The Q&A Archives: Growing berries in an alkaline soil.

Question: The berry plants I'm attempting to grow, like a Ph of around 6.5-7.2. After I've amended the soil, it's been recommended that I irrigate with water that has had the Ph level adjusted to that match. What would be the best way to treat my irrigation water when trying to retain the lowered Ph, of the soil, and to maintain an Organic status, for my garden?

Answer: If you are growing southern high bush blueberries they should tolerate a slightly higher soil pH and the water you use should not make a big difference to them. Start by mulching around each plant with peat moss so that when you apply water, it percolates down through the acidic peat moss. If the leaves of your plants begin to show some stress (yellowing), you can water them with tap water laced with white vinegar. Use standard supermarket grade white vinegar, adding one tablespoon per gallon of tap water. You can mix it in a 5 gallon bucket and then use the water for your plants. Vinegar is organic so it whould fit the bill. Best wishes with your blueberry plants!

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