acidify soil after planting blueberries?

I planted 6 blueberry plants today, in a hedge along the south side of my house. My experience with blueberries comes from planting a couple of plants back in the middle 80's. Both died, because our underlying bedrock is limestone, and we have a pH of around 7.5
I figured I'd get some aluminum sulphate, elemental sulphur, or ammonium sulphate. Trouble is, none of the garden centers, big stores or home improvement centers around here seem to carry any of these. Many of them have bags of lime, however, which I can't figure out why anybody around here would use. (soil is already naturally alkaline)
I've tried K-mart, Kroger, Lowe's, Home Depot, Meijer.
Can anyone recommend a chain store that carries one of these? Little garden centers around here are no longer in business.
Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Can you ask a store to order elemental sulfur for you? The sulfur you put on NOW, will affect next year's crop. Is there an university Ag. extension, or master gardeners in your phone book, that you could ask where to buy elemental sulfur? Potatoes are like blueberries in their pH needs, and it seems most vegetables like the soil, a little on the acidic side, so it seems like a reasonable thing for a garden center to carry. Worse comes to worse, order it on the internet, and then keep pushing your local gardening centers to carry it. Try Home Despot <http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?jspSto reDir=hdus&catalogId053&productId0606947&navFlow=3&keyword=sulfur&l angId=-1&searchRedirect=sulfur&storeId051&endecaDataBean=com.homedepot .sa.el.wc.integration.endeca.EndecaDataBean%405bd411b2&ddkey=Search> They should be able to deliver it to the store.
--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Here is a link to the Ag. extension offices in the US. http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/index.html
It's a good idea to start with them. They have the best information about your area. Looks like Ohio has an office in every county. If there are any farms in your area, look for a farm store. The extension agent would know if there are any.
--
USA
North Carolina Foothills
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

"Espoma 'Garden Sulfur'". Here's an image from the Lowes web site: http://www.lowes.com/pd_207722-1321-GSUL5_4294935970_4294937087?productId024117     Of course, your post begs the question, "If you knew about the pH, then why didn't you prepare your planting site? Backfilling your planting holes with pure pine bark or peat moss would have suited your blueberries just fine. Blueberry culture is identical to azalea culture or citrus culture. Commercial growers feed azalea fertilizer blends to blueberries which, along with citrus blends, contains acidifying constituents.     If you need to acidify your blueberries quickly, I suggest diluted vinegar. Dilute and appy 1/4 cup of standard otc distilled vinegar in 2 gal of water on 24 sq ft. Try to keep if off leaves. For my small beds, a simple 2-gal. watering can works well. Vinegar has several advantages: Quick effect; low "proof" so that you don't "overdo" and that may be applied frequently; contains no potentially harmful minerals or salts. Sulfur is a secondary nutrient needed to form proteins but sulfur residues and salts are not necessarily beneficial to plants and/or soil-dwelling organisms. Personally, I apply sulfur only as ferrous sulfate and then very rarely and only for its long-term effects. For fast, short term response, though, I acidify with vinegar and then add liquid chelated iron, if necessary.     I was employed by a small-time commercial blueberry grower in the early part of the last decade. Here in peninsular FL, commercial blueberries are not even planted in the soil but are grown on hilled rows of 100% pine bark. Where I worked, after their annual pruning, the plants receive a top dressing of pine bark, a good healthy annual dose of humic acid and a side of commercial slow-release azalea fertilizer.
--
the Balvenieman
USDA zone 9b, U.S.A. peninsular Florida
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@invalid.net wrote:

I have 3 planted in peat, in my limited space. My second year with them, and have only cut dead branches. Lot of berries for small bushes, at least I'm happy.
Care to say anything about pruning?
Jeff
the

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

hedged with chain saws as soon as possible after their last picking. Used hedge clippers at one time but the chain saws are much faster, noisier, and stinkier. Someone may or may not come along and open up the plants' interiors with actual pruning tools. Doesn't do the plant a lot of good, long term, but it sure does stimulate new growth! Runaways and interior crossing branches are removed throughout the year and, after bud differentiation, so are vegetative canes. During the first 3-4 years out of the nursery, the plants are pruned only enough to establish good foundations and open, bushy, round plants.     I don't think that blueberry culture in FL's humid two-season climate is exactly the same as it is elsewhere in N.A. but if I were willing to do the dance to grow them in a home garden here I'd prune them very much like azaleas. That is, prune for maximum new growth and as the season progresses remove crossing branches and runaways so as to keep the crown open.
--
the Balvenieman

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
>Of course, your post begs the question, "If you knew about the pH, then >why didn't you prepare your planting site?
A couple of reasons. One, I'm a procrastinator. I hadn't even really decided exactly where I wanted the blueberry plants - I just knew I wanted to try growing some again.
Second, the place I ordered them from said they stopped doing Spring shipping in late April, then resumed in Fall. Since it was past the middle of May, I figured they would send me the plants in the fall, and I had plenty of time to decide where they would go.
Instead, the plants arrived on a busy day, and just before my wife and I planned to leave for 3 days. I was able to dig the holes, place some dehydrated plastic in, and then top dress with composted cow manure. Now I've finally found a local place with aluminum sulfate. Long term, I'll also apply some peat moss and elemental sulfur.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

that are interfering with your possible placement of rain collectors? If so, why not consider moving the hedge enough to make space for your a rainwater storage system? For practical use for more than porch container plants, think in terms of hundreds of gallons.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/20/2010 8:49 PM, Ohioguy wrote:

Although it is not the most effective method, you can work some peat moss into the soil as an interim measure. Here in the northern suburbs of Chicago, we have similar issues with stores. I can still find what I need in nearby nurseries. Have you tried those?
Sherwin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.