speed up decomposition and not impede water movement in the soil. Evergreen huckleberries also do best in moist soil, so make sure to mulch well during the warm summer months.
Good luck and thanks for using Ask An Expert!