lowering pH for blueberries
I'm planning a 4 x 12' area for 3 bushes. I tested my soil this week and came back with a pH of 7.5. I know blueberries need a range of 4-5. What can I add to the soil to lower the pH and what amount per square foot should be applied? Can/should this be tilled into the soil? Also, what is recommended for mulch? Pine needles are ideal, but I don't have access to any? Thank you in advance.
Codington County South Dakota
You have a daunting task ahead of you and an expensive one from what I am reading. You have already done a soil test and know about our SD alkaline soil. You may have an easier time if you try to grow the blueberries in containers where you can more readily control the soil pH with amendments. Additionally there is another type of bluish berry, the honeyberry, that will do well in our soils: link below. Some information on lowering soil pH from several extension sites linked below.
http://igrow.org/up/resources/04-2011-1000.pdf Page 5 of this document deals with SD soils and lowering pH.
Blueberries are a long-lived perennial plant and it takes several years to establish a planting of blueberry bushes. You should not expect to harvest fruit for the first three or four years. I hope this information is helpful.