How to plant a blueberry plant

Asked May 1, 2015, 7:53 AM EDT

Would appreciate info. regarding how to prepare and amend soil for blueberry plants in 5A hardiness zone area. How can I be confident that I've prepared enough compatible soil so that plant will thrive and grow beyond the pot in which it was shipped? Thanks!

Hamilton County New York

3 Responses
Have your soil tested and amend the soil as directed by the soil test. If you prepare a bed that extends about three feet away from every plant, this should be adequate. vw

Thanks so much for your response. I would, however, appreciate some clarification. The "three feet away" reference is not clear to me. Are you suggesting that the hole into which I am placing the plant should be three feet in diameter? And how deep would you suggest that hole to be? If I find that the soil requires much amending, should I forget about trying to fine tune the ground and create a raised bed and just fill that bed with the required soil?

Since I haven't prepared the soil a year in advance, is it a mistake for me to plant my new blueberry plants in soil that will have been just a fresh mix of the native and amended soils? Thanks again

Even though you haven't prepared your soil a year ahead of time, you could still do the necessary preparation and plant your plants.
You must not underestimate the importance of amending the soil to the proper pH and organic material. Ideally, you will have your soil tested by a soil testing laboratory, but even if you have to have the soil pH tested locally (some hardware and farm stores will do this), the soil pH must be around 4.5.
The reference to '3 feet' is a suggestion that you should prepare the soil in the entire row or area where you intend to plant your blueberry shrubs and space your plants at least 3 feet apart. If possible, it would be better to amend your native soil with a small amount of compost and a small amount of peat moss. Don't over-do the organic amendments since they can make your soil too soggy.
Do not plant them too deeply. If you buy container plants, the plants should be planted at the same level or just slightly higher.
By the way, only fertilize your blueberries with ammonium sulfate. Do not fertilize with a nitrate fertilizer. Nitrates can be toxic to blueberries.