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Testing Soil pH For Blueberries  RSS feed

 
Posts: 129
Location: Elgin, IL
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What's the the most accurate way to inexpensively test soil pH? I need to survey the soil around my house for the best place to plant some blueberries. Any tips on keeping the soil acidic for blueberries from year to year would also be appreciated Thanks!
 
gardener
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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The most accurate way that doesn't cost too much is send in a soil sample to a lab. State university extensions can do this as well as independent soil labs. It can cost anywhere from about $12-$30. The soil test will also provide other valuable information besides pH to help you grow blueberries. Mulching with pine needles or pine bark mulch is a great way to gently maintain soil acidity.
 
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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James is correct, the cheapest way to get accurate pH results is to use a soil lab, you will get more information than just pH but that is also needed for blueberries.

In the chemistry/ biology world the words Accurate and cheap do not go together.
Accurate can be listed in varying degrees, so the first question would have to be "how accurate do you want to be?"
If you want your own pH meter this is very valid question since 0.0 accuracy is less expensive than 0.00 or 0.000 accuracy.

Most labs will give 0.00 results across the board. 

For you to buy an instrument that accurate you will spend around $150.00 + another $75.00 -$100.00 for the calibration solutions, glassware, pure water for rinsing/storing the probe.

Redhawk
 
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Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
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at $12-$30 a test, bearing in mind you want to test multiple locations to decide where to put your blueberries, the cheapest method would be to plant blueberries costing less than $12 in each of the potential locations and seeing which ones survive.
 
Alex Veidel
Posts: 129
Location: Elgin, IL
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0.0 is fine. I'm guessing there are a lot of shitty soil pH tools out there even for that range; I'm just looking for the one cheap test that is more reliable than the other cheapo garbage.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Well Alex, the cheapest and within the tolerance you say is fine would be good old litmus paper.

most of the pen types not sold through scientific supplies are no good at all. The good pen types start at around 40 dollars and go up from there, these usually come with a small vial of calibration liquid if they are designed to use it.
 
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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how abot this manutech thing? It is two chemicals and costs about $30 and lasts for hundreds of tests.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Angelika Maier wrote:how abot this manutech thing? It is two chemicals and costs about $30 and lasts for hundreds of tests.



I'm not sure of what you are asking about, the only Manutech I am familiar with is glyconutrients from a company of this name, there are other companies with this name but one is autocad drawing and the other is chemical cleaning.

Please give me more information on this and I will do some research and post my opinion from that here for you.

Redhawk
 
Angelika Maier
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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That manuteck kit is what every Australian gardeners has: https://www.bunnings.com.au/manutec-garden-care-products-soil-ph-test-kit_p3016727\
That is what 'Gardening Australia'tells....
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Ah, ok, that is just about like a pool testing kit except for soil pH. Not a bad price and barium sulfate will give you pretty accurate results with the dye, just store the color chart in a dark place between tests so it doesn't fade out.
 
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