Expert Advice

For Bountiful Blueberries, Start with Proper Soil pH

Authored by:

Earth Science

July is National Blueberry Month in the US. Blueberry is a very popular fruit, but it requires some specific soil conditions for success.

Start with the right soil pH

Blueberry plants are hardy shrubs that can produce abundant yields of delicious and nutritious fruit. While blueberry is relatively easy-to-grow and care for when planted in a suitable location and soil, they will never thrive and may fail completely if the soil pH is not in the proper range.

To be successful, blueberries must be planted in strongly acidic soil, with a pH between 4.0 and 5.6. Most soils, even naturally acidic soils, will need to have their pH lowered in order to succeed with blueberries.

Do a soil test

Conducting a soil pH is the best first step to take when planning to plant blueberries. Blueberry plants will quickly begin to show signs of distress and poor growth if planted in soil with a pH that is too high. Soil testing can be done with home test kits or pH meters or by sending a soil sample to a local Cooperative Extension Service office.

Lower soil pH with Sulfur

Elemental sulfur can be used to lower soil pH and make the soil more acidic. Soil pH is reduced when sulfur is broken down by soil bacteria. Because a significant reduction in soil pH may be required before planting blueberries, based on the soil test results, several applications over the course of a growing season may be needed to reduce the soil pH to the range that blueberries require.

Earth Science Fast Acting Sulfur® is pelletized for easy handling. It is made from a blend of elemental sulfur and gypsum, plus our Nutri-Bond polymer. This unique formulation helps to improve soil structure and water infiltration as well as adjusting pH.

For more information on blueberry plants and soil pH, contact us today!