a blueberry question

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i recently purchased several bushes of 'Sunshine Blue', a variety that is supposed to do well here in the south. i know they need a more acidic soil (though this particular variety is said to get by on less than others). right now they are all in pots until i decide on a permanent location.
my question is: rather than buy sulphur, can i just use epsom salts (which have both magnesium and sulphur)? i can easily purchase sulphur alone if i need to and i can order Espoma from ace if i need to but i already have the epsom salts.....

thanks in advance!

Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

I don't know how good the epsom salts is for blueberries. I bought Espoma at Home Depot and my six blueberry plants loved it.

GETZVILLE, NY

I don't think Epsom salt is acidic enough magnesium hydroxide is a base and will neutralize the acid in sulphur.

I put coffee grounds on my blueberry plant twice a week, and it responds well.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

well, that is interesting. so one cancels out the other?

Mohrsville, PA(Zone 6a)

Or, mix in some Hollytone.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i think rather than play chemist, i will use the Hollytone!
thanks guys,
:-)

Plantersville, TX(Zone 9a)

Is there a special way to keep a blueberry alive?Is it suppose to die off in the winter, & sprout up in the spring? Mine die off & never come back.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i just started so i can't speak from experience but i think they are supposed to be evergreen this far south.

Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

behillman,
Mine dropped all their leaves and went dormant for the winter. They greened up nicely with lots of new leaves in the spring. Being their second year I let them hold their berries--they sure were good. Yours don't happen to be where deer could eat them, are they? They do love them which is why I have fences around mine (made from rabbit wire). Where exactly is Plantersville? Don't know if you're in the warm or cold part of TX. I did mulch my plants with plenty of pine straw for the winter.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

it also makes a difference in what kind of blueberries you have. some are for the north and some are for the south.

Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

Very true. Mine are all Rabbiteye varieties which are specifically for our southern climate.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

The woods are full of blueberries here. Acidic soil. They get nice and green and pretty. I never get to taste - the deer and birds have dibs. The other day at the hospital ( we have lots of figs planted) i watched a crow pick the only ripe fig off one tree. All the other figs on all the trees are still green. It was a crazy big and ripe fig...a renegade. I shoulda grabbed it.

Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

LOL! Birds do love the figs. In order to get any of my crop I have to perch a large plastic owl on a post in the middle of my 5 fig bushes. The birds will finally get wise and fly low to reach the far side of the plants but they won't go near the areas my owl can "see," so we all get enough figs. I started out with two bushes but added three more so I would have enough to share. Missingrosie, sounds like your fig bush must be a Texas Brown Turkey. They're sweet but the skin needs to be removed before you eat it. The layer of white just under the skin is latex--eat enough of it and it will make your tongue tingle :-}

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I didn't know that! Yes, brown turkey and ver old. I always eat all parts and so far no tingles -- but don't eat kore than 3 at any given time.

Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

You're lucky then--some people are very allergic to it. I'm not really allergic but my tongue will tingle if I eat one too many while I'm picking them :-} They're just soooo good it's hard to resist! I also have a Celeste that puts out smaller sweeter figs that don't have the thick lining of latex. They all make great preserves and jam.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i just ate a handful of the Brown Turkey off my bush...i never have experienced any tingling.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Guess you got to have the latex allergy at some level. Now, my son.......if he eats a banana.....he will get itchy in the mouth and the inner ears. If he is already dealing with seasonal allergies and all "fired" up --- eating that banana becomes downright dangerous.

Vicksburg, MS(Zone 8a)

Kind of like my hubby is TERRIBLY allergic to poison ivy but my son, daughter and I can sit in a field of it and not get the first welt from it. I do get the reaction to the brown turkey figs but it's just an annoying sensation. I have a friend who can't eat them at all. We all have our little blessings.

Grass Valley, CA(Zone 9a)

High just wanted to let you know that sunshine blue is not a rabbit eye but a cross breed between a northern high bush and a rabbit eye. That us how they came up with the southern high bush. Cottenmeal is a great fertilizer but you can be lazy and use blueberry fertilizer. This year I top dress all blue berries with bumper crop and blueberry fertilizer. All of my blueberries are southern highbush. As for them going dormant....I live a micro-climate of 9a, I lost some leaves but most stayed on with a purple blush.
Behillman.....you live a great zone for growing low chill hour southern highbush. Check your ph, remember blueberries are shallow rooted plants so you may need to water them in winter if you have not gotten rain for abit.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

thanks, janet. yes, i knew that Sunshine Blue was not a rabbit eye. the bushes are doing really well; they are still in temporary pots. i've discovered that the weevils love them so i may end up not planting them. once i know that a weevil loves a certain plant, it pretty much is the end of it for me.....sigh. (little leaf notcher weevil-scourge of my garden)

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