Fertilizing blueberries

Asked March 16, 2014, 8:31 PM EDT

I understand that I should begin fertilizing my blueberry bushes tomorrow (St. Patrick's Day) w/ aluminum sulfate. Do I water it into the roots or let it set on top of the ground? How much should I use? The bushes are about 5' high. Some are 6' and some are only 4' high.

Why do my daphne bushes die after about 10 years? Do they get old? How can I stop them from dying? One was about 10 feet across and 4 feet high and it just died with no warning last year.

Thanks a bunch (of daphne)! Kathy

Washington County Oregon trees and shrubs blueberries horticulture

2 Responses

Hello,

I would not recommend fertilizing your blueberry plants with Aluminum Sulfate. Did you mean Ammonium Sulfate? If so the latter is recommended. I do not recommend fertilizing blueberry plants with nitrogen fertilizers like ammonium sulfate until you see the first flowers - generally in April. If you are using organic fertilizers like soybean meal or feather meal, however, now is a good time to put on the first application to make sure the nitrogen in these products is available when the plants need it. Please refer to my Growing Blueberries in Your Home Garden publication for information on when to fertilize and with how much (which depends on plant age: http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/12202/ec1304.pdf;jsessionid=E5943EA1F6...
I am not able to answer your question on Daphne, but will forward your question.

Hi:

I'm not 100% sure what happened to your Daphne at this point, but from the description, one possibility is Phytophthora root rot. I've heard of other complain about the same problem, although this lifespan is not inevitable. My Daphne odora and D. 'Carol Mackie' are now 18 years old and going strong. It would appear that excellent drainage are important for longevity. Feel free to write directly with further questions.

http://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/daphne-root-rot