Very often the medium in which the plant grows is the cause of problems with the root system. So you need to be aware of this in order to avoid trouble.
The Blue spruce likes a well-drained and loose soil with some nutrients. To get such a substrate, mix the native soil with 2-3 buckets of soil conditioner in the planting hole before planting.
That was a brief summary of Blue Spruce’s soil requirements. Next, I will tell you in more detail what types of soil it can tolerate and how to improve the soil if it is not suitable. Also, be sure to check out the article How to Maintain a Blue Spruce.
How do you prepare Blue spruce soil?
To prepare the soil for Blue Spruce, you will need 2-3 buckets of soil conditioner. Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball of the spruce. Mix the resulting soil with the soil conditioner, this is the best soil for Blue Spruce.
The prepared soil will be enough for the spruce to get it off to a good start. Once it has established itself, the roots will penetrate into the native soil and everything will be fine.
Always use only components from proven suppliers. The soil conditioner should be free of diseases and pests.
Also, compost works well as a soil amendment. You can even make your own. Use only parts of healthy plants as raw material.
Avoid making compost from kitchen scraps and animal materials. Also, the composting should be done with air access to all layers of raw material.
Blue spruce prefers slightly acidic soil. That is, the soil should have a pH of 6.5-6.8. Also, small deviations from this recommendation are possible. As a result, the tree will absorb all the minerals from the soil and develop properly.
Most soils are neutral and suitable for the successful cultivation of this kind of spruce. But there are some unsuitable soils. So you have to check your soil if you want to do the right thing.
The easiest way to find out the pH of your soil is to buy a test kit from a home improvement center. Or get an electronic device that measures this parameter.
If your soil has a pH well above 7.0 you need to lower it a bit as this can cause the needles to turn yellow. Use aluminum sulfate or garden sulfur to increase the acidity. You can buy them at a garden center.
Peat also reduces alkalinity. It can be used as a soil improver before planting. Or you can mulch the spruce with compost, which will also lower the pH, although not as quickly as other remedies.
If the soil is very acidic, you should use garden lime to reduce the acidity or make the soil neutral.
Clay soil is one of the most common on the planet. If your yard is not pure clay but loam, you have nothing to worry about. It is the right substrate.
If it is still very clayey, you need to improve it with organic matter to make it more drainable and nutritious. How to do this I have described in the first chapter.
In addition, you need to do drainage under the spruce planting site. Just pour half a bucket of stones at the bottom of the planting hole and then plant. This is especially important if you have a high water table.
Also, be sure to divert all surface water flows away from the place where the spruce grows. This can be water from the roof, etc.
Don’t forget to feed the Blue Spruce because the clay is not very nutritious. Apply a slow-release fertilizer in early spring. You can use a multi-purpose fertilizer.
Blue spruce may not grow well in sandy soil. The problem is that sandy soil does not hold water well and is very poor in nutrients. So if you have this type of soil you need to improve it.
Sandy soil can be improved with the same organic matter. In this case, compost is better suited. Just add 1-2 buckets to the planting hole.
Besides compost, a little clay soil can be added to the sandy soil. This will make the substrate a little bit moist and will have a positive effect in dry weather.
As with clay soil, sandy soil needs to be fertilized at least once a year or the spruce will grow slowly. It is also possible to water with liquid fertilizer in mid-summer.
Be sure to mulch sandy soil with at least 2 inches of pine bark to avoid quick drying out in the summer.