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What’s everyone using to make soil acidic?

Hi all, just got a ph tester so I can see what type of soil is around my blueberry plants and the ph needs to be more acidic, I’ve seen a westmoreland one on amazon, just curious to see what everyone else is using?
also how long it’s lasting



  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,158
    I think most people with non-acid soil grow them in pots with ericaceous compost

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,870
    nutcutlet said:
    I think most people with non-acid soil grow them in pots with ericaceous compost
    That’s what I do ... large pots with loam based ericaceous compost. 


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,284
    That's what I do too.
    Unless they're in raised beds, if your soil isn't the right pH the only sure way is pots with ericaceous compost and an ericaceous feed (such as Miracle Gro Azalea feed), and if possible rainwater not tap water
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    edited January 2019
    Mine also grown in pots of ericaceous compost (as replies above) because the clay soil in my garden is only slightly acidic (~6-6.5) and blueberries prefer around 5.  Soil pH will always return to it's natural value over time and how long that takes depends on your soil type (ie sandy, loam or clay based.)  If large (50cm or above) pots aren't an option I would suggest an annual surface dressing (5-10cm deep) of ericaceous compost will help.  One other alternative is to use sulphur chips but it may be difficult to get a stable acidity with those.  Advice from the RHS:

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,667
    I grow them in tubs with ericaceous compost too but they never seem to look that healthy, until last year I collected some conifer needles which had dropped onto a concrete road behind the garage that I worked at, they were quite decomposed and last summer I used them as a mulch, the blueberries have never looked so good. I looked to collect some more of the wonder stuff but it has all been scraped up and dumped so am looking for other sources of decomposed pine needles for mulching this year.
  • How how big of a container is recommended?
     The type I’ve got is ‘blue crop’. If they’ll grow better and produce more fruit in a planter I’ll end up doing the same 
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,667
    Mine are in Stewarts 50cm large smithy tubs.
  • Rose121Rose121 Posts: 132
    edited January 2019
    Just add some acid, surely... ;)

    Now where did all my plants go? 

    (Disclaimer: joke. do NOT add acid :) )
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,674
    You can bury pots in the ground so it looks like they are normally planted if you like.
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,649
    edited January 2019
    Trying to change soil pH on permanent basis (especially in a small garden) is waste of time. Measure the pH of your soil and grow whats appropriate.
    Sound advice.

    But as a side note (and not really disagreeing), if you don't have a soft limestone or chalk bedrock and you live somewhere with high rainfall, your soil will become more acidic over time unless you actively add lime. Rain is 'soft' water and therefore, in pH terms, acidic. So unless there's something in your geology acting the other way, soil will tend to become more acidic. It's not a rapid process though. Emptying a bucket of rainwater around the blueberries won't make any measurable difference to your soil pH unless you keep it up for a decade or so.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
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