How To Make Soil Acidic For Blueberries

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How To Make Soil Acidic For Blueberries

Acidic soil can result in a high yield of healthy, juicy blueberries. However, there’s a lot of soil out there that just isn’t acidic enough to result in a quality yield. 

So, it seems like it would be more difficult to grow blueberries in some places compared to others. However, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. There are many methods out there that you can use to make your soil more acidic. 

In this article, we will be discussing how to make the soil acidic for blueberries (see more about blueberries here). So, if you’re interested, read on for more! 

How To Make Soil Acidic For Blueberries Before Planting

There are many different ways to make your soil more acidic before planting, and each of them will result in a quality yield of blueberries that are ripe and juicy. Let’s check them out in more detail below! 

Making Soil More Acidic: Elemental Sulphur

The first method you can use to make soil more acidic is elemental sulfur. Elemental sulfur changes to pH of soil very quickly, so it is an extremely effective method for growing quality blueberries. 

Thiobacillus, a naturally occurring bacteria, oxidizes elemental sulfur when it is mixed with soil. This results in the production of sulfuric acid which lowers the soil’s pH to make it more acidic. 

Here’s how you can use elemental sulfur to make your soil more acidic. 

  • You need 1 lb of sulfur 50 ft into the soil if you want to drop the pH of the soil by 1. However, this can change depending on the type of soil that you have. For example, you need less sulfur for sandy soil and more for soil that has a clay-like consistency. 
  • If you are going to use this method, then you need to buy your granular sulfur from a reliable, reputable manufacturer. 
  • It is best to use a tiller to dig into the soil deep enough for the sulfur to be able to mix with the soil. 
  • Once you have established these first three points, you can go ahead and pour the sulfur granules on the soil and mix. 
  • Pretty soon, the pH of the soil will be more acidic.
  • Continue to mix the soil and sulfur granules for at least 3 months before you plant the blueberries. This allows the soil to become the ideal environment for the shrubs to grow. 
  • It is best to begin changing the pH of the soil during the fall and then testing it in the spring. 

Making Soil More Acidic: Coffee Grounds 

Another way you can make your soil more acidic is by using coffee grounds. Ground coffee beans are naturally acidic and can increase the pH of your soil very effectively.

However, this is only true of coffee grounds that have not yet been washed. Washed coffee grounds have a natural pH of 6.2 and this means they will not change the acidity of the soil in any way. 

So, you will need to use unwashed coffee grounds if you want this method to work. 

Here is the best way to use coffee grounds to change the acidity of your soil! 

You can choose between mixing the unwashed coffee grounds with the soil directly or mixing them with compost first and then adding them to the soil. Whatever method you choose, you should still see a decrease in the soil’s pH. 

Making Soil More Acidic: Peat Moss

Peat moss is a very popular method of making soil more acidic. However, not all kinds of peat moss are acidic, so it is best to use Canadian Sphagnum peat moss since it has an acidic pH of 3.0-4.5. 

It is best to add this type of peat moss to the top layer of the soil. You should use around 2-3 inches of moss and mix it with the soil using a tiller. Within a day, the pH of your soil will start to fall. 

How To Make Soil More Acidic For Blueberries After Planting

How To Make Soil Acidic For Blueberries

Don’t despair if you have already planted your blueberries in non-acidic soil! There is a way to make your soil more acidic after the blueberries have been planted so you can still achieve a great yield. Let’s check these methods out in more detail below! 

Making Soil More Acidic: Acidic Fertilizers

Acidic fertilizers that contain ammonium phosphate urea, and ammonium nitrate can lower acidity in the soil. This is because the bacteria in the soil will convert ammonium into nitrate.

Hydrogen, which is a by-product of this chemical reaction, will result in a decreased pH in the soil. 

However, this is a very slow process that can take years to develop. This is partly because fertilizers are sprayed directly onto the soil as opposed to being mixed in. 

Making Soil More Acidic: Diluted Vinegar 

Using diluted vinegar on soil can make it more acidic. This is a short-term method that you can use in a quick pinch, and here is how to do it:

  • Mix 1 gallon of water with 2 tablespoons of vinegar 
  • Use this solution to water your blueberry plants once a week. 
  • Make sure you water the soil around the plant and not the actual plant! 
  • By doing this, you are temporarily raising the soil’s acidity. 
  • Repeat this process once a week. 

Making Soil More Acidic: Peat Moss

Once again, peat moss can be used to make the soil more acidic. But this time, you can use it after the blueberries have already been planted to achieve the same effect. 

If you plant peat moss in the soil around the blueberries once a year, the soil’s pH will see a significant decrease. As before, it is best to use Canadian sphagnum moss. 

Final Thoughts 

If you want a blueberry yield of quality, then you need to ensure you are planting them in acidic soil. If you do not have acidic soil, then there are methods you can use to achieve it.

Before planting the blueberries, you can use peat moss, coffee grounds, or elemental sulfur. After planting the blueberries, you can use peat moss, diluted vinegar, or acidic fertilizers. 

Further Recommendations:

Video: Acidic Soil For My Blueberries

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