How to Fertilize Blueberries With Drip Irrigation


Fertilizing blueberries using your drip irrigation system, also referred to as "fertigation," enables you to deliver the diluted fertilizer directly to the plant roots, meaning you can use far less fertilizer. Feeding your blueberry plants through drip irrigation prevents potential injuries to the plants from over-fertilization and makes dosing your fertilizer application much more precise. Several models of automatic fertilizing systems exist that connect to your drip-irrigation faucet assembly.

Step 1

Apply a water-soluble nitrogen fertilizer to your blueberries through the drip irrigation during a scheduled watering at bud break, again six weeks later and a third time six weeks after that.

Step 2

Install and connect the automatic fertilizing system to your drip-irrigation faucet assembly, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 3

Place the automatic fertilizer tank on top of a small table or stand so that the tank is within 12 inches of the height of the faucet connector.

Step 4

Fill the tank with 2 inches of water. Mix into the water a water-soluble blueberry plant fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and potassium but low in phosphorous, such as a 27-9-18 or 12-4-8 NPK (Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium). Cut the regular dosage recommended on the package in half.

Step 5

Open the valves that control water flow from and to the tank. Turn on the water at the faucet. Watch to ensure that the tank fills with water and begins to flow out into the drip-irrigation main line.

Step 6

Adjust the water flow rate using the dial on the tank's cap. Allow the fertilizer solution to flow out of the tank until it's empty and the tank fills with clean water.

Step 7

Shut off the water when the irrigation cycle is finished. Close the two valves to and from the tank, and remove the automatic fertilizer system from the faucet assembly. Rinse out the tank and assembly thoroughly, allowing it to dry before storing it.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always use a dry or liquid fertilizer that is completely water-soluble and doesn't have hard particles that could clog your drip-irrigation emitters or filters. Never use an automatic fertilizing system with your drip irrigation system without a backflow prevention mechanism, which will keep the fertilizer and water from flowing backwards into your water supply. Always attach the fertilizing system below the backflow prevention mechanism.

Things You'll Need

  • Automatic fertilizing system
  • 27-9-18 or 12-4-8 NPK fertilizer, water-soluble


  • National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service: Blueberries -- Organic Production
  • Drip Automatic Fertilizing with Drip Irrigation
  • Ison's Nursery & Vineyards: Blueberry Planting Instructions

Who Can Help

  • North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden
Keywords: blueberry fertigation, drip irrigation, irrigate blueberry

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.