Permaculture forum: Sistering plants for Blueberry Bushes

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flynnie
Apr 23, 2012 8:43 AM CST
I am new to Permaculture. I am planting two Blueberry bushes and was looking for some good sistering plants to plant aslong with them.
Name: Chris Powell
Glendale, AZ (Zone 9b)
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milkmood
Apr 23, 2012 8:50 AM CST
I have raspberries planted with my blueberries. Blueberries like a little lower pH (acidic). Tomatoes come to mind.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Apr 23, 2012 9:53 AM CST

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The problem with acidic soil and tomatoes is that they aren't able to take up the needed calcium to develop their skins, and so they get blossom end rot. For this reason, I wouldn't consider them a good candidate as a blueberry companion.

Azaleas and rhododendrons would work very well (although their use is limited).

I'd be tempted to try groundcovers like strawberries around them, but I'm not sure how strawberries respond to acidic soil.

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hazelnut
Apr 23, 2012 12:15 PM CST
Strawberries love acid soil. I am starting alpine strawberries to grow under my blueberry hedge.

The hedge will actually be a "hedgerow" with one row of blueberries staggered next to another one.

Alpine strawberries underneath, and some blackberries and raspberries in an adjoining row.

the blueberry hedgerow separates my "dog yard" from my orchard, making two big spaces (or 'rooms' in my backyard.

Perpendicular to the blueberry hedge will be a another hedge with climbing roses dominant.

Roses love acid soil, too. Just don't spray them with pesticide!

http://www.plantanswers.com/garden_column/sept_02/1.htm
[Last edited by hazelnut - Apr 23, 2012 12:26 PM (+)]
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flynnie
Apr 23, 2012 12:54 PM CST
Thanks, I was learning towards raspberries. I was also thinking strawberries and slowly moving them towards the blueberries. Thank again

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hazelnut
Apr 23, 2012 2:06 PM CST
Here's what rosalind Creasy, author of edible landscaping has to say about strawberries.

http://www.rosalindcreasy.com/popular-edibles/landscaping-wi...

The alpines can get by on a little less sun so they are more likely to do well under the shade of another plant.

Most strawberries actually prefer a container or a raised bed. As for companions for strawberries borage, and lupins have been suggested. Lupins wont grow for me. There are a number of options shown in the Creasy article.

One consideration for the raspberries is that they will need a whole lot more pruning, tying, and care than the blueberries. Also, don't they have thorns? like blackberries do. So you wont want them too close to the blueberries to allow for blood-free harvests.

Also -- where are you? Blueberries in the south are 8 to 12 ft shrubs.



Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Apr 23, 2012 8:34 PM CST
You might research a bit further. Blueberries have a shallow root system and don't like much competition.

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hazelnut
Apr 24, 2012 6:55 AM CST
Again it would depend what kind of blueberries you are growing and where. Here plantations of rabbiteye blueberry bushes are 8 - 12 ft tall and are spaced 10 to 15 ft apart. They are the size of small apple trees. Where there is ample sun and good soil, there would be no reason not to plant a low growing groundcover with the same soil requirements.

If you are talking about low compact shrubby plants you probably would just maintain a good organic mulch around them.
Name: Chris Powell
Glendale, AZ (Zone 9b)
Living a better life; if times get
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milkmood
Apr 24, 2012 6:48 PM CST
dave said:The problem with acidic soil and tomatoes is that they aren't able to take up the needed calcium to develop their skins, and so they get blossom end rot. For this reason, I wouldn't consider them a good candidate as a blueberry companion.


Good call. Hadn't considered that.

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