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Old 25-09-2007, 02:55 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default is wood ericaceous?

Hi

I want to fill in a small pond and plant blueberries, as suggested by El
Flowerdew. Thought of builders' rubble for filling but it's probably limey
and I don't know where to get any. Would it be a good idea to use the
branches that blew off the sycamore tree?

thanks

Jon



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Old 25-09-2007, 03:24 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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In reply to Oxymel of Squill ) who wrote this in
ws.net, I, Marvo, say :

Hi

I want to fill in a small pond and plant blueberries, as suggested by
El Flowerdew. Thought of builders' rubble for filling but it's
probably limey and I don't know where to get any. Would it be a good
idea to use the branches that blew off the sycamore tree?

I know that when you plant blueberries you are supposed to buy heaps of the
special soil (which is indeed ericaceous) but I don't know where you get it.
I can find out in the next few days, as a mate of mine is a pro blueberry
grower. He has the soil imported from Poland, apparently.

I've probably said this before, so I apologise if I have.


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Old 25-09-2007, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oxymel of Squill View Post
Hi
I want to fill in a small pond and plant blueberries, as suggested by El
Flowerdew. Thought of builders' rubble for filling but it's probably limey
and I don't know where to get any. Would it be a good idea to use the
branches that blew off the sycamore tree?
Rubble would be a terrible idea, even it wasn't limey. You need a water retentive soil but with plenty of incorporated organic matter. As you note, builders rubble tends to be very limey because of the cement/concrete/mortar component. In fact, if your pond has a cement lining, you need to take it away, because the acidic soil will leach the cement into the soil, which the blueberries won't like.

Ericaceous compost can be purchased at about 5 for a 50 litre bag from any garden centre or DIY shed that sells garden stuff, you might pay more at a posh one. I think you can grow blueberries in it neat as it comes. But unless you have limey soil where you live, you could mix a bit of garden soil in with it to save money.

If you chipped your sycamore you could use it as a mulch on top of the soil you grow your blueberries in. If you want to use it as the growing medium, you would need to compost it first, which means chipping it and then leaving it to compost for a year or two. Wood chips do indeed tend to form an acidic (ie ericaceous) compost. Not as acidic as pine needles though.
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Old 25-09-2007, 07:17 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default is wood ericaceous?

On Tue, 25 Sep 2007 16:19:08 +0100, Charlie Pridham
wrote:

In article ews.net,
says...
Hi

I want to fill in a small pond and plant blueberries, as suggested by El
Flowerdew. Thought of builders' rubble for filling but it's probably limey
and I don't know where to get any. Would it be a good idea to use the
branches that blew off the sycamore tree?

thanks

Jon



If you mean is the shredded composted wood acidic rather than alkaline
then yes it is.



Yes but...

I get the impression from the OP that she wants to use just the
branches, presumably shredded. That wouldn't be a particularly
satisfactory medium for growing anything. If it's only a small pond,
then her best bet would be to get some bags of ericaceous compost from
her local garden centre, and bulk it out with composted shredded wood
as you suggest. If the shreddings are relatively fresh, they will
deprive the compost of nitrogen and the blueberries won't thrive. They
must be well composted to break them down first.


--
Chris

E-mail: christopher[dot]hogg[at]virgin[dot]net


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Old 25-09-2007, 11:12 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default is wood ericaceous?

Hello Jon
You are right that blueberries need an ericatious soil. For creating
a potting mix a mixture of peat, sharp sand B & Q soil improver (which
is shredded pine foresty waste) and top soil (so long as not a lime
soil) at a ratio of 1:1:1:1 works well.
The pond does want puncturing, blueberries are not aquatic plants -
they will drown. Equally they die if allowed to dry out. Pre packed
ericatious compost tends to be too peaty and stays wet - could use it
as a base material instead of the peat.
Blueberries are grown commercially in the UK from Dorsert to East
Anglia where the soil is free draining. The crops are heavily mulched
with foresrty waste and watered once the top inch starts to try out.
I know some people say that you should not water with tap water if the
water is hard - leaves lime deposots in the kettle. However I have
not had a problem - just counter with a dilute ericatious feed.
MirAcid tends to burn the fine roots, so I avoid that - Chempack or
Vitax ericatious feeds seem fine.
Regards
Clifford
Bawtry, Doncaster, South Yorkshire


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Old 26-09-2007, 10:59 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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OP says......

thanks all for the input. The pond is getting filled in because it has a
puncture and I'm fed up with trying to mend it / fill it up. Ithas a plastic
liner which holds water most of the time but I think it has a hole which has
coontrived some sort of flap that sometimes decides to open up and dump the
water. Sometimes the effect is that a passing elephant has popped its trunk
over the garden fence.
Flowerdew said blueberries like almost boggy conditions
I was thinking of bunging the branches unshredded into the hole to bring it
up to a foot or so and then topping with ericaceous compost.
Keep losing myself here, does ericaceousness dislike lime and like acid?

salut


"cliff_the_gardener" wrote in message
oups.com...
Hello Jon
You a



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Old 26-09-2007, 07:31 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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On Wed, 26 Sep 2007 09:59:37 +0100, "Oxymel of Squill"
wrote:

OP says......

thanks all for the input. The pond is getting filled in because it has a
puncture and I'm fed up with trying to mend it / fill it up. Ithas a plastic
liner which holds water most of the time but I think it has a hole which has
coontrived some sort of flap that sometimes decides to open up and dump the
water. Sometimes the effect is that a passing elephant has popped its trunk
over the garden fence.
Flowerdew said blueberries like almost boggy conditions
I was thinking of bunging the branches unshredded into the hole to bring it
up to a foot or so and then topping with ericaceous compost.
Keep losing myself here, does ericaceousness dislike lime and like acid?


Ericaceae are a family of plants that are unable to take up certain
elements from the soil when the pH is high, i.e. when it is alkaline.
They are often described as 'ericaceous'. Plants include
rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, some types of heather, blueberries
etc.

An alkaline soil is short of soluble iron and manganese, as these
elements are not soluble at high pH, so are not available to
ericaceous plants in the amounts they need for healthy growth. Other
types of plant will grow perfectly well as they need less of these two
elements.

The commonest symptom of trying to grow ericaceous plants in an
alkaline soil is a yellowing of the leaves, called chlorosis. It can
be corrected temporarily by watering with particular compounds of iron
and manganese that are soluble in alkaline conditions. Sequestrine is
the trade name of one such product. But the effect is not permanent,
and has to be repeated every few months.


--
Chris

E-mail: christopher[dot]hogg[at]virgin[dot]net
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Old 26-09-2007, 09:50 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default is wood ericaceous?

Hello Jon
Blueberries do differ from most other ericaious plants in that they
only favourablly grow at low pH levels. There are a few (Southern
High bush cultivars such as Sunshine Blue) that tollerate conditions
closer to neutral - but do better in acidic conditions.
Chris has outlined the botany, except that Sequestrine type products
don't seem to revive them - it is almost a question of once the damage
is done, its done - in my experience.
I have not seen Blueberries grow in bog conditions. Cranberries are
closer, but not wet.

below is a copy of text taken from the Dorset Blueberry company's site

"Blueberries and other vaccinnium plants can be successfully grown in
the open garden, containers or raised beds where soil suitable for
other ericaceous plants such as Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Heathers
can be provided.

Optimum soil acidity should be between pH 4.5 and 5.5, however they
will tolerate soil around pH6 where plenty of organic matter such as
fine pine chippings or peat has been incorporated.

Blueberries will provide the best flavoured fruit and the brightest
autumn colour when positioned in full sun.

They are tolerant of wind, but in extremely exposed conditions some
shelter is advantageous. Cold conditions down to -12C for short
periods are acceptable for most varieties. The root systems of
container grown plants, however, benefit from some form of protection
in winter, such as fleece, straw or hessian sacking."

The Trehane family who run the company have many years experience of
commercial production of Camaelias and now Blueberries. Experience up
here in the North has lead us to add sharp sand / top soil to the mix
otherwise they seem to rot the roots



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