Planting and Care Instructions for Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Cranberries, Lingonberries, Tea Camellias, and Other Acid-loving Plants
- Skim off grass or weeds and their roots from the soil surface.
- For the planting hole, loosen the soil in an area three times the width of the container and to the depth of the container. Before removing soil from the hole, add a good acid loving plant organic fertilizer (Hollytone, cottonseed meal), greensand and a small amount of garden sulphur. Then add enough pine bark soil conditioner to create a 50/50 soil/pine bark mixture. Mix these ingredients in the hole to achieve a homogenous soil mixture in the hole. When adding organic matter to soil it is better to do it to whole planting beds, not individual planting holes, and till all amendments into the top 6 inches of soil.
- Excavate enough soil to plant the container.
- At this time, crack the bottom and sides of the planting hole with digging fork.
- Water the plant in its container thoroughly or dip plant in a seaweed solution.
- Remove the plant carefully from its container.
- Loosen the plant’s exterior roots and separate and spread any circling roots.
- Place the plant in the hole at or above the soil line (NOTE: IT IS BETTER TO PLANT IT TOO HIGH THAN TOO LOW).
- Replace excavated soil around the plant’s root ball and lightly firm to hold plant in position.
- Create a water mound around the outside diameter of the hole.
- Mulch with a good organic mulch 2” deep. Pine needles or seasoned sawdust work well. Keep mulch away from the stem of the plant.
- Water the plant well after planting. Use a seaweed solution during transplanting if possible.
Water the plant daily for the first three days and then every other day for six days. Then water every third day for six days. After that, it is advisable to water the plant well at least once a week being particularly attentive to any signs of drought stress. Do not over water, particularly in poorly drained soils. Plants will need less frequent watering during rainy or overcast weather.
Fertilize your new plants in mid-April, the first of June, and mid-July with one to two cups (depending of plant size) of a balanced organic fertilizer distributed evenly around the root zone. Water well after fertilizing. Berry plants may benefit from a December fertilization after dormancy.
NOTE: In heavy poorly draining soils, it is advisable to plant the plant 3 to 6 inches above the soil surface with a soil circle at least three feet wide or in a raised bed. Poor drainage will kill these plants!