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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Blueberry companion plants?

Blueberry companion plants?

Jesse S.
user 29709632
Harrison, ME
Post #: 99
My experience has been that sweet fern is hard to transplant.
David Spahr
Comptonia (sweet fern) can be propagated easily by root cuttings during late fall/early winter dormancy. Replant two 4" root cuttings in an 'x' in a pot or in ground, and come springtime they'll resprout.
I've observed low bush blueberry growing alongside comptonia in wild settings, and those plants just seemed happy together. Comptonia is a valuable plant for it's many uses and role in the landscape, regenerating fertility in harsh or stressed areas. Another one I observe in wild blueberry fields is native aronia bushes-a 'superberry'.
A tree layer might be worth considering as well, white pine of course would be a native that pairs well, or the cold hardy nut pines like Korean or others. Maybe alder or willow could be good with the highbush, I see these in similar wettish areas.
Tyler O.
TylerOmand
Greenbush, ME
Post #: 29
I have wild strawberry, yarrow, clover, vetch, violet, and sweet fern that came in naturally as ground cover in our north patch of low and high bush blueberries, where we also have a couple "viking" aronia, a couple apples and pears with comfrey planted. We planted strawberries (dynamic accumulator of iron which blueberries love, likes acid soil), rhubarb (another great source of iron and makes a great mulch, acid soil tolerant), autumn olive seedlings(for nitrogen fixation and possibly edible berries high in lycopene / perhaps eventual hardy rootstock for goumi, acid soil tolerant), siberian pea shrub (for nitrogen fixation and fodder, acid soil tolerant), sea buckthorn (for nitrogen fixation and edible berries high in fatty acids. likes acidic soil), with a cover crop of peas, vetch, and oats in between as quick growing biomass mulch as companions to the highbush blueberries that we planted in hugel swales which have a few large white pines hangin over them a bit from the north for acid mulch and with a few existing 4"-8" red oaks for eventual partial overstory and because in eastern North America, other members of the Ericaceae family often grow in association with an oak canopy, in a type of ecology known as an oak-heath forest. Also it is worth noting that ericaceous plants like blueberry, azalea, rhododendron, and heathers form associations with ericoid mycorrhizal fungi, and pines, firs, oaks, hazelnut and birch form associations with ectomycorrhizal fungi. So as well as the companion plants you want companion microbes and may want to visit a natural environment in your area where blueberries are thriving and take a handful soil sample from ten or so spots within that area and mix them together and bring them home and brew up some aerated compost tea with it and add it to the transplant hole with granite dust, kelp meal, and some rock phosphate to get the party started.
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