Mulching with organic matter is very useful to regulate moisture, enrich the soil, and control weeds for your plants, even providing an aesthetic appeal. However, not all of them work the same for all kinds of plants. For example, blueberries are acid-loving plants. If you choose mulch that is made from alkaline ingredients, it can give you unexpected results. Therefore, you need to read this post to choose the best mulch for blueberries.
Here are the best mulches for blueberries you can buy in 2023:
- Best For Blueberries In Ground: USA Pine Straw Premium Pine Needle Mulch
- Best For Blueberries In Pots: Soil Sunrise 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch Nuggets
- Great Smell: Garden Elements 100% Natural Cocoa Bean Shell
- Easy To Apply: ZeeDix Coconut Fibers Mulch Ring Tree Protector Mat
- Best For Indoor Blueberries: Rio Hamza Trading 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch
|5 Best Mulches For Blueberries|
Best For Blueberries In Ground
|USA Pine Straw Premium Pine Needle Mulch|
Best For Blueberries In Pots
|Soil Sunrise 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch Nuggets|
|Garden Elements 100% Natural Cocoa Bean Shell|
Easy To Apply
|ZeeDix Coconut Fibers Mulch Ring Tree Protector Mat|
Best For Indoor Blueberries
|Rio Hamza Trading 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch|
Best For Blueberries In Ground: USA Pine Straw Premium Pine Needle Mulch
- Easy to use
If you grow your blueberries in the ground, these plants must face some problems such as compacted soil causing inadequate drainage, nutrient deficiencies due to the competition with other plants and weeds. Luckily, the USA Pine Straw Premium Pine Needle Mulch can solve these problems.
This pine straw mulch has great moisture retention properties, so it can prevent excessive evaporation and maintain continual soil moisture levels to decrease the watering needs of your blueberries.
If you grow your blueberries in the ground, it’s very difficult for them to avoid the competition for water, nutrients, and sunlight with other plants and weeds. In this case, the mulch can inhibit the growth of weeds naturally to maintain a weed-free garden without using any chemicals.
|USA Pine Straw Premium Pine Needle Mulch Specifications|
300 sq ft
Premium long pine needle straw
100% organic material
Soil moisture retention
The USA Pine Straw Premium Pine Needle Mulch can help you fix the problems when growing blueberries in ground.
Best For Blueberries In Pots: Soil Sunrise 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch Nuggets
- Good to use in cool places
- Possible to improve the soil
- Too small
Like the case above, growing blueberries in pots also has its own drawbacks and the Soil Sunrise 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch Nuggets can overcome these problems.
For example, the soil in containers and pots dries out more quickly, but this pine bark mulch can retain moisture in the soil. Its ingredient is acidic in nature, so it can create an ideal growing environment for blueberries.
Although weeds have fewer chances to grow in containers and pots compared to in-ground plantings, this ingredient can still suppress the weed growth by creating a barrier between the weed seeds and the soil.
|Soil Sunrise 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch Nuggets Specifications|
100% pine bark mulch
No added fertilizers and pesticides
Soil Sunrise 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch Nuggets can overcome the problems of growing blueberries in pots.
Great Smell: Garden Elements 100% Natural Cocoa Bean Shell
- Easy to pour and spread
- Pleasant smell
- Beautiful look
- Natural and chemical free
Do you want to add a pleasant odor into your garden? Using the Garden Elements 100% Natural Cocoa Bean Shell is a good way. This product is made from the shell of the cocoa bean without adding colors and fragrances, so it can retain the sweet chocolaty scent. Many customers also love this smell.
|Garden Elements 100% Natural Cocoa Bean Shell Specifications|
2 cubic foot bag
100% natural cocoa bean shell
Easy to spread
The Garden Elements 100% Natural Cocoa Bean Shell is made from cocoa bean shell without adding fragrances, so it can keep its naturally great smell.
Easy To Apply: ZeeDix Coconut Fibers Mulch Ring Tree Protector Mat
- Thin so it’s easy to cut
- Too small hole in the center
The traditional mulch type requires you to spread the mulch over the soil surface evenly, starting from the base and work outwards to maintain a consistent thickness. If you want a simpler application, choose the ZeeDix Coconut Fibers Mulch Ring Tree Protector Mat.
You just need to measure the diameter of the mulch ring you want to create around your blueberries.
Mark the measured diameter on the ground and cut along it to remove the grass or sod within this outlined area. It helps you clear an exact space for the mulch ring, then lay down the mat onto this area.
Secure the mat in place by inserting stakes or anchor pins into the ground.
|ZeeDix Coconut Fibers Mulch Ring Tree Protector Mat Specifications|
24 inches (6 pieces)
100% natural coconut coir
Mulch ring tree protector mat
The ZeeDix Coconut Fibers Mulch Ring Tree Protector Mat takes less time and effort on your part to apply.
Best For Indoor Blueberries: Rio Hamza Trading 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch
- Good size
- Great for indoors and outdoors
According to the manufacturer, the Rio Hamza Trading 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch is good for indoor uses and terrariums. Everything happens for a reason:
This product is made from 100% natural pine bark mulch that is free of synthetic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and artificial additives, so it’s safe to use indoors. This feature can minimize the risk of harmful substances in your living space.
Besides, it is slightly acidic, so it can maintain a suitable pH level in the soil for acid-loving plants like blueberries.
|Rio Hamza Trading 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch Specifications|
100% natural pine bark
High quality pine shavings
Good for use in terrariums and inside your home
In fact, the Rio Hamza Trading 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch is good for both outdoor and indoor blueberries.
How To Choose The Best Mulch For Blueberries?
Should You Choose Organic Or Inorganic Mulch For Blueberries?
Inorganic mulch includes gravel, plastic sheeting, and rubber mulch. They are not an ideal choice for blueberries because they can’t provide the essential benefits that organic mulch can offer. Thus, you should choose organic mulch for blueberries.
Organic mulches break down over time to add organic matter to the soil, which improves the structure and fertility. Meanwhile, inorganic mulches can’t break down and enrich the soil with essential nutrients for blueberry growth.
Blueberry plants thrive in acidic soil. Some organic mulches have a natural acidic pH that can maintain the desired acidity of the soil, but inorganic mulches don't have this pH-regulating effect.
Blueberries require continual moisture level and some organic mulches can retain moisture in the soil. However, inorganic mulches don’t have this feature.
Organic mulches can effectively suppress weeds when they compete with blueberries for water and nutrients. Besides, they can regulate soil temperature to create an appropriate growing environment for blueberries. Inorganic mulches don’t have these benefits.
Finally, organic mulches can support microbial activity and beneficial soil organisms, but another type can’t foster these beneficial interactions.
What Are The Best Types Of Organic Mulch For Blueberries?
As I said, the organic mulch is more effective for blueberries, but it has many kinds and not all of them work the same. Some will be better for blueberries than others. Blueberry plants thrive in acidic soil, so organic mulches must be acidic or at least pH-neutral. Besides, the options below can retain moisture, suppress weeds, and break down to enrich the soil with organic matter over time:
Pine straw and pine bark are acidic. Moreover, both of them can retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.
Wood chips and shredded bark break down slowly to enrich the soil with organic matter. And they can maintain moisture levels.
Oak leaves are relatively acidic, especially they can retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Straw can retain moisture, suppress weeds, and maintain a continual soil temperature.
Well-aged compost has many nutrients, so this organic mulch can enhance soil fertility and structure, even it can retain moisture.
Well-aged sawdust that is made from untreated wood can be used for blueberries, but make sure that it is well-aged to prevent nitrogen depletion in the soil.
Grass clippings that are made from untreated lawns can be used as a mulch, but ensure that they are thoroughly dried to prevent the growth of matting and mold.
Strawberries and blackberry leaves are from acid-loving plants, so they are beneficial for blueberries. Azalea and rhododendron leaves are also acidic, so they are ideal for blueberries.
Cocoa shells (acidic) can add acidity to the soil and break down slowly, so I strongly recommend it for blueberries.
Which Organic Mulch Is Not Good For Blueberries?
Though most organic mulch types are good for blueberries, there are still exceptions. Some can’t work well for blueberries because they can’t provide your plants with their preferred acidic pH levels. Therefore, you should avoid organic mulches below:
Marble chips and limestone are alkaline, so they can increase the pH level of the soil.
Shell mulch (crushed shells) such as crushed oyster or clam shells have a neutral to alkaline pH.
Calcite clay and calcium carbonate have high pH levels.
Alkaline compost is made from materials with high alkalinity or high pH such as plenty of wood ash, so it isn’t an ideal choice for blueberries.
Alkaline manure is from animals which are fed an alkaline diet, so you shouldn’t use it for blueberries.
Alfalfa hay or meal and wood ash are alkaline in pH.
Which Brands Make The Best Mulch For Blueberries?
ZeeDix specializes in many gardening and outdoor products such as garden tools, equipment, planters, gardening accessories, and other related items.
How to apply mulch for blueberries?
Before applying mulch for blueberries, you have to remove any existing weeds and debris from the area around the base of the plants & wet this soil area.
Spread a 2-4-inch layer of mulch evenly on the area that you have prepared above. Remember to leave a gap of a few inches around the stem to prevent rotting.
If you want to protect the shallow root system to retain moisture, you can extend the mulch layer to at least 2-3 inches.
Remember to replenish the mulch every year in the spring or fall to maintain the desired depth. After the mulch breaks down, its organic matter will enrich the soil.
Don’t directly pile against the stems because it can promote rot and create a hiding place for pests.
When to mulch blueberries?
The ideal time to mulch blueberries is the late fall or early spring.
In late fall, the blueberries have shed their leaves and entered dormancy to protect themselves from the winter and prepare for the following growing season. Mulching at this point can insulate the soil to prevent extreme temperature fluctuations and minimize the risk of freeze-thaw cycles that can harm the blueberry roots..
Early spring is the time before the blueberries break dormancy and grow actively. Mulching at this point helps your blueberries conserve soil moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature, so it is extremely useful when the growing season begins.
Are pine needles good mulch for blueberries?
Yes, because blueberries love acidic soil and pine needles are slightly acidic in nature. Besides, pine needles are organic mulch that will break down over time to improve the structure of the soil and fertility for a healthy blueberry growth. Pine needles can retain moisture in the soil and suppress weed growth around blueberry plants as well. They also play an important role in protecting the roots of blueberries from extreme temperatures.
How to acidify soil for blueberries?
To know if you should adjust the pH of soil or not, you have to test the soil. In case its pH range isn’t between 4.0-5.0, you can acidify the soil for blueberries. Test the pH of your soil by using a soil test kit or sending a soil sample to a local agricultural extension service to determine the current pH level of your soil.
Mixing your current soil with organic matter such as peat moss, pine needles, sawdust, and compost can lower the pH of the soil over time.
Use elemental sulfur. Although the latter is a common soil acidifier, you must follow the recommended application rates on the packaging for a perfect performance.
Aluminum sulfate is another effective soil acidifier, but it requires you to follow the instructions on the product packaging.
Iron sulfate offers essential iron for blueberries, but you must follow the recommended application rates and instructions.
Choose a specialized acidifying fertilizer that is designed for acid-loving plants including blueberries. It can lower the soil’s pH over time and offer essential nutrients.
Maintaining a layer of acidic mulch such as wood chips, pine bark, or pine needles around the base of blueberries is also effective.
In case your water is alkaline, you should use rainwater or collected water from an acidic source of irrigation. The latter can maintain or lower the soil’s pH.
How long do blueberry bushes live?
If your blueberry bushes are taken care of well, they can live for many decades (from 15 to 30 years, even longer). However, the lifespan of blueberry bushes can change depending on cultivar, growing conditions, climate, soil quality, and how they are taken care of.
What is the purpose of mulch?
Mulch can retain moisture in the soil because it acts as a barrier that slows down water evaporation to keep the soil moist continually, especially since it doesn't require you to water regularly.
Mulch can also prevent runoff to improve water penetration into the soil, so the roots can get the water more effectively.
A layer of mulch can prevent sunlight from reaching the soil surface, so it can suppress the growth of weed as well.
Mulch can insulate to regulate soil temperature by keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This way can moderate temperature fluctuations that stress your plants.
Mulch prevents soil erosion because it can keep the soil from the impact of rain and wind to maintain soil structure and minimize soil loss.
Mulch will break down over time to add organic matter to the soil. This enriches the soil to improve the structure and fertility.
Mulch plays a role as a buffer between heavy rain and the soil to minimize soil compaction that will hinder root growth and water absorption.
Mulch can prevent soil-borne diseases since it is a “barrier” between the soil and the plant, which will minimize soil splashing onto leaves and stems, carrying diseases.
Thanks to a variety of types and colors of mulch, it can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your landscape with a finished and tidy look.
Mulch keeps the soil from drying out and cracking in dry spells. This is extremely useful for plants with shallow root systems.
Is white mold on mulch dangerous?
Although white mold (powdery mildew) isn’t dangerous to humans, it's detrimental to plants in your garden. Specifically, it can decrease the overall health and vigor of your affected plants, yield, fruit quality, even inhibit their growth.
When applying mulch, don’t place it too close to the stems or base of plants. This will create a damp environment, promoting mold growth. It’s important to maintain a gap between the mulch and stems of your plants.
It’s not soil or fertilizer. Choosing the best mulch for blueberries helps you nurture healthy, bountiful bushes and enjoy an abundant harvest of tasty berries because it can retain moisture, enrich the soil, suppress weeds, and regulate pH level.