Questions from a Lurker

Hello all. I have been lurking in this group for about a month and have a few simple questions. I am planing to grow blue-berries. I have a place to put them that gets full sun until late afternoon, and is on the upper side of a spring house so watering isn't a problem. My question is, what should I do to the area before I put them in? Deep till? Manure? What do blue-berries like? Also along the west-facing side of my house I have several vertical pipes about ten feet apart.(2" pipes) I am trying to keep an edible landscape, so anyone have any ideas for a hearty climbing vine that doesn't need much direct sun? I thought about scarlet runner beans, but I'm not sure how well they would do in a shaded area. Plus I have grown them before and didn't really consider them too edible. TIA for any and all advice.
Wrench
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Depends somewhat on your location. All Blueberries require a low pH ( 4.5 -5.5) and a loose friable soil. Good planting holes are a must. If your pH is too high it can be brought down with sulphur. Leaf mold compost is ideal for improving the quality of the soil. They are not heavy feeders so use fertilizer ( even cow manure ) sparingly. They also need to be mulched. Pine straw is excellent. If you are USDA zone 6 or lower you can use the typical cultivars found in seed and nursery catalogs. USDA zone 7 or higher you will need rabbiteyes or southern highbush cultivars.> so anyone have any ideas for a hearty climbing vine

As for a climbing vine with edible fruit, you might try regular pole beans (P vulgaris) if you prefer the showy blossoms of P. Coccineus then there are several newer cultivar of the runner beans that are better than Scarlet Runner, Painted Lady (pink and white varigated blossom) and Goliath ( scarlet blossom) come to mind. If you can use a perennial, perhaps grapes or kiwi can fit the bill. of course there are lots of other options.
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you never manure blueberries, and if you do you will make them sick. Wood ash is much worse. I suggest acid forming organic material, plus ammonium sulfate if they are too brown. To my blueberries I give wood chips, coffee grounds and leaves. A mixture of wood chips and coffee grounds is probably close to ideal (you could also inject such mixture with mushroom spawn, such as oyster, and they will lov it. But it needs to be shaded within one year to be really productive). If you put the organic material on top it will take a while for the soil to change the pH to the <5 levels blueberries need.

If you don't mind the vines taking over the house, try hardy kiwis. It will take them 6 years to fruit, but they are pretty plants, hardy, and very vigorous. The variety kolomikta is a lot less vigorous and more beatiful, so kolomikta may be your ticket (it will still cover the side of your house). The fruits are among the best tasting ones but don't keep as well as the fuzzy kiwis. If you are in Zone 4-7 you could also consider schizandra (Chinese magnolia).

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On 22 Jan 2004 10:24:11 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (simy1) wrote:

do you know of a source for hearty kiwis??
I tried several online searches, and a few online catalogs, but could not find anything.....
email: dallyn_spam at yahoo dot com please respond in this NG so others can share your wisdom as well!
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Dave Allyn wrote:

A good homemade soup might be hearty but a plant that can survive a fairly harsh winter is hardy. The 2 words are not interchangeable. Just a little pet peeve of mine but, more importantly, the mistake is probably the reason your online search didn't find anything.
Steve
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AHHHH!!!!!!! (is the room brighter?? the light just went on.! :)
thanks!!
email: dallyn_spam at yahoo dot com please respond in this NG so others can share your wisdom as well!
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Dave Allyn wrote:

A good homemade soup might be hearty but a plant that can survive a fairly harsh winter is hardy. The 2 words are not interchangeable. Just a little pet peeve of mine but, more importantly, the mistake is probably the reason your online search didn't find anything.
Steve (Possible double post... computer messed up first send attempt)
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Steve wrote:

Yep. The first showed up as soon as the 2nd one went out. ;-(
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(simy1) wrote:

Edible Landscaping has them, many varieties.

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wrote:

What part of the world you in? Alkaline or acid soil? I spent a lot of money this past year getting soil moved and dug out a trench, mixed in peatmoss and sandy soil and mixed in some sulphur attempting to turn alkaline soil acid enough to keep them alive.
I'm hoping to get friends to bring home pine needles to mulch the plants with because they need acidity.
However, after reading that they're bothered by both codling moths and cherry fruit fly, if I'd read that first, I'd have not planted them as the neighbors have apples and cherry trees and I don't think they're practicing any kind of sanitation, as in picking up fallen fruit to deny the insects a place to complete their life cycles, at least here!
I came to the conclusion for my area and the way people buy apple trees and plant them thinking they'll be able to go out and pluck perfect fruit from their trees, and then when they realize they get buggy, they ignore them and they're forever providing banquets for codling moth larvae so I don't think I can grow much that is a target for them, as I don't want to spray the fruit either. I figure if I want spray on my fruit, I can let the professionals use it! I grow peach trees, so long as they do well and avoid the borer moths, as the fruit doesn't get too wormy, maybe one or two in odd years have a worm in them. Biggest problem has been with house finches and other such birds pecking the fruit to the pit in the spots that ripen first. But blueberries, I think they're going to need their own screen house like I used to see on The Victory Garden before it got all yuppified. I liked it when it was actually about growing food.. that's what Victory Gardens ARE! Now it's 350,000 dollar back yard electronic controlled greenhouses so they can grow orchids. While that's nice, it's not exactly in keeping with the Victory Garden theme. Unless they're vanilla orchids and they're going to make their own vanilla extract! LOL ;-)
I'll shaddup now! .. maybe.. sorta.. hope your blueberry dreams are better than mine are likely to be ..mine are likely going to be nightmares! And food crops generally like 6 hours minimum sunlight, so in shady areas you'll just grow an invitation for aphids and fungus as far as any food stuff vines that I know of. Malabar spinach maybe it's a warm weather spinach substitute, and a vine, but I think it's may need help in the climb.
*NOW* I'll shaddup :-D
Janice
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Snipped>

.. hope your blueberry dreams are

I grow both Rabbiteyes and Southern high bush. They are amazingly insect free. I have to share a few with the mockingbirds but thats about it. We have codling moths but they have never bothered a blueberry. Don't have cherries so I can't speak to that but apple , pear, plum and peach pests don't bother the blueberries.
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