Waiting to plant blueberries after sulfur application

Asked April 22, 2014, 2:27 PM EDT

Is there a minimum amount of time I need to wait to plant blueberry plants after applying elemental sulfur? How can I incorporate it during planting?

Kent County Michigan

3 Responses

It is preferable to apply sulfur a year in advance of planting blueberries (or longer if more drastic changes to the pH are required) Sulfur is converted to sulfuric acid by soil bacteria when soil temperatures are 55 F or higher and the soil is moist. It takes time for this process to occur. It is most effective to apply sulfur in the spring and incorporate it into the soil before planting. Due to low soil temperatures, the bacteria are not active in the winter so fall applications of sulfur have little effect on the soil pH next spring. Don’t use more than about 9 lb of sulfur per 1000 square feet on existing plantings. Incorporate it carefully into the top 6 inches of soil.

Thank you for your response. I am planning on planting Blueberry plants sometime this week and I have some elemental sulfur with me. Can I put some in each hole before I put in the plant? The ph is around 5.6. I am planning to add some Ammonium sulfate 4 weeks after planting.

You can incorporate a little but I would not mix in very much. 2 tablespoons in the hole will be plenty. Mix it well with the soil before you plant the blueberry. Your pH is not bad now and if you mix in too much sulfur you risk burning the roots off and killing the plant.