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When to Fertilize Blueberries? [Best Fertilizer Schedule]

Blueberry bushes are best fertilized in early spring. Apply organic fertilizer to blueberry roots before the leaves grow in. This will provide the best possible growth for your blueberry plant. Once leaf growth comes in, you can still fertilize but the effectiveness will be delayed.  Be sure to use a fertilizer that is a good source of nitrogen. Nitrogen is the primary nutrient that blueberry plants crave. You may also want to consider natural fertilizer products like bone meal or fish meal.

When to fertilize blueberries?

When is the Best Time to Fertilize Blueberries?

Blueberry bushes are most receptive to applications of fertilizer in early spring. The timing of fertilizer application is extremely important. You want to fertilize the plant before the leaves come in. This will give your blueberries time to absorb the fertilizer and make use of the rich nutrients. 

  • Apply fertilizer in spring before blueberry leaves grow in.
  • Begin checking for spring weather in mid-February.

When early spring arrives will be different depending on your region. However, start checking for warming temperatures around mid-February. Once a consistent warming pattern establishes itself, it is time for fertilizer application. If you wait until late spring, fertilizer will still be effective but will take longer to show results.

What is the Best Fertilizer for Blueberries?

Blueberries are acid-loving plants that prefer organic fertilizers high in nitrogen. Applications of nitrogen help to counteract poor growth conditions and improve shallow root development. This means that your root ball and its growths will be strengthened with the correct dose of nitrogen. Liquid fertilizers are also ideal for blueberries as they can be absorbed into the root system quickly.

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  • Nitrogen-rich liquid fertilizers are great options for blueberry bushes.
  • Use this blueberry fertilizer to provide nitrogen tailored for your plant’s needs.
  • Choose the right fertilizer to provide the ideal nutrient content for your bushes.

You may also want to choose your blueberry fertilizers based on your soil quality. Test the soil profile of your planting soil by using a soil test kit. This kit will test a small soil sample from your garden to determine if you have proper soil conditions. If you do not, you should buy fertilizer that can make up for insufficient nutrient levels in the soil. For instance, if you do not have acidic soil for blueberries, you can use fertilizers that act as a soil acidifier. Use this organic fertilizer to ensure the ideal soil acidity for your blueberries.

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Are Coffee Grounds Good Fertilizer for Blueberries?

Coffee grounds are a great source of nitrogen, so they can make good fertilizer for blueberry growth. Coffee grounds are also fairly acidic so it makes for good acid fertilizers as well. To use coffee grounds as fertilizer:

  • Make yourself 1–2 cups of coffee. 
  • Take the spent coffee grounds from 1-2 cups of coffee and spread them at the base of your mature plants. 
  • Spread the coffee grounds out as wide as possible and then work them into the surface soil. 

Be sure not to apply coffee grounds too close to other plants. They are not an effective form of fertilizer for every garden plant as they are for blueberries. It’s also essential to mix coffee grounds into the soil instead of simply spreading them on the soil surface. Mixing the coffee grounds into your garden soil promotes decomposition and the release of essential nutrients.

Is Blood and Bone Good for Blueberries?

Bone meal and blood meal are both solid blueberry fertilizers since they are both high in nitrogen. Fish bone meal in particular is helpful to blueberry growth. However, you’ll want to be judicious in how much of these fertilizers to use. 

  • Bone meal and blood meal are rich in nitrogen which blueberries crave.
  • Fish meal is a great choice for blueberry gardens.
  • Natural fertilizer can be overused, which can stunt growth.

Blueberry plants are not heavy feeders, so they need far less meal than other plants. Using too much meal will result in excessive nutrient levels for blueberries. This can lead to stunted growth and ruin your soil conditions. So be sure to use half the amount the package recommends when fertilizing blueberries.

When Should You Not Fertilize Blueberries?

Wait at least four weeks after planting to fertilize a blueberry bush. Your bush needs time to acclimate to its planting hole and surrounding soil. Adding fertilizer at this stage can prevent your plant from acclimating properly. Once your plant has acclimated, feel free to fertilize it in early spring and during the growing season.

  • Do not fertilize your blueberry plants just after planting.
  • Avoid fertilizing blueberries during their dormant period.
  • Only fertilize your plants just before they become active and during fruit development.

Do not use fertilizer after harvest ends or during the winter dormancy period. Mature plants do not experience plant growth during the winter months so adding fertilizer during this period is useless. If you apply it in winter, the fertilizer will wash out of your soil well before your plant has any chance of absorbing it.

When Should You Fertilize Your Blueberry Plants?

It’s best to fertilize blueberries in early spring, before leaves grow on your blueberry plants. Fertilizing at this time provides essential nutrients to spur lateral shoot growth. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to using fertilizer solution for your blueberry plants:

  • Blueberry plants are best fertilized just before leaf growth in early spring.
  • Fertilizers with rich sources of nitrogen are best for spurring blueberry development.
  • Coffee grounds can be a good source of nitrogen and raise acid levels in the soil.
  • Blood meal and fish bone meal are also great for providing nitrogen to blueberry plants.
  • Don’t use any fertilizer solution for a month after planting.
  • Never fertilize blueberries during winter dormancy.

Remember that your blueberries also need decent acid levels and garden soils with high nitrogen to grow well. Fertilizer can be a great way to increase nutrient availability or offset nutrient deficiencies in garden soils.

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