There are few things more rewarding than growing your own food. Domestic plant growth gives an overwhelming sense of satisfaction while providing some of the healthiest food options you could potentially access. From classic garden foods like tomatoes and green beans to more interesting things like dragonfruit and avocado plants, it seems that more and more people are exploring their options with growing produce and herbs. One very popular option in recent years has to be blueberries (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueberry).
A favorite in smoothies, salads, and just as a quick, simple snack, blueberries are high in antioxidants and are classified as a superfood due to their nutritional impact. They are also rather easy to grow, especially if you have good soil and a quality fertilizer on hand. A fertilizer is a substance that is added to the soil to increase the fertility and growth rate of things planted there. It can be either a chemical commercial product like Miracle-Gro or something simple like crushed eggshells, depending on your desired growth and plant types. Let’s learn a little about fertilizers and discuss some of the best fertilizer for blueberries.
In a nutshell, fertilizers are additive compounds you can place in the soil to either increase the fertility (link) of the area for your crops or replace nutrients taken by previous crop cycles. Fertilizers can be organic or chemically derived and can be a massive beneficial factor in the growth rate and fruit production of most plants, including blueberries. Let’s talk about a few different types of fertilizers and what benefits they potentially pose.
- Highly nourishing
- Designed specifically for berries
- Full lifecycle support
- Wholly organic
- Works for a wide variety of plants
- Easy to use
- Good extended delivery
- Good for pots and freestanding gardens alike
- Kelp Based
- Trusted brand
- Easy to use
- One step
- One application
#1 Fertilizer for Blueberries
Created by Jobe’s Organics to service berry plants specifically by targeting their unique needs, this plant food style fertilizer rapidly breaks down the nutrients in the soil while providing a good system for nutrient absorption within the root system, improving growth and fruit production in the process. This OMRI registered product is suitable for all berry types, including blueberries of all subspecies. Environmentally friendly and safe for pets and humans, this product will not burn the fragile roots of the plant when applied as directed and is designed for easy use in most soil environments for your convenience.
While specifically formulated for seedlings and younger plants, this product is also reported to work well as a general fertilizer for upkeep and maintenance. The ingredients include organic, natural matters like feather meal, bone meal, composted poultry manure, sulfate of potash and various bacteria, endomycorrhizal, ectomycorrhizae, and archaea to help promote overall plant health and fruit production, making it a good fit for most plants of all ages.
Some reviewers do report that the dosage instructions on the packaging are a bit too light for their likings, with one even citing the brand’s customer service representative as stating a stronger dose than the one listed, so be sure to contact customer service if you have any concerns about your dosage strength. It is better to under-fertilize your plants than over, as over-fertilization can result in the roots becoming burned and damaged, which can stunt or even kill the plant and greatly reduce its ability to produce fruit in the long and short-term.
Ammonium Nitrogen fertilizer products contain varying levels of ammonia-based compounds, including ammonium bicarbonate, ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride, and so on. These compounds are easily absorbed into the soil, making it good for plants in the initial growing period and for ongoing maintenance and care.
Please keep in mind that this is not the same ammonia you get from your local department store for cleaning purposes. Ammonia in that form is too volatile and corrosive and can kill your plants. These ammonia compounds have been neutralized in an alkaline solution to only provide the beneficial aspects of the solution, such as boosting production, leaf growth, and nitrogen presence within the soil.
Including compounds such as sodium nitrate, calcium nitrate, and ammonium nitrate, these types of fertilizers work to promote nutrient absorption and enhance organic anion. Vegetables generally take to this type of fertilizer more so than fruits, as do crops like tobacco. This means that while not all plants need a nitrate nitrogen-based fertilizer, some will benefit greatly.
There are, of course, additional types, including phosphorus, that we will touch on more in the rest of this article.
Organic Fertilizers for Blueberries
These are things that are based from organic materials like animal manure, worm castings, agricultural waste, industrial waste, and municipal sludge. These are things that utilize the nutrients in a biological matter to enhance the growth of plants; they are commonly used in organic food growth since they do not contain laboratory modified chemical blends and use natural chemical alternatives.
Watch the video how to fertilize blueberries:
Fertilizer for Blueberries Buying Guide
When growing blueberry plants, your ultimate goal is to have harvestable fruit at the end of the growing season. In order to achieve this, it is vital that you have good quality products on your side to help you out. Fertilizers are one of the most important additives you can access if you want to curate a larger, higher quality harvest. Let’s look a little closer at fertilization and how you can use it to your advantage in creating a massive, delicious berry harvest.
What Are the Best Types of Fertilizer for Blueberries?
It seems that when trying to grow blueberry plants http://www.ucanr.org/sites/nm/files/76767.pdf , you should opt for an ammonium form of nitrogen. This is because while blueberries respond well to the presence of nitrogen like most other fruit-bearing plants, substances that utilize the nitrate form of nitrogen tend to be toxic to blueberries. This means that while other berry plants enjoy nitrate formulations, blueberries may actually be outright killed by the presence of such a product. This means that these types of fertilizers are obviously not the best type of fertilizer forstrawberries.
To combat this, always opt for an ammonium fertilizer like urea, cottonseed meal, or ammonium sulfate. Furthermore, try to find one that is listed as a slow-release nitrogen source to prevent leaf-loss and other issues and support long-term growth and fruit production over short bursts of fertilized growth. This will help you a lot more as your plant matures and sets you up with good base health for fruit production. Fortunately, this means that many of the products you find will be an organic fertilizer for blueberries.
When Should You Fertilize Blueberry Plants?
Blueberries do well with varying fertilizer applications. Instead of one large dosage all at once, you should attempt to do three different treatments, spacing them out to help promote growth all season long. To do this, first, fertilize your plants at the beginning of the growing season to stimulate growth and leaf production. Around six weeks later, apply a second mid-season dosage to help it along as it begins to produce fruit. Your third and final application will come just before harvest to ensure the production ripens properly. With this method, your plants are supported through the entire season, allowing them to grow unhindered and flourish.
How Often Should You Fertilize Blueberry Plants?
Generally, fertilizing blueberries just during the growing season is enough. Over-fertilizing your plants can damage or kill them so it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid fertilizing them throughout the year.
During the growing season, you can either opt for a three-part support system fertilization method, a two-part beginning and end method that involves fertilizing at the beginning of the season and just before harvest, or a one and done approach where you fertilize at the beginning at leaving it be the rest of the season. Which will work best for you will depend on your area’s specific growing parameters and how your plants respond to the fertilizer you are using, meaning you may have to play around with it a bit to figure out what best suits your needs. This is especially true for those looking for a fertilizer for blueberries in pots, as they tend to have less access to natural nutrition that in-ground plants can tap.
Here are some of the best fertilizers you can grab online, chosen for their reviews, quality, and product specifications. Take a look and see which will best suit your crops and needs!
The Best Fertilizer for Blueberries
Formulated specifically for blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and other berry plants, this fertilizer provides an all-in-one approach to plant nourishment. Designed with berries in mind, the EcoScraps Organic Gardening blend uses organic matter to curate a formula that is safe for the delicate root system of berry plants. Every single particle of this product has undergone a full content analysis, ensuring that regardless of how and where it lands, it will fertilize that area fully. This is in stark contrast to some other brands where quality control can be somewhat lax within each individual piece of the fertilizer product. The brand made this product to be suitable for blueberry bushes in all phases of their lifecycle, from seedlings to more mature plants. As such, this is one of the best natural fertilizer for blueberries on the market. The care for detail and overall caution to ensure every plant gets the perfect fertilizer delivery is amazing and truly shows the brand cares about the products they are producing. Plus, in the brand’s own words, it has everything the plants need and no “extra poop”.
Another product made specifically for supporting berry growth and product formation, this Espoma product is perhaps one of the most readily available and notable brands in the world. Sold in most mass retail plant stores, this product is fantastic for a wide range of blueberry subspecies, including highland or traditional. It even caters to more finicky, specialty species that require specific growth parameters quite easily due to its nutritional balance. Ideal for berries and other acid-loving plants, the Espoma formula is acidic but gentle enough to not damage the delicate root ball of berry plants and bushes. This means you do not have to worry about any root burning or otherwise harm to come to your plants regardless of how and when you fertilize, so long as you follow the product’s detailed instructional plans.
Certified with the Organic Materials Review Institute, this formula is curated using primary and secondary plant nourishing materials, including calcium, zinc, sulfur, and iron. This allows it to supply a good amount of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium directly to the plant’s root system and ensure a good delivery of other secondary nutrients within the soil’s chemical makeup. The proper rationing of these minerals assists in creating healthy greenery, fragrant blossoms and blooms, and a large amount of fruit production. The brand also notes that this product can be used to feed other fruit trees and plants, as well, to assist in production and growth aside from just that of berries. The recipe for this product includes a host of popular and powerful ingredients like fish bone meal, feather meal, greensand, alfalfa meal, basalt, langbeinite, kelp meal, zinc sulfate, and sulfate of potash. Developed at the start of the 1980s during the first big wave of regenerated interest in organic farming, this product has been used by hobbyists and professionals alike for generations to create delicious, nutrient-rich foods without chemical additives or unnecessary add-ins. Its simple formula has proven to be more than enough to get the job done. All in all, this has to be one of the best natural fertilizer for blueberries options out there.
Great for most indoor and outdoor plants, this universal granular berry fertilizer is a fantastic one size fits all option that will suit both blueberries grown in pots and freestanding ones in gardens. This product is designed to encourage year-round growth and regulates the production of leaves to benefit the plant in and out of the growing season. The simple formula is made with organic ingredients to assist in the nutrient withdrawal from the soil and includes several added forms of nitrogen to enhance the size and taste of berries from the fertilizer plants. The ingredients are rather wholesome, including bone meal, potassium chloride, feather meal, and sulfate of potash. It is very easy to use and can simply be sprinkled onto the soil around the base of the plant at watering time. Follow the sprinkling with a hefty dose of water and you should be all set! This simple delivery method is key in the formula’s mix of soluble and insoluble nutrient bases that create balanced, longterm nutrient delivery to extend the life and fruit-bearing timeline of your plants.
As one of the best liquid fertilizers for blueberries, this GS Plant Foods Liquid Kelp Extract is a fantastic vegan food that works to nourish the roots of plants immediately due to its rapidly absorbed liquid formula. Made from high-quality Ascophyllum Nodosu seaweed, this fertilizer promises to increase the size of flowers and fruits on a wide spectrum of plant types, including berries. Additionally, this product can be used to help remedy and ease the stress caused by extreme weather or climate conditions. Its delivery system is fast enough that it can help to facilitate rapid regrowth and repair in even severe cases of climate-based damage, including underwatering, overwatering, heat exposure, and a host of other common issues.
Created by the longtime household name Dr. Earth, this fruit tree fertilizer is fantastic for a host of different fruits due to its gentle yet deep penetrating nature that works quickly while still providing continued nutrition for weeks and months to come. It is designed to stimulate root growth and stimulate the production of healthy fruit and flowers. It also contains no chicken manure or waste sludge, which is sometimes present in other similarly priced brands. The real secret to this formula is the added probiotics. This product contains seven probiotics to boost the good microbes of the soil to promote good bacteria colonization and ensure nutrients can be balanced and continued in presence within the soil. This is key in preventing growth spikes or uneven growth and helps to ensure your plants will be fully developed and hardy, which helps ensure they can support a bountiful harvest.
From perhaps the biggest name in the plant industry, the Miracle-Gro Fruit & Citrus Plant Food Spikes are a fantastic option that provides balanced, longterm nutrient delivery. They are especially helpful for those who opt to have their blueberry plants in pots or planters, as you can better control the delivery and water levels this way. Of course, though, they are still usable with traditional gardening, as well. They are simply more effective with pot gardening. The best selling point of these little spikes is that you can simply stick one in the soil at the beginning of the growing season and then leave it be for the rest of the year. This means that if you have several plants or are particularly busy you can cut yourself some slack and reduce your schedule by simplifying the fertilization process with ease and confidence that your plants are still getting enough nutrients without you constantly modifying their treatment.
Fertilizer for Blueberries - FAQs
Can all fertilizers burn the roots of plants?
Can you DIY a fertilizer?
Our top pick: Jobe’s Organics 09727 Berry Granular Plant Food
Fantastic food with a great price point and amazing ingredients, the Jobe’s Organics Berry Granular Plant Food is an all-around easy to use and high-quality product that suits a wide variety of different berry species. Simply sprinkle a little around the base of the plant and water thoroughly for a deep penetrating, bloom supporting fertilization guaranteed to help promote berry formation and the presence of larger blooms and hardy plant growth on an even basis. All in all, this is a product that offers so much for a small price tag and is definitely worth checking out.
When choosing your best fertilizer for blueberries, it can be a bit tricky due to the sheer volume of the market and how powerful the marketing of many brands is presented. Fortunately, we are here to help. All of these products will likely serve you.