Raised Bed Pre-Planting Advice


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Hi,
First time here.
I have three 4'x8'x10" deep raised beds.
I've checked the ph both with the two prong tester and the ph test kit(dirt, capsule, water). The two prong tester shows a ph of 7.5, in all three beds and the water test kit shows bluish-green, which I've read means very high alkalinity, in all three beds.
My soil consistency is loamy, drains well.
So I'm looking for advice regarding the ph issue(which I'd like to get down to 6.5, just guessing from what I've read) and pre-planting compost.
I'm in hardiness zone 6a and I plan on planting tomatoes, onions and peppers each in their own bed.
Last year with only compost I did potatoes(got about 20lbs out of one bed), peppers and onions split a bed and tomatoes in another. The tomatoes did real well, as did the potatoes, but the peppers and onions seem to struggle. This may have been a function of my inexperience(pretty new to this).
So, any input will be appreciated and thank you for your time.
 
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I've read Sphagnum Peat Moss will aid in correcting your alkalinity problem. I'm trying some in each hole I set a tomato and pepper plant in this year. My bell peppers , also in 6a , don't do well until september to frost. When I can find Gypsy Sweet we plant those for earlier peppers.
 
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Grass cuttings will lower your pH. They are not acid themselves, but the decomposing process is.
Animal manures tend to be slightly acidic.
 
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So, theoretically, I could add in some manure/compost mix? Think it would bring the ph down into the 6.5 range? Thanks.
 
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As 7 on the scale is neutral, I can`t see any problem. Here we grow all of those crops in very alkaline soil, and they do really well. Why do you want to make it more acid?
Maybe if you grow blueberries it would be a concern (slightly)
From what I have been reading on posts on the forum from our American friends, lots of the manures you buy there can poison your soil.
 
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Thanks everyone.
I'm just worried that if the soil test kit(not the two-probe one) is right, then, I'm upwards of 9+ for ph.
My onions ( Stuttgarter) from sets, and my transplanted peppers(sweet) , really seemed to struggle last year.
My tomato transplants always do well.
So this year I want to do a box of white onions, a box just for sweet peppers and the last one for tomatoes.
Most of what I read, onions and peppers like between 6.0 and 7.0(to 7.5).
From what I'm seeing on soil test, I'm way above that.
 
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I haven't gotten a warm and fuzzy feeling about any of the reviews of the DIY tests....whether it be the two-prong gadget which gives you light-moisture-ph, or the one you add dirt, water and powder from a capsule and shake it. We have a couple large nurseries around here, maybe I'll see if they can test it for me.
Thanks for your time.
 
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Tomatoes will not do well in a pH of 9+; their range is 5.5 to 7.5, so if your tomatoes do well, something other than PH is your problem. (IF they are all the same.)
 
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Hey Thanks everyone. Brought a soil sample of the three raised beds to a local nursery. All three have a ph of 6.8. Was surprised to hear they used a two-pronged ph sensor like I have. Thought there was going to be more excitement. Anyways, thanks for your input an your time. Stay well. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions as the season moves ahead.
 
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Hey Thanks everyone. Brought a soil sample of the three raised beds to a local nursery. All three have a ph of 6.8. Was surprised to hear they used a two-pronged ph sensor like I have. Thought there was going to be more excitement. Anyways, thanks for your input an your time. Stay well. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions as the season moves ahead.
Wait a minute; we haven't yet found out what the problem with your onions and peppers is, as the pH is not bad for them...
 
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Someone is paying attention! Thanks "headfullofbees". I lost my notes from last year when I started the peppers and onions. The onions were my first try with onion sets. I think they were Stuttgarters. They sprouted ok, then just seemed only to get a little bigger than the set sizes they came from. Maybe some of them got to about an inch and a half around, but very few. I followed the info I read about harvesting and drying, and they were tasty and I think we used them up before they got to go bad. The peppers were in the same bed as the onions(possibly a problem?). These were transplants, bells and six habaneros. Again, I've lost my notes, but the peppers seem to take a real long time to flower and produce fruit....like into late August. I'm giving each vegetable their own 4'x8' bed this year. Only a couple tomato plants(four got out of hand). The winner last year were the Yukon Golds from seed potatoes.....almost 20lbs. So, hopefully I haven't put you to sleep by now....that's my story. Any help will be appreciated and thank you for your time!
 
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Compost is often very low in nutrients; you need to add fertiliser, a balanced one to start with, say, fish blood & bone, poultry manure pellets (very good & are 6% calcium, which is great against blossom end rot) changing to a higher potassium fertiliser, (like seaweed extract, banana skins/coffee grinds/ comfrey/ woodash, when any of your your plants start to flower.

Onions hopefully won't flower, but change to the higher potassium feed all at the same time.
 
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I think you are going to be fine. Don't over think . Make certain any fertilizer is AGED fertilizer. Chicken poop is great and cow manure is almost as good , but they must be aged.
 
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I think you are going to be fine. Don't over think . Make certain any fertilizer is AGED fertilizer. Chicken poop is great and cow manure is almost as good , but they must be aged.
In the UK we can get chicken manure pellets that are ready and suitable to use straight away - nothing like the hot stuff the birds originally produce...... that`s like an eye popping curry.

Maybe I have a weird sense of humour, but occasionally these threads crack me up :ROFLMAO:
 
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