Author Topic: Permaculture - Blueberry guild  (Read 3067 times)

Offline GryphonsClaw

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Permaculture - Blueberry guild
« on: June 03, 2011, 12:40:32 PM »
What are good guild plants for blueberries?  I was thinking Wintergreen for acidity, Strawberry for another fruit ground cover and Clover for nitrogen. 
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Offline spartan

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Re: Permaculture - Blueberry guild
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2011, 02:41:44 PM »
As blueberries are very shallow rooted, you may want to look for something with a root system that will move into a different soil horizon and not compete for the same surface nutrients.  For that reason, I wouldn't necessarily use strawberries in the root zone of the blueberries.  Clover is a good choice though and you might consider comfrey as a nutrient accumulator and green fertilizer.

If you have any pine trees or other large evergreens on your property, you can also plant the blueberries near them, on the sun side.  The needles from evergreens are good mulches for blueberries and yield a more acidic soil, especially if well established, and the drip line of the tree can help to provide additional water to the blueberries.
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Offline Greywolf27

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Re: Permaculture - Blueberry guild
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2011, 03:40:08 PM »
As blueberries are very shallow rooted, you may want to look for something with a root system that will move into a different soil horizon and not compete for the same surface nutrients.  For that reason, I wouldn't necessarily use strawberries in the root zone of the blueberries.  Clover is a good choice though and you might consider comfrey as a nutrient accumulator and green fertilizer.

If you have any pine trees or other large evergreens on your property, you can also plant the blueberries near them, on the sun side.  The needles from evergreens are good mulches for blueberries and yield a more acidic soil, especially if well established, and the drip line of the tree can help to provide additional water to the blueberries.

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Offline GryphonsClaw

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Re: Permaculture - Blueberry guild
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2011, 10:16:39 PM »
Thank you for the reply.  I will try some comfrey, I was thinking of getting some for around my apple trees. I've never grown comfrey.  Do i just chop and drop it? 

I really only have two small pines on this part of the property so I was going to plant close them.  That is why I was hoping the winter green would help. I also am going to use a pine bark mulch.
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Adam

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Offline spartan

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Re: Permaculture - Blueberry guild
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2011, 10:51:35 PM »
I potted all of my comfrey root cutting in some small pots and tended them into something suitable for transplanting, which took a week for the larger more vigorous ones, 2 weeks for the smaller.  By that point the roots were very well developed and easy to transplant.  Even with the recent monsoon like weather followed by a short heat wave they've all survived very well, including the ones still in waiting for a new home.  It's one of the easiest plants I've dealt with to propagate, but by the same turn is also notoriously hard to get rid of. 

Though it seems to grow in many soil conditions, given a supply of nitrogen it can be a heavy feeder, so be prepared to deliver some animal manure or diluted urine throughout the year.  A bit pesky at times, the other benefits make it worthwhile: excellent mulch, compost activator (it has a low C:N ration reported, variously, as 9:1, 10:1, or 14:1), liquid fertilizer, and as an additive to a home-made potting mix.
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Offline MyBookie

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Re: Permaculture - Blueberry guild
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2011, 12:35:23 PM »
I put comfrey around most of my fruit trees this year and it is doing amazingly.  I bought the roots of the bocking 14 variety so it doesn't spread like wildfire.  Have strawberries near, but not too close to my blueberries. Also winterberry and cranberry.

Offline endurance

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Re: Permaculture - Blueberry guild
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2011, 02:51:20 PM »
Around here, gooseberry is a native companion to both pines and the berries.  A nitrogen fixer that also produces a berry.  I believe Goumi berries are also nitrogen fixers.
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