Recommended Blueberry Soil Mix
You can make a blueberry soil mix that enhances the nutrients and acid in your soil for growing healthy blueberries. The University of Minnesota recommends the following mix for blueberry bushes:
- Sphagnum peat moss – 50 percent
- Original garden soil – 10 percent
- Compost – 10 percent
- Sand – 10 percent
- Perlite – 20 percent
Using this soil mix provides the organic matter and a 4.5 to 5.5 pH that blueberries love. The perlite and sand helps the soil drainage.
Symptoms of Improper Soil Conditions
Traditional native blueberry soil is sandy, well drained and acidic. Blueberry bushes don’t tolerate waterlogged soil or dry soil. If you have compacted or alkaline soil, you can plant blueberries in raised beds with a homemade soil mixture that meets the requirements you need. If any of your blueberry bushes exhibit the following symptoms, then your soil probably has insufficient nutrients and pH readings:
- Abnormally small leaves
- Pale green or yellow leaves with prominent veins
- Brown edges on the leaves
- Stunted growth
These symptoms usually indicate iron deficiency caused by high pH. Blueberry bushes can’t obtain enough iron from alkaline soil, which causes poor growth and eventually, they will die. Iron deficiencies cause the most damage to new leaves and stems.
Incorrect soil mixture also results in nitrogen and sulfur deficiencies that cause yellow leaves in blueberries. Nitrogen deficiency affects new and old leaves.
Before beginning any kind of soil adjustments, test the soil pH. It could be just overexposure to sunlight, or a lack of water that causes your blueberry leaves to turn yellow. You can find soil test kits at garden centers. You can also send soil samples to a soil-testing laboratory for more accurate analysis.
Adding Blueberry Soil Mix to Your Soil
The first step to adding your soil mix to the current soil is to remove the soil where you want to plant your blueberry bushes. Remove the soil to a depth of 18 inches and 3-feet wide. Fill the hole with your soil mixture, and then you can plant your blueberries. Spacing blueberries about 3-feet apart gives them plenty of room to grow. If you prefer, you can create a raised bed with 12 inches of soil.