Friday, July 1, 2022

Suitable soils for growing blueberry bushes

Blueberries require a sunny location for full production. Avoid areas surrounded by trees. Trees can provide too much shade, compete with plants for water and nutrients, encourage birds, and interfere with air movement around the plants.

Blueberries have very specific soil requirements. Blueberry plants prefer well-drained, acidic, sandy loam soils with organic matter content greater than 3%. Soils with a clay or silt content greater than 20% are not favorable for growing blueberries. Blueberry plants have a shallow root system and need good drainage to thrive.

Water standing on the soil surface for more than 2 days during the growing season can damage roots. The soil water table should be at least 14 inches below the soil surface, or roots will suffocate.

Coarser soils dry out too easily, and clay soils inhibit root growth and encourage root rot. Muck soils and boggy areas are unsuitable for blueberries unless the high water table is 14 inches or more below the soil surface.

The ideal pH for growing blueberry plants is 4.5. If the organic matter content is high they can tolerate a pH of 3.8 –5.5. When the pH is outside the optimum range for growing blueberry plants acidifying materials will be needed to lower soil pH. Nitrogen and ammonium sulfate fertilizers are used to increase soil acidity. Preparing a site for planting may take several years.
Suitable soils for growing blueberry bushes

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