Saturday, April 3, 2010

Garden Project: Hedgerow

As mentioned in an earlier post, I want to plant a hedgerow this year.

I am only half joking when I say I am not exactly sure what a hedgerow is, but I like the sound of the word. I do know that hedgerows contain shrubs or small tree that product fruit or berries and so are great for wildlife.

My hedgerow will be an important source of fruit for wildlife and humans. It is where I will plant my blueberries. In addition, I also intend to plant winter berry, and possibly some viburnum. I have a 50 foot long space, which sounds like a lot, but, when planting bushes that can grow 8 - 10 feet wide, I suddenly realized that this is not that much space.

I had hoped to plant my blueberries last fall, but failed to get my act together in time. Specifically, I did not get a soil test. I continued to procrastinate, but finally got around to sending it off a couple of weeks ago. I got the results back last week.

The thing I was most concerned about was the soil pH. Blueberries need acidic soil (between 4-6.5 pH). I did not think my soil would be acidic enough, but the soil test came back spot on - the pH was 5.3. This is also good for the winter berries. I think the reason the soil is so acidic is that this area is right next to some pines, so there is a lot of pine needles on the ground. Whatever the reason, I am happy.

The area I had tested is a low spot on the property. To describe it as a swale would be an exaggeration, but it is sort of a baby swale. Unfortunately, after getting my test results back, I read that blueberries don't like to have wet feet. What? I thought they liked boggy areas. In fact, I specifically picked this spot for them because it is the dampest area on my property (which is not saying much). Then I read in other books and on other sites they like wet soils.

Argh! This is why I get so paralyzed! Which source to believe?

I have agonized about this for the last several days and finally decided that I am going ahead with my plans. Hopefully it will work out.

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