Correcting Ericaceous compost to grow tomatoes.

  • 7 Replies
  • 1125 Views
*

mumofstig

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Kent
  • 58114
Correcting Ericaceous compost to grow tomatoes.
« on: April 11, 2024, 16:21 »
Ages ago I ordered 4 bags of compost for growing this year's greenhouse tomatoes. It was delivered wrapped in black plastic, which I didn't open.(I won't make that mistake again!!!)
Having made the raised bed, today, I unwrapped a few bags only to find that it is ericaceous  :mad: It looks to be lovely compost - just that it is too acid  ::)

Can somebody advise how much lime I will need to add to correct it, as I've no idea at all  :wacko:

*

Goosegirl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Caton, Lancaster.
  • 9134
Re: Correcting Ericaceous compost to grow tomatoes.
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2024, 08:42 »
I would add gardener's lime but not sure of the ratio of it to the compost.
I work very hard so don't expect me to think as well.

*

Plot 1 Problems

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Worcester
  • 3627
Re: Correcting Ericaceous compost to grow tomatoes.
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2024, 15:02 »
I had a quick look at the RHS advice:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/soil-composts-mulches/lime-liming

It doesn't specifically mention compost but the ammendment tables (a little down the page) should probably give you a good idea of the amount needed to get your compost to neutral.


*

Subversive_plot

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Athens, Georgia, USA
  • 2431
Re: Correcting Ericaceous compost to grow tomatoes.
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2024, 13:49 »
If you have pH measurement strips, or a pH kit with chemicals, you can do a measurement of pH of compost, similar to a soil pH test. The procedure is called a slurry test.

Take equal weights* of (a) distilled water and (b) the compost (or soil). In a plastic or glass container, thoroughly mix the water and compost together, then wait 15 minutes and mix again. 

You can try directly reading pH of the wet slurry. You can also put the slurry into filter paper (such as a coffee filter) and test the liquid that comes through. That is your starting pH.

Measure the mass or volume of some compost you want to pH-adjust, and the mass or volume of lime you want to add. Do the same pH process over again, except I would wait a good while after mixing in the water before measuring pH.  Maybe 2 or 3 hours?

The rest requires a good bit of "fiddling around". After pH testing, do you need to mix in more lime, or do over with less lime?

[*I would do with a small mass of compost and water, like 25 grams of each; if you don't have a scale, do by equal volumes of each]

The RHS tables that P1P referenced/linked are a good start for how much lime to add. Assuming a meter square, and 20 cm deep, use the center column in each table. If I was adjusting some 40 lb bags of compost I have, they are roughly 40 x 50 10 cm, so I would start with 10 % of the recommended lime in the center column of the tables. If you don't have the starting pH of the ericaceous compost, I would assume it is pH of 4 to 5, and use the bottom row of the table. Compost is neither clay nor loam or sand, I would use the texture of the soil you are mixing the compost into, maybe use the loam table if you are not sure.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2024, 14:30 by Subversive_plot »
"Somewhere between right and wrong, there is a garden. I will meet you there."~ Rumi

*

mumofstig

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Kent
  • 58114
Re: Correcting Ericaceous compost to grow tomatoes.
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2024, 17:20 »
It all seems a bit complicated, but nothing ventured.........

*

Subversive_plot

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Athens, Georgia, USA
  • 2431
Re: Correcting Ericaceous compost to grow tomatoes.
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2024, 22:43 »
It all seems a bit complicated, but nothing ventured.........

Complicated, I agree.  To simplify, I would try that last paragraph of mine & hope it's 'close enough' to correct. The link P1P provided makes it much simpler.

*

Goosegirl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Caton, Lancaster.
  • 9134
Re: Correcting Ericaceous compost to grow tomatoes.
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2024, 09:23 »
S. Plot. Would you also recommend testing the pH of the tap water in case it's not neutral because that would affect the results?

*

Subversive_plot

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Athens, Georgia, USA
  • 2431
Re: Correcting Ericaceous compost to grow tomatoes.
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2024, 23:35 »
Use distilled water as indicated, the water pH is 7.0 or close to it, there are not enough dissolved solids in the water to affect the results.


xx
ericaceous Compost

Started by mdjlucan on Grow Your Own

1 Replies
896 Views
Last post September 17, 2020, 12:03
by mumofstig
xx
ericaceous compost

Started by flopsy on Grow Your Own

2 Replies
1975 Views
Last post March 14, 2013, 17:09
by bricoop
xx
Ericaceous compost

Started by Adie J on Grow Your Own

3 Replies
2514 Views
Last post October 04, 2011, 16:09
by crh75
xx
Ericaceous Compost

Started by Benandbill on Grow Your Own

4 Replies
2757 Views
Last post April 25, 2011, 17:50
by Munchkin
 

Page created in 0.37 seconds with 42 queries.

Powered by SMFPacks Social Login Mod
Powered by SMFPacks SEO Pro Mod |