Q: I have a horrible problem with clay soil (or should I call it ceramic?) soil. I want to transplant some blueberries and crepe myrtles into holes that have been dug but water seems to just sit in the bottom. A nursery suggested that I dig the holes a little deeper and fill the bottom with gravel. I bought crushed marble but was thinking that it might change the pH in the soil, which wouldn’t be good for the acid-loving blueberries. Will the marble change the pH? If so, should I use something else?
A: The marble chips won’t change the pH of the soil above them but I think there is a different solution altogether. Since blueberries prefer acid soil, just dig a five foot wide hole twelve inches deep and mix in composted wood chips (Nature’s Helper, Clay Buster, etc) at a 3:1 (soil:amendment) ratio. The hole contains close to eighteen cubic feet of soil so you would mix six cubic feet of amendment with the earth. Plant the blueberries in the resulting mound and they will prosper, well above the sodden surrounding soil .