Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Soil and Coffee

Ronnie had a very nifty gadget he let us borrow - to test the PH of our soil. We had heard that it was a little acidic but why waste an opportunity to do an experiment. Between us, Andrew and I did all the Sciences at A-level - we're geeks at heart!

So, this was cool to us and we got straight down to it. With this particular tester we had to dig a whole around a trowel's depth and add a little water (unfortunately we had no distilled water which would have made the experiment better, but I digress..) so it was the consistency of wet soil. Then plonk (science -y term) the tester in, making sure the probe was nice and wet all over (and the switch was flicked to PH rather than Wetness testing mode). Then we had to wait... for a minute........

The Result - the soil was a wee bit acidic. The needle hovered just on the line between 7 and 6. Isn't science fun!!?

So our soil is pretty neutral, which is a good place to start I think, we can add stuff to it to please certain fussy plants - making it more alkaline or acidic where needed. Good news indeed.

After that ,we added some Used Coffee Grounds from Starbucks (you get big bags there for FREE) around the baby Spring Cabbages - there are some thoughts that caffeine deters slugs. I don't know if it works but we're giving it a go. Check out the link below for a discussion thread on it, which seems to suggest the opposite!
But anyway, it made my hands smell lovely and the rest of the bag went into the compost bin (which is what we usually do with these free used grounds); coffee is a great soil conditioner. (Bit acidic, science-y again).

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