Sunday, 20 November 2011

Acid pain

Well, it turns out that our dear friend the blueberry is a bit of a diva.

If you mention to a gardener that you are growing blueberries, they will without fail say 'have you got some ericaceous compost?' Got myself some what now?

Apparently blueberries will only leave their dressing room if given acidic soil, which is what this specially formulated blueberry juice is. However, having tasted the good stuff, blueberries appear to have spread the word that they will only perform with said compost. So we all have to fork out some extra to fill our containers with the Evian of compost just to get some sweet notes at a point of their choosing. And they're twice the price of blackcurrants just to get them in the first place.

My budding blackcurrant
"But blueberries are a superfood" i hear you warble. Yeah and they seem to know it. Some of us feel you can get a much richer rewarding experience from growing your humble blackcurrant in normal compost, a more giving fruit, sincere and honest.

It worries me, that I've gone and bought a blueberry plant and just followed the instructions of others. Granted, one shouldn't reinvent the fruit tree but there has to be scope to experiment I feel, and from that experimenting comes new knowledge.

So I've planted up the blueberry as advised, but on one condition. I'm going to buy a second plant.

I'll use normal compost and place it somewhere different in the garden to see what the conditions will do to it. To some this may appear like fruit tree cruelty, to others pure stubbornness (and you'd be right), foolish in these straightened times.

But I also do it for a greater purpose - to either come to a common understanding with the blueberry that if I am to invest in its outlandish demands it must flourish my breakfast bowl with twice the juicy blue sweet bombs of the other.  Or failing that I will have to expose it for the manipulative berry that I suspect it is

For now, all you get is leaves...

I'm not even sure I like them.


Mel said...

I grow them in a raised bed of ericaceous compost on the allotment. Get loads! Not sure if I like them either. But good 'disguised' in muffins. Interesting to see how the normal compost one gets on.

Hapless gardener said...

Thanks Mel, glad I'm not the only one to grow things I'm unsure about. I make sure I do updates over the coming year on progress

linniew said...

Okay blueberries are indeed awesome. (I freeze berries and stir some into pancake batter in winter.) I mulch the plants with sawdust from Mr O's shop because that's what I see commercial growers using around here. But my plants aren't very old--I'll let you know if the sawdust kills them.

Claire Benson said...

You could try mulching them with the pine needles that inevitably fall off the Christmas tree - they will be acidic.

Hapless gardener said...

Hi Linnie, good to hear from you and thanks for the tips

Thanks too Claire, finally I won't look on dropping needles with such scorn!

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.