Apart from being truly delicious, plump and juicy blueberries are also rich in nutrients, vitamins, and fibers. They are also great antioxidants. The good news is that anyone can grow these blueberries, provided they have the perfect soil conditions. One thing to note, though, is that these blueberries tend to grow slowly.
You may even need to wait for two to three years before starting to get large harvests. It is worth waiting for, though considering how attractive the bushes are, making them great and incredible additions to your garden while waiting for the fruits. You can also keep your blueberries as healthy as possible by applying the best fertilizer to them.
Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Blueberries
Just like many other plants, your blueberries also need proper care and attention to thrive. One way to do so is to nourish them with the help of the best fertilizer. Find the best fertilizer for your blueberries with these key factors in mind:
If you are growing blueberries, then note that the best fertilizer for them is one in which the NPK ratio has higher nitrogen content. The reason is that nitrogen is known to be the specific element that blueberries positively respond to. In most cases, nitrogen is even the only nutrient needed by the blueberries. They seldom need potassium and phosphorus.
Just make sure that the nitrogen-rich fertilizer you choose for the blueberries does not have nitrates, such as calcium nitrate and chloride. The reason is that such nitrates tend to kill these plants. If you already have well-established blueberry plants, then the ideal NPK would be around 10-5-5. This ratio is ideal as it properly feeds the plants while retaining the right pH level.
Check the nutrients in the fertilizer, too. Ensure that they supply your blueberries with all the nutrients they need. For instance, these plants are vulnerable to being deficient in magnesium and iron, so go for a fertilizer with a sufficient amount of such minerals. Observe the leaves of the blueberries, too. If they become reddish yellow, then it is highly likely that they are deficient in magnesium.
Choose a blueberry fertilizer that contains safe ingredients, too. Avoid those containing toxic and harsh chemicals as gradually yet continuously exposing the plants to them may cause them to be unable to grow well. These toxic chemicals may also negatively harm the texture of the soil.
Pick a fertilizer with organic ingredients. Among the safest organic ingredients present in the formulation are coffee grounds, bone meal, powdered seaweed, and fish meal. When looking for fertilizer, look for one with such ingredients and with no chemicals.
When looking for a blueberry fertilizer, consider buying one that does not require too frequent applications. For instance, go for the slow-release fertilizer, which is capable of releasing its strength to the ground slowly. What is great about this type of fertilizer is that its potency can also last the entire season.
You may also invest in a fertilizer readily available in spikes. This type is one that just involves installing it on the ground. The good thing about it is that it has ingredients that the roots can briskly and quickly absorb, thereby promoting healthy growth.
When and How to Fertilize?
Once you have chosen the perfect fertilizer for your blueberries, it is time to understand the perfect time to fertilize it. It would be best for you to apply the fertilizer during the spring before the growth of their leaves. A wise tip is to apply the fertilizer both in the early and the late spring as such can produce better growth results.
If your blueberries are still young, less than one year old, specifically, then wait to witness new growth before the application of the fertilizer. It often happens when the first spring comes. Note that you do not need to put any fertilizer until you are one hundred percent sure that the plant grows actively.
Remember that fertilizer for blueberries is counterproductive when you apply it before the plants are ready. You have to observe whether there are indeed signs of growth before doing so.
Once the blueberry bush is already two years old, you can invest in an acid-formulating fertilizer. This can help a lot in maintaining the pH level of the soil. You may want to use organic ones. You can also choose a fertilizer dedicated to plants that love acid, such as azalea.
It also helps to use a fertilizer containing iron or sulfur, which contributes to maintaining the needed acidic pH of the fruit. Remember that these plants are extremely sensitive, though, so be extra careful not to overfertilize them. Stick to the instructions and dosage indicated in the package.
If the plant is still so young, put the fertilizer below the drip line. Since this is the time when you are still establishing the plant, it is also the specific spot where you can find the majority of its feeder roots.
After the plants go beyond the third year, you can start spreading the chosen fertilizer around and under the bushes. It is necessary in ensuring that all the roots of the plants receive the nutrients they need.