Thursday, March 15th, 2012...12:00 am

5 Fruit-Bearing Shrubs that do Best in Acidic Soil

Our Blueberry Bush by martinrstone

When you plant your garden, the first thing you should do is have the soil tested. The test will include the soil pH of the area of your garden where you want to plant. The pH is a scale from 0 through 14. From 0 to below 7, the soil is acidic. Above 7 the soil is alkaline. 7 is the neutral range where most plants will grow. Those soils that fall in the middle range can be changed a bit with soil amendments to make them more acidic or alkaline. To understand pH check out this site.

TheGardenLady gets soil kits that are sold through the Master Gardener office or county agricultural extension office because I believe they do the most comprehensive testing. Of course you can buy soil testing kits and do it yourself. The results of the extension’s test tell you what your soil type is and what amendments you need to get the garden soil ready for the type of plants you want to grow. Soil pH affects the solubility of minerals or nutrients that in turn affects the plant’s growth.

If you use the Master Gardener or extension soil test kits, after you receive your test results you can go to the Master Gardener or extension office to have them explain your test results and they will give you free advice on amending your soil to make your soil meet the soil pH requirements the plants need. You can amend soil that is in the neutral pH range but you should know that there is a limit to how much you can change the soil pH. If your soil is very alkaline, it is expensive and not practical to change the soil pH to make it acidic.

If you know that your soil is acidic below are five fruit-bearing plants that do best in acidic soil:

Blueberries, especially High Bush blueberries, do the best when grown in acid soil ( a pH of 4.0 to 5.0 or maybe 5.2 ) There are blueberries that will grow in Hardiness temperature zones 3 to 9. Blueberries are such lovely plants that today they can be considered for use in the landscape.

Raspberry Bush by The Adventures of…

Raspberries like a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 and perhaps 6.2 . All you might want to know about growing raspberries can be found at this site.

Blackberries like a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5, which is very similar to raspberry soil pH requirements.

Apple trees want a pH of 5 to 6.5.  Warning. Many horticulturists do not recommend raising apple trees in the home garden because of the extensive need for pesticides to control the many apple tree pests and diseases. If you do want to grow apple trees, look for those that are the MOST disease resistant.

Grapes, a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 to maybe 7, is workable for most grape cultivars.  However, a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5 is preferred. Here’s an excellent site that will tell you what you need to know about grape growing.

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