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Blueberry leaves reddening?


 
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frank4short
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject: Blueberry leaves reddening? Reply with quote

Hi guys i'm new here so go easy.

Anyway on to the topic. I purchased a Goldtraube F1 belueberry bush, roughly 40cms high, approximately 2 months ago. It's planted in a bed with reasonably good drainage on a south to south easterly aspect adjacent to a wall so it gets plenty of sun. I'm not sure of the acidity of the soil but there were a number of large flowering bushes there last year (not sure of the type) that were cut out at the end of last summer & i dug out the roots on them around january. There is still some of the leaf mulch in the vicinity from the previous bushes, though not a massive amount. The bed is watered pretty frequently e.g. 3 times a week when it's not raining.

Basically when i put the blueberry down it seemed fine initially however lately (circa the last 2 weeks) the leaves have been starting to gently brown/redden. Is this a cause for concern? & is there anything obvious i can do to rectify this?

From reading previous threads here on the topic of bleuberries i've not seen mention of this before though i could possibly have missed that one. I'm also aware that for maximum yield i'll have to plant another one. Though at the moment i'm just working on the principle of keeping the one i have alive & happy.
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ian
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi there frank, the leaves on (mine 8 left 3 varieties) are different shades of green dep on health, they only go red for me after fruiting in sept. don't know if goldtraube is different, check acidity to rule that out then maybe add a mineral mix with fish blood and bonemeal, .then again i've managed to murder about 20 of mine so go carefully out there!!


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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit of leaf reddening can be seen on cold, overly damp or compacted soils in winter/spring frank4short.
If you believe the drainage is alright, then it could be the coldness of the soil, with lighter coloured soils taking longer to heat up in the new growing season.
Lighter coloured soil?

Of course there is also the PH issue, with a real possibility that your soil type is in the alkaline bracket which prevents your blueberries accessing nutrients in the soil.
This will initially show itself up through leaf discolouration.
More on a PH testing here.... PH tests.
Check the soil, then with your results we will be able to advise you further.

PH aside, applying a fertiliser with a good Phosphorus content should aid with halting the reddening leaves as well.
Reddened leaves can be an indicator of a Phosphorus deficit.
The fish blood and bonemeal mentioned by Ian usually contains 5% Phosphorus but will need a week or two to start to take effect, so you may have to look towards a liquid feed (phostrogen etc) for a quick lift.

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frank4short
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right so i've PH tested the soil it's coming in at around about 7-7.5 so on the slightly alkali side of neutral. Which i have to say is a slight surprise to me. As i was expecting it to be acidic if anything from the organic matter left behind from the previous bushes.

With this in mind is the soil too alkali for the blueberries & is there an easily recifiable solution to this in the long term?
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you need to decrease your ph to make the soil more acid, then you can apply sulphate of iron at a rate of 100g per metre squared for each drop in ph point.
Apply this products according to the manufacturers instructions and heed safety warnings especially those concerning the use of protective clothing, drift onto foliage and other materials etc.
Of course after the initial application this would be constantly being dragged up to an alkaline ph as time passes, so you would have to apply it year after year or even more often.
Using this method if the blueberry is planted into mounded soil mixed with ericaceous compost (acid) above the natural water table then there will be a slower reversion to alkaline.

Of course pot growing in ericaceous compost would be the ultimate isolation.
Then you just gotta worry about watering it. Wink

More hints to help you here frank4short.... A tip for making soil acid or making soil more acid.

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frank4short
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has now been dug out. I've removed a good amount of soil & replaced it with peat moss, which as told to me by the horticulturalist in the local garden city/DIY store was what i was looking for. I've replanted it in this & also put some feed pellets around it which are specifically suitable for plants that prefer acidic soil. Here's hoping it works!
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Belfast
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

frank4short wrote:
Has now been dug out. I've removed a good amount of soil & replaced it with peat moss, which as told to me by the horticulturalist in the local garden city/DIY store was what i was looking for. I've replanted it in this & also put some feed pellets around it which are specifically suitable for plants that prefer acidic soil. Here's hoping it works!


Was the peat moss lime free?

most peat moss has lime added.

What you need is Ericaceous compost.

something like
Brown Gold Ericaceous Compost and Soil Enricher


Last edited by Belfast on Thu May 21, 2009 11:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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frank4short
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no reference to the addition of lime on the packet & it also suggests mixing it 3 to 1 with soil for lime hating plants. So i'd assume it doesn't have lime added.
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Belfast
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

frank4short wrote:
There's no reference to the addition of lime on the packet & it also suggests mixing it 3 to 1 with soil for lime hating plants. So i'd assume it doesn't have lime added.


they do not say that ime is added on any packet.

normally the warning not for lime hating plants is very small

what was written on the bag you bought?

examples

Multi-Purpose Compost

* For healthy plants with vigorous displays of beautiful flowers
* For seeds, cuttings, pots and containers
* Not suitable for ericaceous (lime hating) plants
* For use all year round

Brown Gold Ericaceous Compost and Soil Enricher

* Ideal for all ericaceous (acid loving/lime hating) plants e.g. Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Pieris
* Use when planting out
* Enables quicker establishment and faster growth of plants
* For use all year round

Seed & Potting Compost

* Ensures better root development for healthier plants
* Ideal for seeds, cuttings and potting-on
* Not suitable for ericaceous (lime hating) plants
* Feed after 4-6 weeks with Miracle-Gro plant food
* For use all year round
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frank4short
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't state any of the those on it. For reference sake it's Erin irish moss peat. I've tried googling it to find out more but the company seems to be in the dark ages as there doesn't appear to be a website for them.
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verge
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

frank4short wrote:
It doesn't state any of the those on it. For reference sake it's Erin irish moss peat.


Moss peat would lead me to think it is milled sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss being the moss growth from the tops of bogs. No nutritional value for your plants but being about a Ph of 4.0 it should help acidify the soil around it.

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Liparis
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You beat me too it, verge, I was going to say the same. I think Belfast is referring to composts rather than moss peat.
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Belfast
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

frank4short wrote:
There's no reference to the addition of lime on the packet & it also suggests mixing it 3 to 1 with soil for lime hating plants. So i'd assume it doesn't have lime added.


Have you done a PH test on it?

or does it say what the PH is on the packet?

edit update


I had a look it in woodies today.

From what I read on the Bag it is Ericaceous. It is not made clear and I did not see any thing to say what ph it is.
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