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Avatar for SilverShrub
Jul 4, 2021 7:01 PM CST
Tennessee
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Should I give up on this one? I was trying to make the soil more acidic and I think I didn't dilute the vinegar enough. Not sure if that's what did it or not. It's a powder blue variety. Some of the leaves still have a bit of green so I don't think it's completely dead.
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Jul 5, 2021 4:13 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
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You killed it by using vinegar. Why are you using vinegar?
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Avatar for jensjiffy73
Jul 5, 2021 9:33 AM CST
Name: JenniE
Bradford Co., PA (Zone 5b)
God planted a garden.
BigBill, seems a little more info and an alternate suggestion would also be helpful?
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Jul 5, 2021 9:52 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
But vinegar is never the answer.

Blueberries need acidic soil, down in the ph range of 5.2-5.8. They will not thrive without it. If you have neutral soil, ph of 7.0, you could use vinegar until the proverbial cows come home and you will not get the ph down.
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They like to be evenly moist with deep, rich soil that drains well. I have included two images of mine that I planted in April of 2018.
The amount of berries have steadily increased. From a couple of dozen to 500+! I apply a soil acidifier in the early spring, 1/2 cup per plant. I added 50% peat moss at the time of planting. Plants grew from 15" high to close to 4 feet.
When the research I have done says "deep" soil, I don't know that any container is appropriate.
My research also indicated that your yield will be greatly reduced by having just a single plant. I have 5 with 2 different varieties. My research indicated that blueberries produce more flowers, more fruit, if they are grown with another type of bush.
This type of blueberry grows well with type a, b, or c. And this is what I did. Three of one kind along with two of another. Next year I plan on adding three more plants. Those berries are so darn tasty!!

Blueberries are not hard to grow but there are no shortcuts, no quick fixes. Just follow my lead, boil them up with pectin and a little sugar and package them. Then get a pair of old panty hose, tie them from under your chin to the top of your head. You want to keep your brains 🧠 from falling out!! Duct tape will work too!
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Last edited by BigBill Jul 5, 2021 9:59 AM Icon for preview
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Jul 5, 2021 10:13 AM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Unfortunately, there is all kinds of "information" on the internet about using vinegar in the garden...

Whether or not blueberries can be grown in a container probably depends on the variety - I have 5 Northland plants that are a "half-high" type, and am growing them in some large pots because I figured it would be much easier to give them what they need that way; their root systems are really not all that large, or at least not very deep, but I'm not sure if that is true of all varieties.

@SilverShrub, your plant might not be completely dead but I wouldn't waste your time trying to revive it. Get a couple of new plants, give them lots of peat and add in a slow release soil acidifier (such as "soil sulfur"). If you decide to plant them in containers, keep in mind that they need to have good drainage and light-colored is best because dark pots will tend to overheat the soil. Smiling
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer
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Avatar for jensjiffy73
Jul 5, 2021 10:20 AM CST
Name: JenniE
Bradford Co., PA (Zone 5b)
God planted a garden.
LOL yummy! BigBill. I wasn't suggesting that vinegar was an answer. I was suggesting that SilverShrub didn't understand what she needed to acidify her soil. And good drainage is paramount because blueberries naturally grow in acidic moist woodsy edges. (Or at least the edges is where they bloom and make fruit). Blueberry plants will drown and die if they do not have proper drainage. They tend to be more shallow rooted and like lots of leaf compost.
Garden sulfur helps lower soil pH. I suggest you google how to grow blueberries, SiverShrub.
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Jul 5, 2021 10:31 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
I wasn't quite sure jensjiffy73 as to which question you wanted me to answer so I thought that I would answer both.
But I do have two pint jars of blueberry slurry ( didn't add enough pectin Rolling on the floor laughing ) in the frig. It was a good year!! I even managed to beat the birds!!
I finish off most nights with a little Haagen Das vanilla with a generous tablespoon of "blueberry slurry"!! Man, if that is not Heaven, I don't know what is! Just fantastic.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Avatar for SilverShrub
Jul 5, 2021 3:12 PM CST
Tennessee
BigBill said:You killed it by using vinegar. Why are you using vinegar?


I answered that in my post….

" was trying to make the soil more acidic and I think I didn't dilute the vinegar enough"

According to several sites vinegar would help. It didn't kill the Brightwell variety I have. For at least two days after using it the ph was around 5.5.

I also read that about different varieties so I bought the Powder Blue and the Brightwell.

How far apart did you plant them?
Last edited by SilverShrub Jul 5, 2021 3:27 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for SilverShrub
Jul 5, 2021 3:14 PM CST
Tennessee
jensjiffy73 said:LOL yummy! BigBill. I wasn't suggesting that vinegar was an answer. I was suggesting that SilverShrub didn't understand what she needed to acidify her soil. And good drainage is paramount because blueberries naturally grow in acidic moist woodsy edges. (Or at least the edges is where they bloom and make fruit). Blueberry plants will drown and die if they do not have proper drainage. They tend to be more shallow rooted and like lots of leaf compost.
Garden sulfur helps lower soil pH. I suggest you google how to grow blueberries, SiverShrub.


I did google it. Where do you think I got the idea for using vinegar to lower the ph? Several sites I found on Google said diluted vinegar would lower the ph. It did for at least a day or two and it didn't hurt the Brightwell bush at all. Not sure why it did that to the Powder Blue.
Last edited by SilverShrub Jul 5, 2021 3:24 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for SilverShrub
Jul 5, 2021 3:19 PM CST
Tennessee
Weedwhacker said:Unfortunately, there is all kinds of "information" on the internet about using vinegar in the garden...

Whether or not blueberries can be grown in a container probably depends on the variety - I have 5 Northland plants that are a "half-high" type, and am growing them in some large pots because I figured it would be much easier to give them what they need that way; their root systems are really not all that large, or at least not very deep, but I'm not sure if that is true of all varieties.

@SilverShrub, your plant might not be completely dead but I wouldn't waste your time trying to revive it. Get a couple of new plants, give them lots of peat and add in a slow release soil acidifier (such as "soil sulfur"). If you decide to plant them in containers, keep in mind that they need to have good drainage and light-colored is best because dark pots will tend to overheat the soil. Smiling


Thanks. I also bought a Brightwell variety. It's green but isn't growing any berries. I'm using fertilizer made specifically for fruit trees and organic mulch that according to google has the stuff they blueberry bushes like. Strange thing is that the pests went after the Brightwell with a vengeance but pretty much ignored the powder blue even when it wasn't half dead.
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Jul 5, 2021 3:36 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters
SilverShrub, do you actually know that your soil is too alkaline? (I did not research growing blueberries very well before I bought my plants 5 or 6 years ago; the next spring after I planted them my first clue about my soil having too high of pH was that the plants grew bright yellow leaves - not a very good look!) It would be worthwhile, if you haven't done so already, to do a pH check to see just where you're at with it.

Assuming this is the first year for your plants, it wouldn't be unusual for them to not produce fruit for a year or two.
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer
C/F temp conversion
Avatar for SilverShrub
Jul 5, 2021 4:19 PM CST
Tennessee
Weedwhacker said:SilverShrub, do you actually know that your soil is too alkaline? (I did not research growing blueberries very well before I bought my plants 5 or 6 years ago; the next spring after I planted them my first clue about my soil having too high of pH was that the plants grew bright yellow leaves - not a very good look!) It would be worthwhile, if you haven't done so already, to do a pH check to see just where you're at with it.

Assuming this is the first year for your plants, it wouldn't be unusual for them to not produce fruit for a year or two.


I bought one of those moisture meters that also has a ph and light rating too. According to it my soul ph is normally around 6.5 or so. The powder blue had a few berries on it after a couple weeks but they never ripened. The Brightwell grew a single berry that kind of shriveled up. I didn't know before buying that the soil needed to be a certain ph and all that. I'm managing pests on the Brightwell with Sevendust and neem oil. I've mostly seen Japanese beetles but saw one tiny green aphid ( I think) and some kind of moth.
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Jul 5, 2021 4:21 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
Any correction in soil acidity is likely fleeting at best. So if it lasts even for a week, you would have to apply it around 30 times year. That is a lot of vinegar in a year.
If you are spending "X" dollars on vinegar, wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to purchase soil acidifier? That only requires one treatment a year. It lasts longer and produces a much more lasting change. I mean to pour vinegar on a blueberry bush week after week just seems so silly.
I put the remainder in a small lid plastic container so it should last for several years.

And how much vinegar do you have to pour on a blueberry bush to insure it penetrates the soil? I mean I am all for time savers in our garden or daily lives but I am not so sure about this one. Confused
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Last edited by BigBill Jul 5, 2021 4:25 PM Icon for preview
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Jul 5, 2021 4:34 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
Oh my blueberry bushes are planted around 4', maybe 5' apart.

Oh a moisture meter, I missed that! In my opinion, that is an inaccurate tool.
I am an old school gardener. I have been told, reading between the lines, that I should join the modern world. There are better ways of growing things.
Yet, summer after summer, I have no problems growing my veggies, no aphids, no watering problems, no weed problems, and no short cuts, no gadgets, just good old fashioned get down on your knees, get your hands dirty gardening. I am my grandmas grandson!! I learned at her knee and took all those lessons with me to this day.
I grow large tomato's, cherry tomato's, cucumbers, eggplant, pole beans and bell peppers. No issues, no complaints.
I apologize for being old fashioned and being behind the times but I am happy.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Last edited by BigBill Jul 5, 2021 4:35 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for SilverShrub
Jul 8, 2021 6:45 AM CST
Tennessee
BigBill said:Any correction in soil acidity is likely fleeting at best. So if it lasts even for a week, you would have to apply it around 30 times year. That is a lot of vinegar in a year.
If you are spending "X" dollars on vinegar, wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to purchase soil acidifier? That only requires one treatment a year. It lasts longer and produces a much more lasting change. I mean to pour vinegar on a blueberry bush week after week just seems so silly.
I put the remainder in a small lid plastic container so it should last for several years.

And how much vinegar do you have to pour on a blueberry bush to insure it penetrates the soil? I mean I am all for time savers in our garden or daily lives but I am not so sure about this one. Confused


Lol the sites I found on google didn't mention it wouldn't stick. If I'd known about soil acidifiers I would have bought some. Will definitely try that and the peat stuff next time. Well the acidifier I'll use in the bush that's alive now.
Avatar for SilverShrub
Jul 8, 2021 6:48 AM CST
Tennessee
BigBill said:Oh my blueberry bushes are planted around 4', maybe 5' apart.

Oh a moisture meter, I missed that! In my opinion, that is an inaccurate tool.
I am an old school gardener. I have been told, reading between the lines, that I should join the modern world. There are better ways of growing things.
Yet, summer after summer, I have no problems growing my veggies, no aphids, no watering problems, no weed problems, and no short cuts, no gadgets, just good old fashioned get down on your knees, get your hands dirty gardening. I am my grandmas grandson!! I learned at her knee and took all those lessons with me to this day.
I grow large tomato's, cherry tomato's, cucumbers, eggplant, pole beans and bell peppers. No issues, no complaints.
I apologize for being old fashioned and being behind the times but I am happy.


Ok I put mine about the sand distance apart. How often and how much do you water them? I found too much conflicting info on google searches.

I'm just gonna dig up the dead one. Think it would be good to grind it up and use it as mulch?
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Jul 8, 2021 7:20 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
I always keep my eye on them. When it is warmer, I water every three or four days. Then when the heat drops back below 80, maybe one day a week.
I am blessed with nights in the lower 60's most of the time. That helps. But if thundershowers are scarce, you have to water more often.
The best $3 you'll ever spend is for a rain gauge otherwise you would say that last nights thunderstorm put down at least an inch of water. Yet when you check the gauge it says one tenth of an inch. I do not count a thundershower or rain event as being effective unless it puts down 3/4-1". It has to be enough to soak in!
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Last edited by BigBill Jul 8, 2021 7:21 AM Icon for preview
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Jul 10, 2021 6:24 AM CST
Tennessee
BigBill said:I always keep my eye on them. When it is warmer, I water every three or four days. Then when the heat drops back below 80, maybe one day a week.
I am blessed with nights in the lower 60's most of the time. That helps. But if thundershowers are scarce, you have to water more often.
The best $3 you'll ever spend is for a rain gauge otherwise you would say that last nights thunderstorm put down at least an inch of water. Yet when you check the gauge it says one tenth of an inch. I do not count a thundershower or rain event as being effective unless it puts down 3/4-1". It has to be enough to soak in!


I started out watering once a week and then upped it to a gallon two or three times. Guess I'll first need to get the acidifier. My potatoes are doing well at least.
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Jul 10, 2021 6:57 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
Well with weather being what it is, no year is ever like the last one or the next. It is all about averages. One summer is cooler then normal, the next is warmer. One summer is very dry, the next two are very moist. All of this inconsistency means that you can't water by a schedule.

Here is my May this year. It started with a few nights below freezing with sleet twice within the first 5 days. Then it rained heavily on like the 7th. Then it was in the 50's up until like the twelfth.
All of a sudden around May 15th it is 72. Then after a couple of nice days it's 58-63 for a couple of days. Not ideal for veggies and annuals but I had already planted them. Then Memorial Day weekend it's 92!!!
It had also gone bone dry! No real rainfall to speak of. It stayed warm at least but bone dry. Then around Fathers Day we had a couple of rain showers that dropped close to 2". My point being that with up and down weather like this you can not possibly water on a schedule. I had to be as changeable as the weather!!!

But it's experience, it's common sense, it's daily observation that makes your garden grow better.
I do tend to pay close attention to rainfall. It is very important. But I have learned over my lifetime that every climate is different, every year is different. You have to stay on your toes and be alert.
Be flexible.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Last edited by BigBill Jul 10, 2021 6:57 AM Icon for preview
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Jul 10, 2021 7:35 AM CST
Name: Anita
West Fulton, NY (Zone 5a)
"Let food be thy medicine...."
Cat Lover Dog Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Vegetable Grower Bee Lover Herbs
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I have 14 blueberry bushes. 4 of a smaller variety like you would find in the Adirondacks and the large sort. The large ones are spaced 5' apart. I didn't have sulfur at first, the preferred way to lower the pH, so I used coffee grinds. Then got the sulfur. The pH is perfect and this is the 3rd year. The yield looks good even though the weather has been really hot (90s), cool 50's, really wet and drought conditions. Coffee grinds are also a good mulch. I also use cedar mulch but keep it away from the bottom of the plant. The cedar can also add a bit to the acidity.

I built chicken wire cages around them with tops to keep away the birds. I enlarge them as the plants grow. When the plants are large enough with a great yield, I will be happy to share them with wildlife. I don't have any problems with pests.

Find out what varieties are right for your area by contacting your Cornell coop. Yes, you have to have 2 kinds. Don't buy from a big box. I bought mine from our Water and Soil Conservation. No so expensive.

I suggest starting over. It is worth it.
Its easy for me to believe in miracles when science can't explain why a blade of grass has its shape and that is just one plant and one attribute.

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