Last year I planted 3 small azalea bushes in an enclosed bed here in Morristown, TN. Of course the soil is Tennessee red clay, and the plants are alive and growing, but very slowly. I am wondering if I should apply some peatmoss around the plants to make the soil more acidic, and if so should I do this in the fall or in the spring. Any of your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
Adding peatmoss to azaleas to improve soil
My suggestion: if the leaves do not show signs of iron chlorosis, either the soil is already acidic enough or the bushes tolerate the current level. After three years of growth, the roots should have grown into your garden soil and reacted to its acidity or alkalinity. Thus, I would not do anything unless the leaves turn light green (or yellow) aaaa-n-d the leaf veins remain dark green. You can use a soil pH kit sold at many local plant nursery to monitor the acidity. If the plant nurseries are sold out now, wait until Spring, which is when they should re-stock. Luis
My soil is acidic enough. But after trying to grow rhodies and azaleas for years with varying degrees of success here in Rutherford Co. I started mulching some that were doing poorly with straight peat moss. Best thing I ever did for them.