Faulty ph tester?
satrdayboy Posts: 55
in Fruit & veg
i bought a blueberry plant last year, put it in a pot with ericaceous Compost. Out of curiosity I tested the soil today with a multi purpose tester. It's showing the soil as alkaline. As I had some compost left I put tested in that and it's still showing alkaline. Do I assume that tester is faulty and I've no need to worry as I potted it in ericaceous compost and water with rainwater
I bought a blueberry plant last year, put it in a pot with ericaceous compost and it died.
You got me wondering now ...!
Blueberry Bushes need very acidic soil, Ericaceous composts are usually slightly acidic and can soon leach away with some heavy rain fall. The best way of growing them is in pots, that will contain the acid even if you bury the pots in a border. They need full sun and plenty of water can also take three or more years to grow fruit. You should also check which plants are best for your area as they can differ in requirements for growing. If you put them in an acid bed the strong acid can kill off plants around them, they are not an easy plant to grow which is why I get mine from M&S, I would rather grow currants Red, Black, or white and a few Gooseberries.
What about the water used for the test? Was it rainwater or tap water?
Rainwater, i have also started to feed it with a liquid ericaceous feed, mixed with the rainwater.
I don't have any trouble growing my blueberries,
I grow them in pots because my soil is very alkaline they are in ericacious compost and I feed with ericacious feed.
i also read somewhere that they don't mind shade the only thing that is important to remember is once the fruit is ripe you leave it on the plant for about a week before picking, its supposed to make the fruit sweeter. So having said this you must net the plants or else the birds will get to the fruit first.
its well worth growing blueberry bushes just for the glorious leaf colour in the autumn.
Rain water is acidic, so rainfall on ericaceous compost won't turn it alkaline. It's more like to increase it's acidity - hence the advice being to always water with rainwater.
Is your tester a meter gizmo or a soil test kit? If a gizmo then it possibly needs to be either calibrated, or thoroughly cleaned. If a soil test kit then maybe it's out of date? They aren't expensive, so perhaps buy another kit and retest? Of course the other test is to ask is the plant growing OK? If so then it's more likely to be the meter reading than the compost. I would expect the compost to be neutral at worst, but we have all had experience of bagged composts being less than ideal in their make up. It's not impossible that you have dodgy compost.