Thursday, May 8, 2014

the berry box

Years ago when my kids were small we had a sandbox.  I have been considering what to do with it since it is no longer used and have also been considering adding more fruit to the farm.  Last year I began reading about cranberries as I love craisins in salads and learned that cranberries grow in a part sand/part peat mixture.  I divided the sandbox in two parts and built a little platform in the center as that part of the box would be hard to reach to plant, weed or harvest without climbing into the box.  I moved the little bit of sand that was remaining into the north part of the box for the cranberries and planned to put another fruit in the south U-shaped portion.

Over the course of last summer it became apparent that my efforts to amend the soil in my row of six blueberry plants was not working.  The plants were alive but just barely.  They were not thriving.  they were not increasing in size and although they had a few leaves the leaves were yellow in color.  I used a pH kit to try to see what the pH of the soil was.  I added vinegar and coffee grounds and sulfur with no improvement noted.  I am not sure how long those amendments need in order to cause a change  I bought a pH meter and still my soil was not acidic.

Over the winter I did some reading and video watching about gardening blueberries in containers and began to think about moving my blueberries and decided to put them in the other part of the sandbox.  One of the videos I watched suggested a container mix that was 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 wood bark chips and 1/3 azalea potting mix. Early this spring I began trying to source those products in order to prep the space and hopefully move the blueberries while there were still dormant.  In this post  there is a picture of the sandbox  with its two sides with their special soil mixtures and here is a picture of the planted bed.  Right now I have the sundial sitting on the center platform but I can also picture it with a birdbath or some form of garden art.  It would also be pretty with some potted flowers. 

The cranberries are looking great.  It is hard to tell for sure about the blueberries.  Are they still dormant?  Just starting to notice that it is spring?  There are the brown twigs but also some paler twigs which I am hopeful are new growth.  not having had any successful experience with blueberries I am not sure what to expect.

Got my fingers crossed.


  1. My sister just bought two blueberry plants at Home Depot and put them in the ground. I doubt she'll have success, but she's hopeful. Good luck! We'll have to keep each other posted! :)

  2. I think that sounds like a good idea. I will be anxious to hear how hers do. Maybe she has more naturally acidic soil and won't need to fight with it.