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Last year I planted three 1-year-old blueberry bushes in my back yard in clay soil and I've added several inches of mulch and soil amendments, but have a feeling that they won't do well in clay soil long term. If I keep adding organic material/mulch and work on the acidity with amendments, could they do well long term? Or should I make plans to transplant them at some point? Is clay soil too compact for blueberries to do well? I was thinking of moving them into a mound of sandier acidic soil? -- I'm in (Minneapolis, MN USA) Zone 4 for reference.

  • Sandy soil is often more acidic than clay soil. We've tried blueberries in compact clay-ish soil, with poor results every time, but we didn't really do anything to the soil, either. They generally lived up to three years, struggling the entire time. I imagine you could have much better results if you add organic matter and acidify. Sandy soil is probably going to be easier to deal with. – Shule Mar 21 '18 at 7:39
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You should fertilize and acidify soil every year. On a clay soil, acidophile plants have more difficult to get nutrients.

I'm not happy also with my blueberries (also on clay soil). Having made a huge hole, and filled with peat allowed me to have many blueberries, but the same plants on an acid soil should have give me a huge amount of them. But it seems that they can still give my blueberries on long term.

I'm still thinking if a very large pot were a better solution.

  • Well if the clay is compacted you have a large pot in effect – Graham Chiu Mar 21 '18 at 4:18
  • @Graham Chiu So that confirms what I suspected. Sounds like I need to prepare the soil in another area and transplant them so they can survive long term. I'm in it for the long haul so I gotta do this right the first time. Today is the first day of spring in Minnesota. Do you think transplanting 2 year-old plants is a bad idea? Maybe I should let them go another growing season and transplant them after? – Mark Witmer Mar 21 '18 at 14:33
  • @GrahamChiu: pots are not just clay, but some oily substance, to keep clay together, on dry and on wet conditions. When it is wet, also clay is wet, pots only on one side. But it is an interesting observation. – Giacomo Catenazzi Mar 21 '18 at 14:43
  • @MarkWitmer: you can transplant it. Now it is the best period (try not to touch roots (so keep soil attached to roots)). Bad acidity is worst then transplanting. BTW some people put plastic in the hole, to make a real insulated pot, but: the hole need to be large, and there is need of some draining, which could mean on most clay soil, to just let enter clay from the bottom. – Giacomo Catenazzi Mar 21 '18 at 14:47

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