As we know, the blueberry plant need specific nutrient to make them healthier. Many home gardener still has a question what the best fertilizer for blueberries is. Another important thing is when and how to fertilize with a proper method that will not damage the plant.
In this explanation below, you can get the guidance for those question. So you can grow this fruit in your garden, and get fresh, healthy as well as high-quality blueberries.
When To Fertilize Blueberries
The general rule for newly planted is you should not fertilize blueberries until four weeks after planting. And for an established plant, the fertilizer is not necessary if the blueberry plants produce leaves, fruits, and flowers well.
In early spring, you can start to fertilize the plant when it goes into dormancy condition and begins producing leaves. So that the fertilizer have time to penetrate the soil and make it to the roots of the blueberry bush. Add the second dose of fertilizer, when the flower buds appear in May or June.
Type Of The Best Fertilizer For Blueberries
This plant requires high acid soil to be productive and healthy. So it is crucial to make sure that the fertilizer you added will not raise the soil pH. For this purpose, a fertilizer that contains ammonium sulfate or sulfur-coated urea will be a good choice.
Ammonium sulfate tends to lower the pH and become the favorite for most of the gardener in growing blueberry. While urea works well for soil that the pH is naturally lower (under 0.5) since it is not as acidifying as ammonium sulfate. The cost per pound for N in ammonium sulfate is higher than urea. If you try to combine, it will work fine if most of the N is ammonium.
You also can try a type that specially made for acid-loving plants. Although it is not easy to find a ready-made fertilizer that mainly manufactured for blueberry. But don’t worry, it is possible to use a fertilizer formulated for Azaleas. Both plants are closed in term of nutrient requirement and will work just fine. The benefit is you just need to follow the instruction on the label, and no need to worry about the nutrient composition.
Using Organic Fertilizer
Some people prefer to go with organic farming. And blueberry becomes excellent choice because there are not many severe insect and disease for this plant. Supply with natural nutrient is possible for this plant because it just needs a low level of fertilizer compared to other crops.
But again, please only to choose a natural fertilizer that tends to lower the pH. Applying manure is also possible as long as you composted first. To provide nitrogen, you can use blood meal or fish meal. While to provide acidity, sphagnum peat or coffee grounds can be used as an additional component. Some ready-made products are available in the market if you want, for example: Miracle-Go Blood Meal or Espoma CM3 Cottonseed Meal.