First time 5-1-1 - concerned
I am trying a 5-1-1 mix for the first time this year for (mostly) peppers. I am a little concerned that something is a little off.
I have a few overwintered peppers and some new seedlings this year. Several of the new guys have wavy/rippled leaf edges (not burnt or damaged looking) and the plants overall don't seem to be putting out much growth, but, they are growing some. Some of the overwintered ones (as well as a couple new ones) are pale green / yellowing.
My first thought was overwatering. So, I cut back on the yellowing ones. Maybe I didn't give it enough time, but, when they didn't get happy, I started increasing the feeding concentration from about 1/4 to 1/2 or even full strength (Foliage Pro 9-3-6).
I am still having difficulty and am wondering if it is a PH issue. I am using (roughly) screened pine bark mulch, not sure how composted it is. My thought is that the lime (epsoma) may have not gotten evenly distributed when I mixed everything up. It just seems like such a small amount that gets mixed in with a big old pile of ingredients.
How can I test the ph? I am afraid if I just check runoff, it will drain so quickly that I won't get an accurate reading. Once I have that information and results, I can decide next steps.
Is this a common problem, especially with first timers?
Thanks for your help!