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I've just bought a soil test kit from b&q, never tested before.

I've done 2 tests as per instructions, waited the require time.

Both times it tells me the soil is 8.0 as alkaline as the score goes up to.

Problem - soil taken from beside a flourishing well established rhododendrom, all neighbours gardens also grow rhododendrum, pieris, camellia etc...

I don't feel the result is right, has anyone else had problems with these testers?

The pack also says it will test nutrients (advice enclosed), there is a chart for these but no instuctions how to test, no separate bottle, or do I wait longer etc..

Does anyone know if these kits accurate? Are they easy to use 'incorrectly' ? Or are they just a waste fo time?

Secondly, is the test rod system any better?

Thank you


Did you mix the soil with tap water?  If you live in a hard water area then it could push your ph upwards but I wouldn't have thought all the way to 8.  



Farmergeddun, no water used at all. just measure soil then add test solution to require level. Shake, leave 10mins.


As you say Mrs Garden if Rhodes are growing well then your pH is less than 8. More likely to be 6 or less. The kit must be wrong!

That's what I thought. Might try one of those probes. But do I really need to know? Managed so far.


The RHS website says that if a test is done within three months of using lime, fertiliser or adding organic matter the results may be inaccurate.

If you take a soil sample from the supposedly very alkaline site and add some vinegar to it it will fizz if it is indeed alkaline.

Soil n vinegar, is that in my chips?
Thanks w,butts. I'll enjoy that experiment tomorrow!!

No fizzing waterbutts. Conclusion - soil test kit faulty.

Not going to bother with the stick type either, not sure what benefit is to be gained really unless I want to grow specific plants to perfection. I'll keep with trial and error.

Thanks for your advice everyone.

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