Adaptability of Blueberry Species to Various Soil Types: II. Leaf and Soil Analysis

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Author: R.F. Korcak1
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  • 1 Agricultural Research Center, Agricultral Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD 20705


A range of soils, with or without the addition of peatmoss, and seedlings of blueberry progenies were used in an outdoor pot study to examine the adaptability of blueberries to upland soil conditions with controlled fertilizer additions and trickle irrigation. Blueberry progenies ranged from essentially pure highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) to interspecific hybrids containing varying amounts of evergreen (V. darrowi Camp), lowbush (V. angustifolium Aiton), black highbush (V. atrococcum Heller), and rabbiteye (V. ashei Reade) blueberry germplasm. The soils represented the 3 physiographic regions of the eastern United States with Berryland sand used as a comparative control. Leaf analysis for N, P, K, Ca, and Mg showed significant effects of soil, but no consistent effect of peatmoss addition or fertilizer source in the 2 years of the experiment. There were significant differences among progenies. Foliar Fe, B, Al, Zn, and Cu concentrations varied independent of soil material, progeny, or fertilizer source. Leaf Mn was significantly increased from solid 10N-4P-8K fertilizer and a significant soil by progeny interaction existed. Those progenies containing some V. angustifolium tended to have increased foliar Mn levels. The reduced vigor of the blueberry progenies grown on soils other than the Berryland sand was tentatively ascribed to induced nutrient imbalances, involving Ca, Fe, and Mn, possibly being governed by soil cation exchange capacity and organic matter reactivity.

Contributor Notes

Soil Scientist.

Received for publication 21 Jan. 1986. Mention of a trademark, proprietary product, or vendor does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the product by the USD A and does not imply its approval to the exclusion of other products that may also be suitable. The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper therefore must be hereby marked advertisement solely to indicate this fact.