Planting blueberry plants can lead to the most rewarding fruit that you can grow in your garden. You can find many common varieties, like Rabbiteye, which is ideal for southern regions of the USA.
Blueberries are great for an individual’s health because they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients.
Producing juicy berries is difficult as the development of those tasty fruits and plants use large amounts of water and nutrients.
Successful blueberry planting and growth requires care and attention. By applying the appropriate level of fertilizer, you can help your berry bushes reach their maximum potential.
Maximize the health of your blueberry bushes to resist insect and disease infestation, as well as increase your harvest. (Learn What are the Differences Between Fruits And Vegetables)
In our guide, you can learn more about Blueberry bushes fertilizer and how to make sure you are fertilizing Blueberries in the right amount and at the correct times when planting.
What is the best fertilizer for blueberries?
Blackberries will respond very well to any nitrogen-rich fertilizers. However, blueberries are a bit fussier and require urea nitrogen-based fertilizer like cottonseed meal, ammonium sulfate, and so on.
Fertilizer that is effective on acidic soil loving plants like azaleas and rhododendrons can also help blueberries.
Generally, planting blueberries does not require much fertilizer, but one nutrient they need in abundance is nitrogen.
In their natural wooded habitats, blueberry bushes receive plenty of nourishment through organic matter that finds its way onto the ground.
Substances such as decaying plants, animal bones, and leaves make the soil rich in organic matter, which blueberries need to be healthy.
At home, the leaves that tumble from trees during the fall season can be crushed and worked into the topsoil around the blueberry bushes with a hand or soil rake.
Pine straw or wood chips can also be worked into the soil for the added organic matter if you happen to have any on hand.
A 3-inch-thick layer of leaves or sawdust promotes a healthy blueberry bush. The organic matter can be applied annually in the springtime after the first new growth.
Avoid a nitrate form of nitrogen on blueberries since nitrates are shown to be toxic for blueberry plants.
What Do You Feed Blueberry Bushes?
If a blueberry bush is healthy and produces fruits, you don’t need to fertilize blueberry plants. In most cases, a blueberry plant will thrive without too much additional fertilization or added soil nutrients. (Find the Best Fertilizer For Trees And Shrubs)
However, fertilizing is best in early spring before leaf growth begins.
The fertilizer has time to be absorbed by the roots of your blueberry bushes before the growing season.
You can feed new plants one time during the early spring, then late spring. If you have a healthy and established plant, it shouldn’t need fertilizer applications more than once per year.
Are Use Coffee Grounds Good for Blueberry Bushes?
You can look at this from two sides. Gardeners who advocate coffee granules aren’t wrong when granules are full of soil-friendly nutrients like nitrogen.
In most instances, adding organic material to your soil is suitable for the garden because bacteria feed on it to break it down and produce more nutrients.
However, with coffee-grounds, you need to take caution. Coffee grounds are highly acidic, and although they can be used on acid-loving plants such as azaleas and blueberries, if soil is high in nitrogen, any extra boost from coffee grounds can stunt the new growth of fruits and flowers.
To find out if they are suitable for your garden, you need to check how high soil pH levels are where your blueberry bushes grow.
You can easily purchase a soil pH testing kit to do this yourself. The optimal pH for blueberries is 4.5 to 5.1.
If the soil has a pH over 5.1, you need to acidify soils for blueberry bushes with additives like lime and sulfur.
You can find an easier alternative to acidify soil for your blueberry bushes health.
- Mix 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of plain white vinegar
- Spray the soil around your blueberry bushes until the ground is wet yet not saturated.
- Carry out another soil test 12 to 24 hours after vinegar application.
- Repeat until you have the appropriate pH.
How Do You Make Blueberry Fertilizer?
The timing of fertilizer applications comes with plant growth and fruit development—blueberries like small amounts of fertilizer with three individual applications.
- First applied when new growth begins in spring,
- Second application six weeks later.
- The third application just after harvest.
Slow-release nitrogen sources are desirable to stop loss from leaching in irrigation water.
More is not better with nitrogen because too much nitrogen may lead to branching and growth rather than fruit production.
Excess nitrogen can kill your blueberries.
Blueberries take up nutrients through root systems. To apply, begin gently raking the soil in a circle around each plant.
Don’t rake deep in case you damage the roots. Loosen the surface soil for fertilizer incorporation.
Sprinkle your fertilizers around the drip line of your blueberry bush, and then extend one foot outward.
Make sure to never fertilize or mulch right up to the base as it can harm your plants. After spreading fertilizer, gently work it into the soil with your rake.
Once done, water the fertilizer so the nutrients will be readily available.
If your area is already mulched, for any fertilizer to be effective, it is recommended to remove the top few inches of the mulch. Do this in a couple of feet area around your bushes.
Once you apply the fertilizer, you can re-apply your mulch and then water in the fertilizer.
Blueberry fertilizing doesn’t need to be too complicated, and you can make do with organic compost or fertilizer around your home.
If you have new plants growing, then Blueberry fertilization may be more vital in the first couple of years to get the bushes growing fast and established.
Read more: Best Soil Test Kit