ammonium sulfate concentration for watering blueberries?

oldryderJuly 19, 2012

Is one tablespoon of ammonium sulfate per 2.5 gallons of water sound right for watering established blueberry plants?

should the amount be adjusted for 7.5 ph well water?

(I noted this last year but could not find the original thread. I believe it was from "fruitnut" but not sure.)

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Yes, the ratio is correct, but I only apply that once per week establishing plants, not at every watering. And I used it from April thru June. I'm not fertilizing now anymore except for what little of the CRF is left in the soil from the spring. I add approx 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per gallon of my approx 8.0 pH tapwater for each watering. I have five 2 y.o. plants, and two 5 y.o. plants. They are growing very well.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 1:38PM
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It's usually recommended to shake crystals around the drip line on top of a thick layer mulch rather then water it in directly. This helps it release more slowly, and needs to be done less often. I usually only add ammonium sulphate twice per year, in spring and in June, no later.

As far as pHing water, it depends on your soil and the water itself. If the soil is on the low side of pH, no need to lower. If it's already high, then add acid to lower the pH of the water. If your soil is just right, go by the ppm of your water. If the ppm is high, adjust the pH. If the ppm (amount of carbonates) is low, no need to adjust. Rainwater, due to it's low ppm usually doesn't need to be adjusted. Low ppm's usually means your water doesn't buffer pH much, and soil will overcome it. If you don't have a ppm meter, the amount of acid you use to correct the pH tells you the buffering capability. If you need a lot of acid to lower it, then you will likely need to use it.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 2:36PM
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thx for replies. I think my soil is OK, started with 1/2 peat and 1/2 7.2 Ph native soil in fall 2010.

plants were started spring 2011 and are heavily mulched with wood chips with bottom layer starting to rot noticably.

sprinkled ammonium sulphate this spring.

overall plants seem to be doing well. based on your advice seems like I'm doing this right.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 2:50PM
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I wouldn't be surprised if your soil still has a high pH. Usually with alkaline soil and peat, you often also need to add sulphur to get it just right. The rotting mulch will also tend to raise pH as it breaks down. I would suggest you measure the pH now, and regularly to establish the trend so you can fix it before it does start to show on your plants.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 3:48PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Oops, sorry. I thought you said for establishing plants. My bad. You said "established." Here's a link for a good thread on the subject. Instead of once per week, it might be only once per month. Also, I grow mine in containers. The routine is different for plants in the ground. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 6:18PM
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