where to buy bulk sulfur for 20+ blueberries?

sharppa(6)December 15, 2011

I'm hoping to plant about 20 blueberries in the spring and need to drop the PH of the soil from 7 to 4.5. Where would you look for bigger bags of agricultural sulfur? All I can seem to find is 5 lb bags of Garden Sulfur Soil Acidifier.

What is the correct name for it...agricultural sulfur?

Thanks.

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calistoga_al

We have lots of farm supplies here so it is available in 50 lb bags. Al

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 12:56PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

One brand is tiger 90 pelleted sulfur. Here a 50# bag is $9. Just figure out where the farmers buy their fertilizer.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 6:58PM
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ericwi

Agricultural sulfur is used by farmers who grow soybeans and alfalfa. Both of these crops take up sulfur from the soil, so it gets depleted, eventually. It is generally supplied as a pellet or flake. Powdered sulfur is also called botanical grade sulfur. Around here, 50lb bags are standard quantity. I think I paid 89 cents per pound, which seems high, but then, it retails for three dollars a pound, here in Madison.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 9:42PM
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alan haigh

Crop Production Systems may have an outlet near you if you google that.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 5:39AM
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windfall_rob(vt4)

I think you will have a hard time getting a pH drop that big over 6 months (especially in winter) with sulfur. The change with sulfur comes from microbial conversion...low temps mean little activity.
Also, I have read repeated references to toxicity and shock to young plants with too large a sulfur application. It is usually suggested to do a split or multi-year application when the need is large.

You might want to consider attempting a slower change and be ready to address Fe issues while you get the pH down. Or plant the young plants into pots for a year to size them up while getting the permanent beds where you want them.

Some folks on the forum in calcareous (high pH) soils have used sulfuric acid in their watering to effect a more rapid change

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 9:01AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

If it was me I would simply till the sulfur into the native soil as well as a good amount of peat. I would then place a foot thick layer of pine bark fines at each BB planting spot and plant the BB in to that. The BB can then exploit the soil below when they can IE when that soil PH below them lowers to an acceptable PH but in the meantime they will be happy in the pine fines. That is the approach I take here as well as what I did up north and works 100% of the time.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 9:26AM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

I made raised beds of peat, pinebark, and sand added alittle sulfer and planted on top of clay soil. Works for me! Also pots work well but if using tap water or well water u may want to add some sulfuric acid to bring the ph down in the water or it will create issues untill the sulfer chips start to work. My limited experience showed me that pots ph values rise much faster than raised beds. I actually dropped the ph to low in my raised beds by using acicified water too long + adding sulfer + acid fertilizers. Not so on my pots. My ph readings were much higher in pots. I think the reason for this was pots actually get flushed when watering and the acid doesnt accumulate like it does in a raised bed. Thats been my experince so far. This next year Im going to experiment and try to get some rabbiteyes to grow in clay with some amendments ofcourse. Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 9:06AM
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sharppa(6)

Thanks for the suggestions about finding the sulfur and maybe delaying planting for a while. I was hoping to get some sulfur tilled in before winter hit here but won't make it. I may very well amend the space I need and do some experiments with half planted/half potted plants for the first year. Waiting a whole year is a painful thought!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 3:08PM
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woodstockfenceguy

Sharppa, I just got a 35# bag of sulfur on ebay for about $32 delivered, and I mixed it into my planting area where I will put blueberries in the spring. I also could not get it locally, and the price seemed good enough for me. 35# is probably close to what you need for 20 plants, you may need even more, but you are not suppossed to exceed a maximum amount on one application. The stuff home depot carries here is not near as strong as the real stuff, using that would get very expensive.

-Joey

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 7:18PM
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