What is best way to raise acidity in soil for plants?

I just ordered two blueberry bushes from Burpee. Burpee recommends acidic soil for Blueberrys.

I’ve heard Peat Moss raises acidity. (I think) Grandmother used a lot of peat moss for her azaleas.

What else can I mix in the soil for acidity? I want lots and lots of blueberrys next year. :smiley:

The type I bought Is Blueberry Jubilee Full Sun 5 to 6 feet tall, Spread 4-5 feet

Jubilee, a Southern Highbush developed in Mississippi, thrives well under adverse conditions - heavy soils, summer heat and sudden winter cold. Recommended throughout areas in the South and California with at least 500 chilling hours. Very productive, bearing large clusters in mid season.

Mix used coffee grounds into the soil.

Powdered sulphur can also be used.

What is your soil like at the moment? If you’re on chalk or limestone, you probably won’t be able to modify the soil enough to keep the plants healthy.

Building a raised bed can help, then filling with a mixture of ericaceous compost and neutral soil - as this will contain the modified soil and to a certain extent, prevent it mixing back in.

Two materials commonly used for lowering the soil pH are aluminum sulfate and sulfur. These can be found at a garden supply center.** Aluminum sulfate will change the soil pH instantly** because the aluminum produces the acidity as soon as it dissolves in the soil. Sulfur, however, requires some time for the conversion to sulfuric acid with the aid of soil bacteria.

How much to use? http://www.savvygardener.com/Features/soil_ph.html

You can fertilize with a product intended for acid loving plants. I’ve used Miracid (from the people who make miraclegro).

Re: the plants themselves – you’re better off waiting for the first crop. If you pinch off all of the flowers each of the first two years, the plants will put their energy into getting strong and big, and you’ll have better crops after that.

Thanks. You’ve given me some great suggestions to think about.

I’m going to send off a soil sample and see where my soil is at.

I’d love to plant in my front yard because it faces south. But I’m worried those berries would be too tempting to neighborhood kids. Back yard may be the only choice I have.

I think birds are a much bigger worry than kids. Birds consistently ate ours before they were ripe enough for us to enjoy.

With blueberries it is a good idea to plant a couple of different varieties instead of just one, they produce better.

As twickster says, it is better to concentrate on growing the plants for at least the first year, if you leave the fruit on small plants the plant will put it’s energy into the fruit and slow down the growth of the plant.

Mound bark dust or chips around the base of the plants after they are planted. This will help acidify the soil, make weeds easier to pull, and protect the roots. Bark dust or chips are a lot cheaper than peat moss and last much longer. Blueberries have shallow roots that need protection from drying out and deep freezing. Fertilize with a soluble acidic fertilizer, like Miracid as kayaker says, or any other brand labeled for use on azaleas and rhododendrons.

I planted six plants of 3 varieties about 10 years ago. I must have given away seven gallons of berries this year, froze a couple more gallons, and have 2 one gallon glass crocks full of blueberry cordial brewing that I will bottle up in 2 more weeks.

Good luck and be patient.

Birds did that to our saskatoon berry bush last year; this year I put bird-d-fence netting around it and had wonderful berries.

I read just today that pine needles can be good for acidifying soil.

I’m thinking about trying a honeyberry bush. They’re supposed to be a lot easier to deal with than blueberries, with nice, blueberry-like fruit.

How about a free suggestion, pine needles. Nice and acid. Fall off trees. Mainly why there isn’t a lot of underbrush in pine woods.

:smiley: Wow, one of the locations I’ve thought about using is where a old pine stump was. I had the tree cut in 1998 because it was leaning dangerously towards the house. I dug up what was left of the rotted stump last year.

There were tons of pine needles in that area over the years. I still remove 8 bags worth every winter from my one remaining pine tree. That soil may already be acidic.

I ordered two blueberry bushs from Burpee. I’ve seriously considering planting one in the front yard and one in the back. See which does better (North or South side of house). I know the morning sun rises in my front yard and passes over the house in the afternoon.

Coffee grounds are certainly good for the soil, but won’t do much for acidity. I say this based on pH measurements someone reported on another message board I read many years ago. His explanation was that the acidity in coffee is water soluble, so the coffee is acidic, but what’s left after brewing isn’t.