Blueberries or mint?

For weeks, I’ve been meaning to dig up the mint which has been swamping the blueberry bush. Now, I think the moment has past.

After finally sowing the sweet cicely seeds (kept a few aside to sow separately in case the ones in the ground fail) I got from Old Sleningford Farm last autumn, I felt inclined to carry on with some gardening. So, I had a look at the mint and saw that new shoots were coming through.

On balance, I think it would be best to leave the mint to continue growing now. Blueberries are great but they are hardly a native species. They are also more fickle. On the other hand, mint is native to Europe and it clearly isn’t as fussy, even if it didn’t produce the best leaves last year.

Another reason for leaving the mint be is that if it is growing now, I can pick it now. Just what I need for a little treat… I’ve been drinking dried lemon balm till it comes out my ears over the last few months and I feel I need a change.

Besides, I did get a handful of blueberries last year and would have eaten more if I had taken the trouble to rummage through the mint. Instead, I guess the birds had a small treat!


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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11 Responses to Blueberries or mint?

  1. carolee says:

    I’ve always been told that blueberries can’t tolerate weed competition beneath them, and I would think that “greedy for food and moisture” mint would be tough competition. Will be interesting to see how it unfolds in future. Keep us posted.

  2. Mint is good, as long as it is controlled, which I am sure you do.

  3. There are different kinds of blueberry bushes. I think you need to ask at a plant shop. It might be that you just needed to fertilize it. The blue berry bushes in our area are really short and they are often found in heather patches or with thick moss.

  4. You are so right about blueberries .. I find them very difficult to grow!

  5. mortaltree says:

    I usually chop my mint down for mulch anyway. Perhaps you would get the best of both worlds -tea and sun for your blueberry, by cutting the mint down before it gets too tall and drying it as you do with the lemon balm. If there’s more than you could use for tea, it does make good mulch, which would make the blueberry happy.

    I was in fact enlightened on the ‘ blueberries love acid soil ‘ mantra a few years ago by a client who is a world renown soil scientist: Blueberries actually just want high levels of nutrients -potassium in particular. As this nutrient is more mobile in acid soils than in alkaline, blueberries will grow better in acid soil. Their native situation though, is high organic matter, with lots of nutrients. For instance, many blueberry species come from upper canada, where organic matter accumulates quickly, but slowly burns up. The soil is of course very reocky and mineral rich. Here in the US we in fact import many minerals from the rich deposits up there. Most people either lack the organic matter or the mineral nutrients to make blueberries happy, so just go for acidifying the soil to make the little nutrients they have more mobile.

    • Helen says:

      Thanks for the info, Luke. I will give chopping the old stalks down and using them to mulch the blueberry bush. My soil, fortunately, is neutral but being sandy the nutrients leach from it very quickly.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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