Soil PH Test
If you have soil with a low pH it is very important that you correct the problem before planting. A very low pH will stunt young olive tree's growth and leave you wondering why they just don't seem to be growing as they should.
One way of raising your pH is to include the correct amount of agricultural lime during your ground preparation work prior to planting. This will be your last chance to efficiently get the lime and manures ripped down into the root zone area of the soil. Your olive trees will be there for a long time and once the tree is in the ground you will not be able to deep rip the soil without damaging shallow roots.
Remember you are trying to change the pH of your soil in the top 600+mm (2+ ft) not just the top few centimetres.
There are other methods of increasing your pH which can also be considered. Check with your local Department of Agriculture or other orchard owners to see what is best in your area.
To enable growers to initially check their soil pH and then monitor it throughout their orchard, The Olive Centre has available a simple yet accurate kit which quickly tests the pH of your soils.
The kit will do about 40 - 50 pH tests and comes with full instructions. This is the original CSIRO test kit and is very reliable.
Three Simple Stages
- Mix the soil sample with a specially formulated universal pH indicator and dust with a white barium sulphate powder.
- The resultant colour of the powder is compared to a colour chart to find the pH of the soil.
- In only a minute you can determine the pH of your soil to within half a pH unit. (Accurate enough for agricultural and horticultural use).