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Can anyone help with my blueberries?

(4 Posts)
wherearetheteaspoons Tue 23-Jun-15 10:27:41

I have two blueberry bushes which I have had for about 4 years now, I can't remember which varieties they are, one is more squat than the other and grows outwards whereas the other is taller and thinner, if that helps. They have always produced a fair amount of fruit but this year the taller one started to flower and then the buds never opened, they've now turned a dark purple and have started to drop, it's almost like it's finished fruiting without producing any berries, the other one has a huge amount of green berries at the moment so I think that one will do well again this year.

Has something got my plant this year or is it just having a year without any fruit? Does that even happen? Any help would be brilliant, I've already lost a bay tree this year and don't want to lose anything else if I can help it.

TheSpottedZebra Tue 23-Jun-15 10:33:03

Do you have hard or soft water?

I don't have a great track record with blueberries. I bought a lovely plant last year, fruit formed, lush foliage. Then it all dropped off and the plan turned brown. I shoved it in the corner, forgot about it, and bought 2 more cheap plants when I saw the offer. It was too late for them to fruit, but they were looking really healthy, really lush foliage...

... until this year when they both shed all fruit and leaves, and turned brown and dead - like. The other by now came back to life, but is now oddly shaped. My theory is that they didn't like the very hard water that I had had to give them sometimes. I usually use rainwater but sometimes needed to water and had run out of rain water. I wonder if the 1st plant was thwarted by the alkalinity of the hard water, but adjusted to it after a year of sulking?

wherearetheteaspoons Tue 23-Jun-15 10:43:27

We live in a soft water area now, I moved them a couple of years ago from where I was living in a very hard water area. Also forgot to say they're in large pots. I do try to save the rainwater for them and feed them with an ericaceous feed when they're in flower (when I remember to).

I'm not having a good year this year, ds's carrots and radishes all failed this year, as well as my courgettes which were all really impressive last year, for a first attempt anyway. I think our crappy rented garden knows how much I hate it.

shovetheholly Tue 23-Jun-15 11:49:37

My best guesses

- I think you may be onto something with the acidity. Have you done a soil pH test? Might be worth it. If it's too alkaline, you could bung them into containers of ericaceous compost and see if that helps.
- However, you say that your water is soft, and that normally goes with acid soil - so perhaps it's the 'shock' of moving from one soil to another? When I (medium soft water, acid soil) swap plants with my father (very hard water, neutral soil) they sometimes sulk for a bit.
- they've been too dry - water stress can cause the blossom to drop (but you sound careful, so I'm guessing not this)
- temperature and tolerance of the specific varieties you have. Blueberries are a bit sensitive: they like a certain amount of winter cold and won't flower if they don't get enough chill hours, but too much cold and they also fail! Normally in the UK it's OK though. Where are you?

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