Soil pH value affects availability of nutrients for the plants. The recommended range for growing high-bush blueberry is within 4.5 to 5.5 or 4.2 – 5.0. When blueberries are grown on soil with high pH, quite common on new blueberry plantations, their leaves turn yellow with green veins or completely yellow. Leaves may also be smaller than normal and turn brown and fall off before the end of the season. Under these conditions, the plants themselves grow very slowly and as such don’t recover even if the soil pH is lowered; some of them may even die.
Basic plant nutrients are:
- Nitrogen (N) stimulates robust leaves, stem growth, and dark green color.
- Phosphorus (P) encourages root growth and early growth of the plant, including flower and fruit formation.
- Potassium (K) affects root development and vitality, disease resistance, and improves fruit aroma.
They are available in chemical/synthetic (inorganic) fertilizers, with the neto weight percentage of each element listed on the packaging.
How to improve the soil
- Clay soil – gravel (not sand) is added, plus compost and peat.
- Sandy soil – humus or manure is added, along with peat or wood pulp with additional nitrogen. Clay soil can be also mixed in to make an arable soil.
- Silty soil – gravel and compost are added, or well decomposed manure mixed with fresh straw.