Sulphur and blueberries...

fireduck(10a)April 23, 2013

I have read that soil sulphur is good to reduce the ph in potted blueberries. I bought some ag sulphur today (granules)...and I was wondering what would be a moderate amount of sulphur for a 10-15 gal pot??? My berries were mixed in a decent blend (pine bark, compost/soil, and peat moss. I think the sulphur will help keep the ph good...especially after some time.

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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

I would check the ph of the soil before adding it. If you do add it go lite. For 15 gallon pots one tsp should be plenty, I would even start with half a tsp. A little goes along way. My experience was using rain water. If using rain water I dont think you even need it but tap water/well water is a different story. Give it 6 months to stabilize in the soil and check ph again. A easier way would be to get a couple 55 gallon drums filled with water and add a little sulfuric battery acid to it. You can get it at auto part stores for cheap. Then you dont have to worry about dropping the ph too low with sulfer. Ive dropped my ph too low with sulfer in my potted plants last summer. Its a pain in the butt to get it back. Had to flush 17 potted plants with tap water and it took couple a days to do it. If you use the battery acid just make sure you have a good liquid ph meter and adjust it down to ph 5.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 6:25PM
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blueberryhillsfarm

You need to know your starting pH. For a sandy loam which I assume you have since who pots in clay? It takes about 10#/1000 sq.ft to lower the pH 1 point. If you don't want to test the pH, I would err on going light maybe a couple of tablespoons. If the pH is too high the leaves will show yellow with green veins. But this won't be instant. If your leaves are dark green, leave things alone, if they start getting a little light, add a couple of tablespoons. The reaction is slow, so don't keep adding more, give it time. I wouldn't ever add more than half a cup a year.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 6:27PM
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ericwi

The least expensive way to check pH is with bromocresol green indicator solution. A one ounce bottle is around 4 dollars, at HMS Beagle. I don't know if you will be able to find it locally. You would collect a sample from the water that flows out of the bottom of your potted shrub, when you water it. If the solution turns yellow, pH is on the low side, at 3.8, and a blue solution indicates pH is around 5.4. A green color indicates pH at 4.6, about as close to perfect as you will ever get. When pH is tested, the guesswork is eliminated, & you know what is needed. Blueberry shrubs thrive when the pH is kept between 4 and 5.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 7:42PM
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fireduck(10a)

Very informative and thoughtful comments here. Thanks. I will go extremely light....as you all say. Actually, my berries are looking pretty good after potting them up (1 gals) about a month ago. Not rocking the boat......

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 8:28PM
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