Blueberry problem

Asked August 15, 2020, 5:09 PM EDT

I am new to growing blueberries for home garden. Not doing well. I have 5 bushes. None of them gave me good fruit. Berries were small, shriveled. Bushes appear healthy. No yellow leaves evident. I suspect pH level is too high for healthy berries but not high enough to produce chlorosis. I need good soil test to confirm. Do you still perform service of testing soils? What is procedure for reducing pH of garden soil? My well water has high mineral content. Can this elevate pH level over 1 season?Thank-you.

Polk County Oregon

1 Response

Hi and thanks for contacting Ask an Expert.
I looked at your blueberries. I could not see any that were shriveled and most of them are not ripe yet. There are varieties that ripen early spring, late spring and mid to late summer. Yours may be late to ripen.
Blueberries need moist soil and mulching will help keep the water in. Not soggy soil, just moist. The lack of water and the very hot weather may be causing the shriveling that you see.
Your bushes look very healthy.
There are pH kits at garden stores that can give you an idea of what the pH is. Blueberries like 4.5-5.5 pH, very acidic. You can lower the pH with powdered sulfur, peat moss and then add saw dust to use as a mulch.
Extension offices do not do soil tests. I am attaching a link listing labs that do soil tests.
It depends what is in your water to answer your question. Lots of calcium, maybe.
Here is a link on how to grow blueberries that may help you out. https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/em8677
You could also have your water tested
This is the link to soil labs: .https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/em8677
If you have further questions please contact us again.