Thank you very much for answering my previous question. One more question I have is, how do I keep the potting-soil/growing medium for blueberries low in pH (acidic) over the months and years? As I understand the soil loses it’s acidity due to various reasons, one of them being the water has alkaline in it.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with a follow-up question about your blueberries. Maintaining an acidity level of pH 4.5-5 in the growing medium for your blueberries is important so that the plants can absorb nutrients. Here are some ways to maintain the acidic pH level:
- Use ericaceous soil (specially formulated for acid-loving plants) if you can, or a 50-50 mix of potting soil and peat moss. A growing medium that doesn’t contain peat is more environmentally-friendly.
- Use rainwater for watering as much as possible, since tap water is usually alkaline.
- Add mulch to the top of the soil so that you won’t need to water as often.
- If you are going to fertilize use a fertilizer for acid-loving plants.
- Remove and replace about 1/3 of the soil from the top of the containers every spring.
- Totally replace the container soil every 2-3 years.
- Test your soil every spring to check the pH level (soil testing kits are widely available at nurseries and home centres).
- Monitor your plants for yellowing leaves. This could be due to chlorosis which is an indicator of a change in acidity level.
- Be patient and let your plants develop. You probably won’t see any blueberries until the third year after planting.
Best of luck with your blueberries !